The Fear of God: 25 Years of The Exorcist (1998/2019, dir. Nick Freand Jones & Mark Kermode)

The restored festival-circuit cut of this authoritative making-of documentary. An object lesson in how to do this kind of thing. While reliant on interviews, the scope of the investigation of The Exorcist‘s production, release, legacy and UK censorship issues – including excised footage from the film – means that the approach used here remains influential. Recommended.

Apollo 11 [AKA Apollo 11: First Steps Edition] (2019, dir. Todd Douglas Miller)

A documentary record of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, taken exclusively from archive footage. An oft-told true-life story, but in a new version that draws on unfamiliar and in some cases new material, much of it shot in 70mm. A tremendous addition to the canon. Recommended.

South Seas Adventure [AKA Cinerama’s South Seas Adventure] (1958, dir. Carl Dudley, Richard Goldstone, Francis D Lyon, Walter Thompson, and Basil Wrangell)

A travelogue of the Pacific Rim, with fictionalised elements, incorporating Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia. A glossy production, typical of its era, presenting a glamorized and stereotypical view for American viewers, while showcasing the Cinerama format. Dated and/or charming, depending on your level of indulgence.

Henchman: The Al Leong Story (2018, dir. Vito Trabucco)

A documentary about Hollywood’s most recognizable stuntman and movie henchman. A crowdfunded production made with affection and respect for its subject. Inevitably for fans, but nevertheless fascinating, not least because the film gives a rounded picture of Leong’s work, life, and personal struggles. Recommended.

Pet Sematary (2019, dir. Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer)

A doctor and family settle in a New England community with a secret. Okay second adaptation of the Stephen King novel, itself an extended riff on WW Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw”. Adds some folk horror moments and enough third act story alterations to differentiate it sufficiently from the serviceable 1989 movie version.

Star Wars: Empire of Dreams (2004, dir. Edith Becker & Kevin Burns)

An uncritical though still fascinating documentary on the development and making of the original Star Wars trilogy, focusing on production problems with the first film. Plenty of detail here for fans. Though many of these stories have been often-told, they’re collected here in an engaging way. Fun for completists.

Stop Making Sense (1984, dir. Jonathan Demme)

Filmed record of Talking Heads live, from the 1983 Speaking in Tongues tour. Shot over four nights, this is perhaps the greatest single concert movie; a project designed by people with cinematic, musical, theatrical and gig awareness. Recommended, even if you don’t care for the Heads‘ nerd-art-funk.