1027 posts tagged with documentary.
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We won't be like that again.

Behind The Rent Strike [YouTube playlist; six parts of 50ish min. documentary] Nick Broomfield's graduation piece, a documentary on the 14-month rent strike by the people of Kirkby New Town, near Liverpool, which began in late 1973 in response (it wasn't the only one) to the Heath government's Housing Finance Act. Broomfield gets plenty of insight from local people and examines the social conditions behind the events. Great viewing of good film-making and an opportunity for a bit of nostalgia if you're a viewer from round that way.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 26, 2009 - 8 comments

Short films, court métrages and more from up north

Mentioned here earlier in its beta form, Canada's National Film Board has released the bulk of its films online, for free, in the NFB Screening Room. With hundreds of films from the 1920s onwards, including groundbreaking work by animator Norman McLaren, documentaries, dramas, bizarre anti-smoking (or pro-smoking?) screeds and much, much more, it's a breathtaking trove of amazing film to be discovered from north of the 49th. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Jan 22, 2009 - 53 comments

The Haunted World of Ed Wood Jr.

The Haunted World of Ed Wood Jr. [1hr 52mn. From YouTube Movies. Previously] [more inside]
posted by McLir on Jan 16, 2009 - 6 comments

Moon Machines

Spacesuits ll LunarRover ll NavigationComputer ll LunarModule ll SaturnV First aired on Discovery channel as part of Space Week, Moon Machines tells the story of the over 400,000 engineers and technicians that made it possible for us to go to the moon. Lots of gorgeous Nasa archival footage throughout.
posted by vronsky on Jan 10, 2009 - 14 comments

Foley split-screen, Batman!

Track Stars: The Unseen Heros of Movie Sound (1979) 10 min., 16mm, Terry Burke and Andy Malcolm. A split screen contains on one side an action thriller while on the other side two sound effects artist keep their eyes on the playback and work their tails off. [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Jan 8, 2009 - 25 comments

"Shh! ...Did you hear that?"

"Did you hear a stalk of celery being cut? If you did, you understand the magic of the Foley Artist." A short film that is just too long about silent films from the previously mentioned podcast You Look Nice Today
posted by Del Far on Jan 8, 2009 - 19 comments

My Day Yesterday

My Day Yesterday. A Flickr set of short (under 90 seconds) videos which describe... a person's day. The instructions, as outlined by Garrett Murray, who started the group with this video: "Shoot video throughout a day in your life, then put it together and upload it the next day. Don't add any music or sound effects, just use what the camera recorded." Some favourites: Delphine Gilbert in Cordoba, Dean Allen in France, and Piotr/presentday in Florence.
posted by jokeefe on Jan 2, 2009 - 25 comments

glimpses of the African Rock n' Roll Years

Clips from the BBC documentary, The African Rock n' Roll Years - Part 1 l Part 2 l Part 3 l Part 4 l Part 5 l Part 6 - a six-part series mixing interviews with key artists, concert footage and news archives, the series examines and explains the "styles that make up the continent's music, and the political and social pressures that led to their development." BBC documentary details. Found in YouTube member, Duncanzibar's, good collection of mostly African music videos. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 30, 2008 - 9 comments

refugees from the West who stayed East

Hippie Masala [masala is the Hindi word for spice mix] is a documentary which poignantly depicts the lives of a handful of old hippies from different countries, who not only remained in India but also remained in the caricature roles of a small few in those days. These are, in some ways, lost souls stuck in the amber of the 1960's and 70's and this movie offers glimpses into their lives now. SnagFilms also has 510 other excellent documentaries to watch for free online. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 27, 2008 - 24 comments


"If you lose your eye and have a hole in your head, then why not stick a camera in there?" [more inside]
posted by piratebowling on Dec 13, 2008 - 38 comments

P.O.V. - Inheritance

Imagine watching Schindler's List and knowing the sadistic Nazi camp commandant played by Ralph Fiennes was your father. Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth. Hertwig has spent her life in the shadow of her father's sins, trying to come to terms with her "inheritance." She seeks out Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, who was enslaved by Goeth and who is one of the few living eyewitnesses to his unspeakable brutality.

