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Online documentaries

Biographies, history, science and more. Over 500 of the best online documentaries.
posted by Mblue on May 5, 2007 - 26 comments

Crack, baby, crack, show me you're real.

David Bowie: Cracked Actor – a BBC documentary circa 1974. One|Two|Three|Four|Five (53 minutes)
posted by miss lynnster on May 4, 2007 - 16 comments

Pop your funk

Disco cellist Arthur Russell is the subject of a new documentary. MP3s for those who don't know him: Sidebar here, here, here (photo may be NSFW), more here.
posted by klangklangston on May 3, 2007 - 10 comments

I turned to Virgil and said, "Hang on, I'm not too sure about this."

Dante's Inferno. A surfer-cum-Doré remix of the Divine Comedy's most famous chunk, from the book of the same name. The art of Sandow Birk informs this peculiar, but cool-looking spin on an old classic. Enjoy the trailer in glorious Quicktime, or suffer endlessly with the YouTube version. And while you're at it, check out their previous film - a mockumentary of California's civil war.
posted by Sticherbeast on May 1, 2007 - 13 comments

NYMag's Top Five Tribeca Film Fest shorts

New York Magazine's top five shorts from the Tribeca Film Festival, presented in full, including the 25-minute documentary "Someone Else's War," about third-world contract employees in Iraq. A bit more inside. [via Nerve's Screengrab]
posted by mediareport on Apr 29, 2007 - 6 comments

Hit Record [dot] Org

Hit Record -- the website of child actor-turned-respectable young thespian Joseph Gordon-Levitt. [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 on Apr 28, 2007 - 34 comments

Your favourite film sucks

'In defense of film critics' posits that 'Film critics [unlike food critics, etc] are expected to be cheerleaders.' I guess we're not supposed to think it's odd that the piece was written by paper's resident film critic. He does ask at least one good question, though: why have so many truly awful [and poorly reviewed ] films done so well at the the box office this year?
posted by chuckdarwin on Apr 27, 2007 - 36 comments

Jack Valenti, adieau

Jack Valenti, RIP.
posted by Astro Zombie on Apr 26, 2007 - 93 comments

"I ain't a pretty boy no more"

"I ain’t a pretty boy no more" Roger Ebert is determined to attend his Overlooked Film Festival tomorrow.
We spend too much time hiding illness. There is an assumption that I must always look the same. I hope to look better than I look now. But I'm not going to miss my festival.
[via]
posted by kirkaracha on Apr 24, 2007 - 124 comments

Best. Fake. Shark. EVAH.

The year is 1978. A group of 12 year-olds have decided to make a Super 8 film of their own based on Jaws. Presenting... SHARK!
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 23, 2007 - 34 comments

Let's see if Jesus will bring you candy!

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971). This film based on the pro-Jesus/anti-Commie teachings of Baptist minister Dr. Estus Washington Pirkle (3/12/1930–3/3/05) warns what will happen to America if the citizens do not give up their depraved ways and turn to God and Jesus for salvation. Fun for the whole family! Also by Reverend Pirkle: The Burning Hell & The Believer's Heaven. Good times.
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 20, 2007 - 22 comments

L'inventaire Fantôme

L'inventaire Fantôme - an excellent and creepy animated short film (official site). Liked it? You might also enjoy the charming L'Animateur, not least for its soundtrack. Both found via StopMoShorts.
posted by Wolfdog on Apr 16, 2007 - 11 comments

War of the Welles: The Torturous Journey of The Other Side of the Wind to the Big Screen

The Other Side of the Wind is the lost last film of Orson Welles, a reputed unseen masterpiece, that may finally see the light of day in late 2008. The film tells the story of Jake Hannaford (played by John Huston), an aging movie director who has to film a low budget sex-and-symbolism flick to avoid getting overtaken by the Movie Brats of the Spielberg/Coppola generation. After providing voiceovers to two documentaries on the Persepolis ceremonies of 1971 and an intimate portrait of the Shah of Iran, Welles obtained Iranian financing to finish The Other Side of the Wind. Unfortunately, after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the bank accounts of his Iranian financier were seized, which led to the negatives for the film getting locked in a French vault. After Orson Welles died in 1985, his lover/collaborator Oja Kodar had to settle his estate with Orson's estranged (but never divorced) wife Paola Mori. There the matter might have rested, if not for an unfortunate coincidence. (More inside.)
posted by jonp72 on Apr 15, 2007 - 50 comments

Roscoe Lee Browne. RIP, Mr. Nightlinger.

Roscoe Lee Browne, class act from beginning to end. The first time I ever noticed him was in The Cowboys, a western I've watched many times just to hear him speak.
posted by loosemouth on Apr 13, 2007 - 18 comments

I've heard it's the fillet of the web.

