Cinema Looks at Itself: Both Sides of the Screen

Documentaries that look at various aspects of cinema around the world -- the themes and genres, the eras and evolution, the making and marketing. Note: this list does not include docs that profile one person or one film.

Related lists:
Visions of Plight: Documentaries on the Unmaking of a Movie
The Dream Operators: Documentaries About Movie Studios and Producers
Born in Silent Shadows: Documentaries About Early Cinema
Ways of Seeing: Documentaries About Movie-Watching
Range of Motion: Documentaries About Animation

  • What is Cinema?
  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey
  • Great Directors
  • These Amazing Shadows
  • The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies
  • All the Colors of Giallo
  • Boia, maschere e segreti: l’horror italiano degli anni sessanta
  • Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror
  • In Search of Darkness
  • In Search of the Last Action Heroes
  • L’ inquiétante absence
  • Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks
  • The Movies
  • Surrealistic Nightmares: An In-depth Look at Walloon Horror Cinema
  • Sword-and-Sandal
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Backstage Action
  • Category III: The Untold Story of Hong Kong Exploitation Cinema
  • [CENSORED]
  • Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business
  • Dykes, Camera, Action!
  • Half the Picture
  • La La La
  • Querido Fotogramas
  • Survival of the Film Freaks
  • Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema
  • The Belgian Road to Cannes
  • Cinema Veeran
  • 80’s Blockbusters: When Hollywood Played Tough
  • Five Came Back
  • Forgotten Scares: An In-depth Look at Flemish Horror Cinema
  • Hitler's Hollywood
  • Hollywood's Greatest Trick
  • Open Wounds – A Journey through German Genre Films
  • Stories Our Cinema Did (Not) Tell
  • Actors of Sound
  • Cinecittà Babilonia
  • Cinema Futures
  • Cinema Novo
  • Dragon Girls !
  • A Foley Artist
  • Keepers of the Magic
  • My Journey Through French Cinema
  • Score: A Film Music Documentary
  • Show What You Love
  • Tax Shelter Terrors
  • The Women Who Run Hollywood
  • Yellow Fever: The Rise and Fall of the Giallo
  • About Cinema
  • Arab Movie
  • B-Documentary
  • Bollywood and Beyond: A Century of Indian Cinema
  • Cinema Perverso
  • Creature Designers: The Frankenstein Complex
  • Eaten Alive! The Rise and Fall of the Italian Cannibal Film
  • Fear Itself
  • A Flickering Truth
  • Los Angeles Film Noir
  • Out of the Mist: An Alternate History of New Zealand Cinema
  • She's The Best Thing in It
  • That Gal...Who Was in That Thing: That Guy 2
  • The Thoughts That Once We Had
  • Baratometrajes 2.0
  • Beyond Clueless
  • Cinema Puerto Rico: una antropología visual
  • Doc of the Dead
  • Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema
  • Forbidden Films
  • From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses
  • A Night at the Movies: George Lucas & The World of Fantasy Cinema
  • Remake, Remix, Rip-Off: About Copy Culture & Turkish Pop Cinema
  • Remo, Rambo, Reagan and Reds: The Eighties Action Movie Explosion
  • Scream Queens: Horror Heroines Exposed
  • Showing Up
  • Why Horror?
  • The Art of Observing Life
  • Cinéast(e)s
  • A Cinema of Discontent
  • Clawing! A Journey Through Spanish Horror
  • Finding Hillywood
  • I Know That Voice
  • A Night at the Movies: Cops & Robbers and Crime Writers
  • Secret Voices of Hollywood
  • A Story of Children and Film
  • That's Sexploitation!
  • Writing Heads
  • Casting By
  • Celluloid Man
  • Char·ac·ter
  • Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s
  • Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film
  • From Romero to Rome: The Rise and Fall of the Italian Zombie Movie
  • Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss
  • Men in Suits
  • A Night at the Movies: Hollywood Goes to Washington
  • The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
  • Sense of Scale
  • Side by Side
  • Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever
  • Something's Gonna Live