80 posts tagged with Documentary and BBC.
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“It’s remarkable, and it’s valuable.”

BBC Series Planet Earth II Will Be Unparalleled, Says Attenborough [The Guardian] “A lone eagle soars high above craggy mountain tops, the tips of its wings lifting lightly in the wind. A lemur leaps from tree to tree in a dense forest, the camera following the animal with every bound. An enormous grizzly bear wriggles his back against a tree, as if caught in an embarrassing dance. This is planet Earth, but not as you have ever seen it before. That’s because, more accurately, it is Planet Earth II [YouTube], the latest – and perhaps most spectacular – blockbuster nature series the BBC has ever made. Ten years after Sir David Attenborough narrated the channel’s groundbreaking epic Planet Earth, the 90-year-old broadcaster has returned for part two, a lavish six-part series that will screen on BBC1 from Sunday 6 November. Shot over three years in 117 filming trips to 40 countries, it is one of the first series to be fully filmed in the latest UHD and HDR formats, according to the BBC, and features countless sequences that could not have been achieved without new, ultra-lightweight cameras and drones.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Nov 15, 2016 - 65 comments

The Art World Is Like Being In Mafia: Some Things Aren't Discused

I'm going to imagine you have the basics: over ₤10M in the bank, a yacht, luxury London apartment, second home in Monaco, offshore bank account, and if not a private jet, at least access to one. Good, are you sitting comfortably in your designer Italian armchair? Then we can begin. -The Banker's Guide To Art
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Aug 18, 2016 - 13 comments

EMI: the inside story of Britain's biggest music company

Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 5, 2016 - 14 comments

A plate of Björk and beans

In 1997, Björk interviewed musicians Alasdair Malloy, Mika Vainio, Tommi Grönlund, and Arvo Pärt in a two-part BBC documentary entitled Modern Minimalists - part I | part II
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jun 28, 2016 - 3 comments

The Story of India

The Story of India, written and presented by Michael Wood for the BBC, is a six episode documentary that serves as an entertaining and solid introduction to Indian history. All six episodes are available in full (6 hrs). [more inside]
posted by cwest on Jun 9, 2016 - 22 comments

“I just point at things,”

Every Episode of David Attenborough’s Life Series, Ranked [The Atlantic] This Sunday, Sir David Attenborough, naturalist, maker of wildlife documentaries, snuggler of gorillas, wielder of That Voice, keeper of the blue shirt, and Most Trusted Man in Britain, turns 90. To mark the occasion, and celebrate his unbeatable oeuvre, I re-watched all 79 episodes of his Life Collection, and ranked them from worst to best—or, really, from least great to greatest.
posted by Fizz on May 7, 2016 - 18 comments

Documentary: PSB on BBC

BBC Radio 2 presents a 4-hour, 4-part career retrospective of Pet Shop Boys. The first two hours, Chart (Part 1, Part 2) cover their 11 main studio albums released during their 28-year relationship with the Parlophone music label. Hour three, Collaborate, covers their forays outside of pop music into musical theater, silent film scoring, ballet, and even a BBC Proms classical music piece. The final hour, The Pop Kids [which deviates from PSB naming conventions in ways that annoy me deeply -ed] looks at their most recent recordings, both done for their own label, X2. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Apr 1, 2016 - 16 comments

You never see fear coming ‘til it swallows you whole

Half-heard whispers. A creaking door. A missed step. From Vertigo to Videodrome, the scariest movies exploit our greatest – and most basic – fears. Fear Itself - BBC Documentary (SLYT NSFW)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 19, 2015 - 7 comments

"it was very embarrassing at the time"

Great 1977 video interview with Mrs. Jessie Roestenberg describing a 1954 UFO experience in Staffordshire, West Midlands, England. This blog post shows part of a 1959 newspaper clipping with a photo of Mrs. Roestenberg (presumably from 1954, going by the apparent age of her children in the photo; click image for larger view), and a drawing she made of what she reported seeing, as well as an undated, unsourced photo of the by-now-elderly Mrs. Roestenberg holding an artist's rendering of the figures she described. [more inside]
posted by taz on Sep 17, 2015 - 24 comments

"You can go wild on the wall, everything that comes to your imagination"

"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 16, 2015 - 5 comments

Sugar Plantations in the West Indies

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed The T71 files have been converted into an online database; a free, publicly available resource.
posted by infini on Jul 12, 2015 - 38 comments

The Year Before

A fascinating BBC Radio Seven Four xtra audio documentary about life and events in the UK in the run up to World War One. Written and narrated by Michael Portillo, but don't let this put you off. Starts with "The long summer." If you are not in the UK, you may need to spoof your IP address to listen to them.
posted by marienbad on Dec 17, 2014 - 4 comments

"I made it so she wanted to sleep with me, which was totally a lie..."

