It’s time to get a real. In no particular order here’s Marie Claire’s pick of the 10 best documentaries ever: from fashion films to behind the scenes of the porn industry…
1. Super Size Me, 2004
2. 20 Feet From Stardom, 2013
20 Feet From Stardom reveals the previously unsung skill and craft of backing singers. After the film’s release the subjects in the film, including Darlene Love, sung at the Oscars. The film won an Academy Award and Love received a standing ovation when she sang at the prestigious ceremony.
3. When We Were Kings, 1996
4. The September Issue, 2008
The September Issue gives audiences a rare glimpse behind-the-scenes in the production of a magazine.
5. Louis Theroux: Twilight of the pornstars, 2012
Louis Theroux is master of the weird and wonderful documentary: dedicated to uncovering truths and answering unexplained questions about subcultures around the world. His fantastic look into the porn industry in 2012 explores the problems the actors face and how working in the world of porn has an (often negative) effect on their personal life.
6. This Is Spinal Tap, 1984
7. Don’t Look Back, 1967
Bob Dylan fans will love this documentary, which follows Dylan on tour at the height of his success and explores people’s obsession with celebrity.
8. The Thin Blue Line, 1988
9. March of the Penguins, 2005
National Geographic meets romantic drama in this Oscar-winning nature documentary following penguins of breeding age (five years or older) leaving the ocean to walk inland to their ancestral breeding grounds. An epic tale of penguins’ courtship, survival and the often dangerous journey they have to take between the ocean and the breeding grounds to keep their chick safe.
10. Paris Is Burning, 1990
One of actress Jessica Alba’s all-time favourite films. This documentary, which was filmed in the 1980s, explores African-American, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in the ‘ballroom community’ – where the LBGT community compete for trophies. Alba shares with Marie Claire: ‘I saw them as kindred spirits. They use fantasy and spirit to transcend the reality of their everyday lives and struggles. You can still see its influence everywhere, which is amazing for a documentary.’