What to Watch: Documentaries

It’s Friday night. The pizza has been ordered, the beer opened, and the comfortable clothes have been changed into. But what to watch? I’ve found that when a group of people is enjoying a film (varying ideas of an ideal Friday night pick) classics and documentaries are the best bet. Here are my five favorite documentaries of all time, perfect for that coveted Friday night showtime.

1. Grey Gardens

The best of the best, as far as documentaries go. I watched Grey Gardens for the first time in Film 101 and was shocked I made it 20 years of my life without it. It’s required viewing material for so many reasons-the outfits, the slight horror of the whole bit, the complex mother daughter relationship everyone adores. Bonus: be prepared for song and dance.

Watch if you liked: GIlmore Girls, Jackie

2. Mademoiselle C

Mademoiselle C, a look into the life of Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief at Paris Vogue for ten years. Even fashion school couldn’t dampen my near obsession with the inner workings of the industry. I remember watching this the summer before moving to New York. It’s really intense and filmic-totally captivating.

Watch if you liked: The Devil Wears Prada, First Monday in May, Chef’s Table

3. True Cost

So maybe this isn’t the most lighthearted of picks, but its subject matter is universal. This documentary dives into the world of fast fashion, why it's so harmful, and what it looks like on a global scale. It really changed the way I shop and also makes for really great conversation. More on sustainable fashion to come to the website.

Watch if you liked: Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf's, Hot Girls Wanted

4. Blackfish

I feel weird calling this the granddaddy of all documentaries, but no other film is sure to strike a chord with most audience members than this. Grant, Jim, and I all watched it propped up against my full size bed, mesmerized for the entire movie. With Shark Week in full swing, the timing couldn’t be better. It’s intense, so be prepared, but also really important.

Watch if you liked: Planet Earth, The Shallows

5. Amy

This Oscar winning film feels like an instant classic, the kind of art that perfectly encapsulates someone as intriguing and brilliant as the late Amy Winehouse. The experience of watching always feels honoring to her and her work, which can often not be the case in documentaries of this kind. Haunting and poignant, her life is carefully unraveled onscreen lyric by lyric.

Watch if you liked: 20 Feet from Stardom, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week