996 posts tagged with documentary.
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B.B. St. Roman

B.B. St. Roman [formerly Barbara Becker] is the only staff member for the New Orleans Police Department Homeless Assistant Unit. Before helping the homeless, she traveled the world, recording sound for documentaries .... And at one point, she became the tour manager for Dr. John, Louisiana musician and legend. Her film audio credits include Mother Teresa and Shamans of the Blind Country a film ethnography of the Himalayas. TEDx talk, and here's her Facebook page.
posted by latkes on May 22, 2015 - 5 comments

“Everything is some kind of a plot, man.”

A Journey Into the Mind of P. [YouTube]
A documentary, written & directed by Donatello Dubini & Fosco Dubini, mostly on the authors [Thomas Pynchon] reclusivness, how it's been dealt with by some hysterical fans, old friends, critics... containing some interesting interviews & speculations on the themes of Gravity's Rainbow & how they relate to the historical realities of the american fifties & sixties, the paranoid politics of cold war logic, megalomaniac experimental psychology, the callous mindset of military engineering, & so on...
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 10, 2015 - 6 comments

I'm a man in a dress, and I'm not afraid to show that

Beautiful by Night is a short documentary by James Hosking about veteran drag queens in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Apr 18, 2015 - 3 comments

K.C. Jeebies

There is, with any great artist, a little manic-ness and insanity. Tropic of Cancer is one of my favorite books. And [author] Henry Miller had this work ethic, where he would get out of bed every day and force himself to write five pages. It taught me that if you do the work, you progress. So many people are content to settle. My dad was exceptionally ambitious. But he had a lot thrown on him, exceeding his ambition. He wanted his band to be successful. But he didn't want to be the fucking voice of a generation.
Excerpts from an interview with Frances Bean Cobain for Rolling Stone's cover story in anticipation of the HBO documentary Montage of Heck.
posted by mannequito on Apr 8, 2015 - 50 comments

STREETWISE, a riveting 1984 doc that follows runaway kids in Seattle

Streetwise is an oscar nominated 1984 vérité doc that follows teenage vagrants and prostitutes in downtown Seattle. [more inside]
posted by rageagainsttherobots on Mar 23, 2015 - 13 comments

The Sigh Guy

New documentary Tab Hunter Confidential is the story of the squeaky-clean 1950s teen idol whose career was nearly wrecked by gay rumours broken by the notorious Confidential magazine. Rumours that happened to be true. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband on Mar 22, 2015 - 12 comments

Winter Birdwatching in Jersey City

A short film.
posted by rtha on Mar 16, 2015 - 3 comments

"The Pueblo people orchestrated the unthinkable"

Frontera! Revolt and Rebellion on the Rio Grande (20:06; 2014) is an experimental animated documentary that briefly describes the Narváez, de Niza, Coronado, and Oñate expeditions en route to an account of Po'pay and the Pueblo Revolt. It features music by Greg Landau ("Women of the City" with Omar Sosa) with lyrics and vocals by Deuce Eclipse (SoundCloud; "Que Pasa" with J-Boogie).
posted by Monsieur Caution on Mar 14, 2015 - 4 comments

Pie Fight '69: street theatrical as a soft bomb tossed in protest

"There are several ideas of what happened here this evening. It could have been a fantastic promotion stunt, or a demonstration against the film establishment, but a lot of people think it was actually a motion picture being produced here at the film festival. The only thing sure is that the 13th annual San Francisco Film Festival got off to a smashing start." That's a bit of reporter humor, which accurately captures the diverse goals and ideas behind Pie Fight '69, a most memorable yet virtually forgotten piece of San Francisco's cinema history. The film from a half dozen cameras, run by members of Grand Central Station independent film collective, was lost until 1999. The rediscovered film was cut into a short documentary, which you can see on Archive.org, YouTube, and Vimeo.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 12, 2015 - 2 comments

Why Would Anyone Want to Kill Brianna Wu?