Trailer. | PBS P.O.V. - Inheritance home page. | Interview with the filmmaker. | Watch the full film online. (December 11, 2008 - January 4, 2009.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Dec 10, 2008 - 14 comments

The Howard Years

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was booted out in the 2007 elections. He had been Prime Minister for 11 years and in that time he had taken the country to war and divided the country on issues like Aboriginal reconciliation and workplace reforms. The Howard Years, a four part documentary originally screened on the ABC, is now online and available to view for free and takes a detailed look at the legacy of his Prime Ministership. The four part series explores in greater detail than ever before Howard's fractured relationship with his deputy and heir apparent, Peter Costello, and also contains some startling revelations from Howard Government ministers that many candidly admit they would never have told you while they were still in Government.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 8, 2008 - 32 comments

History, Humanity, Philosophy

Human, All Too Human
posted by cthuljew on Dec 3, 2008 - 26 comments

One Pair of Eyes

Architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham loved Los Angeles. (Last link is a BBC documentary, circa 1972, 52 minutes -- NSFW at 47 minute mark) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 1, 2008 - 2 comments

Stand By Me

Playing for Change - Peace Through Music (flash) is a documentary film by Mark Johnson. He traveled the world and recorded various musicians playing the song Stand By Me. Each musician was charged with layering a single song over the previous artist thus building upon it. Over thirty musicians globally participated in this project and not one artist knew the other or came in contact initially. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Nov 23, 2008 - 13 comments

The Tone Generation, A Radio History of Electronic Music

The Tone Generation is a radio series by Ian Helliwell 'looking at different themes or composers in the era of analogue tape and early synthesizer technology'. The original globe-trotting series: Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, USA, Canada, Rest of World. Bonus programmes: Expo 58, The RCA Synthesizer. All links are to MP3 files, except the first one. Alternatively, you can slurp down the lot in one go by subscribing to the podcast feed.
posted by jack_mo on Nov 21, 2008 - 4 comments

From Cold Sweat to the Mothership, Ain't It Funky

Ain't It Funky is a BBC-produced documentary from 2005 with lots of great performance footage and interviews, as well as period footage from the civil rights era for some historical perspective. James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and many of their key sidemen are featured. Highly recommended. part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. These same YT clips can also be found all together, embedded at Funk Deli. NOTE: Unfortunately, the audio and video are slightly out of sync on part 1. Parts 2 through 8 lock up just fine, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 10, 2008 - 18 comments

Life in the Tunnel - Dark Days

Sunday Morning Movie - A moving and fascinating documentary, Dark Days is on Google Video. Marc Singer lived in the tunnel, and started filming with the help of his fellow tunnel dwellers. Trivia here. Inevitable Wikipedia link here. [more inside]
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Nov 9, 2008 - 19 comments

Director Peter Watkins on the Hollywood Monoform

Director Peter Watkins' web site describes the filming, distribution and critical reaction to each of his controversial films, including Punishment Park, the rock star satire Privilege, The War Game, La Commune and more. He also offers a 10-part critique of "the media crisis" that marginalizes non-mainstream ideas via the Hollywood monoform and the Universal Clock, a style he claims structures almost all of the messages delivered to the public, but which sharply limits the range of relationships possible between media producers and audiences. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 3, 2008 - 7 comments

The Women of ENIAC

It's hardly the case today (unless you live in Iran), but once upon a time, all computer programmers were female. While the (male) engineers who built ENIAC, the world's first modern computer, became famous and lauded, the six women who actually programmed ENIAC have been largely overlooked. Now a team of researchers and programmers is trying to raise money to tell the story of these pioneering women in a new documentary, before it's too late. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Oct 23, 2008 - 25 comments


Flow of Time is a BBC documentary that "tries to explain time and covers the different ways we have used to understand Time, religion, mathematics, relativity, and quantum mechanics." Part 1, 2, 3, 4
posted by nola on Oct 21, 2008 - 10 comments

Verve Photo

Verve Photo. Photographer and photo editor Geoffrey Hiller has created Verve to feature photos and interviews by the finest young image makers today. Verve is a reminder of the power of the still image. Verve will also point you to new photo agencies, publications and inspiring multimedia projects.
posted by chunking express on Oct 20, 2008 - 6 comments