She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College, that's where I caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded
I said in that case I'll have a rum and coke-cola.
She said fine, and in thirty seconds time she said,
I want to live like common people I want to do whatever common people do,
I want to sleep with common people I want to sleep with common people like you.
Well what else could I do – I said I'll see what I can do. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 13, 2014 - 53 comments

"...to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out."

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace, BBC Documentary. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 19, 2014 - 5 comments

Duncan Campbell's Secret Society - BBC Documentary Series - 1987

This is Duncan Campbell's BBC documentary series Secret Society which shows the never broadcast episode on secret groups, committees and societies that operate silently within British government. The first episode about secret cabinet committees features author Peter Hennessy, Clive Ponting and MP Clement Freud amongst others. It also contains the infamous Zircon spy satellite epsode. [Warning - Vimeo - alternative links for four of these are at Archive.org.] [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Oct 12, 2014 - 8 comments

For Kate I wait: BBC documentary and first live show in 35 years

Last night, Kate Bush performed her first concert in 35 years at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. She last toured in 1979, following the release of Lionheart. "Not since the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited for a one-off show in 2007 has there been such hype over a comeback." - The Guardian. Last week, BBC 4 released an hour-long documentary called The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill that reflects on Bush’s long and enigmatic career. It features appearances from Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Tori Amos, Annie Clark, Big Boi, Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Kahn, and more. Vimeo link. Guardian review.
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 27, 2014 - 58 comments

Run you cowardly Italian!

On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. In 1964, Peter Watkins wrote and produced a docudrama for the BBC, from the perspective of a documentary crew on the ground, depicting the battle and its aftermath: Culloden. [1:12:14]
posted by cthuljew on Aug 18, 2014 - 15 comments

George Martin - In My Life

In 1998, after over 40 years in the music studio, orchestral arranger and music producer Sir George Martin (the 5th Beatle, or maybe the 6th, or possibly the 7th, depending on how you count or where your priorities lie) decided he was going to retire with a selfish project: recording an album (mostly) entirely of Beatles songs. This ~50 minute BBC documentary recorded many moments from the creation of this swan song, In My Life. The film features interviews with and studio footage of Phil Collins, Robin Williams, Bobby McFerrin, JohnWilliams (classical guitarist, not Star Wars composer), Goldie Hawn, Jim Carrey, and Céline Dion. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jul 25, 2014 - 18 comments

"The Clash would have KILLED to have come from Derry"

Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was a dangerous place to be in the late 1970s. With bombs, shootings, British Army Patrols, riots on the streets, and The Ramones and New York Dolls on the turntable, the most punk thing 5 Catholic lads could do was to sing upbeat songs about adolescent lust, girls, getting nowhere with said girls, and the general struggles of being young. In the bleeding heart of The Troubles, The Undertones escaped by dreaming of a life more ordinary. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jun 11, 2014 - 38 comments

Making B7: Behind the scenes of "The Dirty Dozen in Space"

Before there was Firefly, after there was Star Trek, in between there was… Blake's 7 (previously). The BBC's dystopian space opera ran for four series, ended with arguably the bleakest finale in sci-fi TV, yet never achieved popularity in proportion to its influence. To accompany its DVD release, documentary filmmaker Kevin Jon Davies prepared making-of videos for the first three series, which he has now posted YouTube: Series 1, Series 2, Series 3. Learn the origins of Blake's dysfunctional band of freedom-fighters, the secrets of the show's horrible SFX, watch the cast read aloud their worst reviews, and much more!
posted by Doktor Zed on May 13, 2014 - 32 comments

Pufferfish the Magic Dragon

The latest generation of the UK's world-leading state-backed surveillance technologies have reportedly captured shocking scenes of high-risk potentially lethal narcotics use by gangs (or "juvenile pods") of young dolphins, who have worked out how to get a high from chewing pufferfish to release their neurotoxins [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Dec 30, 2013 - 38 comments

Who are you? I really wanna know.

Between 1959 to 1970, late English film director Ken Russell (The Who's Tommy and Women in Love) created art documentaries for the BBC, many of them unusual adaptations of artists' lives. The documentaries included The Debussy Film, Dante's Inferno, Isadora, Song of Summer, and Always on Sunday. Bonus: Ken Russell in Conversation and Ken Russell at Work. Previously.
posted by seemoreglass on Jul 18, 2013 - 3 comments

This is no domestic moggy.

