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15 Documentaries That Geeks WIll Love

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15 Documentaries That Geeks WIll Love

28th March by

There are many types of geeks — photography geeks, math geeks, gaming geeks, history geeks, movie geeks, health geeks — the list goes on! Although some of these areas are very different, I believe that geeks all hold some common attributes. Geeks are obsessive, once we find an interest, we will normally spend a lot of time doing it. This obsession normally turns in to a desire to understand the ‘behind the scenes’ of their interest, going from a consumer, to a creator.

Documentary is a genre that I love for this very reason. It takes a subject and explores it in new and exciting ways that I have never seen it before.

This list of documentaries for geeks all have this in common. They give you a behind the scenes look at a person, a place, an industry and in some cases, a complete movement. These are all films that I have seen, so be sure to leave your comments with all the ones I missed!

The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters

Diehard video game fans compete to break World Records on classic arcade games.

The September Issue

A documentary chronicling Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s preparations for the 2007 fall-fashion issue.

American Movie

Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker’s attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash.


A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster, and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

Teenage Paparazzo

A documentary that examines the relationship between celebrity and society.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

An unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves.

Disclaimer: I worked as the Australian Community Manager for Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.


A feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.


Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy


Catfish is a riveting story of love, deception and grace within a labyrinth of online intrigue.

Bill Cunningham New York

A cinematic profile of the noted veteran New York City fashion photographer.
What are your favourite documentaries? Let us know in the comments!

Make a Comment/ but be nice!

  • http://twitter.com/LynGailFisch Lynda Gail Fischer

    I’ve seen a handful of the documentaries you mentioned, particularly fond of Bill Cunningham New York and King of Kong (I know Steve’s mother). 

    Because I’m a geek for pop culture and a sucker for the Rock Doc: I would add Foo Fighters: Back and Forth and The Mighty Boosh (the rock stars of comedy) tour documentary The Journey of the Childmen. 

    • joshjanssen

      Hey Lynda! Thanks for the recommendations! :) You know Steve’s Mum?! Haha such a small word!

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.s.barnes Thomas Sebastian Barnes

    Love it. American Movie and King of Kong are awesome, but you forgot ‘The People vs. George Lucas’!

    • joshjanssen

      I haven’t watched ‘The People vs. George Lucas’. Thanks for the recommendation, Thomas! I’ll be sure to check it out!

  • Glenn M

    King of Kong was awesome. Will have to check out some of the above.

    Another good doco would be Game Over – Kasparov And The Machine

    • joshjanssen

      Will give ‘Game Over’ a watch! Thanks for the suggestion, Glenn! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/cplicious Chris Peters

    If your into Segways check out 10MPH. http://www.10mph.com/

    • joshjanssen

      Haha looks awesome! I have always wanted to ride a Segway! I’m sure it wouldn’t end well. Will check out the doco! Thanks CP!

  • http://twitter.com/jalmelb jalmelb

    PINS was pretty great I thought – about Parking Inspectors in Melbourne.

    • joshjanssen

      Thanks for the tip! :) Is it out on DVD?

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottkilmartin Scott Kilmartin

    Startup.com  is worth a run. Great watch for your entrepreneurial geek types.

    • joshjanssen

      Awesome! Can’t believe I haven’t seen this! Thanks, Scott!

  • Jeffb

    I really liked http://www.projectaardvark.com/movie/ – A bit dated but still fun.

    • joshjanssen

      Just watched the trailer! Looks cool! :) Thanks for the tip, Jeff!

  • http://www.carolgreen.net/ Carol Green

    Sound It Out –  http://www.sounditoutdoc.com/ – about the last surviving record store in Britain’s  North East and the “slice of life” characters who inhabit it. Charming and memorable.

    • joshjanssen

      Great! Looks like a great doco with some interesting characters! I will give it a watch! Thanks for pointing it out, Carol!

  • http://WhereIsChristoph.com/ Christoph Spiegl

    Probably one to include: Project A’ardvark by Fog Creek

    It is about coders and their summer intern at Fog Creek!


    • joshjanssen

      Thanks for the suggestion, Christoph! Will check the doco out!

  • perkino

    Revenge of the Electric Car was pretty great, i watched it on netflix thx to your usvideo guide

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=546931050 Fabrice Galli

    Favorite documentaries would be:

    - Waltz With Bashir
    - When We Were Kings
    - Man On Wire
    - Anvil!
    - The “Paradise Lost” trilogy
    - Pina
    - Dear Zachary
    - “Gates Of Heaven” “Fog Of War” or pretty much most things by Errol Morris.

    Any documentaries which aren’t Nick BroomField – Can’t stand that guy.

  • Mess

    This is a good list of documentaries, but less a list of “documentaries geeks will love” than documentaries that just happen to be good.

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