The Wildest Dream (2010, dir. Anthony Geffen)

Two mountaineers attempt a re-creation of the 1924 Mallory/Irvine Everest expedition. Generally-effective documentary (with perhaps-recreated scenes as well as some dramatisation) that tells the story of the original attempt while also covering the 1999 emulation; the experiment indicates Mallory and Irvine could have completed the ascent.

Hail Satan? (2019, dir. Penny Lane)

A documentary about the US Satanic Temple. In offering an overview of the Temple’s focus for exploring personal freedom, social justice and equality, the documentary makes some relevant points, while also exploring the media-savvy mischief of their approach, and of tensions within the movement.

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.

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.

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.

Porndemic (2018, dir. Brendan Spookie Daly)

A documentary about AIDS/HIV and the ways in which the Los Angeles porn industry was affected by the issue over time, focusing on an outbreak among performers in 1998. A fascinating doc that’s simultaneously a thriller, an industry expose, a narrative history, a time capsule, and an apologia.