Earthflight is a BBC nature documentary narrated by David Tennant that takes a breathtaking flight on the wings of birds across six continents and experiences some of the world's greatest natural spectacles from a bird's-eye view. There are some full episodes up on YouTube (including South America, Africa, and the Making Of), but in particular these two clips caught my eye: Feral Cat Hunting and Peregrine Falcon Hunting.
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 14, 2013 - 9 comments

The New Sound of Music

Airing in 1979, The New Sound of Music was a BBC documentary which depicted and demonstrated the history of recorded and manipulated music, from the earliest paper rolls to electronic synthesizers and the cutting and manipulation of tape. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 19, 2012 - 13 comments

Life in a Cheap Suit

The Confessions of Robert Crumb. [previously]
posted by timsteil on Sep 23, 2012 - 13 comments

The journey from Sputnik to Mir (and all the dead ends in between)

Red Star in Orbit is a three-part BBC documentary about the history of the Soviet space program, originally broadcast in 1990 as part of the ongoing series Horizon. Based on a book by American space historian and NASA vetran James Oberg, who features prominently in the program, Red Star in Orbit was filmed and assembled while the slow collapse of the USSR was already underway. The filmmakers were given an unprecedented amount of access to active Cosmonauts, veterans of the program and to Star City itself. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Aug 20, 2012 - 41 comments

There is grandeur in this view of life.

The Evolution Documentary channel (autoplays video) has collected documentaries and clips about evolution available on youtube, including documentaries from BBC, Nova, and National Geographic. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 3, 2012 - 8 comments

"I've been lucky enough to film with elephants, gorillas, bears and none of them have ever sat on my head."

Magic Meerkat Moments: In this clip from BBC's Planet Earth Live, we get to see meerkats, which have become so acclimated to film crews that they now view them as part of the landscape and use them for shade and as vantage points. [via]
posted by quin on May 24, 2012 - 35 comments

Robert Hughes' "The Shock of the New"

Shock of the New is a 1980 documentary television series by Robert Hughes produced by the BBC in association with Time-Life Films and RM Productions. ... It addressed the development of modern art since the Impressionists and was accompanied by a book of the same name; its combination of insight, wit and accessibility are still widely praised. - Wikipedia [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 22, 2012 - 18 comments

I woke up gay.

I Woke Up Gay (SLYT): In the small town of Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, seven years ago, a 19-stone rugby-playing ladies man and bank clerk Chris Birch snapped his neck while larking around doing somersaults and backflips with his friends. As the tabloids excitedly revealed a while ago, he suffered a massive stroke and woke up as a completely different person -- a person who happened to be gay. [more inside]
posted by gertzedek on Apr 18, 2012 - 105 comments

'Brinicle' ice finger of death

"In winter, the air temperature above the sea ice can be below -20C, whereas the sea water is only about -1.9C. Heat flows from the warmer sea up to the very cold air, forming new ice from the bottom. The salt in this newly formed ice is concentrated and pushed into the brine channels. And because it is very cold and salty, it is denser than the water beneath. The result is the brine sinks in a descending plume. But as this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume, which grows into what has been called a brinicle." A BBC film crew has recorded one of these freezing life on the sea floor.
posted by cosmac on Nov 23, 2011 - 47 comments

Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come"

"Ornette in '59" - a BBC documentary segment about Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 5, 2011 - 17 comments

I’m lucky, but…

Metafilter Favorite Stephen Fry announces that he is now the president of mental health charity MIND, in part because of his 2006 documentary: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 23, 2011 - 24 comments

I see trees of green, red roses, too...

Do you see what I see? Do people always see the same thing when they look at colours?
posted by crossoverman on Aug 12, 2011 - 68 comments

Bloggers against type

Maggie McNeil is a semi-retired "honest courtesan" who recently countered Ashton Kutcher's "sex slavery" claims (previously) with some statistics and facts. Bobbi Starr is a professional concert oboist, nationally ranked swimmer, and works in some of the hardest porn available. She was recently featured on the (highly recommended) BBC Radio Assignment series. Primary links are obviously NSFW; BobbiStarr.com also has potential trigger warnings.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 8, 2011 - 23 comments

BBC Radio 4 Collections

BBC Radio 4 now has a dedicated online program library! Rather than hunting through the site, you can now browse by subject and/or program from one main 'Collections' page. It's not all of the output by any means, but there's plenty there to keep you going, such as the philosophy archives from Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time", or various mathematics programs from different series. There's much much more as well. [more inside]
posted by carter on Apr 24, 2011 - 11 comments

The best of Google Video on MetaFilter

As discussed over the weekend, in less than two weeks the millions of videos uploaded to six-year-old erstwhile YouTube competitor Google Video will no longer be viewable. Though a download button has been added to each video page for easy back-up, that will only be available though May 13th, and the company will not be offering transfer service for users with YouTube accounts. The search giant has been slowly winding down the service over the years since their billion-dollar buyout of YouTube, controversially revoking purchased content (with a refund) in 2007 and disabling new uploads in 2009. The shutdown is a big blow to the web video ecosystem, as Google Video was one of the few major services to allow free hosting of long-form video, including the content for many popular MetaFilter posts. But all is not lost! Reddit users have organized a virtual potluck to share the most interesting and unique videos not available anywhere else, and the Archive Team, preserver of doomed web properties like Geocities (previously), is partnering with Archive.org to back up as much content as possible. In that spirit, click inside for a list of some of the most popular Google Video-centric content posted here over the years. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 18, 2011 - 54 comments

"....prepares for the hunt."

