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Battle Of The Sexes

Tuesday 25 June 2013, 15:58

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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There's a terrific documentary out this week called Battle Of The Sexes - it chronicles a famous tennis match but it's much more than a film about sport. Which documentaries have inspired you?

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    Comment number 4.

    I have to say, despite having no interest in the video game high score scene, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is an incredible documentary in that it's less about Donkey Kong and more about the rivalry between Billy Mitchel and Steve Wiebe and how the game allowed Wiebe to see some fulfilment and recognition in his life and how the underdog is constantly being pushed back by the champions to keep the status quo the same. A story that anyone can relate to, even if you've never heard of Donkey Kong before.

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    Comment number 12.

    For me, it's Man On Wire.

    I couldn't imagine anything more boring than tightrope walking. I still can't. Yet the protagonist has such passion for this totally inane activity that I was swept away with his story. The strange roles of the sidemen, the friendships, relationships and the strains they all bear are brilliantly portrayed.

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    Comment number 25.

    Easily 'Anvil: The Story of Anvil'. I am no great fan of the band's brand of rock music, but the film is utterly blissful from start to finish. It is undoubtedly hilarious - the shot showing a volume control being turned up to 11 may be the most arch single moment in modern cinema. But the film is also deeply affecting as it tracks the fortunes of a hugely likeable group of men who simply refuse to give up on their dreams. He would be stony hearted indeed who didn't punch the air at the final scene, in which, after nothing but disappointments, and fearing the worst, the band emerge onto a stage at a Japanese rock festival to find themselves facing a packed, devoted audience. The film is the very model of a documentary that is about so much more than its given subject matter.

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    Comment number 28.

    Inside Job

    Went into the cinema knowing about the film, investment banking or the causes of the global economic downturn.

    Left the cinema feeling angry, very angry

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    Comment number 27.

    One of the most entertaining documentaries I've seen in recent years is Anvil! The Story of Anvil. For the record I can't stand the thrashy speed metal style of music the band plays. But the affection the band members have for each other and the optimism they somehow manage to maintain despite years of crushing disappointment and failure is infectious. The music is terrible, the song titles are laughable and the individuals portrayed are grotesque and lovable in equal measure. Other documentaries claim to offer us the real life Spinal Tap. But this one really does - and it's all the more hilarious for being a true story.


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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

This twice-weekly video blog is the place where he airs his personal views on the things that most fire him up about cinema - and invites you to give your own opinions.

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