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Posts tagged "Documentary"

The Neve 8028: Shaping the Contours of Creativity and Freedom Since 1973

The Neve 8028: Shaping the Contours of Creativity and Freedom Since 1973

I wasn’t really old enough to get into Nirvana, but I did catch the Foo Fighters wave. So when I heard that Dave Grohl—who was the drummer for Nirvana & the lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for Foo Fighters—was making a documentary on Sound City Studios—along with an accompanying soundtrack of new material by the people that made some of the most iconic rock records at that studio—I became extremely excited. The documentary itself contains no frills and is straightforward, a lot like the nature of the studio and the people who worked in it. Well worth the watch for a…

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Gideon's Army and the Best Attorney There Is

Gideon’s Army and the Best Attorney There Is

HBO has been on fire with their summer documentary series, but the highlight thus far has definitely been Gideon’s Army. Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that everybody deserves legal representation in the court system, and if somebody cannot afford representation, then the state must provide an attorney for them. Gideon’s Army follows the lives of three of those attorneys who are called “public defenders.”

The job of a public defender is difficult and under-appreciated. A public defender might represent about one hundred clients at a time for very little money, which often falls far short…

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With Only a Look, Marina Abramovic Is Making People Cry

With Only a Look, Marina Abramovic Is Making People Cry

During the spring semester of my sophomore year, a time when I was still very impressionable and not the world-weary upper classman I now consider myself to be, I took an introductory acting class in which I learned the difference between internal and external gazing. At the command of our animated professor, the whole sleep-deprived class would practice switching from the internal gaze—what happens when you’re lost in thought and not paying any attention to what you happen to be staring at—and the external gaze. The external gaze is observant; you switch your attention from interior reflection to awareness of…

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Werner Herzog on God, Phone Books, and Albino Crocodiles

Werner Herzog on God, Phone Books, and Albino Crocodiles

A great little interview on The Colbert Report with our beloved Werner Herzog. I was fortunate enough to see his new documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and it is very much worth your time, especially if you can see it in 3-D. The documentary explores the Chauvet cave in Southern France, which contains the oldest known paintings on the planet – by far (ca. 28,000 B.C.). And it does so with characteristic Herzog-ness. As a sidenote, Herzog mentions the religious aspect of the discovery in the interview – all signs point to the caves having served a religious function –…

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Frannie Lebowitz on Revenge, Forgiveness and Christianity

Frannie Lebowitz on Revenge, Forgiveness and Christianity

It’s hard to say whether Martin Scorsese’s documentary about writer/humorist/public intellectual Frannie Lebowitz, Public Speaking, was the best documentary of 2010, or whether Frannie was simply the most interesting documentary subject of 2010. And I’m not sure it matters. The film is a non-stop delight because she is a non-stop delight, spewing witticism after witticism, the vast majority of which are deceptively profound, for example, “Any white, Gentile straight man who is not President has failed.” Or to the question, “do you prefer to be in the company of happy or embittered people?” she answers, “As soon as I meet…

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Downing Peppermint Schnapps and Calling Morocco at Two in the Morning: Mark Borchardt Confronts the Senselessness

Downing Peppermint Schnapps and Calling Morocco at Two in the Morning: Mark Borchardt Confronts the Senselessness

Right up there at the top of any list of favorite documentaries I might compile would have to be Chris Smith’s brilliant American Movie. With the possible exception of King of Kong, I can’t think of another slice of life that captures the dual realities of human nature better than the story of Wisconsin filmmaker Mark Borchardt: the beauty and the absurdity, the aspirations and degradations, the endless victimizing and victimization, laughing and crying, creating and destroying, loving and losing, it’s all there. Lightning struck. And while, yes, we laugh at Mark and his too-good-for-this-world buddy Mike Shank – their…

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Five Favorite Documentaries of 2010

Five Favorite Documentaries of 2010

Kicking off our year-end lists, the five best documentaries I watched this year:

1. Bigger Stronger FasterWho knew the steroids “epidemic” could inspire such a profound meditation on identity, righteousness, strength, addiction, masculinity, hypocrisy, politics and family?! Seriously, as an unflinching yet entertaining look at the human condition, this one just cannot be beat. Bigger Stronger Faster not only makes a very convincing case for bodybuilding as a Religion, but more than any other film I’ve seen this year, it deserves its own Mockingbird breakout session (it sort of is its own Mbird breakout session). BSF also comes recommended by our…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: True Stories

Mockingbird at the Movies: True Stories

The last six years have been an amazing time for documentaries.

I am not thinking of the Usual Documentary. That is a movie about important issues you ought to care about: global warming, AIDS, Iraq, the Bush Presidency, the war on terror, the curtailment of civil liberties, genocide in Africa, Columbine, abortion, homosexuality, Iraq, big tobacco, the food industry, the capitalist exploitation of XXX, Iraq, etc..

Or it’s a movie about an important person you should care about (famous athlete, rock star, Hollywood celebrity, or historical figure). Or it’s a movie about Science or Nature, which everybody should care about.

Don’t…

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