"Bowling for Columbine" Named Top All Time Doc while Moore, Morris and
the Maysles Take Multiple Positions in Top 20
(indieWIRE: 12.16.02) -- Michael Moore's scathing look at America's
gun culture, "Bowling for Columbine" has been named the top doc of all
by the International Documentary Association (IDA). The Los
organization released its top twenty favorite non-fiction films late
ahead of events celebrating its 20th anniversary with presentations of
Career Achievement award to Ken Burns ("Frank Lloyd Wright") and the
Award to French filmmaker Agnes Varda ("The Gleaners and I").
Films in the list covered an array of topics with Michael Moore also
the number three spot for "Roger & Me" (1989), an investigation of
Motors downsizing and its effects on Flynt, Michigan. Errol Morris'
the 1976 murder of a Dallas policeman, "The Thin Blue Line" (1988) was
second best doc while Steve James' story of two inner city high
pursuit of professional basketball glory, "Hoop Dreams" (1994) came in
number four. Albert and David Maysles' 1969 film "Salesman" about
selling ornate Bibles door-to-door rounded out the top five. The
directing team also captured the number nine position for their look at
eccentric first cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in "Grey Gardens"
and the number 12 spot for "Gimme Shelter" on the infamous Rolling
concert at Altamont Speedway in Northern California. Errol Morris also
a second mention in the list with "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control"
the 14th place for the film on four obsessive men that each create
worlds of their dreams involving animals.
Topics spotlighting local issues also made the list including Barbara
1976 look at the struggle of Kentucky coal mining families in "Harlan
USA" came in at number eight. And, Frederick Wiseman's chronicle of life
a Massachusetts institution for the mentally ill, "Titicut Follies" took
number 15 spot.
"The common denominator is that all of these films provide an intimate
the-scenes look at the human condition," said IDA executive director
Ruch in a prepared statement. "Each of them grabs and holds your
They make you think about things you might not have ever considered
This was a very difficult decision for our members. It is a little like
them to vote for their favorite child." The IDA began as an informal
of a dozen filmmakers in Los Angeles in 1982. Today, the organization
2,700 members in 50 countries today. [Brian Brooks]
The complete top 20 list follows:
1. "Bowling for Columbine," Michael Moore; 2. "The Thin Blue Line,"
Morris; 3. "Roger & Me," Michael Moore; 4. "Hoop Dreams," Steve James;
5. "Salesman," Albert and David Maysles; 6. "Nanook of the North,"
Flaherty; 7. "Night and Fog," Alain Resnais; 8. "Harlan County, USA,"
Kopple; 9. "Grey Gardens," Albert and David Maysles; 10. "The Civil
Ken Burns; 11. "Crumb," Terry Zwigoff; 12. "Gimme Shelter," Albert and
Maysles; 13. "7 Up," Michael Apted; 14. "Fast, Cheap and Out of
Errol Morris; 15. "Titicut Follies," Frederick Wiseman; 16. "When We
Kings," Leon Gast; 17. "American Movie: The Making of Northwestern,
Smith; 18. "Shoah," Claude Lanzmann; 19. "The Man with a Movie Camera,"
Dziga Vertov; 20. "Sherman's March," Ross McElwee
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