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Thirty Errol Morris movies that can be streamed

Inside, please find a list of twenty-eight movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Errol Morris and two movies about Errol Morris, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 23, 2014 - 27 comments

ref. Claude Lévi-Strauss

The trailer for the 2012 documentary The Raw and the Cooked stands alone as a work of art, by capturing perfectly the best scenes from this beautiful film. Created by German filmmaker Monika Treut. Background.
posted by growabrain on Apr 20, 2014 - 9 comments

My friend, if we go in the ditch you ain't fuckin' around with Chrysler.

In 1984, the Canadian branch of the United Auto Workers, represented by Bob White, and General Motors Canada, represented by Rod Andrew, sat down to negotiate a new wage agreement. GM had gotten the American UAW to agree to profit sharing and was dead-set on doing the same in the North; the Canadians were bitterly opposed to the idea. By the end of the negotiation, workers had struck, negotiators had been stabbed in the back, White and his allies had split from the UAW to form the CAW, and a compromise was reached that left everyone a bit unhappy - but the workers less so than their managers. Filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson used his unprecedented access to both teams of negotiators to craft Final Offer, "the best collective bargaining film ever made." You can stream the movie in its entirety at the National Film Board's website.
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 13, 2014 - 9 comments

I don't know what a spangle is to this day and now I can't ask him

Good Grief, an animated short film from Australia about the process of grieving and the lessons learned from adjusting to loss, made using stop-motion animation and recorded interviews with real people.
posted by acb on Apr 13, 2014 - 5 comments

Apparently, "Orange is the New Black" doesn't pay that much.

Kate Mulgrew (aka Captain Janeway) is narrating a new documentary called "The Principle", which posits that the Sun really does revolve around the earth. The film is the product of Robert Sungenis, who maintains the website Galileo is Wrong (previously). Geeks are understandably confused.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Apr 7, 2014 - 214 comments

Scattered Remnants of the Ship Could Be Seen in the Distance

"You'd see Britt and Brian and they were just like, little kids standing around with terrifying giant skinheads and weird dudes in dresses, it was heaven .... Slint were a unique band." [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Apr 7, 2014 - 10 comments

Real Change

Homelessness in America Award-winning documentary by Michael Becker. (Vimeo)
posted by vac2003 on Apr 5, 2014 - 4 comments

the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power.

"Anita", a documentary by director Freida Mock, which opened in New York and Los Angeles last weekend, looks back on the journey of Anita Hill, who famously testified that her former boss and then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. Trailer [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 27, 2014 - 33 comments

Formula One Racing documentaries, from the first days to the present

It's only one race into the 2014 Formula One season, and if you're interested in knowing more about this world of specialized racing cars, there was a roundup of documentaries on Reddit last year. While the links are all dead, it's a handy guide to films you can find online. For your viewing pleasure... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 23, 2014 - 15 comments

From the Merchants of Cool to Generation Like

'The media is a chaotic place. Like an ocean or a weather system, it no longer respects authority. In fact, those who attempt to impose their authority are ridiculed, while brilliant and valuable tidbits emerge from the most remote and seemingly inconsequential sources.... Younger, media-savvy viewers instinctively reject authoritative voices and laugh at commercials in which people try to act "cool." ' That was Douglas Rushkoff's assessment of companies courting the youth demographic as covered in print in 2000, and the next year in video as the PBS Frontline documentary, Merchants of Cool (streaming documentary; prev: 1, 2, 3, 4). Earlier this year, Rushkoff revisited the topic with PBS in Generation Like (streaming documentary), in a time when young people are generally happy to tell the world what brands they like as a way of identifying who they are. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 20, 2014 - 44 comments

"I guess I’m an artist. That’s my super power."

A short and sweet 10-minute documentary on musician and artist Daniel Johnston. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 6, 2014 - 14 comments

honor bound to defend freedom

Writing In The Gray Areas - "Are some acts so revolting that the people who commit them do not deserve a hearing?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 27, 2014 - 22 comments

And the winner is...

