Critic’s Choice: Documentaries that will get you moving

Film Critic

The matchless excitement created by moving feet is at the heart of excellent documentaries scheduled for Los Angeles screens.

You may think you’ve seen all you want to about the Boston Marathon, but “Boston,” opening Sept. 22 at the Laemmle Music Hall, will change your mind. Though it offers a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for 2014’s first post-bombing race, that’s not what makes it special.

Working with the Boston Athletic Assn., director Jon Dunham offers a deeply informative and always engaging look at the race’s more than 120-year history, providing fascinating glimpses of celebrated participants like two-time winner Johnny Kelley, who finished 58 marathons, the last when he was age 84. That’s endurance.


Feet moving in a different direction are the heart of “No Maps on My Taps” (1979) and “About Tap” (1985), a pair of rousing docs on this most joyful art form. Both directed for TV by George T. Nierenberg and in theaters for the first time, they combine personal testimony from great dancers like Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green, Harold “Sandman” Sims and Gregory Hines with vintage clips from legends like Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Starting Sept. 15 at the Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts.

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