Psychedelic and Weird Documentaries

by alchemicalcinema | created - 17 Apr 2016 | updated - 20 Apr 2016 | Public

For the obscure and esoteric among us.

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1. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary, Music

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov | Star: Mikhail Kaufman

Votes: 20,606

2. Victory Through Air Power (1943)

70 min | Documentary, Animation, History

An animated documentary promoting of the soundness of strategic aerial bombing in World War II.

Directors: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, H.C. Potter | Stars: Alexander de Seversky, Art Baker, Billy Mitchell

Votes: 801 | Gross: $0.80M

3. The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)

Not Rated | 45 min | Documentary, History, War

A documentary on the 25th bombing mission of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 in the US 8th Air Force.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Stanley Wray, Robert Morgan, James A. Verinis, Robert J. Hanson

Votes: 1,282

4. The Mystery of Picasso (1956)

PG | 78 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A filmed record of Pablo Picasso painting numerous canvases for the camera, allowing us to see his creative process at work.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Pablo Picasso, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Claude Renoir

Votes: 1,844 | Gross: $0.27M

5. Mondo cane (1962)

R | 108 min | Documentary

A "shockumentary" consisting of a collection of mostly real archive footage displaying mankind at its most depraved and perverse, displaying bizarre rites, cruel behavior and bestial violence.

Directors: Paolo Cavara, Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi | Stars: Stefano Sibaldi, Rossano Brazzi, Yves Klein, Henning Skaarup

Votes: 3,255

6. Le joli mai (1963)

Not Rated | 165 min | Documentary

Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme's LE JOLI MAI (The Lovely Month of May) is a portrait of Paris and Parisians during May 1962;the first springtime of peace after the ceasefire with Algeria ... See full summary »

Directors: Chris Marker, Pierre Lhomme | Stars: Chris Marker, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Jean-Luc Godard

Votes: 633 | Gross: $0.02M

7. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

Filmmaker William Greaves auditioned acting students for a fictional drama, while simultaneously shooting the behind-the-scenes drama taking place.

Director: William Greaves | Stars: Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows, Jonathan Gordon, Bob Rosen

Votes: 1,342

8. Harlan County U.S.A. (1976)

PG | 103 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike.

Director: Barbara Kopple | Stars: Norman Yarborough, Houston Elmore, Phil Sparks, John Corcoran

Votes: 4,544

9. Poto and Cabengo (1980)

Not Rated | 77 min | Documentary

Two young twins in the USA have invented their own shared language. Scientists are wanting to study the language but social workers are trying to get the twins to leave their secret ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Gorin | Star: Jean-Pierre Gorin

Votes: 318

10. Burden of Dreams (1982)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 5,884

11. Undergångens arkitektur (1989)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, History

An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Cohen | Stars: Rolf Arsenius, Bruno Ganz, Sam Gray, Martin Bormann

Votes: 918

12. Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary following singer Madonna on her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990.

Director: Alek Keshishian | Stars: Madonna, Donna DeLory, Niki Harris, Luis Camacho

Votes: 8,392 | Gross: $15.01M

13. Lessons of Darkness (1992)

Not Rated | 54 min | Documentary, War

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.

Director: Werner Herzog | Star: Werner Herzog

Votes: 4,933

14. Baraka (1992)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary

A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion.

Director: Ron Fricke

Votes: 34,140 | Gross: $1.33M

15. Baseball (1994–2010)

TV-PG | 1,140 min | Documentary, History, Sport

A documentary on the history of the sport with major topics including Afro-American players, player/team owner relations and the resilience of the game.

Stars: John Chancellor, Daniel Okrent, Ossie Davis, Paul Roebling

Votes: 3,459

16. Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998 TV Movie)

98 min | Documentary, History

The history of the influence of Eastern European Jewish Emigre culture has had on Hollywood and the films created in its golden age.

Directors: Simcha Jacobovici, Stuart Samuels | Stars: Neal Gabler, R.H. Thomson, J. Hoberman, Arthur Tracy

Votes: 271

17. Geri (1999 TV Movie)

110 min | Documentary

TV documentary which shows the roller-coaster career of the former Spice Girl, Geri Horner, including very candid behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with her.

