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Documentary

When China met Africa
posted by infini on Oct 29, 2012 - 37 comments

"I'm here to tell you, it is no nightmare. It is God's dream coming true before your very eyes."

Bishop Gene Robinson speaks at First Presbyterian Church in NYC in 2009 on the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, and offers (and challenges church goers to offer) water to Gay Pride parade participants as part of his ministry. [5m19s] [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Oct 28, 2012 - 31 comments

From the same channel that brought you Big Bird

The Choice 2012 is a Frontline documentary about the background of the current candidates for President of the United States.
posted by twoleftfeet on Oct 25, 2012 - 118 comments

The Secret Lives of Raccoons

"In an effort to outwit raccoons, are we pushing their brain development and perhaps even sending them down a new evolutionary path? Using high-definition, infrared cameras that turn pitch dark into daylight ... Raccoon Nation [alt link] achieves something that has never been done before: it intimately follows a family of urban raccoons over the course of six months as the young – under the watchful eye of their mother – grow, develop, and begin to find their way in the complex world of a big city." "Raccoon populations have grown twenty-fold in North American cities over the last seventy years. And as this documentary will show, city life is changing raccoons in remarkable ways." (45:08 min. video)
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Oct 13, 2012 - 42 comments

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm

In 1968, William Greaves conducted a filmmaking experiment in Central Park, wherein a film crew (directed by himself) filmed the non-existent movie "Over The Cliff", while a documentary film crew filmed the filming of the film, and another documentary film crew filmed the filming of the film of the film. The result was Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, [1h15m, NSFW (language and situations); trailer] an experimental film wherein the observers are observed observing of the observed, with Greaves attempting to capture real moments in contrived circumstances. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Oct 13, 2012 - 20 comments

von Irvin Kershner

A documentary about Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, parts one and two, by Michel Parbot (fr.wikipedia), broadcast on Dutch TV in 1980 (so the first 30 seconds or so are in Dutch). [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Oct 13, 2012 - 5 comments

Occam's Alien?

Ancient Aliens Debunked is the consummate rebuttal to the History Channel's widely maligned eponymous program, leaving no stone unturned.
posted by troll on Oct 7, 2012 - 132 comments

What the ideal utopian world would be - with good beer

What is it like to be a woman in the Pacific Northwest craft beer industry? The 2011 documentary The Love of Beer offers a look into the lives of several women who work with beer: Tonya Cornett, the brewmaster of Bend Brewing Company in Central Oregon; Teri Fahrendorf, who started the Pink Boots Society, the US's first professional society for female brewmasters; Sarah Pederson, a beer retailer who owns a Portland tavern; and Lisa Morrison, known as the Beer Goddess, who hosts a Portland radio show and writes about beer.
posted by catlet on Oct 6, 2012 - 20 comments

Hiding In Plain Sight

Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge. [previously]
posted by troll on Oct 6, 2012 - 21 comments

Makers

In February, PBS and AOL launched Makers, a video archive containing personal stories and anecdotes told in the first person by women, many of whom have sparked groundbreaking changes in American culture. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 4, 2012 - 3 comments

da Bomb x5

Five Full Films Featuring Graffiti [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Oct 3, 2012 - 10 comments

If you want to call it bad luck

With a new baby and wife to support, out-of-work filmmaker Matt Gallagher tries his hand - and some would say “luck” - at playing poker for a living. Grinders is the director’s inside journey into the unconventional, often bizarre, underground world of illegal poker clubs.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 3, 2012 - 14 comments

Copyright Criminals

Copyright Criminals, the 2009 PBS Documentary, discusses the complex artistic and legal history of sampling in music, featuring interviews with both the samplers (Chuck D, De La Soul, Shock G, El-P, DJ Qbert) and the sampled (George Clinton and Clyde Stubblefield). via egotrip
posted by chrchr on Oct 1, 2012 - 15 comments

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down

Johnny Cash once called 1968 the happiest year of his life. It was the year his masterpiece At Folsom Prison came out, the year he was named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, and the year he married the love of his life, June Carter. So it was a fortunate time for a young filmmaker named Robert Elfstrom to meet up with Cash for the making of a documentary. Elfstrom traveled with Cash for several months in late 1968 and early 1969. The resulting film, Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, is a revealing look at Cash, his creative process and his ties to family. [via]
posted by netbros on Sep 28, 2012 - 14 comments

Life in a Cheap Suit

The Confessions of Robert Crumb. [previously]
posted by timsteil on Sep 23, 2012 - 13 comments

"This is the best time. The next 2 or 3 thousand years will be fantastic!"