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room It's been a few years since this documentary came out, and if you haven't seen it yet, you must. Just click and watch. The film is artistically made, enlightening, and ultimately infuriating. It takes on greater resonance in light of the current economic climate. (Too many previous posts to list.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Oct 18, 2008 - 70 comments

The Weather Underground

Before it was a website, the Weather Underground[google video, 90 mins] was an off-shoot militant wing of the Students for a Democratic Society. It was responsible for a series of bombings of government buildings, banks and corporate HQ's, as well as Timothy Leary's breakout from prison. They eventually turned themselves in, but few were convicted of any crime, due to misconduct by federal authorities tasked with investigating them. [previously]
posted by empath on Oct 11, 2008 - 81 comments

I Am Not Tom's Friend

Will You Be My Friend [Flash]
posted by MiltonRandKalman on Oct 9, 2008 - 12 comments

Free for All!

"One dude's quest to save democracy!" Free for All! is a new documentary about the 2004 Ohio election results, which decided the presidential winner. It covers some familiar ground, but also a lot of details you might have missed. You can see it in theaters on October 8, or view it online right now. Here's Roger Ebert's review.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Oct 4, 2008 - 28 comments

This one's for the history nerds

The Brothers Warner premiering nationally via PBS this week. From Rin Tin Tin to Eastwood, the story of the original Hollywood independent filmmakers.
posted by ms.jones on Sep 23, 2008 - 6 comments

Sophie Can Walk

Sophie Can Walk, a documentary that chronicles "the prejudice faced by baby-Americans born without the ability to walk" (Via BoingBoing)
posted by Del Far on Sep 18, 2008 - 11 comments

Satan rocks

Heavy Metal Jr is an amusing & sweet little documentary about a heavy metal band called Hatred, average age 11.
posted by dydecker on Sep 16, 2008 - 32 comments

From beautiful downtown Gondwanaland!

Gary Owens (previously) and Eric Boardman on dinosaurs: "More Dinosaurs," 1, 2, 3. "Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs," 1, 2, 3. "Son of Dinosaurs," (featuring Jimmy Stewart) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Not dinosaurs, but still cool: "Prehistoric World," 1, 2, 3. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 13, 2008 - 5 comments

Little Hands - Documentary Short

"Little Hands offers a glimpse into the lives of a group of deaf children at a Danish 'fritidshjem,' a recreation centre where they meet after school."

A fascinating short documentary, approximately 17minutes.
posted by chimaera on Sep 10, 2008 - 12 comments

Swastika Tube

Spiegel TV has tracked down rare Nazi TV footage, complete with everything from bizarre cabaret acts to interviews with people like Albert Speer. Pop culture done by Nazis, the banality of showbiz evil. [more inside]
posted by hortense on Aug 28, 2008 - 29 comments

Hands on a Hard Body

"It's a human drama thing." This is a documentary film about a group of people in Texas who enter a competition to win a new "hardbody" pickup truck, merely by keeping one hand on the truck the longest. (via Kottke via waxy) [more inside]
posted by acro on Aug 25, 2008 - 44 comments

Transvestite Wives

Transvestite Wives is a documentary: Part 1, and Part 2.
posted by chunking express on Aug 21, 2008 - 30 comments

Reformat the Planet

It started with sequencing 8-bit chipsets on Nintendo Game Boys, but the Chiptune scene has now expanded well beyond game systems. Reformat the Planet is the essential introduction to this awesome new genre, and proves it's more than just a blip. This week only you can watch the feature length documentary in its entirety on Pitchfork.tv. [more inside]
posted by sveskemus on Aug 19, 2008 - 71 comments

Woody Allen vs. Jean-Luc Godard

Meetin' WA "At once sublime and witty, the 26 minutes of Meetin' WA consist of an interview Jean-Luc Godard conducted in 1986 with Woody Allen, the director of What's Up, Tigerlilly and Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story (and soon to be featured in the final moments of Godard's abortive Cannon Pictures' King Lear). The chat itself is amiable enough; certainly avoiding any conceivable adversarial notes; but this, along with the New York setting (giving Allen the home field advantage as it were) does nothing to prevent a visible anxiety from growing on the part of the filmmaker as the interview goes on."
posted by vronsky on Aug 14, 2008 - 6 comments

Hazel Eyed-Chic-Sleek-gorgeously glamorous twinkle Toed Charmer of the Silver Screen

