Real to Reel: Staff Picks
Some of our staff picked out their favorite historical films. There’s no accounting for taste, right?
Brian (20th Century Guy)
Brilliant film made in late 1980s about the early sixties, right on the cusp of what historians associate “the Sixties” with. Captures radical cultural shift from entrepreneurial oriented individualism, to kinder, gentler, gendered, world that values more than money, on the one hand. Favorite scene: Danny DeVito testifying in front of a new regulatory commission while you can literally hear “big government” being constructed in the background.
Tony (Senior Producer)
Battle of Algiers
I know, I know, it’s not American. It even has subtitles. But it did profoundly influence my own understanding of what Americans have been up against in the guerilla wars they have fought over the past century or so. And it’s not just me — the film was used as training tool at the Pentagon in the early years of the latest Iraq war.
Chioke (Associate Producer)
Easily Denzel Washington’s best film. It also expertly captures the complexity of the man and the era in which he lived.
Eric (Associate Producer)
Hands down, no questions asked. Closest I ever came to rupturing my bladder in the theater. I watched it so many times on VHS that I remember the exact moment in the film when you had to pull out the first tape and switch to the second… “Rose: Half the people on this ship are going to die! Calvin: Not the better half.” Also, Leo is the best actor of my generation.
Andrew (Executive Producer)
Amazingly realistic, powerfully compelling dramatization of a true story about humans and technology in the space age.
Being one of my favorite childhood movies and the story of a savant (at least in the book) whose ability to run takes him through the ups and downs of a changing South, America and world. It is widely known, so it may not be on the fringe (‘…is so [dang] frosty…’). Its scope is wide, and although not strictly real, captures what America believes happened in those periods.
Jamal (Technical Director)