"What anyone can see by looking closely at Wu is an entrepreneurial archetype. She's not a countercultural artist like Quinn or a crusader like Sarkeesian." Inc. profiles Brianna Wu.
The piece mentions Wu's being interviewed for the movie GTFO, a documentary on women and video game culture. The New York Times has just run a feature on the film and its director, Shannon Sun-Higginson.
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 7, 2015 - 63 comments

Love Your Subjects

Albert Maysles, acclaimed documentary filmmaker and pioneer of “direct cinema,” has died at 88. Best known for the films Grey Gardens (previously) and Gimme Shelter (in which he captured the murder of 18 year-old Meredith Hunter by a Hell’s Angel at the Stones’ legendary 1969 Altamont Free Concert), Maysles (along with his brother David) created an astounding array of diverse documentary films including the Beatles first trip to the US and films about Christo, Orson Welles, Jessye Norman, and on and on. His most recent film, about NYC style maven Iris Apfel will be released on April 29th. A film community reflects. [more inside]
posted by chococat on Mar 6, 2015 - 29 comments

The Unknown War

The Unknown War: WWII And The Epic Battles Of The Russian Front, the 20-episode documentary of the Nazi-Germany/Soviet Union conflict, first aired in the United States in 1978 but was subsequently pulled after the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. "The footage was edited from over 3.5 million feet of film taken by Soviet camera crews from the first day of the war, 22 June 1941, to the Soviet entry into Berlin in May 1945. Most of these films have never been seen outside this documentary series." It is available in full (1040 minutes). [more inside]
posted by cwest on Mar 5, 2015 - 24 comments

Two Films of Johan Grimonprez

Johan Grimonprez is a Belgian multimedia artist, filmmaker, and curator. He is most known for two 'not-quite documentary' films which use experimental forms to explore the relationship between media, politics, history, identity, and manipulation in the second half of the twentieth century: 1997's dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y , which traces the history of skyjacking throughout the 20th century using montages, and Double Take, which explores the Cold War through the lens of real and imagined versions of Alfred Hitchcock and Folger's instant coffee commercials. Both are available online. [more inside]
posted by MCMikeNamara on Feb 22, 2015 - 3 comments

The Measure of a Person is What They Do With What They Have

Beginning in 1920, Robert J. Flaherty spent a year in the Canadian Arctic (Port Harrison in Northern Quebec) documenting the daily struggles of an Inuk man named Nanook. The resulting feature-length film, an American silent documentary with elements of docudrama, was the first of its kind, in a style that would eventually become known as "salvage ethnography." Nanook of the North: A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic (1922) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 17, 2015 - 10 comments

"You'll never write about me again."

I know you may not care, but I do. I care about how to tell a personal story like the one I’m about to write, without falling into a million traps laid out in front of you. I’m thinking of the issues of trust and betrayal that come across between a writer and his or her subject. The transfiguration that inevitably takes place in writing. And my friendship with Philip Roth: in which trust was the fundamental condition, despite ambiguity playing a subtler, if ever-present, role.
posted by nevercalm on Feb 7, 2015 - 7 comments

"Come on big dude!"

Florida Man [vimeo] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Feb 6, 2015 - 13 comments

“German Concentration Camps Factual Survey”

In 1945, as Allied troops liberated concentration camps across what had been German-occupied Europe, the British Ministry of Information commissioned a documentary that would provide incontrovertible evidence of the Nazis’ crimes. Producer Sidney Bernstein's cameramen accompanied US, UK and Soviet troops into Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other camps. Six reels of film, known as the German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, were assembled and edited in part by Alfred Hitchcock (supervising director) and Billy Wilder.

The final product "was meant to be a historical document and a teaching tool; among the stated goals of the filmmakers was that it be shown to Germans to prove to them that the horrors of the camps were real." But the project was deemed too politically sensitive and abandoned before it was completed. The finished reels, storyboards and scripts sat in British archives for years. In 1985, PBS Frontline took some of the footage and created a documentary special: "Memory of the Camps." On January 27, 2015, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, HBO aired "Night Will Fall,” (trailer) directed by André Singer, which tells the story of the making of Factual Survey "...through the eyes of people who either filmed it, or through the eyes of the soldiers who first went in, to see what happened in the camps - or through the eyes of surviving victims who were in the camps." Film footage at links is disturbing and possibly NSFW [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2015 - 28 comments

Who Owns the Copyright to Vivian Maier's Photographs?

John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Finding Vivian Maier is nominated for an Academy Award, Best Feature Documentary. Most people have read about the nanny who worked in complete obscurity, yet may be one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th Century. The filmmakers tell the story of her art and also track down people who knew this eccentric and perhaps troubled artist. Meanwhile, and problematically for Maloof and other owners of Maier’s work, it’s one thing to own the negatives and quite another to own copyright that allows for printing and publishing those negatives. Maloof thought he had that covered, but in 2013 that came into question. Finally and most recently (2015), perhaps sensing an opportunity for much-needed revenue, the State of Illinois has belatedly opened a file on the Maier Estate and notified owners and galleries to be prepared for legal inquiry. The documentary is streaming on the major distributors (Netflix, Amazon, GooglePlay).
posted by Short Attention Sp on Jan 24, 2015 - 22 comments

He strives to impress his guest with a collection of blue gifts.

