Let me know if this sounds familiar or it’s just me. You put the kids to bed and your wife suggests to watch a movie together. Sounds great. Not exactly sure what to watch, you pop on the TV and go to the dashboard where your choices are limitless. Forty-five minutes later, you’ve watched 10 trailers and talked yourself out of about 20 flicks and realize it’s now going to be past your bedtime if you start a movie at this point. I would need scientific notation to count how many times I’ve experienced this. And to combat this my wife has proposed a no-more-than-5-trailer rule on movie night (still being battled in the court system).
The paradox of choice, I suppose. Live and learn. I try to keep a list of movies to watch, books to read, podcast episodes to listen to, and articles to read, to name a few. Not exactly a novel idea, but I do appreciate a good recommendation or two to put on my list, so I thought I would provide a few of my recent favorite documentaries. Maybe if you get stuck in the scenario above, you can pull up this email, and give one a shot.
Note: I linked to Rotten Tomatoes because you can scroll down to the “Watch it Now” section, and see where (e.g., Netflix, Amazon Video) you can watch it.
In Search of Greatness — They had me at Gretzky, but this doc also features in-depth original interviews with Jerry Rice and Pelé. Other performers such as Serena Williams, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, and Michael Jordan, are explored. It gets into coaching, creativity, specialization vs. generalization, psychology, and philosophy.
Icarus — Here’s the “Critics Consensus” from Rotten Tomatoes: “Icarus is eye-opening viewing for professional sports enthusiasts, yet it should also prove thoroughly gripping even for filmgoers who might not necessarily be drawn to the subject.”
The Inventor— Critics Consensus: “Alex Gibney’s The Inventor declines to outright condemn the actions by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, but instead provides a comprehensive overview of the scandal that allows viewers to mull over its implications towards the broader Silicon Valley.” (In an upcoming AMA I discuss my personal experience with Theranos, and how I almost ended up working there in 2006, which made watching this doc even more mind-boggling.)
The Heart of Nuba — From a previous email: “Recently, a documentary called Heart of Nuba, was released featuring Tom and his team in the Nuba mountains. My wife and I watched this documentary with our daughter, Olivia (10), last week, and although it was hard for Olivia to watch some parts of this, I felt it was an important example of showing the real power of medicine (versus the relatively easy stuff her parents do) and true sacrifice. I can’t encourage you all enough to do the same.” (Also, here is an episode of The Drive with Tom Catena.)
Three Identical Strangers — Critics Consensus: “Surreal and surprising, Three Identical Strangers effectively questions the nature of reality and identity.”
Bad Reputation — This was a great tribute to the life and work of (in my opinion) a totally underrated rock goddess. I loved how it was clear from this how much Joan Jett loves to play music. Bottom line: It was never about fame, money, sex. It was about the music. I’d love to interview her.