Bollywood, the 1960s and 70s: "For years, the favorite setting for the big dance number has been a cabaret, with its atmosphere of forbidden liquor and sexual permissiveness, with its mixed audience of privileged Indians, industrialists, playboys, princes, and its foreign decadence..." And no one was more at home this exotic milieu than an Anglo-Burmese refugee who began dancing in films at 13 to support her family. Her pale skin and vaguely foreign looks, along with a collection of colored contacts and wigs, allowed her to play white women, Asian women, whatever titillating role was called for. She was Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls (part 2, part 3, part 4). [more inside]
posted by bookish on Aug 10, 2008 - 24 comments

Drew's Documentaries

"The First Gaze" - Armed with a rudimentary portable movie camera, Robert Drew captured JFK's presidential campaign with unprecedented candor. The resulting film, 1960's Primary, helped introduce cinéma vérité to American journalism. [more inside]
posted by needsnoprosecutor on Aug 8, 2008 - 1 comment

What is the ideal woman of the moment?

"We replicate what the perfect girl is." (SLYTP) No nudity, but may be NSFW.
posted by desjardins on Aug 4, 2008 - 59 comments

Stanley Kubrick's Boxes

Stanley Kubrick's Boxes: is it possible to get to understand such a man – and his extraordinary working methods – by looking through the hundreds of boxes he left behind? [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Aug 2, 2008 - 18 comments

"It doesn't really seem that long ago."

Home Movies. A 1975 documentary by a young academic folklorist, exploring what it was that people were doing when they made home movies: remembering selectively, creating a "golden age." [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 21, 2008 - 20 comments

The Black Godfather

Agile Mobile Hostile [ Mov. file] A year with Andre Williams the documentary. The wiki entry, some clips from the film. [more inside]
posted by nola on Jun 29, 2008 - 11 comments

War-porn clearinghouse

Real Military Flix. Documentaries, combat clips, full-length movies. For all your warporn needs. Iraq/Afghanistan firefights. The Great War etc..
posted by stbalbach on Jun 26, 2008 - 6 comments

Jack Sheldon...Oh Yes!

Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon Who is Jack Sheldon? You may remember him as Merv Griffin's comedic trumpet-wielding sidekick, or the indelible voice on School House Rock (etc.), but musicians know him as a jazz giant. Unlike his close friend and collaborator, Chet Baker, Jack Sheldon survived the demons of drugs, alcohol and unspeakable personal tragedy...
A documentary film by Penny Peyser and Doug McIntyre. (multiple YT clips in description; official site contains Flash audio)
posted by LinusMines on Jun 25, 2008 - 6 comments

Don't Say It Can't Be Done! -- This Brave Nation

Pete Seeger and Majora Carter sit down together and bridge the generational gap with a discussion on environmentalism, activism, history, and music. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jun 24, 2008 - 19 comments

Watch the story

Watch the story. Still photography and narrative as documentary.
posted by tristeza on Jun 21, 2008 - 7 comments

Would you like more cheese for your Lagermelt?

Lagerfeld Confidential documents the daily life of everyone's favorite eccentric fashion mogul and head of Chanel: Karl Lagerfeld (warning: peacock terms). Guaranteed to be brimming with more karlquotes than you can wave a fan at. [more inside]
posted by Count on Jun 16, 2008 - 16 comments

Start-up Junkies

Start-up Junkies. An eight-part documentary on hulu about the genesis and growth of a multi-million dollar startup company.
posted by norabarnacl3 on May 24, 2008 - 16 comments

Poor people drive our economy, okay? Poor people ... with checks.

"America's most valuable resource is poor people." The award-winning Internets Celebrities (Dallas Penn, Rafi Kam and director Casimir Nozkowski) take on check cashing joints with a short documentary called Checkmate. Don't know the IC? Educate yourself with Bodega, Cereal Is Dope and the incredibly informative Urine Nation. (via Hip-Hop is Read)
posted by grabbingsand on May 22, 2008 - 23 comments

The Skunk Whisperer

Canadian author Lesley Choyce and his family share their extended encounter with a surfeit of skunks in a short documentary, avaible on YouTube in three parts. [more inside]
posted by CKmtl on May 21, 2008 - 3 comments

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