It’s the rare documentary filmmaker who becomes a recognizable figure. Morgan Spurlock is one of the few. With his newest documentary feature, “Mansome,” headed into theatres next week, Indiewire has selected a number of Morgan’s films, TV episodes, and special appearances for our latest curated Hulu’s Documentaries page.
Morgan Spurlock emerged from the premiere of his first film, “Super Size Me,” with the Documentary Directing Award from the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and a breakout hit. Putting his own body through the challenge of eating nothing but McDonald’s for an entire month, he scored theatrical distribution, an Oscar nomination, real world impact, and established a bona fide career as a documentary filmmaker.
In an episode of the Fox Movie Channel’s series “Life After Film School,” a group of film school students interview Spurlock about how his own time in film school, how he became a documentarian, and the FX TV show he produced and hosted after the success of “Super Size Me,” “30 Days,” in which he walked in someone else’s shoes for a month, experiencing their life.
His next feature-length documentary, “Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?”, premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Once again appearing in his film, Morgan travels around the world to try to gain a better insight into the impact of the War on Terror – despite having a pregnant wife at home.
After directing a special on the 20th anniversary of “The Simpsons,” and contributing to the documentary omnibus “Freakonomics,” Morgan was back at Sundance in 2011 with “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” a documentary about product placement and branding fully financed by product placement and branding. He discusses how he made the film in an entertaining and illuminating TED Talk that just had to be titled “The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold.”
Hulu turned to Spurlock to develop a new series following a celebrity or notable individual around for one full day, “A Day in the Life.” Now in its second season, the show has included a wide range of figures, from Joel McHale to will.i.am, Mario Batali to Mr. Brainwash.
Morgan’s newest documentary, “Mansome,” which takes a lighthearted look at men’s grooming, recently premiered at Tribeca and opens in theatres next Friday. As a warm-up, take a look at “Splitting Hairs” – while Spurlock wasn’t involved, F. Stone Roberts’ short film follows the cult sport of competitive facial hair, following two Americans as they attend Germany’s World Beard and Moustache Championships.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Indiewire @ Hulu Docs” is a regular column spotlighting the Iw-curated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. Indiewire selections typically appear in the carousel at the top of the page and under “Featured Content” in the center. Be sure to check out the great non-fiction projects available to watch free of charge. Disclosure: Some of the selections are titles provided to Hulu by SnagFilms, the parent company of Indiewire.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).