The Source Family, documentary about 1970s Los Angeles freak cult/commune

The Source Family, a magnificent documentary by my friend Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos, will see nationwide distribution this spring, starting with a May 1 premier at the IFC Center in New York City. The film tells the story of Father Yod and his Source Family, a radical, utopian social experiment that emerged from the Los Angeles freak scene in the 1970s. Boing Boing is delighted to premier the trailer above. Far fucking out.

YoddddThe Source Family’s outlandish lifestyle, popular celebrity hangout restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip; but their outsider ideals, controversial spiritual leader Father Yod, along with his 13 wives, instigated local authorities. They fled to Hawaii, leading to their dramatic demise. Years later, family members surface and the rock band reforms, revealing how their time with Father Yod shaped their lives in the most unexpected ways. These personal accounts, along with interviews with outsiders, make up the interviews in the film. However, the story is largely cinematic, expressed through the use of the group’s extensive film and audio archive maintained by Isis Aquarian, one of Father's wives, Family documentarian, and a central character in the documentary (as well as being associate producer). The film’s soundtrack is composed entirely of original Source Family music produced from 1971-1975.

The film was inspired by The Source: The Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 and the Source Family, a fantastic 2007 book written by family members Isis Aquarian and Electricity Aquarian, edited by Jodi Wille, and published by our pals Process Media.

The Source Family: A Documentary

Crowdfunded doc on the Amazing Randi seeks funding

Justin sez,

In 2010, Boing Boing wrote about about James "The Amazing" Randi coming out of the closet as a gay man. Coming from the famed exposer-of-deception, many found his honesty inspirational. Then, in September of 2011, his live-in partner of 25 years, Jose Alvarez - the man who famously adopted the persona of "Carlos" for their "Carlos Hoax" - was arrested for identity fraud. Carlos, er, Jose, is actually named Deyvi Pena.

Luckily, documentary filmmakers Justin Weinstein (writer, editor of Being Elmo) and Tyler Measom (director, Sons of Perdition) were filming with them for their new doc, An Honest Liar: The Amazing Randi Story. In addition to getting the inside scoop on the Deyvi story, the doc features such greats as Richard Dawkins, Penn & Teller, Tim Minchin, Bill Nye, Neal DeGrasse Tyson, Adam Savage, Alice Cooper, and more.

You can help them get the film made by supporting it via Kickstarter (and get some great memorabilia).

An Honest Liar: The Amazing Randi Story (Thanks, Justin!)

Trailer for Pirate Bay documentary

Evan sez, "Just released: the trailer for the upcoming documentary "TPB:AFK" about the founders of the Pirate Bay. The film will be released for free online at the premiere of a major film festival. Release date to be announced during Jan 2013. Staring Peter Sunde (Flattr Co-founder), Gottfrid Swartholm Warg (PRQ), Fredrik Neij (PRQ) Directed by Simon Klose."

I blogged this back in 2010 and helped support it on Kickstarter. Got a very cool t-shirt!

The Pirate Bay: Away From Keyboard (official trailer) (Thanks, Evan!)

Bill O'Reilly-watching climate-change-denier is moved to tears by polar melting documentary

Alexander sez, "James Balog had his movie Chasing Ice released, which is about the attempt to capture melting polar ice on film. A self-described daily Bill O'Reilly watcher, who used to tell people to get out of her house if they said global warming was anything other than 'bullshit', saw it -- and started crying. I really, really, want to see O'Reilly watching her reaction."

Synopsis « Chasing Ice (Thanks, Alexander!)

Raising money for "American Commune," a documentary about The Farm

SF writer Spider Robinson sends along this Kickstarter for "American Commune," a documentary in production about The Farm, a famous hippie commune in Tennessee, being made by two women who were raised on The Farm as small kids, then moved to Los Angeles. They need to raise $50K to finish their post-production (they've already shot and edited the movie, with the help of Emmy-winning editor Michael Levine).

I have a couple of friends who are ex-Farmies, and they're some of the sweetest folks I know. I'm sure that's not a coincidence.

