Nate and Ryan watch Roger & Me (1989), Michael Moore’s groundbreaking documentary about the rapid decline of Flint, MI after the shuttering of several GM plants. 30 years later, the plight of Flint and the struggles of the United Auto Workers continue to be in the news. Listen in as Nate and Ryan discuss the relevance and reliability of Michael Moore, a man who, depending on your point of view, is always one necessary step ahead of the zeitgeist, or is an irritating, irresponsible blowhard.
What are your thoughts on Michael Moore? Does Roger & Me deserve to be listed among the best documentaries of all time? Has Michael Moore ruined or saved (it can only be one or the other!) documentary film? Let us know!
Nate and Ryan welcome special guest Erick Fortmann to discuss the seminal documentary Grey Gardens, directed by the late Albert and David Maysles. The Maysles established themselves as pioneers of documentary in a time when documentaries were the stuff of newsreels and educational film. They made their name with 1968’s Salesman and 1970’s revelatory rock-documentary Gimme Shelter, but they cemented their place in history with 1975’s Grey Gardens. Over time, Grey Gardens has become a cult favorite with the eccentric Beales fascinating and perplexing moviegoers and film scholars alike. The Maysles brought their uncanny ability for capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments to the unusual lives of their one-in-a-million subjects. What resulted was a Rorschach test of sorts, as each viewer walks away from the film with a different interpretation of what they just experienced.
Let us know your interpretation? What do you think of Grey Gardens and the Beales? What makes a good documentary? Have you seen other Maysles documentaries? Let us know!
In this episode, Nate and Ryan discuss the listener-suggested, landmark 1999 documentary American Movie. Director Chris Smith profiles independent filmmaker Mark Borchardt, a Milwaukee native who dreams of finally making the film that has been brewing inside him from childhood. With aspirations only outsized by his debts and with self-motivating talk that only barely drowns out the detracting voices of his family, Borchardt gathers together friends and other aspiring filmmakers to help complete “Coven.”
While American Movie is held in high esteem, it has its fair share of critics who question the attitude the audience is supposed to take toward Borchardt. As always, Nate and Ryan don’t shy away from the tough questions and tackle those issues head-on, man.