Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Generic Monk
Oct 31, 2011



Miscavige strikes me as the kind of guy who's one successful lawsuit away from jacking off in public while slapping the pavement; should be interesting once it inevitably goes tits up. Or he just absconds with the money and starts a death cult in South America

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


Just watched The Imposter on Netflix. Crazy story, went in knowing nothing about it and it's really compelling and keeps getting crazier and crazier.

Jonas Albrecht
Jun 7, 2012




Generic Monk posted:

Miscavige strikes me as the kind of guy who's one successful lawsuit away from jacking off in public while slapping the pavement; should be interesting once it inevitably goes tits up. Or he just absconds with the money and starts a death cult in South America

In a just world, he sets himself up as some kind of Mola Ram-esque leader of a Xenu cult.

Tree Dude
May 26, 2012

AND MY SONG IS...


I liked Going Clear a lot. I've read the book and I don't think they covered any new ground in the film but it was pretty powerful to put images to the words and actually see these people talk about the horrific and batshit things that go on. The film rushed past a few things I would have liked to see covered in a bit more detail such as Operation Snow White or the way members who flee are hunted down and dragged back. Any time the "So-and-so left the church in 20xx" text came up I was thinking to myself "It wasn't quite that simple..."

I hope the documentary brings more awareness and speeds up the inevitable downfall of the church.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





Baron Bifford posted:

Scientology may be slowly dying already. I hear their membership has dropped below 30,000.
Scientology, like Blackwater, is going to transform into a hedge fund.

Dr.Caligari
May 5, 2005

"Here's a big, beautiful avatar for someone"


I haven't finished Going Clear yet, but I am really digging it. I don't know much of anything about Scientology, so it's very enlightening. Scientology really does seem like a Hollywood religion. It has that air of new age, mystic-elitism that I'm sure many egos are drawn too. Also, like with John Travolta, if you move to somewhere like Hollywood and happen to fall into something like Scientology and you do happen to become famous, I think it would be very easy to convince yourself that it was the mysticism that caused it.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


On a documentary kick right now, and on topic I just watched Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side about US torture policies and loving hell. Once again, like with Going Clear, it's about things I at least generally knew about but presented in a way that gives it maximum impact and also goes into pretty horrifying detail about the subject. I wonder, even with the more recent evidence of overseas torture, how many people still remember detainee torture under the Bush administration. I felt pretty ashamed that most of it, (even Abu Ghraib!) had more or less slipped my mind or been softened over time to something far more innocuous than it actually was and the doc was a very much needed refresher on the subject.

I also watched Jarecki's Capturing the Friedmans which was disturbing but very good, I felt. Goddamn I need a pick-me-up.

Next up, The Act of Killing!

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Stare-Out posted:

Just watched The Imposter on Netflix. Crazy story, went in knowing nothing about it and it's really compelling and keeps getting crazier and crazier.

I thought this movie was a pretty interesting watch, but I felt the filmmaker gave too much credence to the imposter guy's viewpoint, to the picture he painted. The only guy who is indisputably a villain in the story is the imposter, there's really no evidence to support the picture the dude paints and the implications about the family aside from some really odd behavior, and the guy has every incentive to make those implications to take some of the heat off of him. I felt like the director gave this point of view too much weight, probably because it made for a more "shocking" twist about WHAT MIGHT HAVE REALLY HAPPENED.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


I don't know, I mean it didn't surprise me that the film focused mainly on him, and it was kind of apparent, especially towards the end that the guy was a huge bullshit artist and a compulsive liar, yet surprisingly candid, if in a callous and slightly sociopathic way, about the experience.

MeinPanzer
Dec 19, 2004
anyone who reads Cinema Discusso for anything more than slackjawed trolling will see the shittiness in my posts

Stare-Out posted:

Next up, The Act of Killing!

Just finished The Jinx, and it strikes me that in an odd way it and The Act of Killing are similar in some ways. Both deal with individuals who ostensibly showed no sign of remorse for having killed people and gotten away with it; both deal with confronting those individuals over and over again with the details of what they did and the lives of the people they killed; and both end with the killer vomiting after realizing how the process of producing the documentary has affected them.

