Tag Archives | Documentary

Questions Needed for Q&A with Director of ‘Unacceptable Levels’

Unacceptable Levels frontI’m going to be doing a Q&A with the director of Unacceptable Levels, Ed Brown. I wanted to open up the metaphorical floor to Disinfo readers. If you have any questions about the film, about Ed Brown, about the chemical revolution, or anything else, send ‘em along.

I’d prefer it if everyone could either email me at fandlewang@disinfo.com or submit through the contact form here. But I will also be skimming the comment sections.

STREAMING: You can stream Unacceptable Levels on Reel House.

Here’s the outline of the film:

Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children. To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law.

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Sun Ra at 100: ‘A Joyful Noise’

This year we celebrate the 100th birthday of the cosmic reign of the avant-garde jazz musician Sun Ra whose official birthday is celebrated on May 22. For those who know the man’s music, there is no need for an introduction here. For neophytes, here is a sampling of the story from the Sun Ra Arkestra’s official website:

Eclectic, outrageous, sometimes mystifying but always imbued with a powerful jazz consciousness, the music of Sun Ra has withstood its skeptics and detractors for nearly three generations. And well it should, since Sun Ra has been both apart of and ahead of the jazz tradition during that time.

Like Duke Ellington and swing-era pioneer Fletcher Henderson, Sun Ra learned early on to write music in an arranged form that showcased the specific talents of his individual Arkestra members, and he has retained the services of some of these musicians to this day: John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, and Julian Priester for example since they first joined in the 1950′s.

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CIA’s Regime Changing Activities in Venezuela: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The_Revolution_will_not_be_Televisedvia chycho There is unrest in Venezuela again and the odds are that the CIA’s regime changing activities have a lot to do with it. A good time to take a look at an amazing documentary about the last time the CIA started a coup in Venezuela: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, also known as Chávez: Inside the Coup, is a 2003 documentary focusing on events in Venezuela leading up to and during the April 2002 coup d'état attempt, which saw President Hugo Chávez removed from office for two days. With particular emphasis on the role played by Venezuela's private media, the film examines several key incidents: the protest march and subsequent violence that provided the impetus for Chávez's ousting; the opposition's formation of an interim government headed by business leader Pedro Carmona; and the Carmona administration's collapse, which paved the way for Chávez's return.”
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“We Come as Friends”, a Look at Contemporary Colonialism in Africa, a New Documentary from Hubert Sauper, the Director of “Darwin’s Nightmare”

via chycho

we come as friendsMy first glimpse into what the new colonialism in Africa was looking like was with Hubert Sauper’s 2004 documentary “Darwin’s Nightmare”. That’s when I realized that the future of Africa was going to be very bleak. If you are interested in what’s going on in Africa then this masterpiece is a must watch. (I was only going to provide a link to the Trailer below, but I found the full documentary online. It’s missing the English subtitles, so if you want to have the full experience I suggest tracking down a full version.)

Darwins Nightmare (Hubert Sauper, 2004)

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Hubert Sauper has released a new documentary on Africa, focusing on Sudan, entitled “We Come as Friends”Sundance program and review.

Below you will find Democracy Now!’s full interview and discussion with Hubert Sauper regarding this project.… Read the rest

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The Strange World Of Sociopolitical Sex Fetishes

In a segment of the 1996 documentary Fetishes, filmmaker Nick Broomfield uncovers an unsettling realm of human sexuality – fetishes that reflect historical and sociopolitical realities through a twisted mirror:
Just when I thought i'd seen it all, I encountered [fetish] sessions that seemed to stem directly from social and political issues…the dilemma of a white policeman who worked a black area…several Jewish clients were into concentration camp scenarios…some black clients were into plantation scenarios. Most fetishes are the eroticizations of one's worst fears and nightmares:
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Caught on Film: The Dark World of Truck Stop Sex Workers

The_Lot_Lizard_by_Kelii

Lot Lizard is a new documentary by Filmmaker Alexander Perlman about intricate life of truck stop prostitutes, and the odd lonely life of truckers.

via Mother Jones

“The truth is, making the movie was a really traumatic experience. I suspect I may have developed some mild PTSD.” This is how filmmaker Alexander Perlman describes shooting Lot Lizard, his hypnotic new documentary about truck stop prostitution. While his claim might sound hyperbolic—or like a canny bit of marketing—it rings true: He logged thousands of miles and hundreds of hours to make the film, braving roach motels, crack highs, and homicidal pimps. Indeed, what Perlman captures in Lot Lizard is visceral and harrowing.