In 1970, 300 hippies founded a commune in the backwoods of Tennessee and set out to change the world. Members shared everything, grew their own food, delivered their babies at home and succeeded in building a self-sufficient society. By 1980, The Farm had 1,500 members and hosted 10,000 visitors a year. Their socialist experiment sowed the seeds for many of today’s most progressive movements, including organic farming, natural birth, vegetarianism, and solar power. Countless reporters—everyone from Dan Rather to Walter Cronkite—have covered The Farm in news segments, but we are the first insiders to tell our story.

American Commune (Thanks, Spider!)

Self-taught 15-y-o from Sierra Leone is a king-hell maker

This short documentary about a teenager from Sierra Leone who taught himself electronics and got a residence at MIT is inspiring and humbling -- what a kid!

15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus.

Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the "Visiting Practitioner's Program" at MIT. THNKR had exclusive access to Kelvin and his life-changing journey - experiencing the US for the first time, exploring incredible opportunities, contending with homesickness, and mapping out his future.

Self-taught African Teen Wows M.I.T.

Zombie documentary from "The People v George Lucas" crew needs your support

MC Frontalot sez, "From the folks who made The People Vs. George Lucas (in which I am lucky enough to be a talking head), a new documentary about zombies and their place in our culture. Simon Pegg and Alex Cox are in the teaser trailer. Looks like the filmmakers need $30,000 in the next six days if they're going to fan-fund this thing. Since tPvGL did so well, I'm guessing that more traditional avenues are open to them if this fails. But I think it's way cooler for the audience to make this thing their own."

Brought to the screen by the creators of the groundbreaking participatory doc THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS, and co-hosted by Geekscape’s own Jonathan London and Red Letter Media’s infamous Mr. Plinkett, DOC OF THE DEAD will delve deep into the myriad crevasses of zombie culture to deliver the first-ever in-depth look at a contemporary social pandemic of global proportions. Shot and edited in a cinematically edgy, high-octane style, DOC OF THE DEAD will host a rich and entertaining dialogue with zombie experts and celebrities, seek participation from YouTubers and indie filmmakers, and examine viral cultural trends to explore the possibility and ramifications of an actual zombie outbreak with sociologists, virologists, chemists, and members of the Zombie Research Society.

DOC OF THE DEAD (Thanks, Frontalot!)

BBC radio documentary on same-sex couple coping with cancer and mortality

BB reader Jane Lowers sends along this beautiful BBC Radio documentary about two men in California who have been together for decades, now facing one's terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis. "I know both of them; Eric was a columnist at a radiology magazine I used to work for," says Jane. "Their house is every inch as insane as described. But the story -- trying to decide how to deal with a diagnosis, how to use the time you have, and how it can affect relationships -- was very well-described, I thought."

Movie poster for Jodorowsky's Dune

Kilian Eng created this poster for an upcoming documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky's legendary project to film Dune, "possibly the greatest Sci-Fi film that never was."

Poster for the upcoming documentary [via Super Punch]

PoV documentary on underground bike-messenger racing

Here's a trailer for "Line of Sight," a documentary on underground bike-messenger racing that uses helmetcams to capture some pretty insane (and often terrifying) examples of cycling skill:

Line Of Sight is a rare view into underground bicycle messenger racing which has become a global phenomenon. For over a decade Lucas Brunelle has been riding with the fastest, most skilled urban cyclists around the world while capturing all the action with his customized helmet cameras to bring you along for the ride.

This is bike riding like you've never seen before, in gripping first-person perspective through the most hectic city streets, on expressways in Mexico City, over the frozen Charles River, under the Mediterranean Sea, across the Great Wall of China and deep into the jungles of Guatemala.