GutBomb
Jun 15, 2005

Dude?


Are there any good documentaries about the Waco siege and Branch Davidians? I have found several online but they all look like conspiracy theory stuff instead of just being a factual account.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


GutBomb posted:

Are there any good documentaries about the Waco siege and Branch Davidians? I have found several online but they all look like conspiracy theory stuff instead of just being a factual account.

I assume you've seen Waco: The Rules Of Engagement.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


MeinPanzer posted:

Just finished The Jinx, and it strikes me that in an odd way it and The Act of Killing are similar in some ways. Both deal with individuals who ostensibly showed no sign of remorse for having killed people and gotten away with it; both deal with confronting those individuals over and over again with the details of what they did and the lives of the people they killed; and both end with the killer vomiting after realizing how the process of producing the documentary has affected them.
I felt in The Act of Killing the person in question showed considerably more guilt, I don't think Robert Durst is capable of feeling something like that. The Jinx was still considerably more cathartic to watch because there is, as we now know, a chance that Durst will be made accountable for his actions.

GutBomb
Jun 15, 2005

Dude?


HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

I assume you've seen Waco: The Rules Of Engagement.
I have not watched it but the tagline "the shocking truth revealed" made it look like it was infowars.com type stuff. Was that not an accurate assessment?

Mahoning
Feb 3, 2007


GutBomb posted:

Are there any good documentaries about the Waco siege and Branch Davidians? I have found several online but they all look like conspiracy theory stuff instead of just being a factual account.

I think the CNN series called "Crimes of the Century" did an episode on it. It's on Netflix.

Unlike the "news" that comes out of CNN, their documentary work is pretty good.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


GutBomb posted:

I have not watched it but the tagline "the shocking truth revealed" made it look like it was infowars.com type stuff. Was that not an accurate assessment?

Not quite but you can definitely be forgiven for thinking so.

Cocoa Ninja
Mar 3, 2007


Periodiko posted:

I thought that duality of the two church heads was really interesting and compelling. L. Ron cultivates this avuncular public persona and seems genuinely mentally ill, a man who went to live in a sci-fi universe of his own creation. He definitely comes across as a bad guy, with the abuse of his wife and scientologists, but then there's the details like him pointing up at the sky and narrating the universe to Sea Org members, or his letter asking for help from the VA, or when he basically tries to commit suicide by having that man build an electrocution machine, which humanize him and make him seem pathetic and tragic.

David Miscavige is terrifying because he just comes across as a power obsessed, intelligent psychopath. There's no looking up at the sky, no moments of vulnerability. He's just accumulating power and dominating people, and literally psychologically torturing co-workers and subordinates. But on top of that, he's effective. He got the church tax-exempt status, he's overseeing their billion-dollar assets, he's micromanaging Tom Cruise's life, he's having people personally destroyed for tiny personal slights. This is all this man does, there's no Navy career, no sci-fi career, no satanic cults, he's been in Scientology basically his entire life.

L. Ron Hubbard seems crazy and unstable and dangerous, but Miscavige seems stable and dangerous. As a villain, I think Miscavige is far more frightening than L. Ron, and since that part of the documentary is when they really start bringing out the physical abuse and mental torture stories, I feel like there's a compelling shift in tone.

Thanks for taking the time, I see how the comparison was an interesting contrast for you.

But I also thought Miscavige was ultimately less frightening because the vast majority of the sea org types and PR people all left under his reign for abuse of power. And it's no wonder that scientology's numbers are shrinking.

He might have saved the church from immediate financial destruction, but in terms of projecting ideology he can't match L. Ron's bizarre charisma. He's the king of a fabulously wealthy, but tiny, hill.

Wraith of J.O.I.
Jan 24, 2012

Not a-mew-sing.


GutBomb posted:

Are there any good documentaries about the Waco siege and Branch Davidians? I have found several online but they all look like conspiracy theory stuff instead of just being a factual account.