BBC Human Planet: The Douche For a few weeks, the BBC film crew had the opportunity to follow a unique specimen, they were able to observe and record its mannerisms, rituals and way of life. The result of this is BBC Human Planet: The Douche.
posted by Fizz on Apr 14, 2011 - 49 comments

The Definitive Look at the Diversity of Our Planet

Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 7, 2011 - 69 comments

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace. Professor Geoff Ward discusses David Foster Wallace. [more inside]
posted by sixo33 on Feb 19, 2011 - 15 comments

Why Do We Talk

Watch a language evolve in a single afternoon in part 6 of BBC Horizon's fascinating documentary, "Why Do We Talk." (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)
posted by Avenger50 on Nov 24, 2010 - 11 comments

Here and Now, There and Back; bioturbation, 3d animation and re-creation

We strive for a future that we cannot touch, and memories of our life’s past leave traces that form a road behind us. When we stop, there are no traffic lights and no give way signs; only ourselves in the here and now.” -Here and Now: Sonia Yee [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Sep 9, 2010 - 2 comments

A Widow's Journey.

A Widow's Journey [MP3]. "In 1989, Appapillai Amirthalingam - the most prominent political figure of the Tamil community - was assassinated at his home in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Twenty years on, the Tamil Tigers have been defeated by the military. Appapillai's wife and son travel back to their homeland in search of his legacy in an attempt to understand what the future holds for Sri Lanka's Tamil people."
posted by chunking express on Sep 2, 2010 - 9 comments

"Because I'm worth it."

From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: Experiments in the Laboratory of Consumerism 1959-67: "I have quite a lot of film from the archives that was shot in the Madison Avenue agencies in the mid 1960s, and I thought I would put some sections up. It is great because it shows some of the major advertising men and women of the time, many of whom are the real-life models for characters in Mad Men." Includes a 9-minute video interview with the late Herta Herzog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 23, 2010 - 17 comments

1991 BBC Omnibus documentary on Peter Greenaway

Some kind soul recently uploaded, in five parts, a 1991 BBC Omnibus television documentary about Peter Greenaway, who never ceases to inspire me in his dedication to push film into new, richly interesting places, to liberate it from its addiction to stale 19th-century psychological narrative and to open it up to accept and incorporate all manner of artistic information it's usually denied. Cleverly titled Anatomy of a Filmmaker — Greenaway is an enthusiast of the nude human figure, which he sees as the single constant of art — it covers the filmmaker's career from his earliest shorts up through Prospero's Books. There are bits about the time he spent honing his skills cutting together British propaganda, his experience with painting and his longtime collaboration with Sacha Vierny. It also presents subsections on Greenaway's own inspirational creators, including John Cage and the increasingly-intriguing-to-me R.B. Kitaj.
posted by colinmarshall on Jun 14, 2010 - 16 comments

BBC World Service Documentaries

BBC World Service has over 500 audio documentaries you can download. The subject matter is incredibly wide ranging, for example, internet cafés, the influence of Islamic art on William Morris, South African female AIDS activist Thembi Ngubane, Yiddish, the importance of cows, novelist Chinua Achebe, financial risk management, Obama as an intellectual, the physical and emotional effects of a car crash and many, many more. If the quantity and variety are overwhelming, you can subscribe to a podcast, which delivers a new documentary to you every single day.
posted by Kattullus on May 8, 2010 - 22 comments

Dead.

Requiem for Detroit? - Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [more inside]
posted by azarbayejani on May 7, 2010 - 58 comments

Digital Revolution

This is the introduction to The Virtual Revolution, an open source documentary, due for transmission on BBC Two next week, that will take stock of 20 years of change brought about by the World Wide Web. Only about 25% of the world population uses the Web today, however more than 70% of people have access to mobile or fixed communication devices capable of displaying Web content. The World Wide Web Foundation [prev] exists to bridge the 'digital divide' in Internet usage.
posted by netbros on Jan 22, 2010 - 7 comments

"I knew there was an element of danger, but the job had to be done."

Inside Chernobyl Sarcophagus (1996). Deep inside the sarcophagus, a remarkable group of Soviet physicists is at work in levels of radiation that would be considered almost suicidal in the West. [more inside]
posted by Monsters on Oct 4, 2009 - 42 comments

'The Human Animal,' by Desmond Morris

The Human Animal - a brilliant BBC mini-series documentary by zoologist Desmond Morris that takes an extended look at the curious creatures known as Homo sapiens. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on Google videos. Beautiful and fascinating.
posted by grillcover on Sep 19, 2009 - 38 comments

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