Dodhers10 Must-See Pop Culture Documentaries to get inspired

Photography focuses on image, but it may ignore sometimes the essential brilliance of the ideas. Pop culture has always been a never ending source of inspiration for me. That's why I want to present you ten documentaries to broaden your perceptions and schemes.

Photography focuses on image, but it may ignore sometimes the essential brilliance of the ideas. Pop culture has always been a never ending source of inspiration for me. That’s why I want to present you ten documentaries to broaden your perceptions and schemes.

Learning about charismatic personalities with strong and ambitious views about life and art can be the best engine to get some motivation and inspiration. They can mean the final push you need to get you out and find muses or reasons to create. I’ve always understood photography as a communicative channel, so after reading this piece, ask yourself, what life story or idea do you want to tell with your cam?

Let’s start with the Queen of Pop and her Secret Project Revolution. Madonna back in 2013 made with Steven Klein a conceptual piece that may define everything that is happening in the world this 2020, dealing with issues such as freedom of artistic expression and human rights conveyed through a strong, beautiful, intricate and powerful performance. Quoting Jean-Luc Godard and even some Madonna’s speeches from her concerts the year before, it shows again that Madonna is the most undervalued icon in our history, at least, she is for this critic. The performative documentary treats global political and economic matters, violence and police brutality among other topics. The idea was clear with the dedication statement: “This film is dedicated to those who have been persecuted, are being persecuted, or may be persecuted. For the color of their skin. Their religious beliefs. Their artistic expression. Their gender. Or their sexual preferences. Anyone whose human rights have been violated.” For those of you with the prejudice that the last interesting stuff Madonna did was Ray of Light or even worse her 80’s music, please give her a chance, listen to her world music in Madame X that is her last album, watch all her last tour shows which are masterpieces or have a look at her intelligent political expression on Instagram. She is still up there.

We continue this journey with the poetic and shocking Shirkers (2018) by Singapore-born filmmaker Sandi Tan. Just imagine that when you are 19 years old you direct a film and you put all your heart on it, and then, your mentor or teacher disappears with the whole footage. The film is like your baby, and you are left empty, no explanation or clue. This is the premise of this documentary. I’ve always found a moving touch in the films that talk about creating using metalanguage, and Sandi Tan really makes you feel her connection to her art piece. I studied Philology at the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, and I had a teacher that made me fall in love with postmodern literature, she presented us the works of John Fowles, and Shirkers reminded me of Fowles in the same passion for the creative process.This monster investigation into her own film brings out tenderness, love and nostalgia, like Joel Barish, the character of the film Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, when he is struggling to revert his decision to forget Clementine, Sandi Tan tries to put the pieces together of the puzzle of her lost film in the most romantic tradition. The story can’t be more inspiring. 

Two documentaries about transformation: I’m Divine (2013) and Glittering Misfits (2019) could be the spark for new shooting ideas. Many photographers from Nan Goldin to David LaChapelle have used this spark in their creations. I myself have done lots of work about transformation, from pageant contests to documenting the night life of drag queens. I’m Divine is documentary gold, capturing the essence of what happened between the genius John Waters and her muse Divine, and the spirit of their first cult trash films that evolved into more serious and ambitious intentions. The same evolution that Pedro Almodóvar has shown in his filmography, from the hilarious and crazy comedies to the deep tragicomedy dramas. In a society that fails to accept the importance of the masquerade, the drag and the fake to really understand our reality, the saddest part of this documentary is to feel that Divine didn’t want to be simply a drag, he also ambitioned to be an actor. At last, the drag was just one of his characters, he wanted to be many other characters. You will fall in love with Divine watching this! Glittering Misfits shows that underground culture is engaging, rich and most of all human. Iban del Campo, the director, succeeded in depicting the personalities of James ‘Tigger!’ Ferguson and Dirty Martini on and out of stage. Their views about pop culture go further than the New York scene, their lives become dreamy shelters in opposition to the American Dream. Not far from these pop subculture universes, I hate New York (2018) cleverly directed by Gustavo Sánchez also shows the glittering lives of four female underground artists during a decade, from 2007 to 2017. The film is so intimate that you will feel you are there with them, in the clubs, their rooms and even in their bathrooms, listening to them while they are doing their makeup and discussing what is the real stuff and what is fake, as the real metaphor of being authentic in life. The honesty of the protagonists and the rawness of Gustavo’s approach make the film work through the empathy it makes you feel. 

