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Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Currently on Netflix Instant Watch:

Jiro Dreams of Sushi - man dedicates life to doing one thing well (making sushi), becomes very good at it, obtains deep personal satisfaction as well as fame and recognition. There's a lot of philosophy about dedication to a craft as a way of living as well as a lot of food porn shots of sushi. Probably of some interest even to those who have never had sushi.

Queen of Versailles - garish couple try to turn the hundreds of millions from the husband's timeshare hawking business into America's largest and most ostentatious home in Orlando, FL, then run into economic hard times when the home is only a half built shell and hilarity ensues. It's pretty much the perfect documentation of the trashy reality show that is America over the last decade or so.

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Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



SEX HAVER 40000 posted:

Does anyone have recommendations for good docs on Netflix? I haven't watched any in a while, but I've loved the ones I've seen. Namely Resurrect Dead, Cropsey, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, Hell House, Knuckle, and Restrepo. I've seen the Herzog docs on there as well. Have I exhausted Netflix's supply, or are there hidden gems?

Michael Apted's "Up" series, interviewing a diverse group of British children from age 7 on up at 7 year intervals. I believe "56 Up" is about to be released. The whole series as it stands is on Netflix streaming right now. Be warned that you shouldn't marathon these all in a row though, because by the time you get to the third or fourth one they recap a LOT of the earlier footage at the beginning, but very worth watching.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Waroduce posted:

Any recommendations on Docs covering obesity/health (like Weight of a Nation), the food industry/agriculture, or Formula 1 (like Senna)?

Any good sports documentaries out? What are some of the better 30 for 30's? I've seen The Two Escobars and Pony Excess.

Food, Inc. is a good one about the industry as a whole. It's spent a long time on Netflix Instant Watch, not sure about currently. I'm assuming you've seen Super Size Me also, which I like but I think is anchored by a rather gimmicky stunt.

As far as the 30 for 30 films my two current favorites are "The Best That Never Was" about the non-career of high school and college football legend Marcus DuPree, and "The Marinovich Project", also about the non-career of a high school and college legend. Perhaps I'm drawn to films about tragically unrealized potential!

spite house posted:

I caught The Great Happiness Space recently and was pretty amazed. It's on Netflix instant view.

http://www.thegreathappinessspace.com/

It's about "host boys" working in Osaka. These guys are basically male geishas who entertain women in clubs, manipulating them into spending stupefying amounts of money. I remember one woman saying that she's dropped $15K in a month, or something ridiculous like that. The host boys play all kinds of mind games with the women, tricking them into falling in love -- they're emotional prostitutes. And the kicker is that most of their female clients are actual prostitutes, who should know how the game works and still keep coming back. Everyone in this film is totally broken in one way or another, but it's fascinating.

This has been on Netflix Instant Watch for a long time (again not sure about currently), but it's also on YouTube, broken up into eleven segments, in decent quality. Well worth a watch.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Wow. I just finished watching CNN's "Blackfish" documentary about Sea World's killer whale shows. Pretty powerful stuff. It has one more airing tomorrow night, it's really well done and everyone should watch it. Hopefully CNN will make it available to stream on their site afterwards.

Basically the film goes over how the industry is much more dangerous to trainers than the theme park companies would have anyone believe and how numerous incidents have been whitewashed over decades, with a few really notable ones getting a fair amount of publicity. One particular incident resulting in the death of a well regarded trainer serves as a kind of framework for the film but there are lengthy interviews with several former trainers (including one who presents the industry line).

It could be the point of view of an activist with an axe to grind, but the fact that multiple former trainers from the organization seem to indicate they didn't receive any knowledge of numerous incidents that happened prior to their hiring, much less get a chance to review the existing footage of those incidents to learn from them and try to improve their own safety, seems pretty damning against Sea World.

There is a significant amount of video footage of specific incidents that the filmmaker got hold of.