Life After Pi : How Rythm & Hues declared bankruptcy and 11 days later won an Oscar for their work on 'Life of Pi' (SLYT). [more inside]
posted by PenDevil on Feb 26, 2014 - 23 comments

Basketball Diplomacy

Dennis Rodman, the Harlem Globetrotters, and a crew from Vice visit the DPRK.
posted by holmesian on Feb 24, 2014 - 32 comments

Documentaries and talks from the USC US-China Center

The University of Southern California's US-China Institute has a huge number of videos on YouTube regarding China, Taiwan, history, global diplomacy, etc. [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Feb 22, 2014 - 2 comments

Tim Burton's Batman, the opposite of Pee-wee's Big Adventure

This year marks the 25th anniversary of 1989 Batman movie, which is remembered for everything from the logo "that helped set the course for superhero movies" to the ways the movie was true to the comics, or was really a "noir" update to the 1960s Adam West Batman. While preparing yourself for what may come in the lead-up to the June 23 anniversary date, enjoy Batman: The Making of a Hero documentary, a rare 25 minutes behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, from the folks at 1989 Batman, a fansite dedicated to the movie, and its sequel, Batman Returns. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 19, 2014 - 48 comments

Unhung Hero

Patrick Moote's marriage proposal was rejected in front of a large crowd at a UCLA basketball game. When he asked his former girlfriend why, she told him it was because his penis was too small, which led to him creating a cockumentary called Unhung Hero. [more inside]
posted by gman on Feb 17, 2014 - 151 comments

American Promise

American Promise is a PBS documentary (live streaming through March 6) that follows two middle class African-American boys, Idris and Seun, who enter The Dalton School as young children, and follows them for 13 years. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 16, 2014 - 14 comments

Follow the red dot.

Yesterday saw the surprise release of PolyFauna (Android - iOS), a free, movingly minimalist art game produced by Radiohead in collaboration with digital art studio Universal Everything. In the tradition of previous projects such as Proteus (previously) and Björk's Biophilia (also previously), the game turns players loose in an open world of moody vistas and fog-shrouded wilderness, accompanied by music and visuals from 2011's earthy, naturalist The King of Limbs. With an associated redesign of the band's website, could work on the long-awaited LP9 be far behind? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 12, 2014 - 7 comments

Every government is a liar. That's a prima facie assumption.

I.F. Stone's Weekly, a 1973 documentary about one of the greatest American journalists of the 20th century (Part 1). Part 2 of 6 here (incomplete). Isidor Feinstein "Izzy" Stone discusses how he exposed widely-accepted fictions about the Vietnam War and the escalation of the Cold War—merely by reading what the government published. He was blacklisted in 1950 and began his own newsletter, which railed against McCarthyism, racial discrimination, and the complacent establishment media. [more inside]
posted by zbsachs on Feb 11, 2014 - 7 comments

"Images of poverty are the Congo’s most lucrative export"

What if poor people capitalized on their own natural resource, poverty? This is the central question of Renzo Martens' 2008 documentary, Episode III - Enjoy Poverty, the second film in a triptych exploring power relations between photographers and their subjects. [more inside]
posted by Ouisch on Feb 5, 2014 - 13 comments

oh, what a nice drug

"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2014 - 106 comments

Signpainters, short cut from a documentary

"This is the only thing I could do, and I could do whatever the fuck I wanted to do, and make a living." From a special edit of the feature length documentary Sign Painters.
posted by MoonOrb on Feb 1, 2014 - 13 comments

"I became a hell child."

Growing up in a Romanian orphanage, Izidor Ruckel just wanted to get out. Now, he makes it his mission to raise awareness of the suffering of other orphans who remain institutionalized. [more inside]
posted by chainsofreedom on Jan 31, 2014 - 10 comments

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny

This documentary pokes fun at the ways in which Inuit people have been treated as “exotic” documentary subjects by turning the lens onto the strange behaviours of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). The term refers less to skin colour than to a certain state of mind: Qallunaat greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain about being cold, and want to dominate the world. Their odd dating habits, unsuccessful attempts at Arctic exploration, overbearing bureaucrats and police, and obsession with owning property are curious indeed. A collaboration between filmmaker Mark Sandiford and Inuit writer and satirist Zebedee Nungak, Qallunaat! brings the documentary form to an unexpected place in which oppression, history, and comedy collide.
Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny
posted by Rumple on Jan 30, 2014 - 40 comments

