Watch "Mondo Elvis," a short and unsettling 1984 documentary about extreme Elvis Presley fans

Tom Corboy's "Mondo Elvis" (1984) is a short, award-winning, and oddly unsettling documentary about extreme Elvis Presley fanatics after The King's demise. From the description at Mondo A-Go Go Video's channel:

"This award-winning film takes a searing look at Elvis Presley's most fanatic followers. Meet such devoted disciples as the twin sisters who believe Elvis was their father, a woman whose husband divorced her for excessive devotion to Elvis, and an impersonator who claims The King came to him in a dream.

Disturbing yet entertaining, haunting yet hysterical, this program is a must for anyone interested in comprehending the significance of America's greatest cultural hero."

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Crowdfunding "In Search of Tomorrow," the ultimate 80s sci-fi film documentary

In Search of Tomorrow is slated to be a four-hour-long love letter to the sci-fi films of the 1980s. It is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter and has raised almost $470,000 dollars to date, with 32 hours left to go. It is being produced by the same folks who crowdfunded and produced the documentary on 80s horror films, In Search of Darkness.

In Search of Tomorrow will take viewers on a year-by-year deep dive into the many awe-inspiring worlds of ‘80s Sci-Fi movies, breaking down the most iconic and eccentric films you know and love (and many you may have forgotten or missed), and examining the science, technology, and artistry behind the fiction.

The completed feature will be more than four hours long and feature insights and anecdotes from an extensive collection of experts and iconic talent, including filmmakers, actors, special-effects and visual effects masters, tech advisors, authors, influencers, and visionaries. Not only will they tell their own stories, but they will share opinions about their own favorite Sci-Fi movies.

Learn more of their Kickstarter page. Image: Promotional poster Read the rest

A new documentary about the bizarre Biosphere 2 "human zoo"

Built in the late 1980s, Biosphere 2 is the human habitat in Oracle, Arizona that was meant to help scientists understand how humans might live in space. In 1991, eight people went inside for two years of experimental quarantine inside the vivarium. The premise, and much of what happened, would make for a great JG Ballard novel. Spaceship Earth, a new documentary about Biosphere 2 directed by Matt Wolf, promises to tell the real tale, warts and all. It premieres online May 8. From Neon, the indie studio releasing the film:

The [Biosphere 2] experiment was a worldwide phenomenon, chronicling daily existence in the face of life threatening ecological disaster and a growing criticism that it was nothing more than a cult. The bizarre story is both a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson of how a small group of dreamers can potentially reimagine a new world.

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Support a new documentary about vaporwave music

In 2009, musician Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) released a track called “Nobody Here” followed by the album “Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol.1” less than a year later. Now, that track is considered the first vaporwave song, and "Eccojams" the first vaporwave album, with one of the original 100 cassettes going for $2,000 on Discogs. Yesterday saw the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for “Nobody Here: The Story of Vaporwave," the first feature documentary about the genre, with artists on the soundtrack (and hopefully in the film) like Saint Pepsi, CatSystem Corp., Death’s Dynamic Shroud, Yung Bae, Luxury Elite, and more. The Indiegogo rewards range from the soundtrack on vinyl, cassette, or MiniDisc to a Macintosh Plus signed by the artists and filmmakers. They aim to complete the film by January 2021 but right now, there's not much to do but support the project and just enjoy yourself...

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Drew Friedman's amazing portrait of Jared Kushner for Netflix's "Dirty Money"

Drew Friedman says:

The Netflix documentary series Dirty Money, season two, debuted with a profile of Jared Kushner (titled “Slumlord Millionaire”) directed by Morgan Pehme and Dan DiMauro (who also made the Roger Stone documentary).

The filmmakers filmed me for the episode, sent cameras up to my my home studio to interview me about Kushner, (who I did 50 covers for back when he published the NY Observer), and also filmed me over a course of three days creating an illustration of Jared channeling Dorian Gray, with the exposed picture being his father-in-law).

A bit more on the genesis of the drawing: I had thought that Jared looked like the young, handsome, and emotionless actor, Hurd Hatfield, who played Dorian Gray in the 1946 MGM film version, and I was toying for awhile with the idea of drawing Jared Kushner posed as Dorian but couldn’t figure out a twist. One of the filmmakers suggested that Trump himself be the horrible visage seen in the aging painting hidden away in Dorian’s attic, perhaps an analogy to what his soul might someday evolve into. That clicked with me, thus the drawing.

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Watch this fascinating BBC documentary about the history of house cats

Above, watch the first episode of Cats, biologist, naturalist and TV presenter Roger Tabor's wonderful BBC documentary series from 1991 that explores the history of the house cat around the world.

And a bonus below, Tabor's 2011 short "The Secret Life of Cats: Report and Documentary":

(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Watch this wonderful and mellow short documentary about janitors (1966)

In 1966, the University of Illinois, Motion Picture Service interviewed campus janitors about their work. "To do a really top notch piece of work, you've gotta do more than just dust and sweep -- you've gotta really color it clean." From the description at Archive.org:

Shows the detailed steps necessary to achieve a high standard of cleanliness in a public restroom and presents the opinions, attitudes and personal feelings of the men who do the job, giving voice in particular to a janitor in a university building. Director: James W. Hall. Janitor: Hance Nelson.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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Trailer for "Insert Coin," a new documentary about the creators of the biggest videogames of the 1990s

"Insert Coin" is a new documentary about Midway, the Chicago-based videogame developer that transformed the industry with Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and other coin-op classics. Director Joshua Tsui funded the film via this Kickstarter and will premiere at the SXSW Film Festival later this month. From the film description:

Eugene Jarvis, the creator of 80s classic videogames such as Defender and Robotron, returns to the industry in the 90s. In the process, he assembles a team that pioneers the concept of bringing live-action into videogames, kickstarting a new era in the arcades.