One thing that struck me watching this is that one of the key things that makes a documentary strong (aside from having really good footage of events) is the choice of interview subjects. If you have a number of interview subjects who are knowledgeable about the subject and emotionally invested in it, and are articulate, you have the raw material for excellent interviews and a strong backbone for a film.

This also struck me watching a film on Netflix this week, "We Were Here" about the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco during the 80's, from the point of view of several different people who were affected in various ways, from being infected themselves, nurses or volunteers caring for patients, and people who just lived in the Castro community and their take on events. Every person interviewed fit all the criteria I mentioned above and the film is just really strong.

Zwabu fucked around with this message at 05:22 on Oct 27, 2013

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Blackfish did even have one of the interviewed former trainers be one who advocated for the Sea World position.

And, as mentioned, Sea World itself declined to present its own point of view on the film.

A lot of the facts presented in the film are pretty unambiguous, they are true or not true. For instance, the trainers interviewed make it clear that Sea World did not provide them with any information or film about previous incidents or attacks involving the orcas. That is either true or untrue, it doesn't leave room for subjective interpretation, and if true, is pretty damning in and of itself concerning Sea World's interest in safety or protecting its employees and whales.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



ninjahedgehog posted:

The other sailors on the journey are no less compelling, even if they're background characters.

I actually found what happened with the French sailor to be just as interesting as Crowhurst's story.

You just have to be wired different, mentally, to list "explorer" as your career.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Robert Reich's "Inequality For All" is now up on Netflix Instant Watch.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



xcore posted:

Is the "Up" series of movies objectively good or are people just invested at this point?

Is there an alternative jump-in point or am I obliged to watch them from the beginning?

I think you have to watch from the beginning. It's following the entire lives of this group so it defeats the purpose to start from a later point. The essential premise is examining the statement "give me a child at 7 years and I will show you the man", so you have to see what those children are like, and their circumstances.

One problem is that the films repeat a LOT of footage assuming people have forgotten from earlier films or are coming in fresh. So it's really tedious to try and marathon them, you have to take a break.

It is pretty interesting to see how the upper class trio of boys mostly entered schools and careers exactly as envisioned and that their social standing programmed them for. I haven't seen the last 2 films yet though so not aware of any new twists.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Narco Cultura is a documentary from last year that is currently up on Netflix streaming. It's about the pop culture that has grown up around drug trafficking in Mexico (specifically around Juarez) and the genre of rap music that it has spawned. Interesting and worth a watch. The film looks in parallel at the stories of a guy who works crime scene investigation in Juarez, with an American guy in L.A. who writes rap numbers for gangsters about the gangster life without ever having gone to Mexico himself (until late in the film).

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



OldTennisCourt posted:

Any suggestions for some True Crime documentaries? I've seen Dear Zachary, Capturing the Friedmans, There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane, and Thin Blue Line. I'd love some stories about really twisty, turney crimes and the trials around them.

The Imposter, on Netflix streaming. It's a pretty story but I do think the film has some problems. Worth a watch just for the factor.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



ManOfTheYear posted:

What are the besst documentaries on youtube? I'm trying to find decent nature documentaries but jesus all this national geographic or history channel stuff is just retarded bullshit.

Watch Blackfish. Or The Thin Blue Line. Or Tabloid. There are three notable titles that are not Nat Geo or History channel.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

What a cornball title. Terror at the Mall!

Panic! at the Disco! Terror at the Mall!

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Crossposted from the Netflix thread:

Zwabu posted:

I'm going to recommend Maidentrip, a chronicle of Dutch teenager Laura Dekker's solo circumnavigation of the globe in a 40 foot sailboat, a journey that took place in the period where she was ages 14-16 (it was not a nonstop trip, she took lengthy stops at the end of each ocean crossing to travel and visit, make repairs etc.).

When I first heard about this when it was happening (I am a sailor, although I only do very casual sailing) I, like most people, thought her parents were insane to encourage or allow such a thing, and in an objective sense, I think that is still true. Not just because of the dangers of the voyage itself, although there is that, but also because how many 14 year olds can endure the emotional toll of being alone, in a potentially dangerous situation, for weeks or months at a time?

