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."