THE EROTIC AND SULTRY DANCE OF THE ADULT BOWERBIRD. (slyt)
posted by theodolite on Jan 24, 2015 - 30 comments

A quick trip downtown and 30 years ago...

"All in all he "shot over 1,900 hours of tape over a period of seven years, capturing himself and his friends in the glossy façade of Manhattan's downtown life... He sought to tape all of New York's citizens, including its outcasts, striving to candidly capture their lives. He taped anything and everything that interested him—outrageous performances in bars and clubs, swinging house parties, chaotic gallery openings, park and street festivals, late-night ruminations of his friends, absurd conversations with taxi drivers, prosaic sunset walks with his dog on the then-still-existing west side piers." Sullivan died of a heart attack in 1989, just as he was preparing to produce his own cable television show." -- Nelson Sullivan's New York City.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 24, 2015 - 12 comments

The Wolfpack

‘The Wolfpack’ Tells of One New York Apartment With Seven Children Locked Inside (NYT). Crystal Moselle's documentary "The Wolfpack," premieres this Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival. A video interview with Crystal Moselle. [more inside]
posted by cwest on Jan 24, 2015 - 13 comments

New York: A Documentary Film

The much esteemed eight-part history of New York City "New York: A Documentary Film" is available. (approximate length 17 hrs. 30 min.) [more inside]
posted by cwest on Jan 16, 2015 - 16 comments

Ballard's stance is that it takes humans to connect humans, not machines

The Hello Machine is a corporate documentary from AT&T that documents the construction of the 1ESS automatic telephone switching system.
posted by boo_radley on Jan 15, 2015 - 22 comments

The World at War

The acclaimed 26-episode WWII documentary "The World at War", produced by Thames Television and aired in 1973-1974, is available in full (clocking in at over 22 and a half hours). [more inside]
posted by cwest on Jan 6, 2015 - 27 comments

Michael Caine on Acting in Film

Michael Caine on Acting in Film is 58 minutes from a 1987 BBC documentary in which Michael Caine teaches some actors about how to adjust their performance for the movie camera instead of the stage. Worth watching if you're interested in acting or movies, or if you just like seeing someone who's very good at his job explaining how he does it. [more inside]
posted by FishBike on Jan 4, 2015 - 25 comments

"Do you want the truth, or what I said?"

Anna Broinowski's acclaimed documentary Forbidden Lies, about literary hoaxer Norma Khouri, is available on YouTube. (TW: family violence) [more inside]
posted by Quilford on Jan 3, 2015 - 10 comments

"Radio as Music"

Glenn Gould's North is an essay about the radio documentaries composed by Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. The most famous are the three "contrapuntal" documentaries which comprise The Solitude Trilogy [available on Spotify and can be purchased on iTunes]. What is contrapuntal radio? The Glenn Gould Foundation explained in series of short podcasts, and a glimpse of Gould's scripts and diagrams may aid understanding, as well as quotes by Gould and others about The Solitude Trilogy. Many have responded to The Solitude Trilogy, from the perspectives of a hermit, mennonite, and a collage artist, whose collage series can be seen here. As the title suggests, The Solitude Trilogy deals with isolation, quietude, loneliness, seclusion and solitude in modern life, but Gould also made documentaries on a variety of musical subjects, such as Richard Strauss and sixties pop singer Petula Clark. Most of his documentaries, including The Solitude Trilogy, are available for listening on the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Links below. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 31, 2014 - 9 comments

"It was just a combination of tragedy and fun I guess you might say"

Southern filmmakers and the Southern Foodways Alliance have partnered to create Counter Histories, a series of shorts documenting the struggle to desegregate Southern restaurants.
posted by Maaik on Dec 29, 2014 - 3 comments

'Happy People' before Herzog

Werner Herzog's 'Happy People' is less a film made by Werner Herzog than a film sculpted by Werner Herzog, as he selected and subsequently narrated ninety-four minutes of material taken from Dmitry Vasyukov's four-hour documentary of the same name. Vasyukov's four episodes, by season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. (SLYTs)
posted by mr. digits on Dec 27, 2014 - 11 comments

Good evening boys and girls and welcome to Largo.

