The “Windbound” Documentaries: Films about Films that Don’t Get Made

One attractive quality of documentaries is that you can seek out the films on subjects that interest you.  This being Plot and Theme, a blog on film, I am often drawn to documentaries about film making.  Many different aspects of film making interest me, but a subgenre has emerged in force over the last few years:  the stories of films that fail to get made.  Documentaries focusing on the strife behind camera have existed for decades, perhaps most notably in Hearts of Darkness:  A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991), which details the struggles behind the making of Apocalypse Now.  Similar docs portray the difficulty in making such films as Citizen Kane, Fitzcarraldo, and even The Boondocks Saints.  But, at the end of the days, these films all got made according to the director’s vision, however compromised.  The documentaries I am interested in showcase a different kind of film:  ones that don’t make it to completion whatsoever.

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