Director: Molly Dineen | Stars: Geri Horner, Molly Dineen, Stephen Fry, Desmond Llewelyn

Votes: 27

18. First Person (2000– )

Not Rated | 491 min | Documentary, Biography

Amazing series primarily using Errol Morris' invention the Interrotron for unusual people to tell their outré stories directly into the camera to the viewer. Almost every half-hour ... See full summary »

Stars: Errol Morris, Michael Stone, Charles Butler, Andrew Capoccia

Votes: 319

19. Dark Secrets Inside Bohemian Grove (2000 Video)

123 min | Documentary

Since 1873, the Global Elite Has Held Secret Meetings in the Ancient Redwood Forest of Northern California. Members of the so-called "Bohemian Club" Include.

Director: Alex Jones | Stars: Lance Cook, Robert Fisk, Alex Jones, Texe Marrs

Votes: 592

21. Hell House (2001)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

A look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors ... See full summary »

Director: George Ratliff | Stars: Aria Adloo, Ashley Adloo, Amy Allred, Gabriel Allred

Votes: 1,533

22. Startup.com (2001)

R | 107 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Traces the birth and failure of new media company govWorks.com.

Directors: Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, Tom Herman, Kenneth Austin, Tricia Burke

Votes: 3,195 | Gross: $1.28M

23. The Sweatbox (2002)

PG-13 | 95 min | Documentary

Sting's wife Trudie Styler documents the turbulent bureaucracy both Sting and the filmmakers went through in order to complete The Emperor's New Groove (2000), a Disney film that underwent extensive storyline changes from start to finish.

Directors: John-Paul Davidson, Trudie Styler | Stars: Roger Allers, Dale Baer, Tony Bancroft, John Debney

Votes: 384

24. The Century of the Self (2002)

235 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations.

Stars: Adam Curtis, Ann Bernays, Robert Reich, Alfred Pritz

Votes: 4,464

25. Hookers at the Point (2002 Video)

94 min | Documentary

In this documentary, director and producer Brent Owens takes us to the streets of Hunts Point in South Bronx, for a candid documentary about the local sex workers. We learn about the past, ... See full summary »

Director: Brent Owens

Votes: 162

26. Overnight (2003)

R | 82 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

A documentary on the rise and stumble of Troy Duffy, the bartender-cum-filmmaker who was swept up by Miramax's Harvey Weinstein to turn his script for The Boondock Saints into a feature film.

Directors: Tony Montana, Mark Brian Smith | Stars: Troy Duffy, Jeffrey Baxter, Chris Brinker, Jake Busey

Votes: 4,057

27. Whole (2003)

55 min | Documentary

Explores individuals who feel the need to become amputees by interviewing these individuals and psychiatrists, loved ones, etc.

Director: Melody Gilbert | Star: Michael First

Votes: 103

28. Loose Change (2005 Video)

Not Rated | 61 min | Documentary

An exploration of the viewpoint that the September 11, 2001 attacks were planned by the United States government.

Director: Dylan Avery | Stars: Dylan Avery, Marcel Bernard, Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush

Votes: 599

29. The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006)

150 min | Documentary

Slavoj Zizek examines famous films in a philosophical and a psychoanalytic context.

Director: Sophie Fiennes | Star: Slavoj Zizek

Votes: 5,918

30. Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (2008 TV Movie)

48 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A few years after his death, the widow of Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) asks Jon Ronson to look through the contents of about 1,000 boxes of meticulously sorted materials Kubrick left. Ronson... See full summary »

Director: Jon Ronson | Stars: Jon Ronson, Anthony Frewin, Jan Harlan, Christiane Kubrick

Votes: 1,083

31. Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014)

TV-MA | 110 min | Documentary, Crime

85 Metascore

Nick Broomfield digs into the case of the notorious serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper, who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years.

Directors: Nick Broomfield, Barney Broomfield, Marc Hoeferlin | Stars: Nick Broomfield, Lonnie David Franklin Jr., Donna, Steve

Votes: 2,514

32. Dawg Fight (2015)

109 min | Documentary

West Perrine, Florida is a suburban ghetto in Southwest Miami-Dade County. Over 73% of its residents are African-American and more than a third of them are unemployed. Violent crimes occur ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Corben | Stars: Alex Caceres, Dhafir Harris, Cedric James

Votes: 1,685



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