Inside Streaming - January 8th, 2017

Inside Streaming (Jan 10th, 2017)

Every Tuesday, we send updates on the best non-fiction content available to stream around the Web. We'll be back on Friday with more news and reviews, as always. Anything you want to see us cover more? Or less? Thoughts on Inside Streaming in general? Hit us up with any recommendations or feedback by replying to this email! – @lons recently published a guide to "100 Must-See Documentaries Streaming on Netflix," and though I haven't seen ALL of these films, it seems overall very reliable. There's not total agreement. They list Morgan Spurlock's horror-documentary "Rats" and I found it pointless and boring. (It's definitely the least informative documentary film in recent memory.) But overall, it's worth checking out a lot of these films, and it's a good overview of non-fiction films available on the platform. 

Here are a few of the Inside team's favorites from the list:


Now, if you want a genuinely chilling but also thoughtful documentary, look no further than this experimental 2015 creepshow, focusing on the concept of "sleep paralysis." Those who suffer from this terrifying phenomenon - a group that includes director Rodney Ascher - sometimes find themselves in a place between sleep and consciousness, during which they are self-aware but unable to move, speak or react. The film (which IndieWire called "one of the scariest documentaries ever") features eight sufferers, in bedrooms, recounting their nightmarish experiences, with creepy recreations of some of the elements of their visions. It's deeply unsettling, but also weirdly fascinating.

(I also recommend Ascher's brilliant "Room 237," about conspiracies surrounding Kubrick's "The Shining.) – @lons


Jonathan's Demme's unforgettable 1984 Talking Heads film "Stop Making Sense" is for many people's money (and mine) the greatest concert film ever made (though I'd split the difference with "Richard Pryor: Live in Concert," also available on Netflix Streaming now.)

Demme has returned to concert movies since, most notably in the lovely Neil Young documentary, "Heart of Gold." But his film showcasing Justin Timberlake's final stop on the "20/20 Experience Tour" is the closest he's gotten to recapturing the almost unfathomable energy of "Stop Making Sense." The music obviously can't compare to the Talking Heads in their prime, but it's hard to deny how appealingly canny a lot of Timberlake's R&B mock-ups are, and the large band is on fire throughout. Even non-fans (I was agnostic before seeing this) should check it out to marvel at how Demme's camera always seems to be in exactly the right place. – Yancy


I highly recommend Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville's close examination of the series of debates, aired on ABC News in August of 1968, between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. (In a brilliant bit of casting, John Lithgow and Kelsey Grammer provide additional vocals for Vidal and Buckley, respectively.) The greatness of the film is not just in recreating this particular historical moment, and providing context, but making a solid argument for this as the kickoff of modern televised political coverage. Specifically, when it stopped being about reporting the news or exchanging ideas, and became about punditry, clashing personalities and gossip. – @lons


An incredibly compelling portrait of the notoriously combative and self-destructive rock icon Ginger Baker, best known as the drummer for Cream and Blind Faith. Writer/director Jay Bulger lived with Baker in his secluded South African compound while writing an extensive article about him for Rolling Stone (called "The Devil and Ginger Baker"), and later composed the film out of these recorded interviews, along with commentary on Baker from some of the other musicians he irritated and/or influenced (including Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Stewart Copeland, Johnny Rotten and more). Easily one of the best rockumentaries of recent memory.

The film is also available in its entirety for free on YouTube. – @lons


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