1027 posts tagged with documentary.
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Dan Treacy/Television Personalities documentary

Dan Treacy and his band Television Personalities have had a long and storied history. Here's a nice little documentary (part one, two, three, four) on 'em. [more inside]
posted by item on May 20, 2008 - 10 comments

The Yellow Shark [NOT MUDSHARK-IST]

In 1993, we said goodbye to Frank Zappa, fallen victim to prostate cancer. A 1993 Today Show interview with Frank. A 1993 BBC documentary about Frank. {Parts 2, 3, 4.} "Outrage at Valdez," from 1993's The Yellow Shark. [Zappa mega-post previously on MeFi]
posted by not_on_display on May 17, 2008 - 43 comments


Koyaanisqatsi [more inside]
posted by phrontist on May 10, 2008 - 72 comments

"creating a hospital without walls"

In a pilot project with Canada's National Film Board, Katerina Cizek is Filmmaker-in-Residence at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital (Flash site with videos). She directed The Interventionists: Chronicles of a Mental Health Crisis Team, a film about a unique crisis team in downtown Toronto. A mental health nurse and a police officer ride the streets of the inner city together in an unmarked police car, responding to 911 calls involving "emotionally disturbed persons." The team is a partnership between St. Michael's Hospital and two downtown police divisions. Their mandate is to de-escalate crises and avoid unnecessary arrests and emergency room visits by providing referrals, services and resources within a patient's own community. [more inside]
posted by heatherann on May 9, 2008 - 12 comments

High Sheriff on my heels. I better get on my way, yes!

The full length of Tom Davenport's "Born for Hard Luck" featuring Peg Leg Sam, the last of the great medicine show singers/dancers/musicians. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on May 8, 2008 - 4 comments

Online Music & Performing Arts Films

Medici.tv is an online "television" dedicated to performing arts and music documentaries. Its current catalogue includes many classical concerts, documentaries by Johan van der Keuken and on the Kinshasa musical underground (previously), portraits (lots of Glenn Gould, Shostakovich by Sokurov, Maya Plisetskaya...), and plenty more. Launched April 30th, it's streaming its full contents in lovely quality for free until May 15th. [more inside]
posted by progosk on May 8, 2008 - 8 comments

Hollywood Chinese

Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films (official site w/Flash) Filmmaker Arthur Dong covers the good (YT), the bad and the players (link to Flash video clips) in his latest award-winning documentary. Related MeFi post.
posted by LinusMines on May 4, 2008 - 19 comments

Rockabilly Rundown

Whole Lotta Shakin' - a PRI documentary series on the history of rockabilly, hosted by Rosie Flores.
posted by Miko on Apr 26, 2008 - 14 comments

Autopsy: Emergency Room

Autopsy: Emergency Room. The three-part Channel 4 series Autopsy: Emergency Room takes you on a unique and fascinating journey through the human body to see what happens when our bodies are damaged or injured. Previously: Autopsy: Life & Death and an a brief article on Dr. Von Hagens.
posted by elpapacito on Apr 19, 2008 - 3 comments

The Grace Lee project

The Grace Lee Project Inspired by the Jennifer 8. Lee post, here goes Grace Lee. She's a filmmaker who made a documentary about women named Grace Lee.
posted by fixedgear on Apr 17, 2008 - 16 comments

Sick Around the World

Sick Around the World, the newest documentary piece produced by PBS's Frontline asks: "Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system?" Having previously shared a Pulitzer Prize with The New York Times, and produced such quality programs as Bush's War, this should be well worth a mere hour of your time.
posted by aheckler on Apr 15, 2008 - 144 comments

Stranger with a Camera

What happens when a US President declares war on a concept? In 1964, Canadian photojournalist Hugh O'Connor traveled to eastern Kentucky to document the battlefields of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty and was shot for trespassing. The incident is the subject of a wonderful documentary, Stranger with a Camera by filmmaker Elizabeth Barrett, produced by Appalshop, a non-profit organization in Whitesburg, Kentucky, that works with local artists to promote self-representation in media and the expediency of culture to counteract a stagnating local economy. Makes you think twice about nostalgic representations of poor Appalachian coal miners plucking their banjo strings in the hollers, doesn't it?
posted by billtron on Apr 15, 2008 - 14 comments

Here is the best part. You have a head start. If you are among the very young at heart.

