Last Days Here (2011)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer 

The singer from the metal band Pentagram struggles with addiction to get back on stage. I have mostly avoided music documentaries because they can have a very limited appeal. This one rises to a level that can be appreciated by almost anyone who isn’t totally square. Last Days Here is a great movie, and the same crew have made several other high quality documentaries including a personal favorite, The Art of the Steal. One note, the video is on the blurry side, but that is well worth ignoring to experience this story.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Not Quite Hollywood (2008)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

What we have here is a flat-out blast of a documentary about Australian exploitation cinema. It works as a primer on all the excellent weird films that came from the continent, and as an incredibly entertaining experience on it’s own. I was inspired to track down a ton of movies after my first viewing. This is essential Anomalous viewing.

Available on Import Blu-Ray.

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American Movie (1999)

Streaming on The Criterion Channel | imdb | trailer 

CRITERION CHANNEL?!?! Yep. This is a one-off, special recommendation that was intended for the book version of Anomalous Cinema. The Criterion Channel just added this film to their lineup for July, so I figured I might as well just share what I wrote. I have a feeling that Criterion will be releasing it on disc very soon. The streaming version looks MUCH better than any previous edition of the film I’ve seen before.

Mark Borchardt is a struggling filmmaker, and a documentary crew follows him as he completes his first fully-realized short feature. When this movie was initially released, it was an independent hit, but it fell into obscurity for the last ten years. Director Chris Smith has gone on to direct the very good Netflix documentary Fyre, and produce the massively over-hyped series Tiger King. I have seen American Movie multiple times, and it never gets old. It’s funny as hell, touching, thought-provoking, and a serious statement about someone fighting to make their art. I am also partial to it because it reminds me of the days helping my friend Isaac Williams make his first feature The Mind in 2006-7. I was a part-time boom operator, PA, and did the original score. If a shooting day went by without a quote from this documentary, followed by much laughter, I would be shocked. This documentary is must-see Anomalous Cinema.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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McQueen (2018)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Nearly ten years ago my partner Suzie dragged me to see Alexander McQueen’s exhibition at The Met in New York. I was not psyched to wait in line for something I wasn’t particularly interested in. Once we got into the show, my feelings quickly changed. I loved what I was seeing, especially the dark influences like Jack the Ripper and Joel-Peter Witkin. I walked out of museum an official Alexander McQueen fan. Suzie and I watched this documentary as soon as it cane out and absolutely loved it. This is obviously a must-see for fashion enthusiasts, and I would recommend this film to anyone interested in art as well. Before I saw that exhibition I didn’t understand the two worlds had such compelling areas of crossover.

Available on Blu-ray from Lion’s Gate.

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Minding the Gap (2018)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

I was a TERRIBLE skater for three years in the ’80s before I gave it up. I still love to watch skateboarding videos old and new. This is a very deep documentary that just so happens to feature skater kids. Three friends navigate troubled families and becoming adults. It’s very well done and engaging throughout. Highly recommended viewing.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider donating any amount via Paypal using this secure link. You can also show your appreciation via Buy Me a Coffee or Liberapay. Thanks!

Kusama: Infinity (2018)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Here we have a good overview of the career of influential Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama. I thought this doc might be too fluffy as much of her work is bright and polka dot-strewn, but it does not shy away from the artists’ battle with mental illness and other dark corners of her life. Infinity also touches on the many lesser-known ways in which Kusama’s output has made an impact on the history of art. Recommended viewing for those interested in the creative struggle.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here. You can also show your appreciation via Buy Me a Coffee or Liberapay. Thanks!

Sad Hill Unearthed (2017)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

You will need to see The Good, the Bad and the Ugly before you watch this, as fans restore the set from the climax of the film. Thankfully Netflix has Leone’s masterpiece streaming right now as well. I had my doubts that this would be interesting, especially since it opens with Metallica in concert. I’m a die hard fan of the Cliff Burton years and not into much of their output since, some of which is downright shameful. The band is included because they have used the featured scene as their live opening video for a long time. I saw the tour they first used it, and yes, it was very effective. James Hetfield actually does say some very thoughtful things in this movie too. Anyhow, I had forgotten how big and beautifully designed the Sad Hill set was, and this documentary goes into a lot of detail about it. None of it is dull, and by the end, it all gets surprisingly emotional. They also talk about the making of the movie in general, so if you’re a fan this is a must-see. I was psyched to see Sergio Salvati interviewed in this as well. He’s why the classic Lucio Fulci movies look so good. My only real complaint is that the filmmakers animated almost all of the still photographs. I despise that technique. Leave photos alone people! Ahem… In spite of a couple of blemishes, this is a damn good documentary.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here. You can also show your appreciation via Buy Me a Coffee or Liberapay. Thanks!

Last Breath (2019)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This is a very good documentary about a saturation diving accident. That may sound boring, but this is a seriously intense viewing experience. The movie is very well made, including excellent moody soundtrack work. I’ll be steering clear of any under sea adventures, thank you very much.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.

Sergio (2009)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a sad but informative doc about the life and death of UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello. I was skeptical of the importance of this man at first, but it becomes clear quickly that he was trying to make the world a better place. Sergio was murdered in a bombing in Iraq, and the filmmakers do not shy away from the disturbing details. Netflix produced a dramatization of this story, it did not get good reviews, so I am going to stick with this very good documentary.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.

Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-qiang (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a solid overview of one of the more high-profile Chinese visual artists. Guo-qiang is known mostly for his epic firework performances. The movie also covers the artist tackling a major project that challenges him on every level. Sky Ladder is an absorbing documentary that I wish had a slightly longer run time. You won’t hear me say that very often.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.