Fine art finger painter Iris Scott talks about being "gifted"

When Brooklyn-based artist Iris Scott begins a new piece, she doesn't get out paintbrushes. Instead, she simply puts on gloves when she starts on an oil painting. Scott is a fine art finger painter.

This 10-minute long mini documentary on her from a couple of years ago shares how she got started and what she thinks of her "gift." She's quick to point out that it's not a natural talent, that it's the result of a lot of time and practice:

I do not think I was just gifted by any means. I think that I just practiced a lot. The only gift you might say I have is a tremendous interest and willingness to put tons of hours at it. I definitely don't believe people are born with the gift to paint. I know I wasn't. I just practiced a lot starting at a very early age. And anyone can pick up painting at any time of their life and as long as you throw a ton of hours at it, you will improve in ways you just never thought you possibly could. Just watch what happens, go throw 10,000 hours at one subject or one art form and just watch what happens, suddenly everyone will start telling you you are gifted.

Here's a how-to video she made that shows her process a little closer:

Do go check out her site. I was blown away by her work.

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

Documentary about Robin Williams: First trailer for HBO's "Come Inside My Mind"

I could not be more thrilled that Come Inside My Mind, a documentary about the legendary Robin Williams, will air soon. Look for it on HBO starting on July 16.

The film explores his extraordinary life and career, revealing what drove him to give voice to the characters in his mind. With previously unheard and unseen glimpses into his creative process through interviews with Williams, as well as home movies and onstage footage, this insightful tribute features in-depth interviews with those who knew and loved him, including Billy Crystal, Eric Idle, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Pam Dawber and his son, Zak Williams.

The documentary underscores what made Williams so unique, ranging from his youthful days in the San Francisco Bay area, to his time in New York at The Juilliard School, to his rocket-propelled fame on TV’s Mork & Mindy, to his profound impact on the American cultural landscape. Such career high points as his landmark comedy show at the Metropolitan Opera, his Broadway debut in “Waiting for Godot,” his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting and his classic confessional bits about his alcohol and drug issues and 2009 heart surgery capture the spark that made him stand out across four decades in entertainment. Williams’ tragic death in 2014, which revealed he had been suffering from the disease Lewy Body Dementia, left fans around the world heartbroken...

(Kottke) Read the rest

What makes a woman? New documentary seeks answers

Transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf hosts the new Channel 4 documentary What Makes a Woman? Science and society are grappling with the complex and contentious topics of sex, sexuality, and gender. New research and evidence demonstrate that simplistic binaries are more complicated than previously believed. Read the rest

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.

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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

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