After watching the film I have to say that even though the endeavor was still insane, I have a significant admiration for Laura and her father. The film is mostly composed of "selfie" type video made by Laura during the journey, with some good editing and extra production added (nice animations illustrating the legs of the journey).

Interspersed in the shallow teenager type of talk there does emerge a real philosophy of life, sailing, solitude and the sea in Laura's narration that, in my view, is much more profound and moving than anything I expected out of the film, and that is the beauty of it. You can clearly from the narrative that Laura is a pretty unique person and that the idea and the motivation for the journey is hers, her father's role is not to drive it but to facilitate and allow it.

The sailor in me is hungry for very specific details about the preparations and repairs and the mechanics of the trip but that is not what the film is about. A little of this can be gleaned just from visual details that can be seen during the film, such as the fact that she is pretty much (prudently) wearing a sail harness at all times, and the type of instrumentation on the vessel can be seen. In addition the beautiful travelogue type video of the ocean, the best part of the film is Laura's explanation of the kind of person she is and of her motivations for doing such a thing. The dynamics between Laura and her family are pretty interesting (her parents are divorced), some of it is discussed explicitly and some of it is left for the viewer to read between the lines such as the emotional tension she seems to experience while awaiting the arrival of her father who came to visit and help with repairs during her stop in Australia.

This is certainly fascinating viewing for anyone into sailing and the ocean, like I am, but it also has something for anyone interested in what makes those rare people tick who seek out a life of adventure.

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.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



I thought the "straight" part of Atari: Game Over was decent and the gimmicky part about the stupid E.T. cartridge excavation was lame.

I realize that a lot of times those gimmicks are supposed to be the "hook" that creates or maintains interest or provides a thread for the story to be told around (in this case of the rise and fall of Atari), but the ET thing seemed really contrived. I thought the story of Atari was interesting enough to be told straight with perhaps more anecdotes and interviews having nothing to do with buried cartridges.

My interest is greater though since I played the Atari classics growing up and through adolescence (mainly the coinops, never had the home system) and it was a huge part of my youth. I vaguely seem to remember hearing or reading about the E.T. burial thing but it certainly wasn't any kind of prominent myth or urban legend even among video game fanatics like me.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibP5IQxId34

"Chasing Bubbles" is a documentary about a young guy, a floor trader in Chicago, who chucks everything, his job, all his stuff, his life, to buy a sailboat, learn to sail, and then sail around the globe visiting different lands and their people, with a crew of various friends and complete strangers that he picked up along the way.

Even if you aren't into sailing at all, it's a good picture of a guy infected with wanderlust and the need to explore and adventure in the world and the effect that he had on the people around him.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Most of you have probably seen it by now, but PBS' "The Choice" for 2016, lengthy biography of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (they do this for every U.S. Presidential election now) is up on YouTube and it's pretty good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7uScWHcTzk

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



The biography Amy is on Amazon Prime, about the late Amy Winehouse. It's made by the same guy that made Senna and it's pretty good. It consists entirely of interviews with friends, family and artists who knew her, along with a lot of video shot by Amy and her friends.

It's a good introduction to her music, which I think is quite good, if you've only heard of one song or two like "Rehab". There are extended cuts of a number of songs along with video of the performances.

Kind of portrays her former husband and her dad to be enabling leeches who didn't help matters once she was heavy into drugs and alcohol.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Wow going through the list of Frontline shows makes me realize I haven't seen the huge majority of them, so I have to get on that. Perfect for watching while working out.

Ones that I've seen that I thought particularly good:

"Sick Around The World", comparing health systems in several modern industrialized countries:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/sickaroundtheworld/

"The Medicated Child", about how the diagnosis of bipolar disorder began being applied to children almost overnight, and the medications used for adults began being prescribed for children, and some of the consequences:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/medicatedchild/

"The Tankman", about the Tianamen Square massacre, in the context of modern era of coporate China that has passed since:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/tankman/

Full list of films available for streaming here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/watch/

Edit: Oh, and "The Choice: Year X" videos about the Dem and Republican candidates in each election are well done and provide, I think, some insight into the candidates with detailed biographies.