On a similar note: any good docs about Jonestown?

remusclaw
Dec 8, 2009



"Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple" is really good. Here is the Vimeo link, there is also a youtube one but it's quality is rough.

https://vimeo.com/19612533

Jon Ronson's "The Crazy Rulers of the World" go's into Waco on one of its episodes, but focuses on how it was a test bed for a lot of weird new non lethal combat theory's.

P1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAMIvDmWbQs

P2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUf8KBjKBpM

P3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQKTMjApnkI

Empress Brosephine
Mar 31, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Has anyone seen Last Days in Vietnam? Thoughts?

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


Waco: Rules of Engagement is also on Youtube if you can stand the 360p-ness. Going into it even with the slightest bit of and a giant grain of salt, it makes a compelling as hell case against ATF and the FBI.

MeinPanzer
Dec 19, 2004
anyone who reads Cinema Discusso for anything more than slackjawed trolling will see the shittiness in my posts

Abu Dave posted:

Has anyone seen Last Days in Vietnam? Thoughts?

I saw it in theatres last fall and I wasn't hugely impressed. I love a good historical documentary, but Last Days in Vietnam really lacks oomph. My biggest criticism is that they strangely don't really establish a sense of urgency and tension - they cover the North Vietnamese invasion of Saigon during its initial stages, but then they perplexingly basically ignore the advance of Communist troops until the very end of the documentary. During most of the running time of the movie, right up to the final American evacuations, I basically had no idea how close or far the enemy was. It's worth watching with some great interviews and reconstructions of events, but the director wasted an opportunity to really make it a compelling story.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


Bully was drat-near hearbreaking. Great documentary, if frustrating at times.

Empress Brosephine
Mar 31, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


MeinPanzer posted:

I saw it in theatres last fall and I wasn't hugely impressed. I love a good historical documentary, but Last Days in Vietnam really lacks oomph. My biggest criticism is that they strangely don't really establish a sense of urgency and tension - they cover the North Vietnamese invasion of Saigon during its initial stages, but then they perplexingly basically ignore the advance of Communist troops until the very end of the documentary. During most of the running time of the movie, right up to the final American evacuations, I basically had no idea how close or far the enemy was. It's worth watching with some great interviews and reconstructions of events, but the director wasted an opportunity to really make it a compelling story.

That's dissapointing. Any reccomendations for a Vietnam doc then?

Mahoning
Feb 3, 2007


Watched Sinatra: All or Nothing At All on HBO. It's basically a 2-part, 4-hour retrospective of Frank Sinatra's life and career. It's directed by Alex Gibney. The content is pretty fantastic and Frank Sinatra is a pretty fascinating guy that I didn't know a ton about.

That being said, the framing device was pretty weak and I absolutely hated the format of using audio interviews only. Never thought I'd be wanting more talking heads in a documentary. If you're mildly interested in Frank Sinatra or like his music, I think you'd find it entertaining, if a bit long and drawn out.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


Is it garbled audio while the camera pans over faded photos?

Mahoning
Feb 3, 2007


HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

Is it garbled audio while the camera pans over faded photos?

Some of it. And some of it is just excepts from audio books that were actually read by the author. The interviews with Frank Sinatra Jr., Tina Sinatra, and Nancy Sinatra sounded newer and recorded specifically for this doc.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


That sounds like one of those audio commentaries that is just snippets of interviews with awkward pauses.

Kull the Conqueror
Apr 8, 2006



Abu Dave posted:

That's dissapointing. Any reccomendations for a Vietnam doc then?

I haven't watched this yet but I bet it reeeeallly owns. I mean, drat, that is a documentary supergroup.

cloudchamber
Aug 6, 2010

You know what the Ukraine is? It's a sitting duck. A road apple, Newman. The Ukraine is weak. It's feeble. I think it's time to put the hurt on the Ukraine

It's full of some really interesting footage but it's basically a piece of agitprop so it feels really dated watching it now.

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

"You are the best poster... do not let anyone say otherwise."


Abu Dave posted:

That's dissapointing. Any reccomendations for a Vietnam doc then?

