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nocal
Mar 7, 2007


It's been a long while since I've seen it, but Year of the Bull is a football doc that I remember as being good. About a high school phenom from the ghetto who gets huge interest from colleges. Follows him during his senior year.

his career stalled when he was expelled from UF for assault, went to a poo poo college, and wasn't drafted

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nocal
Mar 7, 2007


Budget Bears posted:

The Imposter is an absolute rollercoaster ride of a documentary that is currently available on Netflix instant.

Without spoiling too much, in the 1990s a teenage boy goes missing from his neighborhood somewhere in Texas. Three years later his family gets a call that he's somehow turned up in Spain, ready to be picked up and returned home to the US. As for the rest, you just have to watch it. My jaw was on the floor the entire time. If you liked "Dear Zachary," this movie has a similar feel in that you totally don't expect what happens (but it's way less heart-wrenching.)

EDIT: The entire thing is also available on youtube if you don't mind Greek subtitles.

Also the subject of a great article, in a great magazine (New Yorker) by a legendary writer (David Grann)

Here it is

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

Killing of America is for sure my favorite documentary ever. The only "spiritual sequel" I can think of is the incredibly grim and moralistic "Executions":

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

Gonna definitely have to slap a :nws: for unsimulated human death.

I watched Killing of America today, and I didn't love it. I think that a part of it is that I really am interested in the phenomenon of violence in America, and they bring up easily a dozen cases that could make for an entire movie (Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Charles Whitman, etc). But they don't go into a ton of detail; maybe it's too much too ask, since what are they going to do? Crack the case? Expose the ultra secret motivations of killers? So of course they briefly recount the incidents, then more or less leave it at that.

The end seems to suggest a conclusion: stricter gun laws, stricter prosecution, and longer sentences. I guess that seems somewhat wrong-headed and reactionary to me, particularly as we know that a dude with a gun and a brain tumor who blasts dozens of people isn't exactly concerned with the length of his sentence. I'm a little too tired to cite the research, but a criminal commits crimes because s/he is not thinking of consequences - logical, yes?

I guess I wish it was a better doc, but I'm struggling to think of what specifically could have been improved upon.

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


"Neutrality" is a garbage argument when applied to journalism as a whole. If you are saying it, you are regurgitating it whole and probably haven't thought about it.


mod sassinator posted:

Werner Herzog documentaries are pretty good about not having too much of an agenda in my opinion. I think it's because he's always looking for the weird personal stories happening behind the scenes. For example Into The Abyss covers a pretty political issue without the heavy handedness of Michael Moore-style documentaries. Herzog just focuses on interviewing a man who's about to die, and its effect on him and his family.

Werner Herzog literally thinks the opposite of what you're saying he thinks.

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


Ropes4u posted:

Documentary
adjective
1 : being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing <documentary evidence>

2 : of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : factual, objective <a documentary film of the war>

I was worried that I was laughing at things that weren't comedies, but I checked the dictionary and I'm safe.

Bowling for Columbine was unfairly attacked because it was big and successful, and some people didn't like its message. What about The Thin Blue Line or Paradise Lost, where the filmmakers make an extremely convincing case for the innocence of someone who was convicted by "documentary" evidence?

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


...of SCIENCE! posted:

As somebody who worked in education I appreciate the movie for bringing to light how loving vicious kids and their parents can be; as a piece designed to raise awareness by inciting an emotional reaction in outsiders it absolutely succeeds.

However, I have major issues with the film's central thesis that the problem is that we aren't tough enough on bullies and that if we socially ostracize them and use peer pressure they'll be perfect little rational actors and stop picking on kids. Bullies amd their victims are both symptoms of how bad mental healthcare and counseling is for society in general and kids in specific; it's just a lot easier to hate the kid whose home issues and developmental disorders manifest in picking on other kids even though they're just as sick and worthy of compassion as the kids whose issues manifest in crippling depression amd suicide.

