Movie reel

Documentaries (D)

Friday, 10 to 11:45 a.m., Library 3023

George and Claire Roper

This Spring's diverse variety of entertaining and enlightening documentaries will include art, social issues, music, sports and adventure. This is a drop-in seminar with no sign-up or presentation requirements.


Feb. 6: Alive Inside: A Story Of Music and Memory, 2014 (78 min)
This moving documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen as he uses music to unlock memory in nursing-home patients with Alzheimer's disease. Aided by well-known neurologist Oliver Sacks, Cohen aims to transform the quality of life for the afflicted. An uplifting, inspirational and heartbreaking film.
Feb. 13: Venus and Serena, 2012 (99 min)
This inside look at the Williams sisters follows the tennis megastars throughout 2011, when injuries and illness threatened to end their careers. It is an inspiring documentary about two young women who have proven themselves against all odds.
Feb. 20: Milton Glaser: Inform And Delight, 2009 (73 min)
His name might not be very familiar, but the works of graphic artist Milton Glaser—whose prolific output includes the "I Love NY" ad campaign, as well as album covers for Townes Van Zandt and Nina Simone—are recognizable to many. Glaser stands out as one of the late 20th century's singular graphic talents.
Feb. 27: Something Ventured, 2011 (86 min)
This engrossing documentary traces the genesis of some of the world's most revolutionary companies, such as Apple, Intel and Genentech, and how their investors' visionary practices transformed the way the modern world communicates and does business. An interesting film about the shadow players of American business.
March 6: Muscle Shoals, 2013 (101 min)
This tuneful documentary chronicles the musical legacy of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, home of Fame Studios, where top musicians have flocked for decades. Keith Richards, Bono and other stars recount their experiences recording at the renowned facility. One of the best documentaries on music and the true Rock 'n' Roll art form ever.
March 13: The Ghost Army, 2013 (67 min)
Among the most unusual strategies deployed by the Allies in WWII was the creation of an entire phantom army, as revealed in this PBS documentary. Their objective was to obscure the Allies' actual strategic aims in the D-Day invasion of Europe via these little-known fascinating tactics.
March 20: Rising From Ashes, 2012 (89 min)
This film follows Rwanda's first national cycling team as they struggle to move past their country's horrific genocide and make it to the 2012 Olympics. Coached by cycling legend Jock Boyer, the eclectic group fights against huge obstacles. Highly watchable and entertaining for both cyclists and couch potatoes.
March 27:
Spring Break; No Seminars.
April 3: Coming To Light: The Edward S. Curtis Story, 2001 (83 min)
The dramatic story of eminent photographer Edward S. Curtis and the creation of his monumental portfolio of Native American images. Descendants of his photographic subjects tell stories about the photos and reveal their meaning to Indian people today.
April 10: Drew: The Man Behind The Poster, 2013 (73 min)
This insightful documentary profiles renowned artist Drew Struzan, whose movie posters for directors such as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and album covers for Alice Cooper and Iron Butterfly, have resulted in iconic images that defined an era. While most people don't know who he is, they do know (and love) his work on some of the most iconic movie posters ever made.
April 17: Battered Bastards Of Baseball, 2014 (79 min)
The jaw-dropping true story of a real-life "Bad News Bears," this inspiring documentary recounts the history of the Portland Mavericks, an independent professional baseball team that broke attendance records in 1973 with a roster that included a blacklisted former Yankee pitcher, a left-handed catcher, the sport's first female general manager, and young movie star Kurt Russell, whose actor father Bing was the scrappy team's owner. If you are able to recognize the beauty in the game of baseball or just humanity itself, you will love this inspiring film.
April 24: Mile…Mile and A Half, 2011 (87 min)
A group of artists leave their daily lives behind to hike California's John Muir Trail, the 219-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mount Whitney. Their goal: complete the journey in 25 days while capturing amazing sights and sounds along the way. This film is inspiring, gorgeous and just plain fun!
May 1: Tim's Vermeer, 2013 (80 min)
Teller, of Penn and Teller fame, directs this absorbing film about inventor Tim Jenison's quest to solve one of art's greatest mysteries: How did Dutch master Johannes Vermeer paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography? In this documentary, the masters are unveiled as clever technicians who may have had no artistic talent at all.