In 2005, the Discovery Channel aired Alien Worlds, a fictional documentary based on Wayne Douglas Barlowe's graphic novel, Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV." Depicting mankind's first robotic mission to an extrasolar planet that could support life, the show drew from NASA's Origins Program, the NASA/JPL PlanetQuest Mission, and ESA's Darwin Project. It was primarily presented through CGI, but included interviews from a variety of NASA scientists and other experts, including Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, John Craig Venter and Jack Horner. Oh, and George Lucas, too. Official site. Previously on MeFi. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 21, 2012 - 12 comments

Chess: A Musical

CHESS MOVES [27m14s] was a 1985 VHS release hosted by Sir Tim Rice comprising of the five music videos made to promote the 1984 album Chess. The individual videos are One Night In Bangkok (Murray Head), Nobody's Side (Elaine Paige), The Arbiter (Björn Skifs), I Know Him So Well (Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson), and Pity The Child (Murray Head). [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 17, 2012 - 48 comments

Use the enemy's own films to expose their enslaving ends. Let our boys hear the Nazis and the Japs shout their own claims of master-race crud—and our fighting men will know why they are in uniform.

Why We Fight is a series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II whose purpose was to show American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the war. Each of them is in the common domain having been produced by the US government, available online, and linked below the fold: [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 16, 2012 - 24 comments

Always A Fire: A Short Documentary Film On Former New York Giant Chad Jones

The short documentary Always A Fire (vimeo) "details Chad's incredible rehabilitation and recovery from the horrific accident that nearly cost him his life. Comprised of intimate interviews with Chad and his trainers, as well as never-before-seen footage of his long road to recovery, the film provides an unflinching view of an elite athlete facing unimaginable tragedy and refusing to submit." [via mefi projects]
posted by the young rope-rider on Sep 8, 2012 - 11 comments

"I want to encourage mainstream journalists to speak up when they discover their companies are misleading the people, doing PR for corporations and governments and disguising it as journalism."

Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon is speaking out against the network after it decided for "editorial reasons" not to air its documentary iRevolution on CNN International. Lyon worked on a 13-minute segment interviewing democratic activists in Bahrain, who risked their own safety to be heard. Glenn Greenwald reveals that at the same time, CNN was being paid by the Bahrain Economic Development Board to produce pro-state coverage as part of its "Eye On" series. A senior producer complained to Lyon about the nature of her coverage: "We are dealing with blowback from Bahrain govt on how we violated our mission, etc."
posted by mek on Sep 5, 2012 - 21 comments

Modern Times: The Way of All Flesh (1997)

A documentary by Adam Curtis on Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cell line created from her cells. Previously. Previously.
posted by hat_eater on Sep 4, 2012 - 7 comments

...Mitchells do fly I.M.C.

B-25 "...Mitchells do fly I.M.C." a Channel 4 UK documentary by Anthony Howarth and Carolyn Hicks detailing the effort of John “Jeff” Hawke to transport five WW II North American B-25 Mitchell bombers from the United States to England for use in the filming of “Hanover Street” in 1978. [more inside]
posted by the_artificer on Aug 31, 2012 - 16 comments

I'm your toy, I'm your old boy

Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel - An excellent 90 minute BBC documentary, the story of the legendary country rock pioneer as told by contemporary musicians, family, and friends. It includes rare performance footage. (Via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 28, 2012 - 17 comments

Busta Rhymes: the James Brown of hip-hop, there's no use coming on stage after him

Busta Rhymes is back with his 9th studio album, Year of the Dragon. It's free* for a limited time from Google Play, and also available to stream and download from DatPiff**. If that wasn't enough, Google Play put together a 21 minute biographical documentary on Busta Rhymes, with Busta and some close collaborators talking about his last 20 years. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 22, 2012 - 33 comments

The journey from Sputnik to Mir (and all the dead ends in between)

Red Star in Orbit is a three-part BBC documentary about the history of the Soviet space program, originally broadcast in 1990 as part of the ongoing series Horizon. Based on a book by American space historian and NASA vetran James Oberg, who features prominently in the program, Red Star in Orbit was filmed and assembled while the slow collapse of the USSR was already underway. The filmmakers were given an unprecedented amount of access to active Cosmonauts, veterans of the program and to Star City itself. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Aug 20, 2012 - 41 comments

Voguing: Old Way & New Way

Two short documentaries about voguing - 1989 and 2011. An evolution of a dance form and a subculture.

Voguing: The Message traces the roots of this gay, Black and Latino dance form, which appropriates and plays with poses and images from mainstream fashion. Voguing competitions parody fashion shows and rate the contestants on the basis of movement, appearance and costume. This tape is a pre-Madonna primer that raises questions about race, sex and subcultural style. [Dir. Jack Walworth, David Bronstein & Dorothy Low 1989 13 min.]