LARGO is a 2008 documentary about the iconoclastic Los Angeles club, which opened in its original incarnation on Fairfax Ave. in 1989. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Dec 23, 2014 - 14 comments

Young Frankenstein at 40: not so young, but still Brooks' finest film

Director Mel Brooks spent a lot of money on white handkerchiefs while making his 1974 tour de farce, Young Frankenstein. "I gave everybody in the crew a white handkerchief," said the 88-year-old comedy legend during a recent phone interview. "I said, 'When you feel like laughing, put this in your mouth.' Every once in a while, I'd turn around and see a sea of white handkerchiefs, and I said, 'I got a hit.'"

Young Frankenstein was more than a hit. It is a comic masterpiece.
An interview with Mel Brooks on the 40th anniversary of Young Frankenstein, with an overview of the events that lead to what Mel Brooks calls 'by far the best movie I ever made.' [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 20, 2014 - 78 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

What does man seek? Whatever it is, it may have died in the Salton Sea.

KQED has been posting its Truly CA documentary videos on YouTube, including Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea, a touching look at the rise and fall of the accidental ocean that is less than 100 years old in its current form, narrated by John Waters and featuring interviews from residents who have seen its better times. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 16, 2014 - 13 comments

Ulf is content.

Meet Ulf. He lives north of the Arctic Circle and makes boat. He swims daily (brief male buttock shot), does household chores, and relaxes. Ulf is content. [10 minutes, Vimeo]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 16, 2014 - 26 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

Grim Never Sleeps

The Grim Sleeper is the name given to a serial killer by the reporter who exposed his existence in 2008. He stalked South Central Los Angeles for 25 years. A new documentary questions the complacency of the police who knew there was a serial killer but didn't warn the community. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches on Dec 12, 2014 - 7 comments

This is Rita, your new landlord

One Year Lease is an 11 minute film that was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival documenting almost entirely through voice mail messages, One Year Lease documents the travails of Brian, Thomas, and Casper as they endure a year-long sentence with Rita, the cat-loving landlady. "
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 11, 2014 - 9 comments

"I don't understand the attitude of not playing your hit, or whatever"

Bose has made a three video series in which musicians talk about making one of their signature songs:
posted by Going To Maine on Dec 9, 2014 - 16 comments

Wes Anderson at 79°S

Welcome to Union Glacier, Antarctica. "There is no great achievement or record broken, nor any real challenge to overcome. Instead [this documentary] concerns minor details; the everyday tasks of the staff that were made more special by the environment surrounding them. And in fact, I think that's what attracted me to make this film — the delightful trivialities of an average life, working in Antarctica." [Vimeo; 53 minutes; you can dip in and out of it]
posted by matthewr on Dec 7, 2014 - 28 comments

Give me a data plate and I'll build you an airplane.

The Supermarine Spitfire is probably the most iconic of all fighter planes. Watch the re-creation of a crashed Spit left on a French beach after the battle of Dunkirk in 1940 in Guy Martin Builds a Spitfire. [1 hr 12 min YouTube]
posted by pjern on Dec 7, 2014 - 24 comments

"Sunday"

On April 9th, 1961, eighteen year old Dan Drasin exited his apartment on MacDougal street and headed to Washington Square Park. He and hundreds of others went to speak out against a recent ban on the performance of music there on Sundays. The NYC Police showed up as well, and the peaceful protest (which the press inexplicably called “The Beatnik Riot”) was captured by Drasin’s camera. He later turned it into the seventeen minute documentary “Sunday”, which can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube. Drasin was recently interviewed and asked to share his thoughts on the protest some fifty years later.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Dec 1, 2014 - 9 comments

The problem is you've never actually known what the question is

The school in Auckland with a radical 'no rules' policy (12:00; 2014) [via] has a little in common with the school in Framingham with a radical 'no curriculum' policy (9:13; 2009) [previously], which has a little in common with the self-directed IT school in Paris for ages 18 to 30 (2:13; 2014), which takes some inspiration from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (excerpt, 12:24; 1981).
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 29, 2014 - 19 comments

Below the Row

Underneath Savile Row, the home of British bespoke tailoring, work goes on that is seldom seen by those that walk along the street. James, apprentice coatmaker and Paul, his master, encapsulate a life dedicated to craft and precision. (SLVimeo)
posted by bswinburn on Nov 24, 2014 - 9 comments

Greil Marcus and Don DeLillo discuss Bob Dylan and Bucky Wunderlick

The following conversation took place in 2005 in front of an audience at the Telluride film festival in Colorado, after a screening of Martin Scorsese’s documentary, Bob Dylan: No Direction Home.
posted by Lorin on Nov 19, 2014 - 6 comments

Foodie presents the story of Allen and Alinea

Allen & Alinea: One Man’s Odyssey Through an Iconic Cookbook
posted by boo_radley on Nov 12, 2014 - 9 comments

"This is it, baby. Hold me."