Noah Baumbach, Writer and Director of The Squid and the Whale, has a short film on youtube. 1--2--3
posted by jne1813 on Apr 10, 2007 - 19 comments

Hanna-Barbera never did this.

Cloned Disney cels: page 1 [Russian, bad English], page 2 [Russian, bad English]
posted by thirteenkiller on Apr 10, 2007 - 25 comments

Golden Ratios

Did the roof of the Pantheon influence Copernicus? Are the planets of the solar system aligned in accordance with a nearly-forgotten hypothesis known (unfairly) as Bode's Law? A fascinating wide-ranging discussion on BLDGBLOG with Walter Murch, the visionary editor and sound designer for such films as The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, THX1138, and many others. [Murch's film work has previously been discussed here and here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 7, 2007 - 20 comments

Coming Soon to a Grindhouse Near You

Sleazoid Express (this post rated NSFW) was a New York film fanzine that championed the grindhouse cinema that played in sketchy Times Square movie theaters during the pre-Giuliani era. Featuring in-depth reviews of film fare such as Pets, Nanami: Inferno of First Love, and Let Me Die A Woman, the Sleazoid Express zine later inspired a book, which can probably take some credit for stoking Quentin Tarantino's interest in grindhouse filmmaking. (An excerpt from the book, Sleazoid Express, can be found here, and here's some original grindhouse trailers thrown in for good measure.)
posted by jonp72 on Apr 5, 2007 - 12 comments

Oooh fuuudggggge.

"Porky's was about anti-Semitism, about racism, it's not just about boys with erections," claims Clark. He then adds, pun intended, "It was a seminal film." Bob Clark, Director of two iconic 1980's films that profoundly impacted some of your childhoods (no doubt in decidedly different ways), and his 22 year-old son were in a fatal car crash on PCH this morning. This was set to be a promising year for the man who brought Ralphie and his bunny suit to the world. R.I.P.
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 4, 2007 - 75 comments

Surreality

The most effective Surreality is that which is entirely Unintentional (15-minute Google video). A delightful balance between amusing & disturbing. Harvested from Doctor Macro's MGM Shorts page. Previously.
posted by squalor on Apr 1, 2007 - 19 comments

Light’s Camera Action!

Deepa Mehta’s Water (Fire and Earth), and Mira Nair’s The Namesake (Monsoon Wedding). Two Indian born Women directors whose latest movies are out right now (maybe even at a theater near you): check it out!
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 31, 2007 - 8 comments

The Worst Films of All Time?

The Worst Films of "The Modern Era?" There are dozens of places to start - do you go by cost of production to theater revenue? Here's a list of criterias to make it the worst of the worst. Or perhaps by continuity errors? Blatant ignoring of the laws of immutable physics? This Christian Group has their criterias ... (American Psycho-ZERO). IMDB's "people" votes? man, there's lot of hate for "Crossover." It didn't get any noms at the "Razzies." And if your memory fails, check out the previous "losers." Is Everyone a Critic? Or the best film critic - here's Ebert's list (though I SERIOUSLY disagree on TOMMY BOY!). Many others weigh in: Digital Dreams; Maxim, Rotten Tomatoes, Stinkers (in alphabetical order); Metacritic and Leonard Maltin for your PDA/mobile (you'll have to do a sort on BOMB). And of course, (NSFW) the worst porn titles. Er, Enjoy!
posted by jbelkin on Mar 27, 2007 - 75 comments

The future of slow motion porn has arrived

The mother of all Mother Nature programs premiered in the US this weekend on the Discovery Channel. The 11-part series makes the most of three remarkable camera technologies: shooting in total darkness, counter-vibration stabilizers, and 1000 fps sequences. Here are some clips of: penguins sliding, baboons swimming, and birds of paradise mating. Finally, here's footage from the original BBC version (with the much preferred David Attenborough narrating) that shows, for the first time,a snow leopard hunting in the wild.
posted by phaedon on Mar 26, 2007 - 43 comments

Is Byyuudua-pessst fahhh?

Some movie villains aren't necessarily bad, they're just accented that way. But what criteria do we use to determine a truly, uniquely bad film accent? Obviously, it helps if an actor or movie annoys you to begin with, but some bad accents are simply indisputably painful to watch. Kind of like a mashup of everything in The Speech Accent Archive with a little bit of Received Pronounciation thrown in here and there. Yes it's true, even the average American enjoys trying to rock a ridiculously fake British tone once in a while (there are dialects?). But believe it or not, there are average people in this world actually trying to learn how to sound American too! OK well, on second thought, it's more likely that they're just trying to sound less "foreign" while they're here so we don't mock them.