Young@Heart. What started as a 2006 British television documentary and became an audience favorite at the Los Angeles and Sundance film festivals in 2007 and 2008 opens across the United States this weekand will soon open in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Australia. The opening sequence showing Eileen Hall , then 92 , singing the 1982 hit from punk-rock group The Clash provided the inspiration for director Stephen Walker when he first saw the group on stage in London in 2005. Besides giving new meaning to lyrics from popular hits, the film is comedic and poignant as it explores friendship, old age and death.
posted by mrducts on Apr 13, 2008 - 24 comments

Super High Me.

In his effort to shed light on medical marijuana use, comedian Doug Benson documents not smoking pot for 30 days and then smoking pot for 30 days in a row in Super High Me.
posted by gman on Apr 13, 2008 - 86 comments

Carlos Castaneda And The Shaman.

Carlos Castaneda And The Shaman. A BBC documentary on the anthropologist, best-selling author, con-artist, drug guru and cult leader: Carlos Castaneda. (google video, 1 hour)
posted by empath on Apr 12, 2008 - 59 comments

The Documentary Blog

Do you love documentaries? The Documentary Blog offers reviews and news about documentary films. Check out their list of the Top 25 Documentaries.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Mar 27, 2008 - 52 comments

Bush's War

In honor of the 5-year anniversary of the Iraq War, PBS' Frontline presented a fantastic 2- part special on the issue this past Monday and Tuesday. It is now available in it's entirety online along with interview transcripts from senior officials, a video timeline of the war, and battlefield stories from soldiers. Bush's War
posted by auralcoral on Mar 26, 2008 - 100 comments

Old Folks' Homes

Bert Teunissen - Domestic Landscapes. Photographs of (mostly) senior citizens in their living rooms and kitchens. [more inside]
posted by ceiriog on Mar 25, 2008 - 17 comments

The Trap on the Google Video

Adam Curtis' "The Trap" is a documentary broadcast in 2007 on BBC exploring the development of modern concepts of individual freedom.
[Google video links] Episode one: F#@^ You, Buddy; Episode two: The Lonely Robot; Episode Three: We Will Force you to be Free [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 21, 2008 - 33 comments

The 400 Million

The 400 Million 四萬萬人民 - China, 1938 (53 minutes / sound / black&white / 35mm) Directed: Joris Ivens. Camera: ROBERT CAPA. Parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 "The Japanese aggression against China in 1937 forced the Chinese communists and Chiang Kai-shek's Kwomintang to take up the joint battle against their common enemy. With modern weapons the Chinese are pursuing their struggle behind enemy lines. This film shows all aspects of a war: the battle, the preparations, refugees, casualties and victims, the fear and distress, the human misery and the courage, and the land under fire."
posted by vronsky on Mar 20, 2008 - 8 comments

Possessed, A Short Documentary About Hoarders

POSSESSED is a short documentary film that 'enters the complicated worlds of four hoarders; people whose lives are dominated by their relationship to possessions'.
posted by jack_mo on Mar 7, 2008 - 44 comments

MC5 - A True Testimonial

Here it is, MC5 - A True Testimonial, the controvertial documentary about 'the loudest, the baddest, the most outrageous bunch of get-down white brothers the nation had yet seen.' by David C. Thomas, in three parts. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Mar 5, 2008 - 12 comments

Writers on Screenwriting

Word Into Image: Writers on Screenwriting {youtube}
William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) (1 2 3)
Robert Towne (Chinatown) (1 2 3)
Carl Foreman (High Noon) (1 2 3)
Neil Simon (The Odd Couple) (1 2 3)
Paul Mazursky (An Unmarried Woman) (1 2 3)
Eleanor Perry (The Swimmer) (1 2 3)
posted by dobbs on Feb 22, 2008 - 9 comments

RIP, Tony Silver, director of Style Wars

Tony Silver, the director of the groundbreaking hip-hop documentary Style Wars passed last night. He was a family friend of mine, and had been sick for several years with a irreversible brain condition. Style Wars is considered by some to be the best hip-hop film ever made, and by everyone to be the first. It was shot at the very start of the 1980s, when graffiti was still hip-hop's dominant form, and the idea of graffiti as art was brand new. I recommend checking out the deluxe DVD edition of the film Tony put together a few years ago after many years where it was only available as an expensive educational-only VHS, but you can also check out the 1hr 10m version on Google Video.
posted by YoungAmerican on Feb 2, 2008 - 15 comments

The Mindscape of Alan Moore

The Mindscape of Alan Moore. Documentary featuring interview with comic book writer Alan Moore. More interviews. (previously)
posted by MythMaker on Feb 1, 2008 - 19 comments

A World Awaits Inside Your Computer

Second Skin [is a documentary that] takes an intimate look at computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging genre of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs). [more inside]
posted by Dave Faris on Jan 31, 2008 - 29 comments

Also starring: several telephones, puddles, scarecrows, saxophones, orchestrated cities and motors.