Platoon.

Brute
Nov 28, 2007


Hearts and Minds is excellent. For more in-depth stuff, Vietnam: A Television History is 11 hours of Vietnam. These are both on Youtube.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Winter Soldier is also on youtube and is pretty devastating.

Empress Brosephine
Mar 31, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I'm surprised how dated everything is; has there not been much new information in regards to Vietnam since 74?

SSJ_naruto_2003
Oct 12, 2012





Abu Dave posted:

I'm surprised how dated everything is; has there not been much new information in regards to Vietnam since 74?

Snooze Cruise
Feb 16, 2013

look-
a post,


Abu Dave posted:

I'm surprised how dated everything is; has there not been much new information in regards to Vietnam since 74?

We can now confirm it help the rise of the Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band scene more than any other event in history.

Empress Brosephine
Mar 31, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


That's all I ask for in a Vietnam doc; some insurgents getting shot to Fortunate Son

Allyn
Sep 4, 2007

I love Charlie from Busted!

Finally caught The Overnighters and it's one of the better docs I've seen for a while. Really amazing storytelling and there are some really cool shots in it too.

SaltyJesus posted:

I just watched The Overnighters. So the big twist is that he cheated on his wife, and he's gay? Here's a man making good the pillars of his faith, compassion and charity, but oh no! he also made some fairly trivial moral failings, that casts the whole thing in an entirely different light!

E: I don't mean that as a commentary on the film, which I think is good. I don't presume to know what was the director's authorial intent for including that twist. I can see how it might have been meant as an "everybody is hiding something" parallel etc. but most reviews online are treating it as this movie redefining twist which is ridiculous.

I can't see any reason for not including that twist. If you're there filming and that happens, you can't just choose not to include that. It's too big a thing and that would, itself, be too selective. The film's major strength was giving you a very strong first impression and constantly asking you to re-evaluate it, firstly by considering whether his compassion is naive to a fault, and then whether his moral failing -- trivial though it may be -- affects your view of him. But in fact, the most important reason for including it is revealed in the closing captions: in an almost tragic turn, a man who's spent the last 5~ years standing on principle to support these men who came here looking to support their families now has to turn to that very industry which spawned it. He's now stuck in this community where he never really felt welcome, purely to support his family, just like every man who stayed in his church and its parking lot. "You and I are more alike than you know," he says earlier in the film. And now they aren't just alike: he's become one of them.

SaltyJesus
Jun 2, 2011

Arf!


Allyn posted:

Finally caught The Overnighters and it's one of the better docs I've seen for a while. Really amazing storytelling and there are some really cool shots in it too.


I can't see any reason for not including that twist. If you're there filming and that happens, you can't just choose not to include that. It's too big a thing and that would, itself, be too selective. The film's major strength was giving you a very strong first impression and constantly asking you to re-evaluate it, firstly by considering whether his compassion is naive to a fault, and then whether his moral failing -- trivial though it may be -- affects your view of him. But in fact, the most important reason for including it is revealed in the closing captions: in an almost tragic turn, a man who's spent the last 5~ years standing on principle to support these men who came here looking to support their families now has to turn to that very industry which spawned it. He's now stuck in this community where he never really felt welcome, purely to support his family, just like every man who stayed in his church and its parking lot. "You and I are more alike than you know," he says earlier in the film. And now they aren't just alike: he's become one of them.

Fair enough

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

nonathlon
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

Just finished Korengal, which is basically the sequel to Restrepo: an army unit's tour of the Korengal valley in Afghanistan through studio interviews, field interviews, and footage in the field.

It's a good doc but largely a retread of the earlier film. Some material around the net suggests that it means to be more intimate with the soldiers experience and as a consequence is more bitter, but I think that came across in the first film fine. There's a few standout scenes, especially a firefight in which soldiers whoop and laugh, scored to raucous gaelic rock. So do you need to see both Restrepo and Korengal? Maybe not.

Just as an aside, if you've been living under a rock I'll point you towards The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst which is true crime in the "you could not make this up" territory.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply