Half of the fun of Documentary Now! has always been watching the painstaking recreation of classic documentaries, and it never fails to impress. By recreating documented spontaneity, the show seemingly pulls off a magic trick. Its authenticity fools us into believing the reality, making the absurdity of Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Rhys Thomas, and Seth Meyers’ cult-favorite hit all the harder.
There’s no absence of authenticity in “Trouver Frisson,” the season finale of Documentary Now! With its grainy video aesthetic, tight zooms, and focus on inane activities like painting wooden ducks, the episode lends the same artful gravitas that we ascribe to these classic films. As always, Documentary Now! is picture-perfect.
Inspired by later French filmmaker Agnès Varda’s Gleaners and I and Beaches Of Agnès, this exclusive clip from the season finale of Documentary Now! dives into the pain of having a hobby and what it takes to experience “frisson,” more commonly referred to as “goosebumps.” For some, painting a wooden duck is all one needs to get hairs on the forearm to stand at attention. Others would like to recreate the scenario of having a first kiss. Maybe a Jean-Luc Godard parody, like the one advertised in the header image, will do the trick.
Documentary Now! has brought out the big guns for “season 53.” With guest stars, including Cate Blanchett, Alexander Skarsgård, and Nicolas Braun, parodying Werner Herzog, My Octopus Teacher, When We Were Kings, and more, the show continues to prove it’s not running out of documentaries any time soon.
The New Wave-inspired season finale, “Trouver Frisson,” features Liliane Rovère (Call My Agent!, Family Business) and Ronald Guttman (Godfather of Harlem, Sister of the Groom) and premieres on IFC on November 16.