Also they painted the issue as one of lazy and uncaring teachers rather than institutionalized bullying by administrators (you know the part where they have a town meeting and no teachers came? It's because they can literally fire you for publicly criticizing your school or admimistrators) but considering that poo poo like Waiting For Superman was popular and teachers being lazy and greedy is a national talking point I've just learned to accept it

As someone who is new-ish to education, I was kind of shocked to see that the accepted solution to bullying is to label people (it's not that they have certain behaviors, it's that they are "bullies") and to treat them with derision and scorn. Isn't that basically bullying?

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


Baron Bifford posted:

I just watched this great documentary on the Atkins diet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laMuyJhMcE0

The Atkins diet is this popular high-protein, low-carb diet that has proven surprisingly effective despite traditional wisdom that low calories are the only way to lose weight. Early in the program, Atkins was doubted because his diet seemed to contradict the first law of thermodynamics: energy can't be destroyed, so if you consume more calories they must go to your hips because they cannot vanish into thin air. I'm always wary of applying this law to situations because the world is a bit complex. All that time I was thinking "Well maybe the calories pass into the poo without being absorbed. Perhaps the energy-bearing chemicals in meats are harder to digest." The documentary never confronted this thought. The documentary eventually concluded that protein is an appetite suppressant and that the Atkins dieters were actually eating less. Still, was I wrong to think what I thought?

I watched a documentary of his that argued that al-Qaeda didn't exist before 9/11 and was a phantom enemy that America made up and bin Laden opportunistically latched on to. I nearly fell off my chair.

First law of thermodynamics specifies a closed system. It's a common mistake, but the body is not that.

Additionally, protein and fat have fewer calories per gram than carbohydrates.

Beyond that, there is evidence that bacteria in the gut has a lot of influence -- possibly a huge influence. A big article somewhere about it was published recently, perhaps in the New Yorker?

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


I finally watched I Think We're Alone Now, about two superfans of 80s mall-pop sensation (?) Tiffany. One is a very high functioning man with autism who has stalked poor Tiffany since the 80s. The other is an intersex alcoholic who had a traumatic brain injury.

I work with people with special needs, and this movie stirred a lot of emotions in me. I read complaints somewhere that these two were manipulated for the film, that they're being made fun of, etc. I didn't see that; it was basically a straight-up doc with no commentary (unless you count some music cues).

It was, overall, less about special needs or obsession or whatever. I think the saddest part was just recognizing that their feelings were human. Sure, taken to an outlandish degree -- but isn't that satire? The movie is a satirical take on desire itself.

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


And since I don't recall posting this, a few months back I watched The Great Happiness Space. It's about Japanese "host" clubs (IIRC), which are basically identical to the infamous hostess clubs: patrons pay for companionship in a bar. It's culturally kind of unique, but there's a certain allure to it, where you kinda sorta pay for extended foreplay. There is a significant, sad twist: most of the female patrons are prostitutes, and pay a *lot* of money for, essentially, false male friendships.

Watch it back to back with I Think We're Alone Now if you want to feel extreme self-hate about have natural human desires. I actually liked both of them, though!

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


mod sassinator posted:

Not sure if it's on the CA site, but The Thin Blue Line is a good one.

It's a really great documentary, with a pretty amazing story overall (including its effects), but it does have reenactments. They're not ones where people say lines, and they're not really cheesy, but still.

e: looking at netflix, a good recent crime doc is the nearly unbelievable The Imposter, one by Werner Herzog called Into the Abyss (which I haven't seen) about the aftermath of a murder, Brother's Keeper by the guys who did the West Memphis docs (which I also haven't seen, but have heard is good).

And I am completely hooked on the TV series The First 48, which follows actual homicide detectives during the first 48 hours after a murder (after which, it's said, the chances of solving a murder decline by more than 50%). It shows interrogations, arrests, confessions, and sometimes the case is solved in 30 minutes.

nocal fucked around with this message at 17:24 on Sep 7, 2013

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

I honestly can't watch First 48.

Because it's too good?

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


Decline of Western Civilization, if you haven't seen it.

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nocal
Mar 7, 2007


Ropes4u posted:

Are there any similar documentaries on the whacko left?

This is probably perfect for someone like you, given that it includes Bill Ayers: The Weather Undergound.

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