Boing Boing 

Laura Poitras's Citizenfour OPSEC


One of the most startling motifs of Citizenfour, Laura Poitras's Academy Award-winning documentary about Edward Snowden, is the use and abuse of cryptographic tools, which are at the center of the NSA's surveillance plans and Snowden's audacious act of whistleblowing.

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Citizenfour takes Oscar for Best Documentary

Citizenfour, Laura Poitras's brilliant documentary about Edward Snowden, won the Best Documentary Academy Award last night!

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Citizenfour: all it's cracked up to be and more

I've been travelling continuously since September, and that means that despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to see Citizenfour, Laura Poitras's storied Edward Snowden documentary -- until last night.

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NYC theater overrules MPAA rating for Snowden documentary


Citizenfour, the acclaimed Laura Poitras documentary about Edward Snowden, has been given an R rating by the notoriously corrupt and opaque MPAA ratings board (see This Film Is Not Yet Rated).

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Should science filmmakers tell the truth?

These days, television networks air completely fictitious productions as non-fiction documentaries on subjects such as the extinct Megalodon shark or mermaids.

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Beautiful Rocky Horror lithos


Backers of the Rocky Horror Saved My Life documentary post-production effort can one of these beautiful posters for a $20 contribution. I saw them in person today at New York Comic-Con and they're gorgeous.

RAIDS: law enforcement training film (c. 1974)

RAIDS, a c.1974 Federal law enforcement training film, looks like a pilot for a cop show from that era. (via r/Documentaries)

Sign Painters: book and documentary

Sign Painters cover

Sign Painters looks to be a fascinating book and documentary about the traditional art and craft of hand-drawn signage that is being lost to digital prints and die-cut vinyl. The film is playing at venues around the US right now, including this Sunday (7/27) at the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie, Texas!

Kickstarting a doc about making a living in the arts


Olga writes, "Director and photographer Allan Amato is making a documentary film about how creative people wake up in the morning and persevere at being inspired and choosing to make art their living."

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Wonderful 1970s educational documentaries

Robin Lehman is an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker who created a beautiful collection of 1970s educational films for young (and old) people, including "Wings and Things" about flight (clip above). Below, a clip from "Ocean Life." DVD collections of Lehman's films are available from Phoenix Learning Group. (via toys and techniques)

Short documentary explains Net Neutrality

Brian Knappenberger, who made the Internet's Own Boy Aaron Swartz documentary, has made an excellent, vital short film about network neutrality (or cable company fuckery).

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The rules underpinning Porky Pig's stutter

Looney Toons voice actor Bob Bergen explains the logic underlying Porky Pig's stutter, which is surprisingly regular.

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Internet's Own Boy, free CC-licensed download on Internet Archive

The Creative Commons-licensed version of The Internet's Own Boy, Brian Knappenberger's documentary about Aaron Swartz, is now available on the Internet Archive, which is especially useful for people outside of the US, who aren't able to pay to see it online.

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Aaron Swartz documentary, The Internet's Own Boy, out today

The Internet's Own Boy, Brian Knappenberger's brilliant documentary about the life and death of Aaron Swartz, is out in cinemas and through on demand channels today.

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Kickstarting a documentary about Moondog, the blind, homeless father of minimalist music

Michael sez, "One of my all-time favourite composers was a blind street musician, Louis T Hardin, who went by the stage name Moondog and who performed on the streets of Manhattan from the 1940s through to 1974. Philip Glass, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman and Steve Reich were all apparently fans; Janis Joplin and the Kronos Quartet have covered his songs; and he's admired by modern musicians from Jarvis Cocker to John Zorn to Mr Scruff (and I reckon I can hear his influence on Stereolab, too, as well as on a whole host of loop-based electronic music)."

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Unarius UFO cult film screenings in L.A. this weekend!

Fantastic UFO cult the Unarius Brotherhood will take over Los Angeles's Cinefamily this weekend for screenings of their 1970s-1980s psychotronic documentaries, costume exhibit, pop-up reading room, workshops, and other far out fun co-presented by BB pal Jodi Wille!

Why did the 9/11 'falling man' image disappear?

fallingman

At Design Observer, a fascinating piece on how photographer Richard Drew's iconic, disturbing image of a man falling to his death from the World Trade Center on 911 has been erased from public view.

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Malik Bendjelloul, "Searching for Sugar Man" director, RIP

Malik+Bendjelloul+Searching+Sugar+Man+

Malik Bendjelloul, the 36-year-old director of the excellent Oscar-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," has died of an unspecified cause, according to CNN.

McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit: deliberate, corporatist urban legend

Remember the old lady who sued McDonald's for millions because she burned herself by spilling hot coffee in her lap? It never happened. What actually happened was much more sordid, and the deliberate distortion of the story -- which is ultimately about a company that caused repeated, horrific and preventable injury to its customers -- is a tidy story about how corporations have convinced us that they are victims of out-of-control tort lawyers.

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Trailer for "Internet's Own Boy," the Aaron Swartz documentary

I'm in Toronto for the Hot Docs screening of The Internet's Own Boy, a documentary about the life, persecution and death of Aaron Swartz, in which I appear. The film will be in general release (as well as a separate Creative Commons release) this summer, starting on June 27. The trailer, just released, gives a good sense of the emotional heft, high production values, and intellectual rigor of this excellent film.

