Hi Beautiful People,
I’m starting a weird documentary club with my friends and would love it if you guys followed along. It’ll basically be a book club, but with documentaries about out of the ordinary things instead of books. Comment below if you have any recommendations of great/bizarre documentaries you’ve seen or ones that have been on your to-watch list for awhile. Let’s learn about our world together!
59 thoughts on “Weird Documentary Club”
Guess I need a definition of weird…perception is a strange animal….
Just whatever is weird/ a source of curiosity to you. I love that everyone has a different definition of weird and am down to embrace that.
Ultra-distance cyclists, young (pre-teen) entrepreneurs, thimbles, odd collections, the motivation industry real or sham?
Best wishes and Be encouraged!
I am intrigued by all those things, especially the last one
Since I am in that business it is one that interests me A LOT. There is a very one-sided book about the motivation industry called “Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless” by Steve Salerno (Sep 26, 2006) ISBN-10: 1400054109
ISBN-13: 978-1400054107. But I would like to see an honest documentary that evaluates the industry. Especially in lieu of the recent issues concerning Tony Robbin’s Fire Walk in San Jose, CA.
Good idea! Just downloaded “The Woodmans” from Netflix. Doc. about a family of artists and their (amazingly innovative for her time) photographer daughter, Frances. It’s gotten lots of press. Fascinating, honest, sad — and definitely worth seeing.
Sounds amazing, I am adding it to the list!
Anvil! The Story of Anvil. The hard rock documentary that is too amazing to be real, but too human to be fake.
I think it sounds like a great idea. Count me in.
have to mull – lots of subjects – but weird; not sure; sounds great tho!
This is a great topic I LOVE DOCs here are 3 you must watch ASAP!
1. knuckle- bare knuckle boxing a must watch.
2. Infamy- Graffiti doc views of 7 graffiti writers
3. American Pimp- very interesting Doc
Man on Wire. About the dude who tightrope walked between the twin towers.
@Oliver- The Anvil doc was hilarious.
@Lyssapants- Man On Wire was great!
We just watched Ken Burns: Prohibition. It started off interesting, but got kind of boring.
Radiant City. It’s about the effects of suburban dwellings on modern city life and to top it all off, it’s also Canadian. I’m not sure if it’s been released in the US, but you can watch it at nfb.ca, which has a bunch of other really weird shit, too.
I am totally down for this! I watch TONS of documentaries! There are literally hundreds of strange and unusual ones that I could recommend–
Ohhh, are their any that stick out particularly in your head?
You caught me with the response just in time– Was just about to pass out! Okay, here are four just off the top of my head– 1. Cropsey 2. Riddles in stone- secret mysteries of america’s begginings 3. a strange harvest 4. rivers and tides … the first one is on netflix and 2-4 should still be on youtube. Have a good one!
Wesley Willis’ Joy Rides. Saw it at SXSW back in 2008. It’s about a schizophrenic dude from Chicago that sells his drawings. He also recorded his own CD’s. Tends to have mental episodes where he sees demons – which he refers to as Hell Rides.
I had to google the name to make sure I had it right and it looks like it’s available to view for free right now:
Just recently saw an interesting one on the history, mythology and prohibition of Absinthe…
Capturing the Friedmans
Hey Ashley, as an avid documentary watcher I have to say I think that this is an awesome idea, and I would very much like to follow along! Tell me, have you ever heard of Florida’s Coral Castle? It was built single-handedly by a rather eccentric man by the name of Edward Leedskalnin out of megalithic pieces of limestone that he also quarried himself….. But here’s the thing, he did it all without the use of any modern equipment, and no one knows how he pulled it off… Not to mention the countless other oddities and mysteries that surround this man and his epic creation…. Anyways, there is a documentary that attempts to shed some light on this, and some of the other curious attributes of this most mysterious place, which as it turns out, may or may not hold the secret to the universe itself. I’ll warn you now though, it is presented mostly through text, Diagrams, and Photographs, and involves some intricate mathematics that can seem a bit overwhelming at first, however, they are explained quite well, and the whole thing is quite interesting. In the end, I don’t really know what to make of it all, but it is defiantly thought provoking, and worth a watch. It’s called “Code 411 The Secret To The Universe.” And can be found by a Google search of those words. I hope you enjoy it, and am sorry if you don’t. 🙂
Don’t know that particular documentary, but I second the Coral Castle. It is just that interesting.
Women in Boxes is a fun documentary about magician’s assistants.
Great topic, because from just a slight shift in perspective, almost anything can seem weird. Just flipped over to NPR.org to check it out, and there was a story called, “Bites from rabid vampire bats may not be a death sentence.” Nasty looking little critters, to be sure, but unlike so many headlines, the news is good. One less thing to worry about. Thanks!
Here’s a suggestion: http://www.heavymetalinbaghdad.com/press.html
Knuckle was a good watch, interesting about all the drama that goes though the families and how they are intertwined. The Elephant in the Living Room was also another good one.
Not exactly weird, but “Outfoxed” is a must see. It’s mostly about the Fox News network and how biased they are, but it also looks at the larger world of journalism and the biases within it. “Jesus Camp” is another amazing documentary that examines a bible camp and the woman who runs it. The documentarians interview the children as well, and what I love about it is that there’s no “spin,” or biased look at their world. Very well done!
Jesus camp was a bit freaky
ZOO–It’s about a man who dies during intercourse with a horse. This death then reveals a subculture of horse-lovers in the Pacific Northwest.
Beautifully shot, but strange..,
Not exactly a documentary – so does it qualify?
