Better This World is a documentary about two activists from Austin who joined a group heading to protest the 2008 Republican convention. Their problem was that they prepared molotov cocktails at the last minute, and one of their ring-leaders was an FBI informant. Legal nightmare ensues. Aired on PBS September 6, it can be viewed online until October 6.
'“The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975“ is an incredible documentary with an equally incredible story behind it. The film is constructed entirely from hundreds of hours of archival footage of the black power movement, footage that’s not just rare, but unseen; it was shot by a Swedish news crew in the 1960s and 1970s, then left untouched in a Swedish TV station’s cellar for 30 years, where it was discovered by documentary filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson.' [more inside]
in 1976, surrealist icon Salvador Dali starred and directed in the fake documentary/travelogue Impressions de la haute Mongolie - Impressions of Upper Mongolia - about his quest to find a rare hallucinogenic mushroom. It was intended as a tribute to the late Raymond Roussel. It is available on Youtube in 5 parts. 1 - 2 -3 - 4 - 5 (70 min)
The Tribes of Darkest Austria - or: if Africans ruled Anthropology. (slyt)
From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing — foreign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow bears witness to German artist Anselm Kiefer’s alchemical creative processes and renders as a film journey the personal universe he has built at his hill studio estate in the South of France. [more inside]
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth
Style Like U features an exhaustive video archive of people talking about their clothes and history and what personal style means to them and the power of self transformation. [more inside]
Do you see what I see? Do people always see the same thing when they look at colours?
The Interrupters is a new film from Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here) about the work of CeaseFire's Violence Interrupters (previously), who work to prevent violence in Chicago with direct intervention and mediation. The film follows Ameena Matthews, the daughter of of a notorious gang leader; Eddie Bocanegra, who teaches art to children and is driven by remorse for a murder he committed when he was seventeen; and the charismatic Cobe Williams, who recently joined James and Kotlowitz for an interview with WFMT's Andrew Patner. Some of the videos contain strong language and scenes of violence.
Happy World: Burma, the Dictatorship of the Absurd. A surprisingly funny "hypervideo" web documentary about life in
Myanmar Burma. [Via]
"Hiroshi Teshigahara's Antonio Gaudi is a spare, astonishing, and haunting documentary on the designs of famed turn of the century Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926). A profound influence on the Spanish art nouveau movement, Gaudi's sensual adaptation of Gothic, Middle Eastern, and traditional architecture is a truly a unique artistic vision. Teshigahara immerses the viewer into Gaudi's unorthodox vision using lingering takes and mesmerizing panning sequences, accompanied by an equally eclectic soundtrack that vacillates from lyrical symphony to disquieting near silence. The film, largely structured without verbal narrative, unfolds as a figurative mosaic of Gaudi's early influences and nascent vision in the mid 1800's - from an overview of the Catalonian culture, to the contemporary works of other prominent architects, to the medieval art and architecture pervasive in the region." (Janus/Criterion, 1:12, color)
When they want to kill a dog, they say it's crazy. A photo essay from Haiti by Jared Iorio.
On July 9, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK aired a documentary on the earliest days of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis. There appears to be precisely one place on the internet where it can currently be viewed: here.
The Library of Congress (1:30m), a tour documentary by C-SPAN.
[Michelangelo Antonioni's Chung Kuo] as a documentary film was one which was draped with fascination for both filmmakers as well as an audience, rather than championing anti-whatever sentiments from either side of the world. Not having seen many movies, either features, shorts or documentaries made during the Cultural Revolution era or about that era in question (propaganda included), I think this Antonioni film has more than made its mark as a definitive documentary that anyone curious about the life of the time, would find it a gem to sit through.
Maggie McNeil is a semi-retired "honest courtesan" who recently countered Ashton Kutcher's "sex slavery" claims (previously) with some statistics and facts. Bobbi Starr is a professional concert oboist, nationally ranked swimmer, and works in some of the hardest porn available. She was recently featured on the (highly recommended) BBC Radio Assignment series. Primary links are obviously NSFW; BobbiStarr.com also has potential trigger warnings.
Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait by John Boorman "While trolling youtube for all things Lee Marvin and Parker I discovered this really nifty mini-documentary that filmmaker John Boorman (Point Blank, Hell in the Pacific, Deliverance, Excalibur) did for the BBC called Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait. It's really fantastic with appearances from folks like William Hurt, Jim Jarmusch, Pamela Marvin, and others. Readings from Marvin's personal journal about his WWII experiences as well as his great fishing expeditions in Australia. And yes, you'll be able to see the wallet Marvin was carrying when a bullet went whizzing through and granted him his Purple Heart."