Uncle America

Blood Brother (2013) focuses on an American man who, after initially visiting as a tourist, moved to India to volunteer at the Arias Home of HOPE, a home for HIV-positive children in Acharapakkam, near Chennai. He eventually became an Indian citizen by marriage. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jan 23, 2014 - 7 comments

"If you get to 12 O'Clock, You's the S#!t"

Dirt bikes are illegal in Baltimore. That doesn't stop hundreds of young men from hitting the streets every weekend, revving their engines and pulling their dirt bikes (and ATVs) into death-defying wheelies, filming each other in hopes of Youtube glory. One of these groups, the Twelve O’Clock Boys, are the subject of a new documentary. Pull your bike into a vertical wheelie? That’s twelve o’clock. [more inside]
posted by theweasel on Jan 22, 2014 - 58 comments

The Parallax Effect: Bringing still images to pseudo-life

The "2.5D" Parallax Effect: How To Animate a Photo provides a quick tutorial of the methods used to animate still images, as seen in the documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture (see the trailer for some fleeting examples), and clearly employed by this video that utilized only images from the World Wildlife Foundation's photo archives. The technique is also used in what appears to be more standard animation, as seen in this thesis animation project from Arquis B. Silp, and this animation by Frederic Kokott (look behind the scenes). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 20, 2014 - 22 comments

This is Chicago

City of Necessity, a 22-minute documentary from 1961, explores race, class, life, and culture in midcentury Chicago. WBEZ writeup by Lee Bey.
posted by dinty_moore on Jan 11, 2014 - 6 comments

30 three-minute films

Thirty directors--Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney, and others--create three minute short films about an innovator or world-changing idea. Warning: corporate sponsorship.
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 10, 2014 - 4 comments

One Hundred Songs a Day

On The Media meets Matt Farley, who earns around $23k per year thanks to the 14,000 songs he has has composed, performed and uploaded to Spotify.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jan 10, 2014 - 87 comments

The First Entirely New Experience in Entertainment Since Pictures Talked

"The rise in popularity of television is credited with inciting the move to the widescreen systems that flourished throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. This is only partially true. In the early 1950s, studios did begin to compose their movies so that the top and bottom of the picture could be chopped off and a wider screen would show the center of the old 1.37:1 frame. The aspect ratio used by the various studios varied from about 1.5:1 up to the common 1.85:1. But the real reason for the birth of a multitude of widescreen and large format systems was the 1952 opening of a movie made in a process that had its roots in a World War II aerial gunnery trainer. This Is Cinerama (modern YouTube trailer; Wikipedia) shook the industry to the core. The public and reviewers loved it. Its giant screen filled with three oversized 35mm images and an incredible new sound system called Stereophonic were a marvel to behold, and the studios immediately rushed to find something that could do what Cinerama did (Google books preview of the August 1952 issue of Popular Mechanics)." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 4, 2014 - 22 comments

Raise Your Ears & Hold On To Your Heart

Raise Your Ears & Hold On To Your Heart is a documentary about the recording of The Polyphonic Spree's 2007 album, The Fragile Army. Available to watch on YouTube in eight parts:
Intro & Preproduction [7m9s] Packing Up & Pachyderm Studios [4m30s] Resurrection At Pachyderm Studios [7m43s] Spaceway Studios [2m6s] Choir At Electrical Audio [9m28s] Symphonic & Percussion At Maximedia [8m3s] Lead Vocal At Maximedia, Vibes/Percussion At The Triplex [5m52s] Closing & End Credits [7m3s] [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jan 2, 2014 - 4 comments

Pufferfish the Magic Dragon

The latest generation of the UK's world-leading state-backed surveillance technologies have reportedly captured shocking scenes of high-risk potentially lethal narcotics use by gangs (or "juvenile pods") of young dolphins, who have worked out how to get a high from chewing pufferfish to release their neurotoxins [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Dec 30, 2013 - 38 comments

The Last of the Unjust

In 1941, the Nazis turned the the Czech fortress and town of Terezin into the ghetto of Theresienstadt. The ghetto was a transit center as well as a camp for high-profile people, and was turned into a "model Jewish settlement" in preparation for a Red Cross visit in 1944. The "embellishment" had the desired propaganda outcome - a "positive report."
While researching Shoah, Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last surviving member of the Jewish Council of the Elders in Theresienstadt. That footage is now in a new film, "The Last Of The Unjust." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 16, 2013 - 4 comments