A decade after Halo 2 (and a day before the MCC), enjoy this loose timeline of essential Halo fandom: Halo.Bungie.Org / Halo at Macworld '99 / Red vs. Blue / The Halo Trilogy in 5 minutes / The Cortana Letters / HBO's cutscene library and dialog databank / Main Menus / Kitty Cat / Warthog Jump (and BOLL's Warthog Launch game) / How Not To Be Seen / Fan Art / Panoramas / The Music of Marty O'Donnell (prev.) / Video Games Live: Halo / Analysis by Stephen Loftus / Who was Brian Morden? / I Love Bees and the ARG radio drama / Halo 2 Trailer / Halo 2 E3 '04 Demo / Full Halo 2 making-of documentary / Voice acting / Conversations from the Universe / The Beastiarum / Surround Sound Test! / Geography of New Mombasa / This Spartan Life / The Solid Gold Elite Dancers / Creepy Guy at Work / Gameplay May Change / Master Chief Sucks at Halo / Another Day at the Beach / '06 Bungie Studios Tour / Halo 3 Trailer / Starry Night / Believe / HALOID / No Scope Was Involved / 100 Ways to Die / "Bungie Favorites" gallery / Mister Chief / OONSK / OneOneSe7en / 2553 Civilian 'Hog Review / Griffball / ForgeHub / 405th Cosplay / Neill Blomkamp's Landfall / Weta's Real-life Warthog / Halo Legends anime anthology / List of Halo novels / Halopedia / Halo 3 Terminal Archive / DDR Dance / Animatronic Elite project / HBO's "Guilt-O-Lantern" contest / Keep It Clean / We Are ODST / Sadie's Story / Halocraft / "A Fistful of Arrows" fan comic / RvB Animated (and CGI) / Project Contingency / Halo Zero / Halo 2600 (prev.) / Reach Datapad Transcripts / The last Halo 2 player on Xbox LIVE / Bungie's Final Halo Stats Infographic / Key & Peele: Obama on Halo 4 / Top 10 Halo Easter Eggs / Behind the scenes of Halo 2 Anniversary
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 10, 2014 - 36 comments

I Don't Know Jack

Friends, family, and co-workers reminisce before the camera in the biographic documentary I Don't Know Jack [~1h30m], about the life and career and character of Jack Nance, best known for playing Henry Spencer in Eraserhead and Pete Martell in Twin Peaks.
posted by hippybear on Nov 7, 2014 - 4 comments

Success is the thing that kills bands. We haven't had any success.

So there's this UK punk band. First wavers, '77. Cohorts of Gang of Four (whose pictures were inadvertently printed on the back of their first album). Rivals of The Clash, to whom their first single was an answer record. Their energy is so gregarious, their working-class politics so pointed but relatable, they make a mark for themselves despite the limitation of barely being able to play. They get to the part where they're supposed to break up or fade away. Instead, they learn to play, to play very well, even. They become an ever-shifting collective, picking up new members, people from The Rolling Stones, or people who'd played with The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, The Cure. They made roaring post-punk records, shimmering power pop, pint-raising Irish/British folk, and booze-saturated country records. They found a fascination with folk music, American country music in particular. Actually, they may have accidentally invented alt-country. Lester Bangs says they're "The most revolutionary group in the history of rock n' roll." Hyperbole? Nah. Hyperbole was when he called them "better than the Beatles." 37 years in, they're still making records that odds are, you either love dearly, or have never heard of at all. They're The Mekons, friend, and Joe Angio's new documentary looks at them in all of their shambling, lovable, raucous glory. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Oct 30, 2014 - 39 comments

I was so taken by the chief

How he can move gigantic marble blocks, but his own movements are light? An excerpt from Il Capo by Yuri Ancarani, which follows a foreman at a marble quarry.
posted by klangklangston on Oct 24, 2014 - 24 comments

Rick Was Here, a short film on the NYU dorm room where Def Jam started

30 years ago, Rick Rubin was a college student, living in NYU's Weinstein Residence Hall, room #712. It was there that Def Jam Records was formed, shifting the focus of hip-hop from the MCs to promote the DJs, too. Rubin and his label quickly outgrew the dorm, and he hasn't been back since. Recently he returned, and the adventure was captured and put into context by Rolling Stone Film's mini-documentary, Rick Was Here. New footage rolls alongside old, with some animations to bring a few audio-only stories to life. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 20, 2014 - 13 comments

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