VOGUE: A Twist on the Dance Floor is an intimate look into modern day voguing and how it's leaving a big impression even today. Starring legendary vogue fem Dashaun Evisu. [Dir. Danilo Parra, Produced by Dashaun Wesley; 2011 11 min.] [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on Aug 19, 2012 - 12 comments

as if he just fell asleep watching the game

Team Spirit is a short documentary by Errol Morris about the funerals of passionate sports fans. (SLYT)
posted by Sticherbeast on Aug 16, 2012 - 11 comments

Stan Brakhage on birth and death

Stan Brakhage on birth and death*. [graphic childbirth and autopsy footage] (* previously - dead links) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 16, 2012 - 9 comments

Bully Pulpit Games' Fiasco

TableTop’s Fiasco episodes may be the greatest roleplaying documentary made to date. ... Not only are the two episodes it takes to show their session a joy to watch (and they are a pleasure) but they succeed in something that is really difficult to do: capture the essence of a game session. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 14, 2012 - 32 comments

Drugs 2.0

Drugs have changed a lot in the past ten years. You have, mainly, these two men to blame/thank for most of the fervor. Laws are flexing accordingly. [Shulgin previously: 1,2]
posted by fieldcannotbeblank on Aug 14, 2012 - 20 comments

The Bully Pulpit

Late last month, after vocally anti-gay evangelical author and blogger Jonathan Merritt's essay defending Chick-Fil-A appeared in The Atlantic, Azariah Southworth outed Merritt on his blog. An interview with Merritt about his sexual orientation. Follow-up column from Southworth: Why I outed a Christian star. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 13, 2012 - 237 comments

Mike and George Kuchar

It Came From Kuchar [trailer] is a 90 minute long documentary about the underground filmmaker brothers Mike and George Kuchar. It is also available to view on hulu and via Amazon. It could also possibly be available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Aug 12, 2012 - 4 comments

Herb and Dorothy

On July 22, 2012, Herb Vogel passed away. Herb worked his entire life for the US Postal Service, while his wife Dorothy worked for the Brooklyn Public Library. In spite of their humble backgrounds, the couple were renowned in art circles for amassing over the course of decades a deeply personal collection of over 2500 pieces of 20th C. contemporary American art, a collection so vast that it could not be housed in the National Gallery of Art. A traveling exhibition entitled Fifty Works in Fifty States was set up to share the Vogel's treasures with the American public in museums across the country, as well as online. The wonderful story of the deep love that the Vogels shared for each other and their passion for art, beauty and human creativity was told in the eponymous documentary Herb and Dorothy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 7, 2012 - 21 comments

How “2001″ Became the Space Odyssey We Know

"James Cameron narrates this documentary on the classic film 2001. It includes archival footage of the late Arthur C. Clarke in the 1960s touring spacecraft manufacturing facilities, footage of designers putting together models, snippets of archival footage of Kubrick, interviews with various luminaries, and various other amazing stuff I’ve never seen. It also features interviews with Doug Trumbull and others who did special effects for the film. If you’re a 2001 fan, this is 43 minutes of candy. Skip to 7:00 to find out how they did the floating-pen trick — including an interview with the actress who played the “Space Hostess” who grabbed the pen seemingly from midair. Skip to around 11:00 to meet the guys who played the apes ... . Around 13:45, Clarke explains how the monolith originally was to have a movie screen on it ... ."
posted by SpacemanStix on Aug 4, 2012 - 34 comments

There is grandeur in this view of life.

The Evolution Documentary channel (autoplays video) has collected documentaries and clips about evolution available on youtube, including documentaries from BBC, Nova, and National Geographic. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 3, 2012 - 8 comments

Not A Crime

Montreal Cops Chase Skateboarders [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Aug 2, 2012 - 20 comments

Mort de Chris Marker

Chris Marker, director of La Jetée and Sans Soleil, among many others, and co-writer of 12 Monkeys, has died at age 91. English obit. French obit. Article on Chris Marker in the Guardian from 2002. Another appreciation from 2002. La Jetée on YouTube. Previously. Previouslier.
posted by chavenet on Jul 30, 2012 - 68 comments

Versailles, Florida

Orlando, FL - 10 ac, 90K sq ft, 13 bed, 30 bath, 20 car garage, 3 pools, 2 tennis cts, bowling alley, skating rink - $100M [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Jul 28, 2012 - 140 comments

