What a great documentary this is!
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have generally had my fill of
documentaries. Most of them are just made by some opinionated blowhard
doing everything possible to make it seem that complex, gray issues are
either black or white. Just about every documentary is guilty of the
selective presentation of facts. If they wanted to make Albert Schweitzer
seem like a bad dude, they'd focus the entire film on the one time when he
borrowed his neighbor's tools without permission, and ignore his lifetime
of altruism. Some documentarians do worse things, often basing their
"conclusions" on staged incidents, deliberate misinterpretations, or even
outright lies. For the most part, the guys who make documentaries are the
same kinds of guys who write letters to the editor, except that they have
enough money to buy a camera. In many cases, the documentaries are
actually harmful in that they allow a completely false idea to take hold
and become common wisdom.
Given that I'm going to have to sit for 90 minutes and listen to the
opinion of one or more windbags, the only way you can get me to watch a
documentary is if it meets these criteria:
1) It is about a subject I'm interested in.
2) The subject matter is something better presented on screen than on
3) The subject is presented by genuine experts in their field, who
offer their insights with intelligence and humor, and present various
contrasting points of view.
Check, check, and check.
NQH is the story of Aussie exploitation cinema from 1970-85, and it
reflects the similarities and differences between the way B-movies were
made in Australia and in the USA. It mixes familiar films with lost
cultural artifacts. Because it consists of plenty of actual footage from
the films, it is a topic ideally suited to be covered in another film
rather than in an essay or on a web page. Intercut with the clips are the
reminiscences and insights of the creators and actors looking back at that
era, all of whom seem to be filled with charm, self-deprecating wit and
funny insider stories. In addition, there are droll comments from film
critics, and bubbling enthusiasm from the ultimate genius of the
exploitation film world, Mr. Quentin Tarantino himself, who can recite
these films frame-by-frame as easily as Kenneth Branagh can recite
Oh, yeah, and it's filled with nudity. In fact, the first third of the
film is basically non-stop nudity, since it's about sex films. The middle
third is about horror films, and the final act is dedicated to specialty
action pictures featuring Kung Fu, cars, and bikes.
Of course if you were to see the actual films being discussed, you
would not share Tarantino's passion for them because almost every one of
those 90-minute films probably contains 89 minutes worth of unwatchable
dreck, but Tarantino is absolutely right in that they all seem to include
a few spectacular and/or memorable moments. Of course, the documentary
only shows those moments, so the difference between watching those
mediocre movies and watching this documentary is precisely the same as the
difference between watching all 13 major league baseball games in a day
and watching Sports Center. In fact Sports Center is a perfect analogy,
because Not Quite Hollywood is the highlight reel for Aussie B-movies of
that era, spiced with funny commentary.
And, unlike Sports Center, it has the additional advantage of tits.
Given that it's informative, sexy and funny, I'd have to say I'd
recommend this one to anyone who would be reading this page in the first