Hoop Dreams is Current’s top documentary to see before you die

Current’s countdown of 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die ends tonight, and it will name Hoop Dreams as its number-one pick.

The film is a 1994 documentary about two black teenagers recruited to play basketball at a suburban Chicago high school, and on the conclusion of the special tonight, Morgan Spurlock will talk to its stars, Arthur Agee and William Gates. (Spurlock’s own Super Size Me is number five on the list.)

The rest of the top 10 are The Thin Blue Line, Roger & Me, Waltz With Bashir, Super Size Me, The War Room, The Celluloid Closet, An Inconvenient Truth, Trouble the Water, and Grizzly Man.

The New York Times has the entire list of 50 documentaries, and the paper’s Mike Hale argues the list is dominated by “a relentless preference for the story-based or issue-based films that people now seem to think define the documentary field” and “the emphasis throughout ’50 Documentaries’ is on content rather than form.” He notes that the films were selected “by a panel that included Michael Renov, a University of Southern California film professor; Eddie Schmidt, president of the International Documentary Association; and Brian Graden, former president of programming for MTV Networks.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.