Now here's the obligatory Fun Quiz portion of the post: what American accent do YOU have? Previously.
posted by miss lynnster on Mar 24, 2007 - 96 comments

David O. Russell, "collaborator"

Filmmaker David O. Russell's history of abusive behavior is well-documented. It spawned fistfights with George Clooney on the set of Three Kings. But two recent videos from the set of I ♥ Huckabees provide a telltale glimpse of how Russell's "directorial style."
posted by ed on Mar 22, 2007 - 97 comments

Now that Premiere's Gone

Cashiers du Cinemart. Film Threat's Dave Williams: "a thin, primitive hobby publication with an obvious ax to grind; making it far less interesting than you think it is, and compelling me to conclude it's impossible for you to ever get your shit together...killing one more tree for your pointless, directionless, self-aggrandizing 'zine with nothing to offer is a sad, selfish waste." Best known for the Anti-Tarantino saga, one man's quest to get a director to acknowledge his influences, Cashiers is a great '90s 'zine with archives online.
posted by klangklangston on Mar 20, 2007 - 15 comments

Man with a Movie Blog

The Criterion Contraption: Matthew Dessem is going to watch every last DVD in the Criterion Collection and blog about it. Illuminating and knowledgable film writing. You can start, if you wish, with the entry on my favorite film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, or pick from the complete index.
posted by Falconetti on Mar 19, 2007 - 55 comments

cut here

The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing BBC documentary on the technique and art of editing film. With commentary from Scorscese, Spielberg, and many more. Google vid.
posted by vronsky on Mar 19, 2007 - 33 comments

Whatever it is, it’s better in the wind.

40 years ago, the Vicious Cycles motorcycle club assaulted a construction worker before taking to the road. Fortunately, filmmakers Chuck Menville (father of voice artist Scott Menville) and Len Janson were on hand to film the gang's misdeeds. Menville and Janson's picture would ultimately become part of a trilogy, with Blaze Glory and Sargent Swell of the Mounties produced wit similar eye-catching style. Decades later, the filmmakers' work would be echoed in another tale of conflict, in addition to a product-themed homage to more recent hipster subculture.
posted by Smart Dalek on Mar 19, 2007 - 10 comments

A masterpiece in nonverbal filmmaking.

Baraka is an astonishing film voyaging six continents and twenty-four countries. Directed by Ron Fricke, it is a visual tour de force painstakingly shot on Todd AO-70mm film. Information on the film (and its upcoming sequel!) can be found here or you can always watch the making of.
posted by ageispolis on Mar 16, 2007 - 48 comments

Shall we kiss?

On s'embrasse?
posted by growabrain on Mar 14, 2007 - 45 comments

And a Uwe Boll film is only the second worst...

The 100 worst reviewed movies ever, according to Rotten Tomatoes. "We've got two Baby Geniuses and three Uwe Boll flicks. Heck, you know these movies must be bad if Catwoman ranks a lofty number 100..." Also, check out the 80 best-reviewed movies.
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 8, 2007 - 71 comments

Movies for the Busy

Star Wars in 5 Seconds. The Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi. Dozens more from this YouTube user, including Batman; The Lord of the Rings I, II, and III; Amadeus; The Passion; The Princess Bride; Titanic; The Big Lebowski; and my personal favorite, The Lion King.
"In 5 seconds" not to be taken literally. Some audio may be NSFW.
posted by Partial Law on Mar 8, 2007 - 49 comments

The Search For Count Dante

The Search For Count Dante is a documentary-in-progress by filmmaker Floyd Webb (- Youtube trailer -). Webb takes on the daunting task of exploring the (larger than) life and times of martial artist Count Dante (born John Keehan), the then self-described "Deadliest Man Alive". Some of you may remember his ad from '60's and '70's comic books. [more inside]
posted by schleppo on Mar 7, 2007 - 29 comments

Laz the Incredible

Laz Rojas created "a one-man demo tape in which I portray 102 different characters in 52 scenes from my screenplays. The purpose of this demo is to display my abilities as an actor, writer, director, and editor." Don't miss this gem, featuring what must be the only one-man lesbian kiss ever filmed [SFW, as long as you don't mind being thought creepy]. He also makes cartoons, artwork, Wolfenstein mods, and has an awful lot to say about Titanic.
posted by mosessmith on Mar 6, 2007 - 13 comments

Monologues galore

Monologues: tons of great monolgoues here including Coffee's for Closers, How To Fake Like You are Nice and Caring, a 12 inch proboscis, Winocki kept his word, and many others.
posted by mattbucher on Mar 5, 2007 - 12 comments

Yes, a single link Youtube Post, now click damnit

Twelve Moons on Gichigami: (YT) ~1500 frames from a web camera in Canal Park Duluth Mn, A year's worth of time in just under 7 Mins, by Mark Ryan. (via)
posted by edgeways on Feb 26, 2007 - 26 comments

