Interview with director of freaky competitive tickling documentary

Bobby Hankinson interviewed director David Farrier about the craziest documentary of 2016: Tickled, which just premiered on HBO. I don't want to say too much. Just watch it. Read the rest

Hollywood's Greatest Trick: VFX artists vs. the studios

VFX artists have long complained they do not get the compensation they deserve for the value they bring to the film industry. Just in time for the Oscars, Ali Rizvi and Sohail Al-Jamea have teamed up with McClatchy with Hollywood's Greatest Trick. Read the rest

Pensive film revisits dead music venues

Quartier Latin in Berlin. Rose Bonbon in Paris. Hammersmith Palais in London. Some of the most iconic punk and rock clubs of the 80s and 90s are remembered by patrons and musicians, juxtaposed with shots of what they became after closing.

Bonus video: an edit of Last Man in Hammersmith Palais, outlining the venue's storied history.

Loud Places (Vimeo / Mathy & Fran) Read the rest

These vibrant arrangements of diatoms revive a lost Victorian art

Matthew Killip directed this lovely short film about Klaus Kemp, a microscopist whose specialty had its heyday in Victorian times: arranging microscopic creatures into beautiful patterns. Read the rest

How to film a protest

No Film School has great tips for those who want to document a protest. Meerkat Media has covered a lot of public protests, and the most effective coverage requires more than just pointing a camera or phone at the action. Read the rest

A grim documentary examines solitary confinement

Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison aired last night after a successful festival run. The film is an unflinching look at life in solitary confinement at Red Onion supermax, where prisoners spend 23 hours a day or more in solitary confinement. Read the rest

These are the Chinese bros who make bras and underwear

This short documentary by Enric Ribes and Oriol Martínez is titled Xiong Di, which translates in English to "brother" or, according to the directors, "fellas."

"I repeat the same things every day,” says Qu Maomao, 27. “Same clothes, same place, same process." (Dazed)

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Will malfunction or incompetence start World War Three?

Eric Schlosser's book and film Command and Control look at the terrifying prospects of nuclear friendly fire, where one of America's nukes detonates on US soil. It also looks at what might happen if a false alarm gets relayed to a trigger-happy general or President. He starts this New Yorker piece with a terrifying story from June 3, 1980:

President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was asleep in Washington, D.C., when the phone rang. His military aide, General William Odom, was calling to inform him that two hundred and twenty missiles launched from Soviet submarines were heading toward the United States. Brzezinski told Odom to get confirmation of the attack. A retaliatory strike would have to be ordered quickly; Washington might be destroyed within minutes. Odom called back and offered a correction: twenty-two hundred Soviet missiles had been launched. Brzezinski decided not to wake up his wife, preferring that she die in her sleep. As he prepared to call Carter and recommend an American counterattack, the phone rang for a third time. Odom apologized—it was a false alarm. An investigation later found that a defective computer chip in a communications device at norad headquarters had generated the erroneous warning. The chip cost forty-six cents.

Lots more scary info at the Command and Control film website.

World War Three, by mistake (New Yorker)

Image: Maxwell Hamilton Read the rest

Elmer Long on life, truth, and his Bottle Tree Ranch

Mohammed Kerawia shot this charming interview with Elmer Long, owner of the Bottle Tree Ranch on Route 66 in Oro Grande, California. Elmer accepts donations but it is free to enter. Read the rest

Meet yo-yo virtuoso Coffin Nachtmahr

"There are kids who had a security blanket; I had a security string," says Coffin Nachtmahr.

Invisible Thread, directed by Early Light Media. (National Geographic)

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Watch 'The Camera Collector', a lovely short film on passion (and high-end vintage camera superfans)

The Camera Collector tells the story of a vintage camera collector who fell in love with cameras in the 1960s, against the wishes of his father. After saving all summer for his first Leica, his father was waiting when he returned home. "When he saw it was a camera, he started punching me."

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Trailer for Jim Jarmusch's documentary about Iggy Pop

I can't wait to finally see Gimme Danger, Jim Jarmusch's documentary about Iggy Pop and The Stooges!

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Starling murmurations as you've never heard before

Starlings in flight are always beautiful, but what's most remarkable about The Art of Flying, a film by Jan van IJken about a massive flock of starlings, is the sound. Read the rest

Watch Warhol eat a Whopper

Andy Warhol eats a Whopper, from Jørgen Leth's 1982 documentary/art film "66 Scenes from America," a collection of moving "postcards" from the United States.

According to YouTube user Hidden Below, who posted this clip, Warhol eating the burger is "a classic ASMR trigger scene, so if you got ASMR you might wanna bookmark this video for a good time."

Noted.

(via Weird Universe)

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Documentary on North Korea's love of 3D photographs

North Koreans have a fondness for lenticular postcards and stereoscopic keepsakes, and they granted Slovenian photographer Matjaž Tančič rare access to create a series of 3D photographs of North Korean daily life. Read the rest

Slenderman documentary

Beware the Slenderman is a forthcoming HBO documentary about the latest incarnation of the bogeyman, including the 2014 story of the two 12-year-old girls who attempted to stab their friend to death as proxies of the faceless, lanky humanoid monster. First manifested on the Internet (and memetically spread into young peoples' nightmares) around 2011, Slendy is also set to star in his own horror film produced by Sony's Screen Gems division. (via The Daily Grail)

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Watch Before the Flood, an urgent call to arms about climate change

National Geographic released Before the Flood over the weekend, and it is a calm but clear-eyed overview of the scope of the environmental crisis facing our planet. It also looks at pragmatic steps we can take right now to slow the damage. Read the rest

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