The 70’s is the decade of disco and freedom, maybe due to the pre-aids easy life. Antonio López 1970: Sex, Fashion & Disco (2017) and Studio 54 (2018) both bring back the spirit of these joyful and no worrying years with free spirit personalities enjoying image, looks, fashion, design, nightlife, drugs, sex, romance, love, music and dancing, and elevating them to the category of art. The documentary about Antonio has a frenetic rhythm, there is no pause probably because in his life there weren’t empty spaces, he was just full of life and passion. It’s sadly unfair that pop culture hasn’t kept him on the same fame and recognition level as Andy Warhol. His muses and creations will inspire you to get out and find your own muses. It’s especially remarkable the amount of ambitious and talented people he related to. Antonio should be studied and analysed compulsorily in history and art books. Studio 54 has had a much more relevant duration in the collective memory from what you would expect for its short period of time that it was opened. This documentary follows the two different owners during the existence of the club. Everyone seemed to be effortlessly glamorous at that time, if you don’t believe me, just watch it. There is a Michael Jackson short scene that I really enjoyed, I’m a Mike’s hardcore fan, and I’ve never seen Michael so relaxed and natural. The disco just proved the skill to desinhibit the most inhibited creatures.

About strong personalities: Manolita, la Chen de Arcos (2016), Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story (2017) and the most recent Mucho, mucho amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (2020) show again the complex and difficult lives of artists that had to fight against the society’s standards and the so-called normality to be loyal to themselves. Manolita tells her brave story from a child who wanted to play with dolls and sew to the successful business woman and artist she became with her talent and strength. It’s remarkable to hear her compassion to all the people that hurt her during her past, like if she could forgive everyone’s failures and all the damage they did to her. She is what we call in Spain a Señora. It has also some funny moments like the story about her name that would take her to court. The documentary about Kevyn Aucoin brings his lovable relation to the glamorous 90s top models and the biggest pop icons of the time, but unfortunately turns into the drama of his search for love, in his family and especially in his mother figure. His success finally tasted bitter because of this obsessive hunt to be loved, and also his physical condition. Kevin will always be remembered as one of the best makeup magicians, and also as the artist that could work for all his child heroines. To end this list, you have probably seen the image of Walter Mercado on your Instagram these days, a foreteller that became a loved celebrity able to make gold on every TV show. He broke all the gender and sexual orientation limits of his time, just being free. Walter Mercado created a whole industry around him, his positive and constructive way of talking and his extravagant clothes will also be part of our pop culture, forever. As an example, recently, in All Stars 5, in Rupaul Drag Race, during the Snatch Game of Love, which is one of the typical challenges of this drag competition, a controversial contestant called Alexis Mateo did a candid, lively and memorable impersonation of Walter Mercado, showing that his legend is alive, more than ever. Thanks Walter for being such a beautiful angel! And like you said: “mucho, mucho amor”.

Seigar

Seigar is a passionate travel, street, social documentary and conceptual photographer based in Tenerife. He feels obsessed with pop culture that he shows in his series. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, curious finds and religious icons. He also flirts with journalism and video. His main inspiration is travelling. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, creating a continuous storyline from his trips. His most ambitious projects so far are his Plastic People, a study on anthropology and sociology that focuses on the humanization of the mannequins he finds in the shop windows all over the world, and his Tales of a City, an ongoing urban photo-narrative project taken in London. He is a philologist and also works as a secondary school teacher. He is a self-taught visual artist, though he has done a two years course in advanced photography and one in cinema and television. He has participated in several exhibitions and his works have been featured in many publications. He has collaborated with different media such as VICE and WAG1. He writes for The Cultural about photography and for Memoir Mixtapes about music. Lately, he has experimented with video forms. His last interest is documenting identity. Recently, he received the Rafael Ramos García International Photography Award.


