Tag Archives | Documentary

How To Start Your Own Religion

One of the best films I saw at South By Southwest (SXSW) this year was Vikram Gandhi's documentary Kumaré, in which New Jersey-born and raised Gandhi decides to pass himself off as an Indian guru (he is of Indian descent) to see if people will buy into his fake persona as a spiritually enlightened teacher. He succeeds all too well and faces a dilemma when it's time to reveal the fraud. Essentially Gandhi's point is that spiritual gurus are frauds and anyone can be a guru if he can (so long as they are prepared to dress up, grow long beards, make up strange chants, etc.). With that in mind, I found a course on how to start your own religion, offered by 3rd Ward. I'm not sure if I'll take it yet, but they do say the fastest way to make a million dollars is to become a millionaire...
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Is Competitive Laughter Becoming A New Craze?

LaughologyThe documentary Laughology is helping set off a new fad with the discovery that competitive laughter can be entertaining.

The film makes the case that laughter itself is the primary motivator of laughter, so jokes aren’t necessary for people to have a good time. After a laughing contest in Montreal where the audience was in stitches, a competition made headlines in Tokyo. This Saturday a laughter contest hits America in the form of the California Ultimate Laughing Championship. Linda Massarella reports for the Toronto Sun:

So there was this American state called California with one of the highest unemployment rates on the continent and citizens fretting about losing their homes to foreclosure … when in walks this Canadian guy.

Yes, it’s Toronto documentary filmmaker Albert Nerenberg to the rescue of the depressed and anxious around here [San Luis Obispo, CA] next Saturday when he brings his movie, Laughology, to a film festival just north of L.A.

Read the rest
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Bigfoot Sues State

From the "You can't make this stuff up" department, via AP/Seacoastonline:
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — First there was a Bigfoot sighting. Now, there's a Bigfoot suing. A performance artist and amateur filmmaker who dressed as the mythical beast says New Hampshire park rangers didn't have the right to kick him off a mountain where he had been scaring, or at least amusing, hikers while friends videotaped his antics.
Backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Jonathan Doyle is suing the state...
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Clark: A Gonzomentary

In the spirit of mockumentaries like Spinal Tap, Hunter S Thompson's Gonzo style, and the art world in general, Clark is an indie web series that has been ravaging the minds of viewers for months now. To make things more confusing, the actors are going on camera presenting their method as heavily based on occultism and gnosticism. It's not clear where the line between fiction and reality is, but it seems a fun ride for the hale at heart.
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Interview with Brett Smith, Creator of 9/11 Movie ‘Hypothesis’

Brett Smith. Photo: Brett Smith

Brett Smith. Photo: Brett Smith

This is an exclusive Media Roots Radio interview with Utah based documentarian Brett Smith, conducted by Abby and Robbie Martin on February 23, 2011. In 2006, Brett’s love of films drew him into taking a film class where he was required to make a 15 minute short. That 15 minute short later turned into 40 minute documentary called Hypothesis.

Hypothesis is a documentary that follows physics professor Steven E. Jones during a pivotal time in his life. In 2005, Jones went public with a theory about 9/11 that was so controversial, it resulted in everything from hate mail, threats, and even bribery to try to end his research. Despite the outside pressures, Jones vowed to never give up on his pursuit of the truth.

Interview with Filmmaker Brett Smith, Creator of Hypothesis by Media Roots

The above timeline is interactive. Scroll through it to find out more about the show’s music and to resources mentioned during the broadcast.… Read the rest

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‘The Cove’ Sent To Every Household In Japanese Fishing Village

MNN reports:
This time last year, producers of the "The Cove" were riding high after winning Best Documentary at the 2010 Academy Awards. Directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Fisher Stevens and Paula DuPre Pesmen, the film shed dramatic light on the thousands of dolphins slaughtered each year in the Japanese fishing town of Taiji. "It has the breathless pace of a Bourne movie, but none of the comfort of fiction. This is documentary filmmaking at its most exciting and purposeful," wrote Rolling Stone's Peter Travers in a review.
This past weekend, residents of Taiji were able to give their own verdicts after a local activist group, called People Concerned for the Ocean, delivered a Japanese-dubbed copy of the film to each home...
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A Quick Journey Through 1970s Apocalypticism

Future Shock title slate paleofuture paleo-futurePaleofuture Blog, which look at predictions and visions of the future as previous generations imagined it, has a video feature examining the colorful weirdness of apocalyptic doom-and-gloom in the 1970s. In that decade, frightening documentaries such as Future Shock and The Late Great Planet Earth caught the zeitgeist by foretelling the fast-approaching destruction of humanity  at the hands of  overpopulation, dehumanizing technology, Communism, ancient prophecies, and natural devastation. Viewing these works today, they are a reminder that the world probably isn't going to end, and we'll make it through to tomorrow.
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