Zwabu fucked around with this message at 20:51 on Feb 17, 2017

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



It might have been mentioned, but Pumping Iron is on Netflix streaming. This movie has been around since I was a kid but I only got around to watching it now, and it's quite good if you can ignore the 70's porntastic soundtrack.

It focuses on a Mr. Olympia contest at the end of Arnold Schwarzenegger's competitive bodybuilding career, after he had completely dominated the sport for several years and won a number of these titles. The focus is mainly on Arnold, and two of his main competitors, notably Lou Ferrigno who was then the up and coming guy trying to knock Arnold off his perch.

You can definitely see at this time that Arnold had a big future beyond bodybuilding. The guy is a charming motherfucker and an excellent interview, and comes across as really likeable despite revealing his methods to manipulate and mindfuck his competition.

A couple of things come across as maybe a bit staged.

I really liked Lou Ferrigno's dad who gets a lot of screentime supervising Lou's training.

Don't watch it if you are bothered by a lot of scenes of sweaty oily guys with huge muscles though!

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



coyo7e posted:

Pumping Iron is like, the epitome of a staged documentary with a wrestling-style plotline being placed on the characters. To my knowledge it sort of created the entire "reality" TV genre.

Yeah, the main value is to get a glimpse of Arnold in his pre superstardom youth.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



For film buffs, I enjoyed "DePalma" on Amazon Prime. Basically a lengthy interview with Brian DePalma about his whole career, with a whole bunch of clips of his work interspersed to illustrate points. Just an interesting story about a life in film with some successes and a lot of failures.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



I'm just into the second episode of Vietnam now. It's pretty amazing.

The only shortcoming to me is that the voice of the basic narrator isn't as good as that of McNeil, Robards, Holbrook etc. in the Civil War series (and whoever did the voice of Mary Chestnut), but of course most of those were people playing roles, when we have live interviews with the surviving principals and tons and tons of actual film and high quality photos.

The soundtrack is amazing. The detail that the history and background of the conflict including the French colonial era and the transition and various misjudgments and fuckups that led us into the quagmire is really well presented, and thorough as hell.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



cloudchamber posted:

Maybe you can brush this fact aside as irrelevant but the awkward thing about most documentaries about Vietnam and the sixties is that they tend to focus on the iconic pop culture of the era which was predominantly against the war. This doesn't sit well with the fact that a large number of Americans, at times probably a majority, actually supported what the US was doing in South East Asia.

One of the things I really like about this documentary is that Burns makes it very (and repeatedly) clear that despite the development and growth of the antiwar movement in the U.S., most of the country did in fact support the war until very late, and even when opinion began to sway against it most people still allowed themselves to be swayed by the pitches made by LBJ and Nixon until near the end.

I also like very much that it avoids the trap of lengthy derails covering pop culture of the era or the politics of the 68 Presidential race etc. except strictly as needed, as relevant to the war itself.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



The photo montages at the end of each episode of Vietnam just slay me.

The fact that Nixon won reelection in a giant landslide in '72 despite all his fuckery shows how good he was at putting one over on people, and how gullible and reactionary Americans in general are.

I feel like Trumpism is only a slightly different flavor of "Silent Majority"ism. It is really relevant and disturbing to watch this documentary right now because the real shocker is how LITTLE it seems that the essential character of the country has changed.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



SimonCat posted:

I will say this, I am completely over the Baby Boomers and their sense of self-importance. It seems like because Vietnam was their war, it has to be the most important war ever, and acting like no other war comes close. I get that Vietnam was a much busier war than the GWOT, but it's hard for me to listen to someone who spent 1 tour in Vietnam go on and on when there are plenty of modern day troops who have done multiple year long deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and don't bitch that much about it.