Time-Lapse Phonography

R. Luke Dubois' Billboard is a study in time-lapse phonography. Dubois digitally analyzed every #1 Billboard single from 1958 to 2005 and found a "spectral average" sound for each song. Every second of the piece represents one week in music history. The results are more interesting than you might think: compare the Beatles-dominated 1964 with the more processed, percussive sounds of 1997. Dubois has also created a time-lapse study of Oscar-winning movies. See also: "Chart Sweep" (scroll down to bottom of page). (via)
posted by roll truck roll on Feb 25, 2007 - 10 comments

"Every time an Oscar is given out, an agent gets his wings" ~ Kathy Bates

Oscar Lists: Records And Curiosities. A plethora of fun facts to keep you entertained while you wait for the start of the 79th annual Academy Awards ceremony today/tonight. It's part of Oscar Lists: The Index, which is filled with almost every Oscar fact you could possibly need.
posted by amyms on Feb 25, 2007 - 42 comments

"I'll die young, but it's like kissing God"

Lenny Bruce -Swear to Tell the Truth 1995 documentary of the rise and fall of the patron saint of samizdat 1:40 nsfw language nudity via
posted by hortense on Feb 24, 2007 - 15 comments

Qui custodiet ipsos custodes?

"I think that the appetite for me is to make a movie that feels more like Taxi Driver than like Fantastic Four."
Zack Snyder talks about his upcoming Watchmen adaptation, which may start filming this summer.
But some fans couldn't wait: 1, 2, 3 (youtube)
posted by empath on Feb 23, 2007 - 109 comments

RIP Larkin.

Ryan Larkin [1943-2007]
posted by docgonzo on Feb 17, 2007 - 32 comments

Films from the Homefront

'Films from the Homefront' is a (new) collection of amateur documentaries, newsreels, government films, and home movies documenting life for the ordinary people in Britain during World War II, with background text descriptions/explication. Browse the themes. The films are QT and wmv format. I found it both poignant and funny, for instance, seeing kids don gasmasks during air raid drills then attempt to continue writing in their lessons. [via Glasgow School of Art Library]
posted by peacay on Feb 16, 2007 - 4 comments

Love, Bollywood style

It seems apropos today to post about Bollywood and its style of romance and love. Songs are often the equivalent of a bedroom scene, a fact I didn't believe until it was pointed out to me that there were numerous instances of extremely suggestive songs followed by pregnancy. Bollywood also uses songs to arouse patriotic fervour, a trait that master music director A.R. Rahman takes to new heights with his release of the classics Vande Mataram [Motherland, I salute thee] and Jana Gana Mana [India's national anthem]. But even before him, there were classics of public service advertising such as "Mile sur tera hamara..." a fuzzy video but inspiring nonetheless of the myriads of voices and languages spoken in India. Other loves that hindi cinema celebrates through its songs is that of a mother for a child, god, love across cultural boundaries and what is politely termed as "conjugal love".
posted by infini on Feb 14, 2007 - 31 comments

Observations on film art and Film Art

Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell's blog Observations on film art and Film Art is never less than engaging. These are the writers I turned to during the writing of my dissertation through their many books, particularly Film Art and it's exactly that kind of academic yet accessible style that can be found here, in their discussions of the vagueries of shot length and scene blocking methods as well as comment on other recent film related subjects.
posted by feelinglistless on Feb 9, 2007 - 10 comments

If Rocks Could Speak

Das Rad ("The Wheel") google video Apparently rocks speak to one another. They just do it very, very slowly. An stop-motion short from Germany with English subtitles. Creators' website.flash
posted by maryh on Feb 9, 2007 - 15 comments

It Had To Be You

When Harry Met Sally, recut.
posted by fandango_matt on Feb 2, 2007 - 34 comments

and...CUT!

Unhappy with her hair style, a bride flips out just hours before her wedding. Sobbing and screaming, she goes into the hotel washroom, rips apart her coiffure, and cuts her own hair. The episode is caught on video, posted to YouTube, and Farkalarity ensues. But the plot thickens. It turns out the bride is 22 year-old aspiring actress Jodi Behan, and the film was made by Toronto-based Ryerson University grad Ingrid Hass. It's a hoax, designed to put a lock on their film careers. We'll see more from these girls. Thursday on the Tonight Show, for a start.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Feb 1, 2007 - 65 comments

Like Watching Movies With Your Eyes Closed

Film and TV composers with online portfolios for your cinematic listening pleasure.
posted by OverlappingElvis on Jan 31, 2007 - 3 comments

Lobby card invasion

Lobby Card Invasion. A searchable collection of a wide variety of lobby cards for all kinds of interesting films. [via PCL LinkDump]
posted by mediareport on Jan 27, 2007 - 10 comments

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