Today, we’re celebrating the release on Blu-ray and DVD of Les Blank’s legendary Leon Russell music documentary A Poem Is a Naked Person. And while we’re on the topic of fascinating nonfiction filmmaking, we’re also taking a look at a new list of essential documentary films published in last weekend’s Observer. The UK-based publication has interviewed ten of the genre’s leading filmmakers—among them, for instance, Joshua Oppenheimer, director of The Act of Killing, and Waste Land’s Lucy Walker—and asked them to share what they love about their favorite documentary features. The result is a diverse variety of films that highlight some of most affecting works of the last century, including: Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-up, Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah, Errol Morris’s Gates of Heaven and The Thin Blue Line, Wim Wenders’s Pina, Steve James’s Hoop Dreams, and the brilliant documentary work of Agnès Varda.
A Sound for Love and Loss: Bo Harwood on A Woman Under the Influence
With just piano and guitar, longtime Cassavetes collaborator Bo Harwood created a score that highlights the melancholy in the director’s acclaimed domestic drama.