8 Documentaries I Loved

In November I hit a wall. A wall of working way too may hours. I decided to just get through December and then not put crazy pressure on myself through the holidays and take January to get focused, organized and inspired. I read a crazy amount of books in one month, watched every episode of GIRLS and Orange Is The New Black, and as the title suggests a lot of documentaries. So if you’re snowed in today, like most of the east coast is, fire up your Netflix (or iTunes or Amazon) and get to watching. I really enjoyed all of these documentaries and recommend all of them if you’re into that subject.

diana vreelandPhoto by James Karales via DianaVreeland.com


Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has to Travel

It is safe to say I am obsessed with Diana Vreeland. It’s sad (being a magazine journalism major in college) that I hadn’t studied her more in depth until recently. I need to watch this documentary again. And again. There was just so much richness in it, it needs to be taken in over several viewings. It was smashing (as Diana would say)!

Spirit of the Marathon

I loved this one because it followed six different runners all training for a the Chicago marathon. I love seeing people at different places in their life doing athletic things. I also just cannot imagine anyone except legit runners and athletes actually running a full marathon, so to see a 70-year-old man on his 5th marathon made me feel like a blob. I mean I thought it was soooo cool, but it also just puts you into place and makes you reevaluate what you are really capable of. Especially since he didn’t start running until he was 65 … so it’s not like he’s been a runner his entire life. He started at 65.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

I’d been wanting to see this movie for a while because it was a passion project for someone I know. Finally sat down and watched it. Wow, some people are so interesting. Just amazing how much dedication some people have. I still think sushi is gross, but I’m sure Jiro’s is the best.

A Model for Matisse

When I read what this movie was about I thought, huh, I wonder if this will be interesting. Of course it was. Sister Jacques-Marie is so charming, and it really seemed to show Matisse’s personality through the relationship. I love art and artists, and French, so I liked it. Unless you have similar obsessions, you might find it slow.

First Position

A documentary. About ballet. Sign me up. I love watching ballet and behind the scenes of ballet. I’ve mentioned before that I secretly wanted to do ballet (I ended up taking a beginners class as an adult and want to take more!). These kids put so much pressure on themselves. I think it’s cool when kids know what they want to do with their lives so young and they dedicate their lives it.

Gerhard Richter Painting

You probably have to be interested in either Richter himself or the process of painting in general to enjoy this movie. Which of course I am, so I loved it. It really gives you a good idea of the day in and day out of a full-time (famous) artist. I loved how it showed his indecision while painting — it’s something every artist has. Every artist has moments where they think, hmm, is this good? Is it done? This is terrible. Am I going to mess it up if I do this?

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Being someone who drinks green juice on a regular basis, I loved this documentary. Before you get all that’s not healthy on me, I’m not a nutritionist and don’t claim to know anything medically, nor am I encouraging anyone to drink juice for 30 days. What I do know is results. And if you are being checked up on by a doctor and your levels are all fine while doing something like this, I don’t see what the problem is. That said, I’ve never done a full out juice cleanse. Not even for a day. I just incorporate it into my everyday diet because for me it’s the best way to ingest enough vegetables daily. Do I think I could benefit from some sort of cleanse of my digestive system, yes. But I just haven’t committed to it fully yet.

Our City Dreams

A documentary about five female artists in New York City. Obviously I’m watching that. Again, you probably need to be at least mildly interested in art to find this interesting, but I love learning about artists and their processes.

Others on my list to watch (maybe even today!)

Bill Cunningham New York
Woody Allen
Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston
The Tents

Please tell me — what are your favorite documentaries? Do you recommend any for me to watch? Leave me a link to them in the comments!