Presents for the Documentarian

Topp Twins characters Ken & Ken

Doc lovers are a special brand of film buff and while there’s plenty of good gay box sets of movies out there here’s a special subset of gifts about the “real thing.”

#1 Now out on DVD

Untouchable Girls – This year America experiences the Kiwi invasion when dyke music and comedy sensations from New Zealand, the Topp Twins, finally showed us they exist. The duo had a television show that still hasn’t come to the states but they have finally begun touring here over the past couple years, including a visit to Portland a year and a half ago. But the big news is that their documentary Untouchable Girls is finally available on DVD in the US. You can read our review from QDoc 2010 here.

#2 Cable or satellite

Though most of us are more inclined to cut the cable cord and get more of our content online, via game systems or other ways there is something convenient about having that cable line right into your house, especially with video-on-demand. Specifically, though it won’t be out on DVD until the spring you can watch, We Were Here , this year’s PLGFF opener was a look back at the early days of the AIDS crisis, right now on onDemand and and pay-per-view. It is a genuine and heart-breaking look at where we’ve come from by local Director David Weissman. Read a full review from guest contributor Katey Pants here. Plus, there should be many other doc’s to peruse through Logo, NPR, OWN and other stations.

#3 Docs about music

Music doc lovers have been given a couple gifts this year. Iconic queer indie-electronic band Le Tigre have made released their tour documentary, Le Tigre: On Tour (formerly Who Took the Bomp), which is available at Oscilloscope Records and you can read our review right here. There’s been a frenzied run on the newly released Live album/3 short film documentary Get Along from another set of gay twins Tegan and Sara. And, as a sidenote, watch out for Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel. It’s not yet available for purchase but it should have at least wide theater distro as of next year, so it might be a 2012 must have in this category.

Le Tigre on tour

#4 Nothin’ like watching it in a theater

Next year’s QDoc may be 6 months away but full passes are the perfect gift for the gay doc-lover in your life. So I’d mockup some movie montage type card that entitles the bearer to next year’s full lineup. I’d like to suggest to them a VIP ticket option, perhaps that includes better seating, movie posters, or other swag that makes it feel like a special gift. Hit up the folks at and suggest that to them…

#5 Camcorders and cameras

If you’re in a very generous mood you might want to get your aspiring documentarian some tools to make their own masterpieces. I don’t know of any locally queer owned camera shops, but putting a video recording device in the hands of a local queer can only give rise to more empowered queer filmmakers. Check out this CNET review of the best cameras of 2011.

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