from indieWIRE - IDA names Top 20 docs of all time

Steve Fesenmaier (fesenms@wvlc.lib.wv.us)
Mon, 16 Dec 2002 12:08:38 -0800 (PST)

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"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
violent
gun culture, "Bowling for Columbine" has been named the top doc of all
time
by the International Documentary Association (IDA). The Los
Angeles-based
organization released its top twenty favorite non-fiction films late
last
week
ahead of events celebrating its 20th anniversary with presentations of
the
Career Achievement award to Ken Burns ("Frank Lloyd Wright") and the
Pioneer
Award to French filmmaker Agnes Varda ("The Gleaners and I").

Films in the list covered an array of topics with Michael Moore also
capturing
the number three spot for "Roger & Me" (1989), an investigation of
General
Motors downsizing and its effects on Flynt, Michigan. Errol Morris'
probe
of
the 1976 murder of a Dallas policeman, "The Thin Blue Line" (1988) was
named
second best doc while Steve James' story of two inner city high
schoolers'
pursuit of professional basketball glory, "Hoop Dreams" (1994) came in
at
number four. Albert and David Maysles' 1969 film "Salesman" about
employees
selling ornate Bibles door-to-door rounded out the top five. The
brother
directing team also captured the number nine position for their look at
the
eccentric first cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in "Grey Gardens"
(1975)
and the number 12 spot for "Gimme Shelter" on the infamous Rolling
Stones
concert at Altamont Speedway in Northern California. Errol Morris also
secured
a second mention in the list with "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control"
(1997)
in
the 14th place for the film on four obsessive men that each create
eccentric
worlds of their dreams involving animals.

Topics spotlighting local issues also made the list including Barbara
Kopple's
1976 look at the struggle of Kentucky coal mining families in "Harlan
County,
USA" came in at number eight. And, Frederick Wiseman's chronicle of life

inside
a Massachusetts institution for the mentally ill, "Titicut Follies" took

the
number 15 spot.

"The common denominator is that all of these films provide an intimate
behind-
the-scenes look at the human condition," said IDA executive director
Sandra
Ruch in a prepared statement. "Each of them grabs and holds your
interest.
They make you think about things you might not have ever considered
before.
This was a very difficult decision for our members. It is a little like

asking
them to vote for their favorite child." The IDA began as an informal
meeting
of a dozen filmmakers in Los Angeles in 1982. Today, the organization
has
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,"
Errol
Morris; 3. "Roger & Me," Michael Moore; 4. "Hoop Dreams," Steve James;
5. "Salesman," Albert and David Maysles; 6. "Nanook of the North,"
Robert
Flaherty; 7. "Night and Fog," Alain Resnais; 8. "Harlan County, USA,"
Barbara
Kopple; 9. "Grey Gardens," Albert and David Maysles; 10. "The Civil
War,"
Ken Burns; 11. "Crumb," Terry Zwigoff; 12. "Gimme Shelter," Albert and
David
Maysles; 13. "7 Up," Michael Apted; 14. "Fast, Cheap and Out of
Control,"
Errol Morris; 15. "Titicut Follies," Frederick Wiseman; 16. "When We
Were
Kings," Leon Gast; 17. "American Movie: The Making of Northwestern,
Chris
Smith; 18. "Shoah," Claude Lanzmann; 19. "The Man with a Movie Camera,"
Dziga Vertov; 20. "Sherman's March," Ross McElwee

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