LINE OF SIGHT - Official Trailer

Spirit Level documentary needs your support

Katharine sez, "Dartmouth Films are working with the Equality Trust on a documentary film of 'The Spirit Level, which aims to take the message of the book -- that more equal societies are better for everyone -- out to a wider audience. With growing unease over the last year about tax avoidance & the social effects of inequality (and the success of movements such as Occupy and Uncut), the film hopes to put pressure on governments and political parties from all ends of the political spectrum to pursue fairer policies. The film's campaign is live for three more weeks only at Indiegogo, and you can support the project by pre-buying the film or following the film on Twitter." Cory

Just Do It environmental outlaw activist documentary screening, free online for May Day

Emily sez,

Just Do It - a tale of modern-day outlaws is an exciting new documentary which takes you behind the scenes of the secret world of environmental direct action in the UK. Granted unprecedented access to film, director Emily James embedded herself inside a group of nonviolent UK activists as they shut down airports, stormed the fences of coal power stations, and super-glued themselves to bank trading floors, all despite the very real threat of arrest.

The film opened in the US just last week on Earth Day, however, in solidarity and support with May Day actions planned around the world - starting at 5:30pm EST on Monday 30th, the full film will be available to watch online for FREE for 24 hours on occupy.com, with a live Q&A with director Emily James at 7pm EST. To reserve your seat for the 5:30pm screening, simply head over to www.occupy.com/watch/ or to watch the film at any time during the 24-hour invitation, click "watch now" in the player.

You'll remember Emily and her awesome movie from such blogposts as this one.

Just do it | Occupy.com

Bully gets cut, rated

The Weinstein Company has caved to the MPAA and edited down the documentary Bully in order to get a PG-13 rating. Unrated, uncut versions of the movie will still be shown in some theaters -- a concession from the MPAA. See more about the story here, and here. (Thanks, Xeni!) Cory

Documentary about 1970s northern California Star Trek conventions

Apropos yesterday's post about 1970s science fiction convention costumes, Strephon Taylor sez, "I just saw your post on the 1970's science fiction costumes. I made a documentary on the early northern California Star Trek conventions called "Back to Space-Con", it has a ton of costume footage, I think you will dig it. We have some of the earliest full sound film on the subject. We got contacted by the producers of Trek Nation for our convention footage! "

This feature-length documentary film tells the story of the 1970's Bay Area Sci-Fi conventions called Space-Con. Told by the original organizers and fans. Includes celebrity interviews, costume contests and over 40 minutes of rare convention footage. See the Federation Trading Post in Berkeley and very first Star Trek convention in San Francisco. A real treat for any Star Trek or Star Wars fan. Film stars Bob Wilkins, John Stanley, Ernie Fosselius, and many more.

BACK TO SPACE-CON Trailer B

Chick-Fil-A threatens guy who made "Eat More Kale" shirts; he fights back with a Kickstarter documentary

Bo sells a t-shirt that says "Eat More Kale" from his home in rural Vermont. Titanic chicken sandwich chain Chick-Fil-A claims that this shirt infringes on their trademark for the slogan "Eat Mor (sic) Chikin' (sic)." They've demanded that Bo shut down and turn over his website to them. Rather than capitulate, Bo is making a defiant documentary about his refusal, and he's raising funds on Kickstarter.

Of course, I might not win --- the odds are against me. All over the country 'trademark bullies,' large corporations that bully small businesses over alleged claims of trademark infringement, are legally harassing small businesses and wearing them down with repeated lawsuits and appeals. In the face of overwhelming legal bills, most small businesses just give up.

This is more than just plain wrong: it's un-American.

By helping make this documentary I want to shine a light on this issue, my battle, and other trademark bullies, too. If I win, it's a great story; if I lose, it's a sad story. Either way, Jim and I think it's a story worth telling.

It seems to me that there shouldn't be any valid trademark claim here. Leaving aside the spelling issue, the graphic presentation of "Eat More Kale" is very different from "Eat mor chikin." The phrase "Eat more," is pretty generic, and is unlikely to result in confusion. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm inclined to think that if Bo can stay in the fight long enough -- that is, if they don't outspend him into oblivion -- he stands a chance of winning.

A Defiant Dude by James Lantz and Eat More Kale guy — Kickstarter