Watch Commodity City, short documentary on a massive Chinese market

Yiwu International Trade City in Yiwu, Zhejiang, China is the largest wholesale consumer market in the world. This documentary looks at the people who look after its countless booths. Read the rest

Moving documentary on prisoners who break wild horses

The Wild Inside follows Arizona prisoners in a program where they work to break wild horses rounded up from the desert. Read the rest

Three Identical Strangers, a dark documentary about identical triplets who were separated-at-birth

In 1980, two young men start the same community college and soon discover, after being mistaken for each other several times on campus, that they are twins. Their story gets crazier when they learn they have another brother, which makes them identical, separated-at-birth triplets. The trio becomes internationally famous. Then, as the documentary's trailer alludes, there is a dramatic twist, one that "unearths an unimaginable secret that has radical repercussions."

Word of warning: This is a strange-but-true story and there are spoilers aplenty out there on the internet. What I'm saying is, if you don't already know the story, don't go researching it now before seeing the film.

Three Identical Strangers premiered at Sundance and has a U.S. theatrical release date of June 29.

(Kottke) Read the rest

Patti Smith 'Horses' concert documentary announced

In 2015, Patti Smith went on tour with her band to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her debut album, Horses. Now it's been announced that a new documentary titled Horses: Patti Smith and her Band has been made using footage of the tour's final gig at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theater.

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014, the then 67-year-old said,

"I think we continue to deliver all of these songs sometimes stronger than when I was young... So I'm going to be happy to celebrate it, to perform the album with happiness, not with any kind of cynicism or a cashing-in thing. It will be a true, proud celebration, so the answer is yes."

I attended one of the three sold-out shows at The Fillmore in San Francisco in early 2015 and can attest that it was a strong performance. The 1975 album was performed in its entirety, in sequence, and Patti rocked the whole show hard.

The new film was directed by Steven Sebring and executive produced by record producer Jimmy Iovine. It premieres April 23 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. After the screening, Smith and her band will perform some songs, including the album's title track.

(PAPER) Read the rest

Bill Nye provides insight on science slang

Sporting a purple paisley bowtie, "Science Guy" Bill Nye breaks down the meaning of some science slang like "arsole," "hinny," and "jedi."

Nye's new documentary film Bill Nye: Science Guy premieres Wednesday, April 18 on POV on PBS. Read the rest

The Kids in the Hall: An Oral History

The Kids in the Hall are Canada's greatest national export. Read the rest

There's a documentary on badass Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'RBG'

Here's a film I'll be lining up to see.

It's the story of U.S. Supreme Court Justice/hero/dissenter Ruth Bader Ginsburg and it will be told on the big screen in the upcoming documentary, RBG.

At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior's rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg 's exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films.

RBG will be in limited theatrical release starting on May 4.

(Neatorama) Read the rest

Watch this artist create photorealistic embroidery portraits

Verso is a lovely documentary about embroidery artist Cayce Zavaglia (previously), who creates beautiful portraits via embroidery. Read the rest

Short documentary on a sculptor whose medium is feathers

Artist Kate MccGwire creates remarkable sculptures from carefully-curated feathers sent to her from around the globe. This short documentary examines her philosophy and aesthetic. Read the rest

Interesting vintage documentary on how analog technologies changed the sound of music

Get ready to go down a rabbit hole of musique concrète documentaries, of which this one from 1979 was by far the most informative, with this clip especially interesting.. Read the rest

Mind-bending supercut of computer simulation existence theories

What is Life? collects some of the more interesting takes on whether we may be living in a computer simulation. Read the rest

A drive-in theater screening 'Twister' was hit by a twister. Or was it?

In 1996, a powerful storm tore through a Canadian drive-in theatre, destroying a screen. Some witnesses recall it was during a screening of 'Twister,' which includes a scene where a drive-in is destroyed by a twister. The short documentary "Twisted' looks at how memories can be distorted over time. Read the rest

RIP Bruce Brown, groundbreaking surf film pioneer

The Endless Summer is the most important film in the history of surfing, and a lot of that is due to director Bruce Brown's evangelistic narration and participatory enthusiasm. Brown died this week at age 80. Read the rest

Experimental documentary shows one African migrant's harrowing journey to Europe

Fabio Palmieri directed IRREGULARS, a film about Cyrille Kabore, who tried time and time again to enter Europe after leaving his native Ghana at age 20. Read the rest

There's going to be a Mister Rogers documentary in 2018

There's going to be a feature documentary about Mister Rogers next year. It's aptly titled Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and will showcase "the lessons, ethics and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers."

Fred Rogers led a singular life. He was a puppeteer. A minister. A musician. An educator. A father, a husband, and a neighbor. Fred Rogers spent 50 years on children’s television beseeching us to love and to allow ourselves to be loved. With television as his pulpit, he helped transform the very concept of childhood. He used puppets and play to explore the most complicated issues of the day—race, disability, equality and tragedy. He spoke directly to children and they responded by forging a lifelong bond with him—by the millions. And yet today his impact is unclear. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? explores the question of whether or not we have lived up to Fred's ideal. Are we all good neighbors?

The film will be directed by Morgan Neville, who won an Academy Award for 20 Feet From Stardom.

Mister Rogers Documentary ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Acquired by Focus Features

image via PBS Read the rest

Anti-propaganda classic 'PsyWar' is available to watch online for free

In these spin-filled times, the documentary PsyWar feels as relevant as when it was released. Metanoia Films has made it available for free to all, so check it out.

Via a review on PR Watch:

The new documentary "Psywar," featuring CMD founder John Stauber, explores corporate and government use of propaganda and public relations to manipulate American people. The movie explores how the U.S. government staged events to manipulate public opinion about the Iraq war, like the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, the supposedly spontaneous mob that pulled over the larger-than-life statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It also discusses the Pentagon pundit scandal, and the hidden activities of the Rendon Group, a PR firm specializing in spinning war. The film exposes government and corporate activities to blur the lines between real news and fake news, as well as the development over time of public relations misinformation campaigns, strategic corporate campaigns to generate goodwill and the perception of good works, the use of staged photo-ops, and other manipulative PR tools that have turned the land of the free and the home of the brave into a place where citizens are now manipulated with great efficiency, and on a massive scale.

Bonus: Their film Counter-Intelligence is on their Vimeo channel:

PsyWar (via S DN Vimeo channel) Read the rest

Lovely film on 100-year-old St. Louis landmark Crown Candy

Crown Candy is Kamau Bilal's short and loving look at a candy store that plans to stay put in its changing North St. Louis neighborhood. Read the rest

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