The Gleaners and I (2000)
In her first-person documentary, which Kahana says is "one of the very best" there is, French filmmaker Agnès Varda manages to bring garbage, French civil law, and home video together - successfully. "A charmingly digressive film," he adds, Gleaners is "knit together by Varda's funny, incisive, and deeply personal narration."
Spellbound, which lives up to its name literally and figuratively, seems at first like it's going to be a light little flick about the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. Well, not so much. "It's a wonderfully well-made film," says Renov. "It's humorous and does one of the things I love for films to do - it starts out feeling like it's one kind of film and turns into another." Instead of just a look at the bee, viewers get to take a good look "at American culture our competitiveness, how driven we've become." And director Jeffrey Blitz does it all without letting up on the entertainment value for even a second.