Endless Summer

As a kid, I was the first of my friends to have a VCR player which was even more notable when you consider we lived in a small Oklahoma town with one movie theater and four channels of television. This was of course before video stores like Blockbuster so the only place you could rent movies was from the local electronics store that sold us the VCR. 

I still remember looking at the wall where they had their movies lined up- about 40 or 50 titles. All Genres were mixed together in alphabetical order and the rated R movies had a little red dot in the right-hand corner. I remember looking at the cover of each movie and thinking Where do I begin? 

For me, I decided to start with the letter A- All the President's Men and that summer, in my parent's basement, I watched every movie on that wall. 

I can only imagine a kid today with the same sensibility, trying to figure out what to watch, wondering- Where do I begin? The last time I looked up how many Netflix titles were available, there were over 5000. Of course, that's just one service. It isn't considering Amazon or HBO or HULU or a hundred others. 

For me personally, the only way to make sense of it, is to rely on critics to act as curators. It may really be the only way of organizing the paralyzing number of options.  

Last year, here are a list of documentary titles that were most noteworthy among critics. Over the next few months, I'll watch or rewatch each and add links to reviews, trailers as well as some of my own thoughts about each one. 

Critic's Choice Award Nominees: 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (WINNER)
Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

Crime + Punishment
Director: Stephen Maing (Hulu)

Dark Money
Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)

Free Solo
Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Films)

Director: Amy Scott (Oscilloscope)

Hitler’s Hollywood
Director: RĂ¼diger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)

Minding the Gap
Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)

Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)

Three Identical Strangers
Director: Tim Wardle (Neon, CNN Films)

Wild Wild Country
Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)

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