Living in the Red: A 15 minute student documentary on the Ultras of the Chicago Fire.
"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
Such Hawks Such Hounds explores the music and musicians of the American hard rock underground circa 1970-2007, focusing on the psychedelic and '70s proto-metal-derived styles that have in recent years formed a rich body of unclassifiable sounds.
Married To The Eiffel Tower is a documentary that tells the stories of three females who are sexually and emotionally attracted to inanimate objects. (Previously)
2-part KQED documentary about Dorothea Lange, from 1965. Lange meditates on the historical impact of images and how they can be used to examine/change society [more inside]
The World of Jim Henson: 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7 :: 8 :: 9 :: "An excellent biography of the Muppet master, this 85-minute film from the PBS show Great Performances mixes the history of Henson's projects with plenty of sketches that any fan age 6 and older should enjoy. The film shows the incredible range of Henson's creations, starting in 1955 with "Sam and Friends" then moving on to Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and beyond. It illustrates the breadth of his genius, from creating entirely new worlds in film (The Dark Crystal) to pithy '60s TV commercials that achieved branding and a laugh in less than six seconds. There's footage that most fans haven't seen in years, or at all: a regular bit from The Jimmy Dean Show; tantalizing bits of his 1965 Oscar-nominated short, Time Piece; appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show; his explanation of Wall Street on Nightline; and Miss Piggy's hilarious deconstruction of Morley Safer on 60 Minutes."
Amin's hunger for publicity was so great, in fact, that in 1974 he became the first dictator in history to agree to be the subject of an independent documentary film. The resulting movie, Barbet Schroeder's General Idi Amin Dada... is a devastating look at despotism in action and a riveting, and strangely entertaining, portrait of Amin. [more inside]
Russian Video from Russia does what it says, providing a variety of videos from Russia, presented in English or with English subtitles, and brief descriptions of the videos. You can check out videos as they're posted, or sort through by categories (including customs, musical video, science and technology, and movie for the weekend). This last category ranges from Russian Sherlock Holmes movies to a traditional New Year romantic comedy, a documentary on Yuri Gagarin to a classic Russian children's tale of Old Hottabych, an old genie freed in modern times.
Rights And Reactions: Lesbian & Gay Rights On Trial is a 1987 documentary about the culmination in 1986 of the struggle to pass "Intro 2", the New York City "Gay Rights Bill", which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of housing, employment, and public accommodation. Made by Phil Zwickler and Jane Lippman, it is available in 3 Quicktime segments: Part 1 (22m), Part 2 (19m), Part 3 (16m). Total running time: 56m. [more inside]
FILMAGE: The Story of DESCENDENTS / ALL is an upcoming feature-length documentary about pop-punk pioneers Descendents. The makers are looking for photos, video, and film of the band. The band's first album, 1982's Milo Goes To College, was an instant classic with songs like I'm Not A Loser. Various splits, reformations, and line-up changes followed. Their most reformation in 2010 included sets at Australia's No Sleep Till festival (full Sydney set at Moshcam). Classic Desendents: I'm The One. Merican. Hope.
Step Across the Border (previously, link now broken) "as long as I was playing in a band I didn't have to actually go out there and talk to girls and dance, I could just be on stage and watch everybody else doing it". The critically acclaimed music documentary on Fred Frith, written and directed by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel (amazon link). It is also available in 8 parts, on youtube. [more inside]
Just because you put on a fucking safari helmet and looked at some poop doesn't give you the right to insult what we do.
Page One: Inside The New York Times is a brilliant new documentary from Andrew Rossi, director of Eat This New York and Le Cirque: A Table In Heaven. Starting in November 2009, Rossi spent a year filming the NYT Media desk: "I’d just arrive daily, go up to the third floor and ask what they’re working on today and can I follow you. At first many were shy, but over time I remained patient and waited for things to happen." [more inside]
You could spend $600 or more for the dvd set, or you could just watch the first half (3 hrs) of the documentary mini-series here for free. Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood. Where It All Began :: Art's Promised Land :: The Unchained Camera
The CBC has launched an interactive web documentary with tonnes of videos that takes users inside Shatila refugee camp (pop. 12,000) in Beirut, where Palestinians have now lived for more than 60 years.
Enter the Dragon: [SLVimeo] A short documentary that explores the Dungeons and Dragons subculture.
