As a lot as we love getting misplaced in rigorously constructed narratives, generally fact is stranger than fiction. Documentaries that discover the messy, sophisticated, downright weird enterprise of being human are a few of the most fascinating movies to look at, and are sometimes the premise for administrators to interpret into fictional motion pictures of their very own (see: Grey Gardens, Welcome to Marwen).
Below, we’ve rounded up the strangest documentaries you’ll be able to stream proper now. Some characteristic fascinating folks put into weird conditions (Finders Keepers, The Wolfpack), others discover occasions that modified the face of popular culture (Casting JonBenét, both of the competing Fyre Festival docs), and a few observe obsessive administrators on inventive and/or journalistic quests (Grizzly Man, Tickled). Any one in every of them is value watching in the event you’re within the temper to have a good time, lament, or just acknowledge how unusual it’s to be an individual on the planet.
Kitty Green’s (fictional) movie about an assistant working for a Harvey Weinstein-type boss, proved that director had a delicate eye for the subtleties of the #MeToo motion. In her 2017 Netflix documentary, Casting JonBenét, she turned that eye to the nation’s obsession with true crime. The movie is ostensibly concerning the homicide of kid pageant contestant JonBenét Ramsey, but it surely really facilities across the casting course of for (nonexistent) reenactments of the crime and aftermath. Green interviews these actors — most of them Boulder natives who keep in mind the 1996 tragedy — concerning the homicide and the following tabloid-fueled fallout, their theories concerning the case, and the affect it had on their neighborhood. It’s eerie and morbid and endlessly fascinating.
Casting JonBenet is streaming on Netflix.
When Shannon Whisnant bid on a foreclosed storage shed at public sale, he didn’t look forward to finding a mummified leg underneath the hood of a barbecue grill. But what many males would see as a gross piece of trash, Whisnant noticed a possibility. He began advertising and marketing himself as “The Foot Man,” desiring to open a roadside attraction. That is till the proprietor of the leg, airplane crash survivor and recovering addict John Wood, obtained in contact. The 2015 movie Finders Keepers paperwork their authorized battle (they went on Judge Mathis in 2006) and the emotional aftermath, extending some empathy to each males, but in addition acknowledging how foolish and weird the entire feud is.
Finders Keepers is streaming on Amazon Prime.
No record of bizarre documentaries can be full with out Grey Gardens, the long-lasting documentary a couple of reclusive mom and daughter — Big Edie and Little Edie — dwelling on a dilapidated property in East Hampton, New York. It’s fascinating to enter the world that the 2 eccentric girls created for themselves at Grey Gardens, particularly when Little Edie is waxing poetic about what she needs out of life or Big Edie is singing “Tea for Two.” It was even tailored into a 2009 HBO movie starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.
Any Werner Herzog documentary can be worthy of this record, not as a result of the themes themselves are essentially bizarre however as a result of the director himself is so delightfully unusual that vitality naturally extends to his filmmaking. Grizzly Man, most likely Herzog’s finest identified doc, recounts the life and loss of life of Timothy Treadwell, a grizzly bear fanatic who was tragically mauled by a bear alongside along with his girlfriend. (Audio footage of the assault exists, however Herzog correctly shunned taking part in it within the movie, although he does embrace footage of himself listening to the tape, which is harrowing in and of itself.)
Fyre Fraud/ Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Both Netflix and Hulu launched documentaries on Fyre Festival, the much-hyped music pageant that turned out to be a serious catastrophe, and each are value watching in the event you’re fascinated with how the occasions got here to a head. The Netflix documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, takes a extra complete have a look at the behind-the-scenes planning of the occasion (in an moral conundrum, the manufacturing firm behind the movie was additionally concerned within the manufacturing of Fyre Festival.) But Hulu’s documentary, Fyre Fraud, obtained an unique interview the pageant’s mastermind, Billy McFarland (in yet one more moral conundrum, the Fyre Fraud producers paid McFarland for his involvement.)
Welcome to Marwen, Robert Zemeckis’ movie starring Steve Carell because the real-life artist Mark Hogancamp is definitely unusual, however lacks the guts of the documentary about Hogancamp and his creation, 2010’s Marwencol. In 2000, Hogancamp was attacked outdoors of a bar for mentioning that he favored sporting girls’s sneakers. He wakened within the hospital with extreme reminiscence loss and located an fascinating approach to cope — creating and photographing a miniature WWII-era metropolis in his yard which he named Marwencol. The movie takes important liberties with Hogancamp’s story, so in the event you had been fascinated (or simply confused) by Zemeckis’ film, it’s value testing the extra grounded, however nonetheless fascinating, documentary.
Stanley Kubrick’s enigmatic interpretation of Stephen King’s The Shining has lengthy been the topic of elaborate fan theories. Several of these theories are explored in Rodney Ascher’s 2012 documentary, which is narrated by The Shining megafans who’re satisfied that the movie is a minotaur allegory. Or a parable about remembering the Holocaust. Or Kubrick’s admission that he faked the moon touchdown. Ascher doesn’t seem like advocating for any of these theories, although. Instead, it’s a weird, fascinating portrait of fandom at its most obsessive.
Room 237 is streaming on IFC Films Unlimited via Amazon Channels.
The much less about David Farrier’s descent into the unusual world of “competitive endurance tickling” earlier than watching his 2016 documentary, the higher. Suffice it to say that the reply to who’s making movies of younger males tickling one another whereas restrained is concurrently surprising and precisely what you assume it’s.
Tickled is streaming on Hulu.
The Wolfpack director Crystal Moselle was strolling across the Lower East Side of Manhattan sooner or later when she occurred upon a bunch of six brothers who regarded like they had been characters from Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. She struck up a dialog with the group they usually bonded over a shared love of movie. It was solely later that she realized that the brothers had snuck out of their condominium the place, together with their mother and sister, that they had been largely confined by their father for the previous 15 years. Moselle follows the boys as they begin to discover the town — most of their understanding of the skin world got here from motion pictures and practically each social interplay is new to them. Their circumstances are definitely weird, however the brothers are charming, and interesting to look at as their world opens up.
The Wolfpack is streaming on Hulu.