Restrepo is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, "Restrepo," named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Dec 14, 2010 -
The Who in 1965
. They are featured in a French documentary on the Mods. You can skip ahead to the Who live songs if you are not in the mood to watch the whole documentary.
From Google Translate: "Discover the new English youth in the district of Hammersmith, London suburbs and particularly the movement "mods" or "Modern", new dandies, mavericks ouvrier.Les interviews from rural youth about drugs, Police headquarters, politics, racism, society in general, alternate with concert footage of WHO on a small stage in London. Interview in French Kit Lambert, manager of the WHO, about Teddy Boys movement, rockers, mods."
posted by zzazazz
on Dec 11, 2010 -
is a fun, entertaining and highly recommended 57 minute documentary that takes us into a Virginia houseparty of 1989, where the assembled Piedmont blues
and gospel musicians and their friends pick guitars, sing, dance and engagingly reminisce on the houseparties of old. Amidst hearty laughs, barbecue and general good times, the guests recount personal memories of fun and rowdiness, corn liquor, 500-pound hogs, the devil's music and the Lord's music. There's a whole lot of cultural history on display here, a slice of black American life that is all but gone now. The mood is infectious, to say the least, and the music just keeps getting better and better throughout the film. The next best thing to being there!
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Dec 10, 2010 -
Melvin Van Peebles made a documentary called Classified X in 1998, about the portrayal of black people throughout the history of American cinema. You can see it on YT in six parts: 1
. Apologies for the low video quality.
posted by Dim Siawns
on Nov 30, 2010 -
Lost In The Garden of the World
is a documentary shot at the 1975 Cannes film festival. It contains interviews with Paul Bartel, Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg, Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese and Dustin Hoffman.
posted by brundlefly
on Nov 17, 2010 -
Regarding Luis Buñuel
, 1:37, subtitled) "All my life I've been harassed by questions: Why is something this way and not another? How do you account for that? This rage to understand, to fill in the blanks, only makes life more banal. If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence." -- Luis Bunuel, "In Curiosity"
Bunuel wanted to rebel against the dogmatic structures of the Church that said, There is no salvation or grace outside the Church. He wanted a kind of Protestant surrealism in which grace was directly attainable like in Nazarin or Viridiana -- Carlos Fuentes
"He is a deeply Christian man who hates God as only a Christian can and, of course, he's very Spanish. I see him as the most supremely religious director in the history of the movies." -- Orson Welles
"I'd like to be able to rise from the dead every ten years, walk to a newsstand, and buy a few newspapers. I wouldn't ask for anything more. With my papers under my arm, pale, brushing against the walls, I'd return to the cemetery and read about the world's disasters before going back to sleep satisfied, in the calming refuge of the grave." -- Luis Bunuel
posted by puny human
on Nov 16, 2010 -
In 1977 the Dutch public broadcasting association VARA made a documentary called Wonderland, about then up-&-coming recording artists Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt & Jackson Browne. Here is that film.
Warren Zevon at Griffith Observatory
Linda Ronstadt in studio “Tracks Of My Tears” alternative studio version
Linda Ronstadt outside her Malibu house
Warren Zevon at a burrito stand
Warren Zevon in concert “Carmelita”
Bonnie Raitt at Frederick’s
Bonnie Raitt in concert “Nothing Seems To Matter”
Linda Ronstadt in the bedroom of her Malibu house
Linda Ronstadt in studio “Lose Again” alternative studio version
Warren Zevon at Griffith Observatory
Warren Zevon in rehearsal “Frank And Jesse James”
Bonnie Raitt in concert “Give It Up Or Let Me Go”
Jackson Browne in concert “Before The Deluge”
posted by scalefree
on Sep 17, 2010 -
“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 -
F for Fake (French: Vérités et mensonges) is the last major film completed by Orson Welles, who directed, co-wrote, and starred in the film. Initially released in 1974, it focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger; de Hory's story serves as the backdrop for a fast-paced, meandering investigation of the natures of authorship and authenticity, as well as the basis of the value of art. Loosely a documentary, the film operates in several different genres and has been described as a kind of film essay. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Sep 5, 2010 -
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 -
RussianFilter: Historical Chronicles
with Nikolai Svanidze
is an ongoing Russian television documentary series which, starting with 1901, picks out one person per year, every year, of the 100 years of the 20th century in Russia. It's entirely in Russian, of course, but for them as speaks it, it's one fascinating perspective on Russian history, with excellent narration, copious detail, and fascinating interconnections of events, people and places. All of the episodes that are available through Google Video and various other sources, and [more inside]
posted by cthuljew
on Aug 30, 2010 -
has uploaded nearly 4000 videos to YouTube. Many of these are trailers for the documentaries they sell, but they have also posted hundreds of full-length videos. Most are for short documentarie, but there are a lot of features too. It's somewhat daunting to explore, but the playlists
are a good place to start, and so are the shows: Features
and Savouring Europe
, a European travelogue series. Here's a few interesting ones: Gastronauts
, about French culinary students working to make astronaut food more palatable, Demon Drummers
, about student Kodo drummers, India's Free Lunch
, about the effects of free school lunches on Indian society, The Twitter Revolution
, about YouTube and Twitter's role in the 2009 Iranian uprising, Europe's Black Hole
, about Transnistria, the breakaway region of Moldova, Small Town Boy
, about a gay male carnival queen in a small town in England, The Vertigo of Lists
, Umberto Eco talks about the ubiquity of lists in modern culture and Monsters from the Id
, about scientists in the science fiction films of the Fifties.
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 24, 2010 -
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 -
Can a stand-up comedian's performance be objectively evaluated and ranked? In the recent documentary I Am Comic [imdb | clips]
, Steve Roye
demonstrates his product, the Comedy Evaluator Pro
. A "Positive Audience Response" (PAR) score is the percentage of PAR during the time the comedian is on the stage (not taking into account other factors such as venue size, etc.). Of course, this method stirs controversy
about the art vs. science of stand-up. Ritch Shydner
, the protagonist of I Am Comic
, thinks that booking agents shouldn't rely on PAR scores
to choose who gets to be on stage, while the director of I Am Comic
, Jordan Brady, disagrees, seeing PAR as a way to elevate the quality of stand-up
. So, drum roll, please: Who is the world's funniest comedian?
According to PAR score, it's J.R. Redwater, during this bit at the Pow Wow Comedy Jam. [agree | disagree]
posted by not_on_display
on Aug 19, 2010 -
"Meet Rocky Salemmo. He’s a ramblin’ gamblin’ man. For the majority of his adult life Rocky has hustled bowling for a living." A short documentary by Sean Dunne. (NSFW language) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Jun 22, 2010 -
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 -