THE BEST Documentaries

Ronnie Fieg & Kith: Store, Brand, Empire.

Ronnie Fieg & Kith: Store, Brand, Empire.

“Some things aren’t meant to scale.” Kith owner Ronnie Fieg is a divisive figure in the streetwear scene, mainly because he comes from a well off and well connected family. But in his Complex Blueprint feature, you’ll see his story is all about being his own man.

A Stop-Motion Master

A Stop-Motion Master

Great Big Story spent some time with stop-motion animator Phil Tippett, who worked on films like Star Wars, RoboCop, and Jurassic Park. For the last 30+ years, Phil has also been working on his passion project, Mad God, a film which he acknowledges he may never finish.

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The Story of Jon Burgerman

The Story of Jon Burgerman

While shooting pics to promote illustrator Jon Burgerman’s new book It’s Great to Create, photographer Bas Berkhout decided to turn some of the leftovers into a wonderful documentary about the inspiration behind his whimsical, googly-eyed style.

Unrest (Trailer)

Unrest (Trailer)

Jennifer Brea was an avid traveler and academic. Then she was struck with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – a mysterious disorder that is only recently being taken seriously. With no cure or even sympathy in sight, she reached out to fellow victims to raise awareness about CFS.

The Aria of Babyface Cauliflower Brown

The Aria of Babyface Cauliflower Brown

“It’s not a fake sport… It’s a real story that we’re telling.” Director Tim Grant introduces us to pro wrestler Cauliflower Chase Brown, who reminds us the action we see on stage is backed up by a desire to entertain and satisfy an audience with a heroes tale for the underdog.

Documentary for the Recently Deceased

Documentary for the Recently Deceased

Director Fred China and his team are currently raising funds for a documentary about the creation of Tim Burton’s 1988 classic Beetlejuice, which features amazing, never before seen archive footage of production of the film’s clever visuals. (Thanks John!)

The Last Peaceful Place on Earth

The Last Peaceful Place on Earth

Director Skylar Nielsen and cinematographers Josh Fletcher and Lance Clayton of Vita Brevis Films shot this awesome documentary short about the diehard automotive fanatics who turn out each year for Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in the isolated Utah desert.

Todd McFarlane: Business Serving Art

Todd McFarlane: Business Serving Art

Todd McFarlane reinvented Spider-Man, created Spawn, and helped revolutionize the comics industry by co-founding Image Comics. Now he has a toy empire. He sat down with Complex to share tons of practical tips for success based on his passion and experience.

Jim Carrey: I Need Color

Jim Carrey: I Need Color

“I don’t know what painting teaches me. I just know that it frees me.” Jim Carrey has enthusiastically shared his paintings with the public. But in SGG’s documentary, we see him open up about this lifelong passion, as well as the stories behind some of his artworks.

30 for 30: Nature Boy (Trailer)

30 for 30: Nature Boy (Trailer)

“It was something I was pretty good at. And then it became a disease.” Ric Flair was once the superstar of superstars in the pro wrestling world. But he was anything but a role model, whether in or out of the ring. The documentary premieres 11/7/17 on ESPN.

RRDBlocks & The Cycle Squad Maniaccs

RRDBlocks & The Cycle Squad Maniaccs

(PG-13: Language) Mass Appeal’s New York State of Mind spends some time with these urban daredevils who live life on the edge, popping wheelies and driving some folks mad with their antics. Whether or not they’re a road hazard, there’s no questioning their passion.

Escaping Prison with Tabletop RPGs

Escaping Prison with Tabletop RPGs

(PG-13: Language) “It’s now how you play the game. It’s why you play the game.” Vice Waypoint spoke with a couple of former inmates who played tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons while they were in prison to unwind, connect and stay sane. More here.

Nix + Gerber: The City

Nix + Gerber: The City

National Geographic takes us inside the world of artists Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber, who have been creating intricate miniature dioramas together for almost 15 years. The scenes portray a post-apocalyptic future in which buildings and material possessions have been abandoned.

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AWAKEN (Trailer)

AWAKEN (Trailer)

Tom Lowe’s upcoming film took 5 years to make, as he traveled to 30 countries. The visual documentary looks at the relationship between mankind and technology. The breathtaking time-lapse, aerial, underwater, and other techniques are a true feast for the eyes.

Icarus (Trailer)

Icarus (Trailer)

Filmmaker Bryan Fogel initially wanted to learn more about performance-enhancing drugs. His research unwittingly got him caught in Russia’s doping scandal. Critics say Icarus has a poorly-edited first half, but its twists and bombs make it worth watching. Premieres 8/4/17 on Netflix.

BIC: The Company Behind the Pen

BIC: The Company Behind the Pen

Business Casual chronicles the rise of pen giant BIC. Although he didn’t invent the ballpoint pen, BIC’s co-founder Baron Marcel Bich understood economies of scale and brought affordable pens, lighters, and razors to the world. But the company has had its share of busts too.

Check It (Trailer)

Check It (Trailer)

(PG-13) “Equality and Opportunity Worth the Fight.” Louis CK is hosting Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer’s documentary Check It on his site. The film is about the eponymous gang-turned-foundation that was created by gay African-American teens in Washington DC.

Gift in My Hands

Gift in My Hands

“What’s my job description? I provide for my family.” Leonard Logsdail is one of the most sought after bespoke tailors in the US and England. But he has no delusions about his career or his legacy. He spoke with Coronation Media about his youth, setbacks and success.

A Documentary on Documentaries

A Documentary on Documentaries

“I think of it as putting together a puzzle when you don’t have a picture of what it’s supposed to look like.” Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville talks about his world and his mindset, using the interview itself as an example.

Trash into Transformers

Trash into Transformers

Great Big Story introduces us to Yu Zhilin and his son Yu Lingyun, both of whom are skilled at metalwork. Along the way, they found they had an affinity for building giant Transformers out of scrap parts from old cars. More recently, they started building amazing original designs.

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A Continuous Shape

A Continuous Shape

“Once you start carving, there’s no hard and fast rules.” Eyes & Ears spent 3 weeks with stone carver Anna Rubincam as she worked on a new piece. Anna has that headstrong look in her eyes that those of us who have yet to find our paths find intimidating and envious.

Colorizing History

Colorizing History

Vintage photos can provide fascinating insights into our past. Vox explores how accurately applying color to these monochrome photos can bring people and places to life. The research and craftsmanship that goes into modifying these these images is striking.

Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars

Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars

To celebrate 40 years of Star Wars, Cinefamily TV created this epic video mixtape loaded with insane and obscure footage, from interviews, to parodies, to fan tributes, and much more. If you’re not prepared to spend 95 minutes right now, the trailer should convince you.

Live from the Larynx

Live from the Larynx

If you thought the expressions beatboxers make while producing sounds were weird, wait till you get a load of this. Tom Thum allowed a doctor to place an endoscopic camera with a view of his throat while he beatboxed. The video is equal parts fascinating and disgusting.

Paper Art by Peter Dahmen

Paper Art by Peter Dahmen

Filmmaker Christopher Helkey introduces us to artist Peter Dahmen, who creates complex and intricate pop-up structures from paper. We loved learning about how he got started, his build process, and watching the movement of each sculpture as it’s opened up.

Return to High Chaparral

Return to High Chaparral

About a year ago, MEL Films visited a Syrian refugee camp set up at a Wild West theme park in Sweden. While most documentarians would have left the story there, they decided to go back to see what happened in the wake of the changing political climate.

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