Travel on your stomach

The Perennial Plate: An American Food Trip is an online documentary series of short videos featuring "adventurous and sustainable eating" beginning in Minnesota and continuing around the US.
posted by Miko on Jul 22, 2012 - 3 comments

Kumaré Sutra

"At PSFK Conference NYC, Vikram Gandhi spoke about his latest movie Kumaré - The True Story of A False Prophet. While he was born in New Jersey, the film director spoke about how he had been noticing how the Indian-heritage culture he had experienced as he grew up, was being used by Americans and other Westerners to help solve their emotional and spiritual issues. To explore this idea further he dressed up as a guru, created a backstory with YouTube video and website, spoke like his grandmother and recruited followers in Arizona. What's unique is that throughout the film is that he tells everyone he was an illusion and asks his followers to look in a mirror to solve their own problems." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Jul 8, 2012 - 42 comments

Fred Flintstone has it made.

"Dinosaurs welcome us along our highways, and infiltrate the most private domains of our home..." [more inside]
posted by Sayuri. on Jul 6, 2012 - 12 comments

He’s documenting history, one Asian movie theater at a time

Three years ago, Phil Jablon (aka The Projectionist) started a concerted effort to start documenting the rapidly-vanishing stand-alone movie theaters and former theaters in Southeast Asia. Today his website, The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is a historian and movie-theater lover's dream. Jablon has captured the faded, the lost, the torched, the almost lost, the repurposed, the reborn, and the unbounded. [more inside]
posted by blueberry on Jul 1, 2012 - 6 comments

Peefeeyatko. Bigfoot for "Give Me Some More Apples"

Frank Zappa - Peefeeyatko Documentary covers Frank Zappa's later Synclavier computer compositions. Features Boulez, Xenakis, and a guy who knows Bigfoot personally. Previously
posted by Dr. Fetish on Jun 21, 2012 - 13 comments

This post is just in time for the annual spaghetti harvest.

In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 20, 2012 - 22 comments

Hollywood - Celebration of the American Silent Film

The wonderful, and fairly rare, 13-part documentary series from 1980 - Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film - is narrated by James Mason for Thames Television. Episode One - The Pioneers - [52 mins] [the rest are linked inside] shows:-
"the evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.*"
[more inside]
posted by peacay on Jun 18, 2012 - 19 comments

Sing us a Song to Keep us Warm, There's Such a Chill

In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep" and the success of sophomore record The Bends, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead were under pressure to deliver once more. So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity -- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology -- through a mosaic of challenging, innovative, eerily beautiful music unlike anything else at the time. Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments, the band finally settled on OK Computer, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 16, 2012 - 66 comments

Groupies (1970): "foul-mouthed, clever, patient, anxious, ugly, beautiful, self-aware girls" (and boys)

"For the real function of "Groupies" is to display fantastic personality — in its foul-mouthed, clever, patient, anxious, ugly, beautiful, self-aware girls. Everybody is always on camera; everybody has a story (anything from last night's conquest to total life history) that she tells almost compulsively — and from this eager collaboration between medium and messenger grows a vitality that is its own sufficient reward." Groupies, the 1970 documentary of female (and a few male) groupies and the bands they follow, is up on DailyMotion. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 8, 2012 - 21 comments

Filmed in Sand-O-Vision

Jeff Broz and his teenage friends filmed this seven and a half minute Sand-O-Vision "documentary" on the set of Return Of The Jedi, in 1982.
posted by gman on Jun 8, 2012 - 10 comments

"And what were they serving at El Bulli? Water!"

Drive 8.7 km (5.4 miles) west of the municipality of Roses in Catalonia, Spain, and you'll get to the gates of the renowned avant-garde restaurant, El Bulli. Run by Ferran Adrià since 1987, the restaurant closed in 2012 due to Adrià and his partner Juli Soler losing a half million Euros a year on the restaurant and Adrià's cooking workshop in Barcelona. Slate's Noreen Malone wrote an article on the history of the "I Ate at El Bulli" piece, giving an overview of tropes that you could expect in an IAaEB piece, and you can browse images tagged "elbulli" on Flickr for snapshots of personal experiences. But for an extended look into what went into making the ever-changing 35-course taster's menu, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (Trailer on YT and Vimeo) is a 109 minute documentary on the preparation and implementation of the 2008/9 season, an "extreme fly-on-the-wall vérité, with only the barest context provided." If you're looking for recipes, Molecular Recipes has a few listed under the El Bulli tag. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 4, 2012 - 26 comments

One of 'em Suck!

Former major leaguer and current minor league manager Wally Backman says some very colorful things. The full censored episodes are online (starting with Episode 1: Where's Wally Backman?) Mostly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jun 3, 2012 - 6 comments

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