Documentary on the endangered art of hollerin', possibly the earliest form of human communications

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Filmmaker Brian Gersten writes, "'The Hollerin' Contest at Spivey's Corner' is a documentary short about the history, characters, and sounds of the National Hollerin' Contest. Hollerin' itself is considered by some to be the earliest form of communication between humans, and the competition has been held annually in the small town of Spivey's Corner, NC since 1969. The film follows the stories of three former champions as they attempt to reclaim their titles, and keep the oft-forgotten tradition of hollerin' alive." Read the rest

Crowdfunding a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom

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Documentary maker James H. Carter II is seeking about $4,000 to complete work on "Foolish Mortals," a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom that includes a detailed 3D model of the Disneyland Mansion for you to VR in (or whatever!). Read the rest

This man filmed himself annually for 35 years and made a video going backwards to 1977

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This video from 2011 inspired a 2015 documentary called Sam Klemke's Time Machine.

In 1977, Sam Klemke started obsessively documenting his entire life on film. Beginning decades before the modern obsession with selfies and status updates, we see Sam grow from an optimistic teen to a self-important 20 year old, into an obese, self-loathing 30-something and onwards into his philosophical 50s. The same year that Sam began his project, NASA launched the Voyager craft into deep space carrying the Golden Record, a portrait of humanity that would try to explain to extra terrestrials who we are.

From director Matthew Bate (Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure), Sam Klemke’s Time Machine follows two unique self-portraits as they travel in parallel – one hurtling through the infinity of space and the other stuck in the suburbs of Earth – in a freewheeling look at time, memory, mortality and what it means to be human.

Read the rest

West coast premiere for nerd culture documentary Traceroute

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Johannes Grenzfurthner writes, "My cinematic tour de farce through nerd culture comes to the West Coast. Upcoming Bay Area and L.A. premieres!" Read the rest

No More Road Trips? Feature film made from 90 families' home movies, 1925-78

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Rick Prelinger writes, "Today I've released my 2013 feature film NO MORE ROAD TRIPS? to the world for viewing, public screening and remixing." Read the rest

Documentary on the past, present and future of typewriters

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Typewriter sculptor Jeremy Meyer sez, "I just got back from Telluride where the feature-length documentary by Doug Nichol called 'California Typewriter' premiered." Read the rest

How documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux asks questions

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Louis Theroux's ability to establish a rapport with subjects is legendary, even with people who are aware that he may be, from their perspective, implicitly hostile. His affectation of ignorance and naivety is part of it, obviously, but it's more than that: he lets subjects take a position of superiority, remains emotionally detached, yet exposes himself to scrutiny.

In this video, Ryan Holligner explains just how good Theroux is at this stuff. Read the rest

Galactic Warfighters: recreating photos of US soldiers in battle using Star Wars action figures

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Matthew Callahan's Galactic Warfighters series poses Star Wars action figures in scenes that recreate war journalism from US operations, captioned with AP-style slugs that conjure up the human cost of the battles hidden by the inscrutable armor of the Empire. Read the rest

Astounding, visionary video about hypertext from 1976

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Brett Bobley writes, "'Hypertext: an Educational Experiment in English and Computer Science at Brown University' is an amazing documentary film from 1976 made by Brown University computer scientist Andries 'Andy' van Dam." Read the rest

The Divide: important new documentary about income inequality based on "The Spirit Level"

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Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson's 2011 book The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger was an instant classic for the way it described the impact of wealth inequality on the lives of both poor and rich people, driving them both to completely unsustainable working lives that destroyed their families and made them deeply unhappy. Read the rest

Laura Poitras's Whitney show and book are a glimpse into life under full-strength, targeted US surveillance

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Laura Poitras, whose 2014 Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour won the Academy Award for best doc, has a show on at NYC's Whitney Museum called "Astro Noise," which attempts to capture the sense of overwhelming surveillance she's lived under since the US government targeted her while she was shooting a documentary in Iraq. Read the rest

1970 documentary about Hunter S. Thompson's run for sheriff of Aspen

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Jesse Walker says: "In 1970, Hunter Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, on a Freak Power ticket, promising to sod the streets, put dishonest drug dealers in stocks, and change Aspen's name to "Fat City." His campaign caught the attention of the British TV show This Week, which sent a crew to make a documentary about it." Read the rest

Watch: Claude Shannon, Jerome Wiesner and Oliver Selfridge in a 1960s AI documentary

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This short excerpt from a documentary on AI pulls together clips from a variety of 1960s interviews with some of AI's most storied pioneers, including Claude Shannon, Jerome Wiesner and Oliver Selfridge. Read the rest

Crowdfunding "The Haystack": an independent documentary on surveillance in the UK

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Edward Snowden said that Britain's spies have "some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the world," and those powers are about to be dramatically expanded if the Snoopers Charter passes Parliament. Read the rest

Laura Poitras's Astro Noise: indispensable book and gallery show about mass surveillance

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Laura Poitras is the Macarthur-winning, Oscar-winning documentarian who made Citizenfour. Her life has been dogged by government surveillance and harassment, and she has had to become a paranoid OPSEC ninja just to survive. Read the rest

Delhi's "Sleep Mafia" control the nights of 100,000 homeless workers

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With an estimated 100,000 homeless people living on the streets of Delhi, and 18,000 shelter beds, the city's nighttime sidewalks are the only bed for tens of thousands of workers. Read the rest

WATCH: documentary featuring some of the best aurora borealis footage ever captured

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Back in 2012, I wrote about 'Magnetic Reconnection', a beautiful, haunting experimental film about the aurora borealis, scored by Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth, Wilco) and narrated by Will Oldham (Matewan, Old Joy). Read the rest

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