This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

The improbably named director Kirby Dick takes his audience through an examination of a maddeningly Kafkaesque organization: the MPAA, the body which rates films in the US for exhibition. Not mandated by any law, the MPAA rates films using an anonymous group of supposedly typical American parents. These anonymous folks are purveyors of the cognitively dissonant philosophy that peddles violence, but is puritanical about sexuality. Gramsci would describe them as organs of the ideological state apparatus.

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The King of Kong (2006)

Seth Gordon directs a film about one of most corrupt sports in the world; competitive video gaming. Like many other nerd culture docos, this film is full of familiar characters and quirky personality traits, but there is one who stands out above all, Billy Mitchell, an arch-dirtbag who lords his past glories over his minions. Pitted against him is nice guy and family man Steve Weibe, whose name is constantly mispronounced by event organizers and his foes. Yes, these guys are petty and obsessive.

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Winnebago Man (2009)

Documentary maker Ben Steinbauer goes on a yeti hunt in the mountains of northern California to find Jack Rebney, known alternatively as the Winnebago Man, or the Angriest Man in America. Rebney is a 78 year old curmudgeon, once a newsman for CBS, and now an unwitting youtube star for the outtakes of a promotional video for Winnebago Industries. Much loved for his prolific swearing and all round pissed off attitude, the portrait that is painted by Steinbauer is complex.

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Religulous (2008)

American TV host / political commentator Bill Maher romps through the ills that religion has visited upon humanity, aided and abetted by the comic sensibilities of Larry Charles of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame. This documentary is very much in the Michael Moore style of set ‘em up, knock ‘em interviews, which in sequence feel like the Maher and Charles are on a serious mission to shoot fish in a barrel. Given the talents, the results are predictably grim and simultaneously hilarious, backed by a terrific selection of music.

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