I have been on a documentary kick lately. They are just so easily accessible on Netflix, and when I go out, documentaries are good alternatives to movies because they are usually cheaper and I actually learn something. So here is information on how to catch some awesome documentaries in the comfort of your own bed, at Trinity and in the upcoming CineFestival (Feb. 3 – March 2).
The Best Documentaries on Netflix’s Instant Queue
“The September Issue” — This is a deliciously wicked exposé on “Vogue” and its editor, Anna Wintour, the most powerful woman in the fashion industry. It captures everything from the chaos of creating the biggest magazine of the time to Wintour, who casually offends the September covergirl, Sienna Miller. Also, it poignantly reveals the artistic process of the fiery
“Vogue” — Creative Director, Grace Coddington. This is definitely a must-see, especially if you enjoyed “The Devil Wears Prada,” because Meryl Streep’s character was allegedly based on Wintour.
“The Queen of Versailles” — This documentary is about the rise and fall of the Siegel family, who try to construct the largest house in America, but have to halt the project after being hit particularly hard by the 2008 economic recession. Their return to normalcy provides both humor and, surprisingly, some sympathetic moments.
“Waiting for Superman” — For years, I have been told to watch this any time I discussed educational policy because it is an exhaustive analysis on the public school education system. It does what every good documentary is supposed to do: make you think. Also, it was directed by Davis Guggenheim, who also directed “The Inconvenient Truth.”
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” — An L.A. thrift shop store-owner named Thierry Guetta started documenting about his obsession: street art. Through the filming, he meets the iconoclastic artist Banksky, who assumes the filming project to make Thierry the subject as he attempts to put on his own show. Whether this is a mockumentary or not is as elusive as Banksky himself.
Trinity will have a screening of “The Invisible War” in honor of Women’s History Month. The film investigates the high rates of sexual assaults within the U.S. Military. Not only is it nominated for an Oscar, it is having salient effects in Washington. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the military will change how it handles reports of sexual assaults after viewing the film and he has the full support of the President. If you cannot make it to the showing, it is also on Netflix. The screening is at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, in the Fiesta Room.
Off Campus: CineFestival
San Antonio is hosting the oldest and longest-running Latino film festival for the 35th year. The films are arranged in four categories: narrative feature, documentary, short and emerging artist. So, no, not all of them are documentaries, but there are going to be some pretty awesome ones, like “The Unique Ladies,” about a group of women who created San Diego’s first all-women lowrider car club and “Children of Memory,” the story of hundreds of children who disappeared in the Salvadoran Civil War. There are also Q&A sessions, panels, informal discussions, a youth film competition, parties and an awards ceremony. CineFestival lasts for one week, from Saturday, Feb. 23, to Saturday, March 2 at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (1300 Guadalupe St.). A one-day pass costs $10, and VIP festival passes go for $75.