[NSFW: swear words galore] Hecklers, the bane of many a performance. Here you can watch a documentary about Hecklers [ part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 ] and other critics. Someone at the beginning of that "Heckler" movie says something like, "A show was never made better because of a heckler." If only all of the banter was as funny as when Matt Walsh was heckled at SXSW. More often, it's like how Kyle Kinane states right off the bat during his act: "Every trainwreck needs a fuckin’ caboose; let’s get it over with," before he launches into a semi-drunken 9-minute conversation/shoutfest. But every once in a while, you get the perfect "point, counterpoint" moment. Let's see how different stand-up comedians react when the social contract of audience/performer is broken. [more inside]
The last gasp of the arcade. Several months ago, two of the last major arcades on the west coast and east coast, Chinatown Fair in New York and Arcade Infinity in Los Angeles, shut down. [more inside]
DetroitTechno.org presents a documentary (1 2 3) about the history and politics of techno with a focus on the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, now called Movement, from its inception in 2000 until the most recent one in 2010. [more inside]
"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
Off The Charts: "In his wildest satirical dreams, not even Christopher Guest could top Off the Charts for sheer folk-art eccentricity. And yet, the creator of A Mighty Wind would find comedic inspiration in Jamie Meltzer's hilarious and sincerely affectionate tribute to the subcultural phenomenon known as the song poem. For over 50 years, a small, strictly amateur music industry has thrived on the fine-print ads that appear in alternative newspapers and music-industry magazines, inviting would-be songsmiths to send in their lyrics (and perhaps even "earn royalties") when their songs--and we use that term loosely--are set to music, recorded by seasoned musicians, and returned to their creators as a kind of one-shot fantasy fulfillment of dreams that will never come true. What drives Meltzer's film is a uniquely American combination of pathos, fringe-dwelling ambition, and free expression by assorted misfits and "regular folk" who seek elusive immortality by turning their lyrical musings into trash-art that's simultaneously fascinating and pathetic. But despite the end-credit claim that not a single hit has resulted from the estimated 200,000 song poems that have been recorded over the decades, Meltzer's not out to ridicule these wonderfully ungifted artists. Instead, Off the Charts gives a memorable spin to the flipside of the American dream. --Jeff Shannon" (PBS, 54mins.)
Finnish YouTube user Ishexan has uploaded seven English subtitled movies in parts: Broken Blossoms (1919), Aelita (1924), The Gipsy Charmer (1929), The Tragedy of Elina (1938), The Activists (1939), The Wooden Pauper's Bride (1944), and Sampo (1959), which is based on the epic poem The Kalevala. The films are mostly Finnish, though Aelita is a silent Russian sci-fi film, and Sampo was a joint Finnish and Soviet production. More film clips inside (mostly Finnish documentaries and "dorky musical numbers"). [more inside]
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."On Sunday morning, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away. He leaves behind a massive empire, several million mourning devotees worldwide, an extensive religious philosophy, a great deal of controversy and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities, a free university and schools, and other efforts which included supplying clean water to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
BBC Radio 4 now has a dedicated online program library! Rather than hunting through the site, you can now browse by subject and/or program from one main 'Collections' page. It's not all of the output by any means, but there's plenty there to keep you going, such as the philosophy archives from Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time", or various mathematics programs from different series. There's much much more as well. [more inside]
As discussed over the weekend, in less than two weeks the millions of videos uploaded to six-year-old erstwhile YouTube competitor Google Video will no longer be viewable. Though a download button has been added to each video page for easy back-up, that will only be available though May 13th, and the company will not be offering transfer service for users with YouTube accounts. The search giant has been slowly winding down the service over the years since their billion-dollar buyout of YouTube, controversially revoking purchased content (with a refund) in 2007 and disabling new uploads in 2009. The shutdown is a big blow to the web video ecosystem, as Google Video was one of the few major services to allow free hosting of long-form video, including the content for many popular MetaFilter posts. But all is not lost! Reddit users have organized a virtual potluck to share the most interesting and unique videos not available anywhere else, and the Archive Team, preserver of doomed web properties like Geocities (previously), is partnering with Archive.org to back up as much content as possible. In that spirit, click inside for a list of some of the most popular Google Video-centric content posted here over the years. [more inside]
Farewell Good Brothers "An off-beat, irreverant and often hilarious documentary about the making and the makers of a modern myth - the widespread belief in flying saucers and alien visitations. Combining strange and unusual archive footage from the 1950s with several contemporary interviews, the film focuses on a few people who helped to pioneer such beliefs; the so-called ‘contactees’ and on one leading researcher who believes in them." (1991, 77 mins.)
Color Me Obsessed is a new documentary about legendary Minneapolis rock band The Replacements. It features over 140 interviews with rockers, journalists and fans (including Colin Meloy, Craig Finn, Tommy Ramone and Robert Christgau) but not one note of the Mats music. Director Gorman Bechard has been documenting the making of the film on his blog and screening it in select cities.