The technology mushrooms into massive hits such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam and soon the team begins to conquer the world. What began as a small tight-knit group begins to deal with success and eventually the rise of home consumer technology.

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Watch the trailer to "The Booksellers," a documentary on the enduring, eccentric world of rare book selling

Attention bookworms and rare book nerds. The Booksellers, opening in March, is a documentary celebrating bookstores and the peculiar business of collecting and selling rare books.

Literary Hub writes:

Have you ever dreamed of becoming an antiquarian bookseller? Or just wanted to get to know one better? Or maybe you just like old books a lot. Either way, this is the documentary for you. Directed by D.W. Young and executive produced by Parker Posey, the film features interviews with rare book dealers of all stripes, as well as collectors, auctioneers, and writers like Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Kevin Young, and Gay Talese—-true book believers all.

Read the rest on Literary Hub. Read the rest

Vice documentary about how Viagra is being marketed to millennials

Now that Viagra is available over the counter in some parts of the world or is easily available online with or without a prescription, many young men without erectile dysfunction are using it recreationally. This episode of Vice High Society looks into the trend, hosted by a "healthy 24-year-old man" who takes Viagra. Read the rest

Interviews with some of NASCAR's most ridiculous, drunk, and sophomoric fans (NSFW)

This NSFW visit to Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway is like the "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" of NASCAR.

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Review of Criterion Collection's "Crumb" and "Ghost World" DVDs

Cartoonists Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg take a look at the booklets that come with Criterion Collection's Crumb and Ghost World DVDs and Blu-rays, both directed by Terry Zwigoff. I've seen both films multiple times and already have the Crumb DVD, but I wasn't aware that Criterion did one for Ghost World. Sigh *pulls out wallet* Read the rest

Today: Take part in an interactive online screening of "The Crossing" for Human Rights Day

Today is International Human Rights Day, and Storylab has arranged for a special free online screening of "The Crossing: Your Impact on Modern Day Slavery," via the interactive Hubhub platform, which lets viewers annotate and discuss videos, with comments linked to specific moments in the video. The video includes a special introduction by Emma Thompson, the project's patron. Read the rest

Key & Peele: "If Hogwarts were an inner-city school"

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele reveal the "deplorable conditions at Vincent Clortho Public School for Wizards."

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Netflix has a documentary about extremely creepy founder of Bikram Yoga

If you want to quickly find out about what kind of person Bikram Choudhury is, watch this interview, in which the yoga teacher and alleged serial rapist claims that women are begging to pay him $1,000,000 for a single drop of his sperm and that four women committed suicide because he denied them sex.

If you want to know more about Choudhury, you can watch an upcoming Netflix documentary about him, called Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator, premiering November 20, 2019.

Daily Beast has a review:

[A]t closed-off, multi-week classes held at hotels around the country, Bikram was constantly supplied Bikram with fresh new females who wanted nothing more than to earn his favor. Sexual assault—quite a lot of it, by many accounts—followed, although out of fear of being kicked out of the profession they loved, most refused to publicly speak out. Sarah Baughn changed all that, filing suit against Bikram in March 2013 for allegedly trapping her in his hotel room and forcibly trying to initiate sex. Though she was condemned and ostracized by those in Bikram’s camp, other ugly stories soon emerged, including from Larissa Anderson, who says she was raped by Bikram in his home, and from Jafa-Bodden, who sued Bikram for unlawful termination after she refused to continue being party to his predatory behavior.

Doing the guru no favors are deposition videos in which he pleads the fifth and, when speaking, curses Jafa-Bodden’s attorney Carla Minnard and admits that the four things he doesn’t like are “cold weather, cold food, cold hearts and cold pussy.”

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Meet the hairdresser to Japan’s sumo wrestling elite

Once when I was on a train in Tokyo, I saw a sumo wrestler board and take a seat. He looked like a real life superhero and moved with grace that defied his massiveness. One of the things that made him look otherworldly was his topknot hairstyle. In this video, we meet Kato Akira, who had been the hairdresser for elite sumo wrestlers for over 50 years. He uses both hands and his mouth to tie knots in the wrestlers' hair, and uses a number of beautiful wooden combs.

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Beautiful footage of Parisian life from more than 100 years ago

A clip from director Hugues Nancy's "Paris 1900, the City of Lights," featuring restored and colorized film footage from the fin de siècle. From C21Media:

Thanks to incredible archives restored and fully colorized, this film presents a previously unseen journey through time and space. Discover, Paris in 1900 at the time of the Exposition Universelle and the very beginning of modern art and cinema. The City of Lights became a showcase city, displaying the latest technical and scientific inventions, and also boasting avant-garde art galleries, lively cabarets, the ultimate in high fashion, and… the Parisiennes. The myth of “La Belle Epoque” reigned supreme.

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