“The Story of Stuff” — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8
For 20 years I’ve been advocating a revolution in the arts – back to basics arts where quality counts more than trendy. I support the best of independent artists, and oppose the abuses of corporate art , the handful of conglomerates that control most arts and media today. This led to a six part video series called FIVE DOORS TO THE ART REVOLUTION. The first is a general introduction. Then there is a ‘door’ for new ideas in 1. Music, 2 Art. 3. Literature. 4. Reviews. 5. Art Centers for all art. The first is at
I don’t know if this counts as weird, but Heart of Darkness is the documentary about the making of Apocolypse Now, and is much better than the actual movie, not to mention completely compelling. You should definitely watch that.
Bukowski: Born into This; Baraka ; The Real Dirt on Farmer John; Mau Mau Sex Sex; Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Burden of Dreams; Tales from the Scrips; Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession; My Architect and Grey Gardens are off-beat and among my favorites. Don’t miss them.
I loved Grey Gardens! I recently saw Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox. It’s about the guy who invented Dr. Bronner’s soaps. The guy was crazy, like literally. It was very interesting.
Hopefully this isn’t a duplicate comment. Among my favorite off-beat documentaries are: Exit through the Gift Shop, Bukowski: Born into This, Plan 9 from Outerspace Companion: Flying Saucers over Hollywood; Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession; Little Dieter Needs to Fly; Burden of Dreams; Mau Mau Sex Sex; Baraka; Tales from the Script; American Movie; My Architect, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, Who is Harry Nillson and Why is Everybody Talking about Him and of course Grey Gardens. See them soon!
Sign me up for this club!
I’ve recently taken to watching documentaries, too. Some of the interesting ones (though not weird) I’ve seen are Food, Inc., Inside Job, The Lost Boys of Sudan, Ethos, Religulous and It Might Get Loud.
I was gonna say Food inc, that one, will make you wanna stop eating food for a while.
Heavy Metal Parking Lot will change your life. Hell, you can probably watch the whole thing on YouTube for all I know.
I haven’t watched it yet but “I Think We’re Alone Now” focuses on two individuals obsessed with 1980s pop star Tiffany: Jeff, a 50-year-old man with Asperger’s syndrome, and Kelly, an “intersexual” who claims to have had an inspirational friendship with the singer when they were teens. While others have called Jeff and Kelly stalkers, the film reveals that in their shared world the two outcasts understand that having something — anything–to believe in is what life is all about.
I’ve seen it, and it’s amazing
Ah, then it’s definitely moving up in my queue!
You must include Dancing Outlaw. You must. I feel so strongly about this that I’m commenting here even though I don’t know you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0h3a7MmMss
Ashley, my mom loves documentaries. I’ve noted these and am looking forward to a lot of quality lap-sitting time! What a great idea- thanks!
aw, it’s not weird or anything, but I’m happy to recommend Julien Temple’s documentary about Joe Strummer…it’s called The Future Is Unwritten. Enjoy your blog!
I like your idea, though I’m a word person, not a filmmaker. The documentary on Robert Crumb was probably one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever watched. I won’t spoil it so that’s all I will say. I think the Crumbs define “weird.” Imagine the Addams Family meets real life.
awesome idea! i’d recommend: Mark Twain (by ken burns), Unforgiveable Blackness (about 1900s ultra awesome boxer Jack Johnson), The Botany of Desire (about how plants and humans interact), The Great Happiness Space (about classy Japanese male escourts), & I Think We’re Alone Now (about obsessive pop-star Tiffany’s stalkers. super creepy but interesting) enjoy!
I’m in too. I am watching Michael Wood’s Story of England on PBS. It is a four part FREE documentary that is quirky and very Brit. Cheers!
And I knit like a fiend while watching. Haven’t figured out how to knit and write or knit and read yet.
I always remeebr the Grey Gardens docusmentary abouyt those ageing Kennedy cousins living in that old house – very creepy.
Take a Bow, the Ingrid Clarfield Story. Produced by a Seattle film maker, its an inspiring documentary. Some people will find it kind of boring. I was fascinated.
I would like to see a documentary about off duty police, what they do when their not at work, their social life’s and relationships, why they joined up or why their leavening the force, that kind of thing.
I think it would be interesting to watch and it would give a great insight into them as people.
sounds like a fun club! Hope you’re having fun, the most recent one on Cain & Abel sounds neat. hehe..
There are a ton of great documentaries on Netfix. My wife and I watch them all the time. King of Kong (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0923752/), Air Guitar Nation (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0799915/), and “DIVE! (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1490637/) are particular favorites of mine. One that isn’t on Netflix but very good none-the-less is “My Kid Could Paint That (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0912592/). This post made me realize I have done a documentary review yet on my blog. I’ll have to get on that. Best of luck with the club!
Will have to think if I have any to recommend, but for now just wanted to say I love this idea. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
I love this idea and wonder if I have a shot at carving out “weird documentary time” for myself in a house with a night owl eight-year-old dude.
Documentaries I want to see: Hands on a Hard Body, Exporting Raymond, Senna, Tabloid, Act of God.
I’ve got a few recommended doc-u-men-taries, although it seems I’m a bit late for the party.
The Bridge – docu about people who try to kill themselves by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge
Chickenhawk – about the sickos in NAMBLA
A Fistful of Quarters: The King of Kong – I might have the title backwards on this one, but it’s about two guys trying to beat the world record high score on Donkey Kong
Cocaine Cowboys & Square Grouper – both are about the early days of drug smuggling in south florida