He was only a fighter in the ring

"Assault In The Ring" (originally called "Cornered: A Life in the Ring") is a film about a boxing match that took place between undefeated prospect Billy Collins Jr and Luis Resto. What began as a match turned into a life altering moment for both participants - Collins' career dreams ended and Resto and his trainer Panama Lewis landed in prison for their illegal actions. The subsequent investigation and trial have led many to declare this bout the darkest day in boxing history. But the film-maker doesn't stop there. He tracked down the surviving principals and arranged meetings among some of them, trying to see if the documentary can be an occasion for reconciliation or justice. Watch the film in its entirety on Youtube here.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 16, 2013 - 8 comments

Here's yer new engine.

Piratjagt! Discover what patrolling pirate infested waters off the coast of the Horn of Africa is like with the Danish Navy. (6lyt)
posted by allkindsoftime on Dec 10, 2013 - 14 comments

The Big Picture

This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 10, 2013 - 6 comments

NFL on Fox's Sunday Symphony

SBNation, YouTube's independent sports network, presents "Sunday Symphony: How the NFL's most advanced game broadcast is made." "An exclusive, all access look at the people, technology, and highly organized chaos that results in the NFL's most advanced game broadcast."
posted by ob1quixote on Nov 28, 2013 - 16 comments

You have reached the end of the road.

Welcome to Fort McMoney, an interactive documentary game. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 26, 2013 - 19 comments

Y'all act like you never seen a Walter White person before

VICE made a documentary about the real Walter White. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 26, 2013 - 5 comments

Mu Mu Land

Behind the scenes footage of the filming of the music videos for The KLF's 'Justified and Ancient' and 'What time is Love?'.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 19, 2013 - 18 comments

Beams Are Gonna Blind You

Super Trouper: 30 Years Of ABBA [1h30m] is a 2004 documentary about Sweden's biggest export, containing (then) current and historical footage and interviews, giving a generous, broad picture of the history of the band. Includes much never-before-seen performance and backstage footage.
posted by hippybear on Nov 17, 2013 - 9 comments

Voices and Visions, documentary series on American poets

“The way the poem sits on the page does not necessarily tell you anything about how to read it.” Explains Hugh Kenner of radical modernist poet and New Jersey general practitioner Williams Carlos Williams. The series features archival footage, animation, and interviews with critics, poets and and neighbors, among them Helen Vendler, Marjorie Porloff, James Merrill, and Anthony Hecht. Also, Elizabeth Bishop, Hart Crane, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Walt Whitman. Produced by the New York Center for Visual History, 1988. Previously [more inside]
posted by zbsachs on Nov 2, 2013 - 9 comments

WWI in Color

World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 31, 2013 - 60 comments

It is a game-crazed community that stretches around the world

Azen. PC Chris. Korean DJ. Mew2King. Ken. Isai. Mango. The Smash Brothers is a 9-part, 258-minute documentary on the history of competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee. Series discussion. Via.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Oct 25, 2013 - 20 comments

Sounds of the wanderers

Whether or not all cultural historians agree with the premise that Rom people came to Europe originally from India, or whether or not the portrayals of Rom musicians in the film are always *accurate* or *authentic* ones (some have indicated they're not, or are too heavily draped in over-stylized Exotica), there is surely no denying that the film is a treasure trove of fantastic musical performances. You've probably guessed by now that we're talking about Latcho Drom, which you can see it in its entirety here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 15, 2013 - 36 comments

Mud, Concrete, Glass, Home

A Short History of the Highrise A four-part NYT interactive documentary by Katrina Cizek on apartment buildings through the ages, part of the National Film Board of Canada's HIGHRISE project (Previously).
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 8, 2013 - 5 comments

The Unique Thelonious Monk

Thelonius Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1/10) [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 8, 2013 - 12 comments

Teahupo'o... ohhh... whooooah!

As Teahupo'o gains notoriety as one of the biggest monsters in the surfing world, the tiny area it covers gets more and more crowded. If you want to dig some fingernail-marks into the armrests of your chair, watch 2013's Inside the Monster (25:43, French with English Subtitles). Then, explore The Mechanics of Teahupo'o in this slideshow about what makes this slab tick. [previous, previous]
posted by not_on_display on Oct 1, 2013 - 12 comments

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