The film’s three protagonists—Betty, Monica, and Jennifer—work on the fringes of the trucking industry. America’s Independent Truckers’ Association estimates there are nearly 5,000 truck stops across the country, and although many offer nondescript places to sleep, eat, or shower, many others host a bustling shadow economy of sex and drugs.

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Documentary: The History of the Devil

via Top Documentary Films

The History of the Devil is wickedly good, informative and concise. A no-frills Welsh film produced in association with SBS Australia and distributed by Siren Visual, it’s roughly 52 minutes in length and packs a fair dinkum amount of history into its slender running time.

The documentary itself is made up entirely of mostly still images alternating sporadically with talking heads; religious scholars, theologians and reverends.

Directed by Greg Moodie and written and produced by Dave Flitton, it was researched by Eibhleann Ni Ghriofa, Deirdre Learmont and Craig McGregor.

It’s an impressive andvery open-minded account and offers some fantastic insight into the evolution; the hows and whys the specter of the Devil has existed and morphed through the ages from the dawn of civilization through to the new millennium.

So despite its relatively low-fi approach, the richness and diversity of its imagery; the historical plaques, plates, engravings, illustrations, paintings, drawings, and the occasional staged re-enactment (some dude dressed up in rather bemusing demonic attire), keeps the documentary at a high level of beguilement.

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Hofmann’s Potion – Albert Hofmann LSD Documentary

Hofman's Potion

Check out Hoffman’s Potion, a documentary about LSD creator Albert Hoffman:

“I had to struggle to speak intelligibly. I asked my laboratory assistant, who was informed of the self-experiment, to escort me home. We went by bicycle, no automobile being available because of wartime restrictions on their use. On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had traveled very rapidly. Finally, we arrived at home safe and sound, and I was just barely capable of asking my companion to summon our family doctor and request milk from the neighbors.”

That must have been one hell of a bike ride!

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How to Make Money Selling Drugs: The War America Keeps on Losing

How to Make Money Selling Drugs?

via Salon How to make money selling drugsAndrew O’Hehir

A slick documentary with a jokey premise argues that the “war on drugs” has been a soul-destroying disaster

Despite its slick packaging and overtly facetious premise, director Matthew Cooke and producer Adrian Grenier’s faux-educational documentary “How to Make Money Selling Drugs” packs a wallop. While imparting lessons about the economic realities of the drug trade – a thriving, booming and ever-diversifying realm of entrepreneurial capitalism, in spite of the massively expensive attempt to shut it down – Cooke’s film reminds us that America’s destructive global misadventures of the last 20 years have a corollary that’s every bit as bad right here at home.

If anything, the “war on drugs” has been even worse and even stupider than the “war on terror,” although they’ve become so intimately interconnected in moral, technological and philosophical terms that it’s not like we get to choose.

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Woody Harrelson ‘Ethos’ – Time to Unslave Humanity

Woody Harrelson ‘Ethos’ – Time to Unslave Humanity from TheOccultruth on Vimeo.

This documentary examines the flaws in our systems, and the mechanisms that work against democracy and the environment. From conflicts of interests in politics and unregulated corporate power, to a news media that serves the interests of powerful elites; ETHOS explores the systems that lead us into over consumption and warfare. Too often the media celebrates aspects of our society that belong in the dark ages, while at the same time ignoring or ridiculing progressive thinking or ideas. Many aspects of the way our systems work almost guarantee our destruction as a society and that’s what this film is about. Fractured societies, poverty, disparity, pollution, warfare. Is there something inherently wrong with the human race? Is that what we should think of ourselves? We have tried to set up forms of law and government that safeguard the public good.

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