10 Unique Pop Culture Documentaries
Fans of documentaries centered on pop culture phenomena have a lot to look forward to this fall, with documentaries like LiSA Another great day is due out soon on Netflix, which features a career throwback to the famous J-Pop singer known for her animated theme songs. Documentaries are a great way to learn in-depth about an endless number of pop culture topics, and most streaming platforms offer an extensive library of documentaries for their users.
These documentaries not only cover the lives of celebrities and other big names, but can also shed new light on what is often overlooked in pop culture. Viewers will leave these expertly crafted documentaries entertained and informed about topics they may never have considered before.
Stream on Netflix
This documentary takes viewers behind the scenes of the disastrous organization of the Fyre Festival, supposedly an elite influencer festival on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma. The A-list celebrity-endorsed event left attendees without food, shelter or any of the key elements of a festival or vacation spot.
With interviews with those who organized the festival and stranded attendees, confessions of the secrets behind the disaster must be seen and heard to be believed and the anecdotes of those interviewed are as comic as they are tragic.
Feels Good Man (2020)
Stream on Peacock
This eye-opening documentary details the origins of Pepe the Frog, an internet comic character who quickly became a popular internet meme before its adoption by far-right extremists led to the cartoon being recognized as a symbol of hate. by the Anti-Defamation League.
The film features cartoonist, Matt Furie, discussing the character’s humble origins and his lawsuit against far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in an attempt to get the cartoon back. The documentary ends with an optimistic view of how the cartoon could one day be seen as a positive symbol in the fight for love against hate.
Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 (2022)
Stream on Netflix
The original Woodstock music festival was held in 1969 and created a legacy through its embodiment of the 1960s counterculture. The festival was largely peaceful and is now considered an outstanding achievement amid violence and division that occurred throughout the decade. When organizers tried to pick this up at the turn of the millennium, however, disaster struck.
Rail accident makes for one of the best Netflix documentaries of the year, so far, especially in its ability to chronicle how the counterculture has changed and how the festival has turned violent. The results of the Woodstock organizers’ negligence, from the funny and lighthearted to the tragic, criminal and outrageous, leave most viewers stunned.
I Am Chris Farley (2015)
Available to stream on Kanopy
I am Chris Farley recounts the life of one of Saturday night live Brightest Stars of All Time, the late Chris Farley, as told by the friends and family members who knew him best. The documentary features a series of interviews with colleagues SNL former students and those who grew up with the comedian, revealing his beautiful heart and his lifelong quest to make everyone in the room smile.
This documentary takes fans behind the scenes to highlight how 1990s humor, often through SNLFarley’s mass popularity was shaped by Farley’s comedic genius. In particular, he gives a spotlight to the Second City improv troupe in Chicago, which shed light on Farley’s stage-stealing style and helped launch the careers of other stars, such as Mike Myers and Bob Odenkirk.
Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (2020)
Stream on Netflix
Walter Mercado was the world’s most famous astrologer and a staple of television entertainment and spirituality in Latin America. Known for his larger-than-life personality and flamboyant style, the documentary follows an aging Mercado as he reconnects with the spiritual world and his adoring fans in the Hispanic community.
For astrology enthusiasts or those seeking a fascinating insight into Latin American culture, Mucho Mucho Amor is a moving tribute to a man who spread joy by gazing at the stars. It’s a heartwarming documentary about being authentic and spreading joy. The scene at the end where Mercado reunites with his fans shortly before his death is a particularly poignant watch.
I Am Divine (2013)
Stream on the Roku Channel
Divine was America’s first drag superstar and starred in several John Waters films, including hair spray and Pink flamingos, before becoming an icon of cult classic cinema. i am divine explores the life of the performer – particularly the tragedy, lewdness and hilarity – that made Divine the embodiment of camp.
For anyone interested in learning more about the history of drag or the early representations of the LGBTQ+ community in film, i am divine is an essential watch. Featuring interviews with community legends and close friends of Divine – including John Waters, Bruce Vilanch and Tab Hunter – the documentary is an intimate look at the trailblazer.
Injun Reel (2009)
Stream on Amazon Prime
Coil Injun explores the history of Indigenous peoples in American cinema, from the earliest depictions of the silent era to the present day. The film examines how stereotypical portrayals vary wildly and often contradict each other, and includes interviews with Native American and Indigenous actors discussing how they brought nuance to their presence in the film.
Made in 2009, this documentary is relevant again because of its feature on Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American actress whom Marlon Brando chose to decline his Oscar victory in his place – after finally receiving an apology from the Academy in 2022 for his treatment. . In addition to giving a platform to the often silenced voices of these film actors, the documentary ends on a hopeful note by discussing Indigenous filmmakers who are making their own stories.
Won’t you be my neighbor? (2018)
Stream on Netflix
This film takes viewers behind the scenes of the life and career of Fred Rogers, the host of the classic children’s show Neighborhood of Mister Rogers. The documentary draws attention to Rogers’ background as a minister that influenced his role as showrunner and how the show introduced groundbreaking material to children’s programming, teaching children taboo subjects in the 1960s. 1960, such as racial equality and even the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
For dedicated Mister Rogers fans and newcomers who never watched his show growing up, Won’t you be my neighbor? is an inspiring and timeless film about the importance of loving your neighbour. The film will surprise many viewers as it details the anxiety and self-doubt of Mr. Rogers and the political forces that oppose his teaching, but its overall message of optimism won’t leave a dry eye in the house.
White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch (2022)
Stream on Netflix
In the 1990s and 2000s, Abercrombie & Fitch was considered the elite fashion brand for cool teenagers and young adults. Now it is seen by many as a budding elite store that is out of touch with today’s fashion trends. White hot explores how this change happened.
With plenty of humor and exclusive details from former Abercrombie employees, the Netflix film is one of the best documentaries of 2022, so far. He expertly examines why the company was a snapshot of white supremacy, as well as class and size discrimination, which was so prevalent in the culture during its heyday.
Gray Gardens (1975)
Stream on HBO Max
gray gardens is a documentary set in the home of Edith “Big Edie” Bouvier Beale and her daughter, “Little Edie”, two high-society women cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Their mansion, known as Gray Gardens, has fallen into disrepair and the two isolated women live in squalor.
Some views gray gardens as an exploitation film when it comes to the mental health of the Beale women, although they both praised the documentary. Whatever conclusion viewers draw from the way the documentary treats its subjects, it is a culturally significant documentation of the often hidden lives of America’s upper classes.
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