This time around I focused on documentaries, starting with the fascinating The Witness (2015) directed by James Soloman. It is the story of William Genose's attempt to find the truth about his sister, Kitty's, celebrated murder in 1964 that became a symbol of people's indifference in the city of other people's problems. This angle of the news story is debunked quite early but other fascinating tangents are followed-William's own-he volunteered to fight in Vietnam in the spirit of not ignoring the plight of others-and he lost both legs as a result. The family who understandingly avoided the subject of her death and were not allowed to celebrate her life. While interviewing people that knew her at the time revealed that she was well-loved and a lesbian living with a girlfriend when she was murdered. William also tries to reach out to her murder-his story was also quite interesting as was his denial of the basic facts that he confessed to 50 years earlier. A compelling story and of interest to anyone who knows the story.
I also enjoyed Mat Whitecrosses' documentary Oasis: Supernova (2016), which chronicled the early days and meteoric rise of the group in the mid 90s. Of course this is when I became a fan and I still think the first two albums (Definitely Maybe and What's the Story Morning Glory) are fantastic and classic rock albums. However, I wasn't so impressed with their output following. The film ends after their headlining Knebworth 1996 in front of 250,000 fans. I understand they want to end the story when they were on top of the world, but I would have liked an epilogue about what happened to the band after that concert as I stopped following the band around then.
Llyod Stanton and Paul Toogood's documentary Dying Laughing (2016) is an interesting look at the world of stand up comedy in which the directors interviews dozens of stand up comedians from the US and the UK. Some of the big names included: Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Jerry Lewis, Sarah Silverman, Steve Coogan, Jamie Foxx, and host of others. They rif on things like starting out, bombing, dealing with hecklers, life on the road, and many other topics. It was often quite funny and revealing. Note Garry Shandling died last year and Jerry Lewis this year.