Gallery

SOLO EXHIBITION

EACH MONTH, THE MOST VALUED PROJECT WILL RECEIVE AN INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITION IN OUR GALLERY.

DEADLINE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2021

PHOTO: © ALAIN SCHROEDER
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

300x250

With ON1 Photo RAW you get the professional photo editing tools every photographer needs to get professional results while keeping your workflow.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/magazine_dodho_mostly_white_300x250.jpg

GuruShots is a platform for people who love taking photos. Get ready to push your creativity and enter your shots in the ‘Mostly White’ photo challenge!

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/banner-300.jpg

Call For Entries #18 | After 17 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

RELATED STORIES
Lotus by Margaux

B&WCityEuropeLotus by Margaux

The perspective of discovering new countries and cultures was the main aspiration of this project. Drawn to capture black and white landscapes, it inspired me to communicate the dependent and integral relationship humans have with nature. 
Gigapolis by Markus Kaesler

B&WCityEuropeGigapolis by Markus Kaesler

Attracted by the dynamic pulsation of the cities, people float like magic into the big metropolic areas all around the globe.
Boarding House parents by Ashley Comer

EuropeShotBoarding House parents by Ashley Comer

I’ve spent the past few months as artist-in-residence at a UK Independent Boarding School. A part of my experience at Uppingham that I will never forget is the uniqueness of the lunch system here.
Reborn – A performing art by Toru Takagi

AsiaConceptReborn – A performing art by Toru Takagi

There are several spaces formed by concrete walls and staircases, which is characteristic of Ando architecture, in the park beside the art museum, which was designed after the Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake by Tadao Ando.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/instagram.jpg
The Moscow Derivative by Kostis Argyriadis

B&WCityEuropeThe Moscow Derivative by Kostis Argyriadis

The derivative measures the sensitivity to change of the output with respect to a change in the input. I photographed Moscow in 2015 and 3 years later, as I was looking the photos on my screen, I re-shot them.
Rural lifestyle; Sehnsucht by Barbara Diener

ConceptEuropeRural lifestyle; Sehnsucht by Barbara Diener

Sehnsucht is a German compound word derived from yearning (das Sehnen) and addiction (die Sucht). But even when considered together these words cannot adequately translate the full meaning. It is a longing for someone or something that cannot be fully defined and will not be found.
TRENDING STORIES
Lights Out by Esteban Brocos

AmericaShotLights Out by Esteban Brocos

A beautiful project created by the Peruvian photographer Esteban Brocos trying to create a collective consciousness, it takes a long time to be ready but here it is.
Plastic Paradise by Aga Szydlik

AfricaB&WStoryPlastic Paradise by Aga Szydlik

The archipelago of San Blas comprises of over 360 tiny, coral reef islands, about half a mile from the mainland of the Isthmus of Panama and stretching to the borders of Colombia.
Soft darkness and absence: Dante Guthrie Photography

AmericaB&WConceptSoft darkness and absence: Dante Guthrie Photography

This is a collection of work from 2014 that was taken in Europe and Canada. They are from various projects consisting of an overarching theme of soft darkness and absence, with the relationship between humanity and nature also being explored.
A small North Carolina jewel by Roza Vulf

EuropeStoryA small North Carolina jewel by Roza Vulf

In Spring 2019 I spent a month for a photography residency in Wilson, NC. At first sight, this small North Carolina jewel was deceptively quiet with its nearly empty streets
Shame by Sofia Dalamagka

ConceptEuropeShame by Sofia Dalamagka

Shame was born one late afternoon in January, 2,maybe 3 years ago, in a room of a hotel in Budapest.For a long time it didn’t have any shape,even if its presence was there... Looking back at that time, i don’t see a title or existence, as if i fell into a trap,and got out again...
La Jeune Fille Et La Mort by Milana Angelova