Woman makes dolls to replace people in her village

The already-tiny village of Nagoro in eastern Iya on Shikoku, Japan is shrinking. Only a few dozen people still live there. The others have died or moved away. Ayano Tsukimi, 64, makes life-sized rag dolls to replace them and positions them in places that were important in their lives in Nagoro. Director Fritz Schumann made a mini-documentary about this "Valley of Dolls."

Kickstarting a film adaptation of "Dark Side of Disney" - guide to getting high, drunk & laid while on Disney vacation

Ricky sez, "Director Philip B. Swift has announced a feature-length documentary film called 'The Dark Side of Disney' based on Leonard Kinsey's travel guide of the same name, to feature topics like finding and buying dirt cheap park tickets and time shares, drinking around Epcot, having sex in the parks, obtaining and using drugs while on an Orlando vacation. The film has just hit Kickstarter, trying to raise $20,000. Last year Swift released 'The Bubble,' a documentary about the Disney-created town of Celebration just outside Walt Disney World."

The Dark Side of Disney [Amazon]

“The Dark Side of Disney” documentary film to explore adult side of theme park vacations, hits Kickstarter for funds [Ricky Brigante/Inside the Magic]

(Thanks, Ricky!)

Documentary "Stripped" shows the past and future of comic strips

Glenn Fleishman on a crowdfunded journey into the history of comics in America

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Documentary about anarchist punk band Crass

Crasslogo

Above, watch the entirety of "There Is No Authority But Yourself," a 2006 feature documentary about seminal anarcho-punk band Crass. It was directed by Dutch filmmaker Alexander Oey.

Filmmaker seeks people with sleep paralysis experiences

741px John Henry Fuseli The Nightmare

Do you have experience with sleep paralysis? Many scientists believe that sleep paralysis is the biological answer to such mysteries as spirit visitations, alien abductions, incubi/succubi, and out-of-body experiences. My old friend Rodney Ascher, director of the excellent film Room 237 and other movies, is making a documentary about the phenomenon and would love to hear from you. Rodney writes:

I'm working on on a new film - it's about Sleep Paralysis, a surprisingly common phenomenon where people wake-up totally frozen from the eyeballs down, unable even to make a noise, and they frequently see sinister intruders and other disturbing visions. I've been obsessed with it ever since it used to happen with me (in my case, I saw sort of a living, 3D shadow looming over in me in judgement).

The film is going to be largely built on interviews with people who've had vivid, first-person experiences with it (and have given some serious thought to what's really happening to them) - if anyone wants to share their stories, the easiest way is to contact us via the film's Facebook page.

The Nightmare: A Nonfiction Film About An Unreal Experience

Documentary tracks down JFK's "Silly Bastard"

Scott writes, "We've just received word that our documentary short, The Silly Bastard Next to the Bed, will be debuting at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC next month. In the film, we set out to locate and interview 'the silly bastard' that JFK rants about in the YouTube phone call. The video has been a pretty big hit - as far as presidential phone calls go - and we're about to top 400K views. (Thanks, Scott!)

Middle schooler wins C-SPAN prize for doc about NSA spying

Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, "Remember when Rep. Mike Rogers likened opponents of pernicious cybersecurity legislation to 14-year-olds? It turns out that middle-school-age students are also well-prepared to debate him on the NSA's programs as well. EFF congratulates students from two middle schools who took home top prizes in the C-SPAN StudentCam 2014 competition for young filmmakers with their documentaries on the debate over mass surveillance."

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Doc film on surveillance seeks fund to film Syrian activist subjected to state surveillance

Charles Koppelman writes, "Zero Day (working title) is a documentary film being produced and directed by Charles Koppelman. BBC Storyville is co-producing and intends to air it. The film begins with the story of a single malware attack by the Assad regime in Syria using Skype as a platform. This targeted phishing attack used a Remote Access Tool (Xtreme RAT) to infect an activist’s computer. He was then tracked surreptitiously by security forces. He suffered very real physical consequences — detention, jail, and torture. His jailers showed him a file with hundreds of pages of email, web posts and surveillance reports on his movements. It is well-documented that he was the first Syrian activist to be attacked in the ongoing cyberwar conducted by the Assad regime. The Assad regime uses this same digital surveillance tool to compromise countless other activists and citizen journalists."

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New documentary about Silvan - The Great Magician

I loved this 15-minute documentary about the Italian magician Silvan. He is very charismatic as he tells his story. His room is filled with beautiful magic memorabilia. (Is that Minecraft music playing in the background?)
Nobody knows a magician's secrets, but everybody knows Silvan. Wecrosstheline meets one of the greatest international masters of illusion: the man who has enchanted millions of Italians with his unique blend of style and skill, illusion and elegance.

Voted Magician of the Year twice, in 1990 and 1999 - the only artist outside America to have received this prestigious award - the great Silvan welcomes us into his home in Rome where we become the witnesses to a magical existence as he reveals the secrets of his legendary life.

Silvan - The Great Magician, directed by Gabriele Trapani

The UK Gold: riveting documentary on the deep, ingrained corruption of the UK's banking centre, the City of London

Jeff writes, "Featuring a brand new soundtrack from Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Massive Attack and Elbow, and narrated by Dominic West (The Wire), journalist Marke Donne has put together a riveting documentary exposing the tax avoidance 'industry' operated by the highly secretive, centuries old institution, The City of London.

With a permanent office in Parliament, a budget of $1.2 billion and the media-avoiding tactics of the super-rich, the City relies on lobbying and silence to carry out it's offshore tax avoidance, robbing the state of tens of billions in revenue every year."

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