Its animated-type opening credits set the tone - and when, soon after, Jonas Mekas stumbles in, explaining his version of the butterfly-wing theory, you know this is a different kind of rock-movie. Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel's 1990 music film "Step Across the Border" matches 35mm black&white cinema direct to several seasons of poly-instrumentalist Fred Frith's round-the-globe improvisational jams (with the likes of Joey Baron, Iva Bitová, Arto Lindsay, John Zorn and others). A big-wig at Cahiers du Cinema has it in his top-ten - now you can watch this masterpiece of visual jazz online (or do yourself a favour and get the DVD). (Thanks to Vincent Moon for the heads-up.)
posted by progosk on Jan 31, 2008 - 10 comments

We're friends now!

PBS Frontline explores Growing Up Online. Here's what they learned.
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 31, 2008 - 43 comments

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

The Return of a Clockwork Orange - Writers, artists, directors, UK film censors and starring actor Malcolm McDowell discuss Stanley Kubrick's classic film A Clockwork Orange
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 28, 2008 - 121 comments

The Saddam Sessions

Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2008 - 24 comments

Soft Focus: Interviews with some damn fine and/or interesting musicians

For the last year, the Vice TV program Soft Focus has presented an assortment of "discussions about art, culture, politics, personal history, personal feelings, fashion, and the like" with a series of noteworthy musicians. Host Ian Svenonius manages to wrangle dialogue with of some of the music world's most colorful and idiosyncratic characters: The Fall's Mark E. Smith, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, The Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder, Crass' Penny Rimbaud, Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV's Genesis P. Orridge, Cat Power's Chan Marshall, Thee Headcoats' Billy Childish, The Specials' Terry Hall, Andrew WK, Fugazi's Ian Mackaye, and Palace/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's Will Oldham. [more inside]
posted by item on Jan 27, 2008 - 21 comments

Planet Earth Parody

Fuck Planet Earth. The extreme beauty of the popular Planet Earth series comes alive with this comedic bit that simply repeats the F-bomb to great effect. [more inside]
posted by mathowie on Jan 26, 2008 - 106 comments

Parallel Worlds

Another Country is the name of Chicago Tribune photographer Scott Strazzante's long-term documentary project. Presented in diptych form, he shows the lives of two subjects on the same piece of land separated only by time. From the Cagwin family farm to a sleepy suburban Chicago subdivision, the striking images magically embody the old saying- the more things change, the more they stay the same. [more inside]
posted by TheGoldenOne on Jan 26, 2008 - 28 comments

"My Fake Baby"

"My Fake Baby" is a Channel 4 documentary exploring "the lives of women who spend hundreds of pounds on life-like baby dolls. Loved like real babies, they're taken for walks, cuddled and even have their nappies changed." Parts 2, 3, 4, 5.
posted by Avenger50 on Jan 6, 2008 - 68 comments

Billy the Kid

Meet Billy the kid, an outsider growing up in small-town Maine.
posted by JPowers on Jan 5, 2008 - 18 comments

True Films

"This is the third version of a guide I have been developing for the past 5 years. It takes the 200 best documentaries I have reviewed on my website True Films and puts them into one handy book." Free as a PDF download, Kevin Kelly's book True Films.
posted by Armitage Shanks on Dec 29, 2007 - 12 comments

The Grinch

You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch l The Grinch Song lyrics. l How the Grinch Stole Christmas documentary: a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this perennial favorite. Featuring never-before-seen animation tests and interviews with director Chuck Jones, Audrey Geisel (Dr. Seuss' widow), composer Albert Hague, vocalist Thurl Ravenscroft, and Seuss aficionados Tim Burton & Danny Elfman, this 1994 special from cable channel TNT contains a sleigh-load of information for Grinch fans. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 22, 2007 - 12 comments

Skateboard Kings of Southern California

Skateboard Kings is a 1978 BBC documentary about the Dogtown skateboarding scene in late 70's Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Featuring a lot of footage of the skaters' daily life as well as an exploration of the business side of skateboarding, the documentary is a time capsule of late 70's Southern California. For more about Dogtown go to z-boys.com. [previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus on Nov 29, 2007 - 10 comments

Political correctness drives me around a twist.