They really were the "me" generation, weren't they?

Yeah the Boomers are terrible and self important, but the Vietnam era is really important because, among many other reasons, the cultural divisions of the 60s-70s/Vietnam/Nixon era are totally the same fault lines that define American politics today. Trump has directly appropriated the Silent Generation vs. Academic Liberal Elite poo poo from Nixon (even using the actual phrase). It's just updated with extra Fox News enhancements and more rigid polarization. And a substantial chunk of America is more than happy to wear that mantle.

The way I see it, the divisions from the Civil War are the fundamental fault lines in American politics down to this day, with some modifications that happened during the Vietnam era.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



The REAL Goobusters posted:

Ken burns Vietnam is good wtf?

The critics of it in this thread seem to feel, generally, that it's too neutral in not rendering judgment on the choices made and actions taken by the U.S. and therefore by default is favorable to the U.S. in a way that it shouldn't be. I don't agree with this, personally.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Netflix US has a film called Diving Into The Unknown, about a group of cave divers.

The focus of the film is the group's mission to recover the bodies of two of their friends who died deep in an underwater cave system.

Cave diving is extremely dangerous, both because of the possibility of entrapment, getting lost, inability to return directly to the surface, and possible obligations for decompression time if the dives are really deep such as the ones these guys do.

The divers are Norwegian but it has English subtitles available.

The film focuses on the emotional responses of the divers to the accident that killed their friends and to the task they are planning. You do get a sense of the type of people who do extreme activities like this, and why they do it even if they are unable to articulate the "why" particularly well.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Kull the Conqueror posted:

Billy Mitchell has been officially outed as a fraud, and I have chosen to exploit this opportunity to fondly remember an all-time great documentary character, Brian Kuh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTj7NSHVwSk

Can you link a story about this? I grew up in the classic arcade era and played the gently caress out of Defender and Asteroids among others (never Pacman or Donkey Kong though) and really enjoyed The King of Kong although it could have been about jealous competitors in ANY endeavor. I found Mitchell and his toadys to be interesting characters.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Zwabu posted:

Can you link a story about this? I grew up in the classic arcade era and played the gently caress out of Defender and Asteroids among others (never Pacman or Donkey Kong though) and really enjoyed The King of Kong although it could have been about jealous competitors in ANY endeavor. I found Mitchell and his toadys to be interesting characters.

OK, I read up on this. I actually thought it was ok to use MAME for some of this, although maybe I remembered it wrong and it's just an issue where they keep MAME records separately. MAME is pretty cool by the way.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



The original "The Decline of Western Civilization" is currently on Starz. Since I've pretty much found this only as a grainy VHS in the past, worth a watch. It's a doc about the early punk scene in L.A. Pretty wide difference in the talent and charisma levels of the various bands. Well worth a watch in my opinion.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



precision posted:

What about Decline of Western Civilization Parts 2 and 3? I remember 2 being great but I never saw 3 because it sounded terrible.

They are about different genres of music (hair metal etc.) Did Penelope Spheeris even make those?

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



Stare-Out posted:

Yeah, forcing them to be some kind of a framing device for the overall story didn't work for me and by the end I found them to be slightly annoying. Focusing on some lazy Facebook sleuths was a good way to start things off before the insanity but from there just focus on the more relevant stuff.

I found the internet sleuths to be somewhat interesting but it would have been a lot more compelling if the stuff they'd found had actually contributed to the authorities being on the guy's trail. I mean it does appear from the cat stuff that they had a significant amount of info that could have had this guy looking at charges for animal cruelty/abuse before he escalated, but when 90 percent of it is unfiltered web hooha, what are police supposed to do with it?

So yeah, the amount of screen time occupied by the nerds in the late parts detracts from the impact of it and feels like padding it out.

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Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006



True crime documentaries are to Netflix and streaming services in general what cheap slasher flicks were to the late 1980s movie industry. They’re super cheap to make and probably guarantee at least a minimal return.

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