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!)
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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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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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.
Silvan - The Great Magician, directed by Gabriele Trapani
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.
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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Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything Is a Remix, has launched the first installment of his serial documentary project about "the forces that that shape us." In this first entertaining episode, Ferguson explains why people fall for conspiracy theories.
He says: "To see future episodes you will need to subscribe. Launch price is $12; the price will rise to $15 later. This project has been my labor of love for the past couple years and I hope you will you enjoy it."
This is Not a Conspiracy Theory (Part 1) (Via Laughing Squid)
Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "I escort a lot of TV crews in and out of the building at EFF. Few have been as efficient and polite as Ben Blum, a 13-year-old San Francisco independent YouTube producer who interviewed EFF's Parker Higgins for this short documentary. Pitched to us as an entry in a C-Span competition about what issues Congress should deal with in 2014, Data Obsession breaks down the controversy over domestic surveillance with help from AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein.
Data Obsession - A Look Inside Government Surveillance
In the New Yorker, Tim Wu reviews The Internet's Own Boy, a documentary about the life and death of Aaron Swartz. Wu, the scholar and lawyer who coined the term "Net Neutrality," does a good job of framing Aaron's life in the context of his activism. The film has just premiered to good reviews at Sundance.
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The Internet's Own Boy is a documentary about the life and death of Aaron Swartz, and it just premiered at Sundance. Director Brian Knappenberger sat down with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, as well as Aaron's father Robert and his brother Noah for a wide-ranging interview on Aaron and his work.
The Internet’s Own Boy: Film on Aaron Swartz Captures Late Activist’s Struggle for Online Freedom
Today marks the release of We Cause Scenes, a feature-length documentary on the the legendary Improv Everywhere troupe, which was pieced together from over twelve years' worth of footage of daring, comic, wonderful public scenes. We've been writing about Improv Everywhere for years, and a tour through our archives reveals such delights as the annual No-Pants subway ride, the Star Wars subway car, the NYC sidewalk tourist-lane, Lost at the Knicks game, Grand Central Station mass-freeze and Shirtless at Abercrombie and Fitch.
We Cause Scenes is available as a DRM-free high-def download direct from the production company -- $13, or $15 with bonus features -- and comes with an impressive pedigree from the festival circuit, having been selected for SXSW, Hotdocs, and many others.
The Residents are a legendary and cryptic avant-garde music collective that began in Louisiana and moved to San Francisco nearly forty years ago. They've since released more than 60 records and a slew of videos, films, CD-ROMs (remember those?) and DVDs. Filmmaker Josh Keppel and friends are going behind The Residents' iconic eyeball masks (well, as best as they can) with a new documentary about the group, titled Theory of Obscurity. The film already hit its goal on Indiegogo but there are still a few days left to support the project. I can't wait to see the movie! "Theory of Obscurity: a film about The Residents" (Thanks for the intro, Ron Turner!)
It's 85 minutes long, and it gets right into the meat of things. There are interviews with Notch, the Mojang crew, and game design luminaries, but the documentarians also capture the game's vibe in a way that few others do: that strange, expansive sense of place. You can download a DRM-free HD copy at the official website. [Video Link]
Amy sez, "Every 98 minutes in the USA, a dog is shot by law enforcement. (In the past fifty years, no police officer has been killed by a dog, and yet evidence suggests the police use lethal force as their one and only response when dogs are present - even lying down, tales wagging, or running away.) This new indie documentary explores an untold story. Everyone should check it out!"
PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary
Last year, Parisian street artist Invader, famed for his ubiquitous 8-bit video game mosaics, launched one of his invaders into the stratosphere on a weather balloon. On Tuesday (10/29), our pals at NYC's Jonathan LeVine Gallery are presenting a free screening of the short film about that project, titled ART4SPACE. The screenings are at 8pm and 9pm at Landmark Theatres Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street. ART4SPACE screening
Renegade BB cartoonist Ed Piskor points us to this documentary about manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), the creator of Astro Boy, Black Jack, and Kimba the White Lion. Ed says, "I am, at the same time, inspired and heartbroken by this film. It's an amazing document about the Japanese God of Comics shot a short time before his death." A DVD of the film is included in the book "The Art of Osamu Tezuka."