God's Waiting Room is a British documentary about the daily struggles of Haji Taslim Funerals, the first European Muslim Funeral Directors, and how they work to honor the requirements of ancient faith while cutting through the red tape of modern death. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Nov 26, 2007 - 6 comments


Atom. -- The Clash of the Titans -- The Key to the Cosmos -- The Illusion of Reality
posted by empath on Nov 24, 2007 - 20 comments

ten second rule...

Raven and Jason live together in Vancouver's downtown East Side. A touching short documentary about life on the edge.
posted by Flashman on Nov 23, 2007 - 72 comments

Pete Seeger condemns Stalin...

The pleasant but hagiographical Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (production company website w/ trailer) is playing in New York and Los Angeles. The movie is entirely uncritical... prompting this response by Ron Radosh who is interviewed in the film, but whose critical comments were left out. But most interesting is this followup article by Radosh describing Seeger's response and a new song against Stalin. The filmmaker comes out worst in Radosh's account... [more inside]
posted by Jahaza on Nov 16, 2007 - 22 comments

The unreleased 1998 documentary "Frat House"

In 1997, Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland created a film documenting the savagely brutal hazing rituals that take place during Hell Week at U.S. college fraternities. Frat House was completed and won the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries at 1998's Sundance Film Festival, an award that was later rescinded. HBO was slated to air it later that year, but pulled it for reasons that remain debatable to this day. It has never seen an official release.

Frat House (60 minutes, Google video, ) [more inside]
posted by item on Nov 8, 2007 - 66 comments

Feline History Moment

Finally, the Ben Burrns history of the LOLcat.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan on Nov 2, 2007 - 37 comments

Opera by Gorillaz about Monkey

Damon & Jamie's Excellent Adventure is a documentary following the Gorillaz' boys - Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett - as they attempt to make an opera based on classic Chinese novel Journey to the West [or for them - the 70s television show Monkey]. The documentary follows the two year process with a decent section on Albarn's approach to learning a new form of music.
posted by meech on Oct 26, 2007 - 8 comments

Favela Rising

Favela Rising is a recent documentary exploring the AfroReggae (in Portuguese) movement and the amazing story of one of its founders, Anderson Sa. AfroReggae (MySpace page has music on) was born in the Vigário Geral favela as a way to give the community an alternative to the drug trade and to fight police oppression. [more inside]
posted by otherwordlyglow on Oct 11, 2007 - 8 comments

Why Democracy?

Why Democracy? "In October 2007, ten one-hour films focused on contemporary democracy will be broadcast in the world's largest ever factual media event. More than 40 broadcasters on all continents are participating, with an estimated audience of 300 million viewers. Each of the broadcasters - an A-Z which includes everyone from Al Arabiya to ZDF - will be producing a locally-based seasons of film, radio, debate and discussion to tie in with the global broadcast of the Why Democracy? films."
posted by St Urbain's Horseman on Oct 5, 2007 - 21 comments

100 wallets dropped in front of hidden cameras to test honesty...

Wallettest. "...Each of the 100 wallets contained $2.10 in real money, a fake $50.00 gift certificate, some miscellaneous items and a clearly written ID card identifying the lost wallet's rightful owner. We were curious as to how honest people would be and wanted to see how different groups would compare to each other. For example, who would return the wallets more often... men or women? Young or old?" Results.
posted by goo on Oct 3, 2007 - 103 comments

Time capsule like God's shoeshine.

A previously unreleased documentary [Google video, 37 min.] of Modest Mouse shot during the recording sessions for their 1997 album The Lonesome Crowded West.
posted by Neilopolis on Sep 29, 2007 - 19 comments

The South Bank Show

The South Bank Show is the longest running arts show on television. Melvyn Bragg has presented an eclectic mix of televisual joy since 1978. SBS has presented in-depth portraits of many different types of artists during this time, covering a huge range of topics. From high art to low art, classical music to pop music, canonical literature to airport blockbusters it has offered some of the most insightful and enjoyable arts programming around. Much youtubery awaits inside [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Sep 27, 2007 - 16 comments

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