I don't watch documentaries as often as I used to, but there's a list of ten that I often resort back to when I feel like watching one. Some people gravitate towards environmental, social, or true crime documentaries but for some reason, almost all of the documentaries I love are work-related.
The September Issue
The original Vogue documentary will obviously go down in history as one of my top three favorite docs of all time. If you're at all interested in fashion and you haven't seen this, stop what you're doing and watch it now.
First Monday in May
Vogue's follow-up documentary about the Met Gala is just as good if you ask me, but its focus is more art-oriented than what you traditionally think of as fashion. As a former art history student and current event planner, seeing what it takes to work as a curator was just as interesting as watching the Vogue team plan such a huge event.
Dior et Moi
There are several recent documentaries following fashion designers but my favorite is this one which follows Raf Simons as he takes the helm at Dior. Raf is such an incredible creative in my eyes and it was so interesting to see him in a rather vulnerable position as he took on leading, arguably, the most iconic fashion house of all time.
On a very different note than my previous choices, Restrepo was the documentary that affected me most and that, to this day, I can't stop thinking about. Shot by one of my favorite individuals Tim Hetherington, it follows a platoon deployed in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. It's a visceral film, putting you directly into the group of men as you watch them experience what real life looks like as a soldier in Afghanistan. It's a lot, honestly, so don't watch it if you're not mentally prepared.
Switching tones again, this documentary is one that I can watch over and over again. It follows a diverse group of young ballet dancers as they perform at a competition which allows them to be admitted to prestigious ballet conservatories.
The Story of Film
This 15-part documentary is an epic odyssey through film since its origin through modern day. It's incredible to see how film has progressed and this documentary is helpful in understanding why certain movies were so important and influential. Watch this and you will be the film expert among your friends.
Bill Cunningham New York
New York Times street photographer Bill Cunningham is the subject of this documentary. Bill seemed to be such a sweet soul and I still get sad thinking about him since his passing last year.
Another classic New York figure we all know is Iris Apfel and this documentary lets you see into her eccentric world. Her apartment is full of quirky trinkets and her late husband Carl is the cutest man ever.
The Rape of Europa
This classic historical documentary is one that I've watched in countless art history courses over the years, but still packs a powerful punch each time. It is about the Nazis' plundering of European art during World War II. The movie The Monuments Men was inspired by this.
Big Edie and Little Edie are perhaps the most iconic documentary subjects of all time, with good reason. This classic documentary follows the fabulous and bizarre duo (cousins of Jackie Kennedy) as they live in a crumbling mansion in the Hamptons. It's wonderful and absolutely one of the strangest things you'll ever see.
What are some of your favorite documentaries?