Documentaries certainly aren’t for everyone. When picking a movie to watch, most people want something that will help them escape from their own world or from reality for 90 minutes. However, there are those rare occasions when you want the most human story imaginable or perhaps you even want to learn something new. Netflix is filled with wonderful documentaries that never seem to get enough love and attention. Some of them, on the other hand, are just plain fun.
INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE (2012)
Like I said above, the best documentaries are human stories. That means you don’t have to be a fan of video games to enjoy a great story about people. That’s what INDIE GAME is. Following the development and release of three various independently produced video games, this documentary captures the struggles and battles faced by artists in today’s society. Creating a video game is not a simple task. Creating a successful video game is nearly impossible. These creators face depression, poverty, and isolation to do the thing they love the most.
This is a documentary that can be translated into a wide array of topics. It’s not just about video games. It’s about art, culture, business, success, and failure. The lessons these creators learn can be attributed to any passion one might have. In this way, the story connects with an audience, which shows in the acclaim this movie has received. All of the subjects are incredibly likeable and interesting, albeit a little nerdy. They care so much about their work, that you can’t help but root for them. I’ve never played any of their games, but after watching this I wanted to go out and buy them; not just to support them, but because they actually just look really fun. If you’ve never watched a documentary before (which would be crazy) this is a great one to start with. It’s very entertaining and heart warming.
DOCUMENTARY NOW – One Season (2015)
Okay, I tricked you a little bit, because this isn’t actually a documentary. It’s a new series from IFC by Fred Armisen (Portlandia) and Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) that consists of several short mockumentaries (mock-documentary, for the uninitiated) and it’s absolutely hilarious. These guys are funny as it is, but each episode is parodying another form of documentary filmmaking and they consistently hit it right on the head. It’s unlike any show I’ve ever seen, but I can really only recommend it to people who enjoy documentaries, otherwise the jokes are likely to go right over your head.
Without discussing too many specifics of the show, Hader and Armisen have amazing chemistry together. They star in each episode as the subjects or filmmakers of that chosen documentary. While some of their characters are a little more outlandish than others, I’ve yet to watch an episode where they didn’t crack me up. This show seems to have flown under the radar when it premiered on IFC, but hopefully it can cultivate an audience on Netflix so we can enjoy more seasons of this duo.