ConceptEuropeLa Jeune Fille Et La Mort by Milana Angelova

Milana Angelova was born in the beautiful Omsk of Siberia. It was said that the day she was born, hundreds of white doves sang songs on the roof.
Self-portraits by Camila Orleansky

ConceptEuropeSelf-portraits by Camila Orleansky

All of my pictures are self-portraits, which convey the struggles and emotions in my everyday life. I’m interested in generating different atmospheres through the use of color, objects, locations and compositions.
How Amphan destroyed sunderbans’ microeconomic mechanism by Joydip Mitra

AsiaStoryHow Amphan destroyed sunderbans’ microeconomic mechanism by Joydip Mitra

Geeta Rani Das, 65, of Dakshin Kasiabad village in Ramgopalpur Block of the Sunderbans marks up her age with cyclones. Five days after she was struck by one more cyclone—Amphan this time—I saw her searching for anything of any value around her ravaged mud-made home.
Inside the camera bag of Karolina Wojtasik

DnaEuropeInside the camera bag of Karolina Wojtasik

I'm actually shopping around for a new bag now, with the amount of travel I do they really don't have a long life. I would say a essential feature is be able to hold my computer comfortably and something that sits well on my back for long days.
FEATURED STORIES
Under the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

AmericaB&WConceptFeaturedUnder the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

Surreal, refined, disturbing: Roger Ballen has made a name for himself with his special eye for what is usually considered minor or outside, yet is nevertheless profound and touching.
Intimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

B&WBioEuropeFeaturedIntimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

Behind Glass is a collection of photographs made in monkey houses of small zoos throughout Europe. Anne Berry is recognized for her ability to create lyrical, intimate portraits of animals.
Fictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

ConceptEuropeFeaturedFictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

Birth Undisturbed is a fictional narrative photography series by Natalie Lennard, that brings scenes of natural childbirth into cinematic fine-art tableaux.
Japanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

AsiaFeaturedStoryJapanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

Japanese Aquariums is a journey into some of my oldest, most treasured childhood memories. Whenever I visited my grandparents in the small, northern Japanese city of Otaru, my grandfather, a high school teacher and an enormous influence in my life, would take me to the aquarium.
Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland became politically independent from Denmark in 1979 and is slowly getting on the path to economic independency. The ‘ice country’ is currently facing the consequences of climate change.
Intimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotIntimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

It is a declaration of love by Giuseppe Cardoni, but also by an Italian region, Umbria, which has always hosted the most important jazz festivals and where the author took most of his photographs.
Guatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

EuropeFeaturedStoryGuatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

Until the corn Grows Back; Lys Arango’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Criminal violence in Central America was something that happened very far away and that explained, according to the media, the gigantic caravans of migrants that from 2017 began to travel thousands of kilometres to reach the United States
Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Fortza Paris; Marco Cheli’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Over the years, until today there are many young Sardinians, specifically from Barbagia, who leave their island with the dream of becoming a jockey of the Palio di Siena.
Africa; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotAfrica; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

The project River blindness focuses on a neglected tropical disease, which is the second most common cause of infectious blindness worldwide.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/getty-images.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/black-eye.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Edelman-Gallery.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Medium.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Opiom.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Filter-Photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/head-on.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-independent.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/lagos-photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/gtb.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/IPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/in-focus.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/image-rights.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/riga.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/BGD.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ICP.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Mifa.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/miami.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/viewbug.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/OFF.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/KLPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/rotterdam.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-Nola.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/clampart.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dripbook.png
OTHER STORIES
X
stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Issue #14 | September 2020
Current Issue
Vicky Martin
Ryotaro Horiuchi
Susanne Mildeelberg
Diego Bardone
Nicky Hamilton
Alain Schroeder
Printed on 80# matte paper 22x28cm | 100 Pages
Showroom
September 7 to October 31, 2020
Julia Fullerton-Batten
LOOKING OUT FROM WITHIN
Get in touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
CALL
FOR ENTRIES
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Are you ready?
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
NEW!
FOLLOW US.
Subscribe now and get a free access to a curated list of resources.
Feel free to contact.
2017 (C) All rights reserved.
ghfd