This is the time of year when "Top Ten" lists come pouring out of the wood work. From the top ten albums, to the top ten actors, films, fashion and on and on--we love to aggregate our year into lists. I’m no different, but instead of giving you a top ten list, I’m just going tell you about a group of nonfiction films that I saw this year and really enjoyed.
The first is "Montage of Heck," which features never heard before audio recordings of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. There have been a lot of books released since the rock star’s passing, promising new revelations about his life with really nothing new to offer. This film however (approved by his widow Courtney Love) dives deep into the musical icon’s life from his own perspective with unique animations that drive the narration. It’s a beautiful concept and the film reveals the unfortunate truth that while he inspired a generation he couldn’t overcome his own demons.
“Listen To Me Marlon” is another film about an American Icon, this time Marlon Brando. This film also reveals never before heard audio recordings from the acting titan. While more experimental in nature, "Listen To Me Marlon" shines new light on a man who has fascinated his fans and critics alike as an enigma of epic proportions.
The film "Barge" by Austin director, Ben Powell documents a group of men who pilot a barge up and down the Mississippi. This character study tells more than it’s surface description and reveals a deeper allegory about the American Dream. “Western” is the story of the treacherous drug trade on the Texas/Mexico border at Eagle Pass and Laredo. This film covers multiple people whose lives are forever changed as the Mexican cartels make it ever more dangerous for those who live and work on the border.
Next week, I’ll reveal more of some of the best nonfiction films of 2015, go to kttz.org for more details on each film. For 24 Frames on 89.1 FM, I’m Paul Hunton.