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http://www.pbs.org/pov/onlytheyoung/
I had been following the release of this documentary feature for quite some time, unfortunately Oscilloscope only screened it for a handful of special engagements & I was sick the one time I had the chance to see it nearby. Only the Youngis a disarmingly simple piece of work, it follows three teenage friends through everyday life over the course of a school year. But that logline might make for a simple work of fiction, it’s a different story however when trying to capture that kind of thing authentically and openly in documentary. The filmmakers follow the leads as though they’re not an intrusion at all, and even the ‘talking heads’ aspects come off as natural, near inner-monologue type revelations. A touching look at young adult friendship, the struggles of coming of age, and the dual profundity & naïveté of teenagers. It is also one of the more respectful treatments of modern day Christians in the media, though that angle is teased more than fleshed out (they talk about church plenty, but the most we see of the leadership and participation is a single event for a ‘skateboarding ministry’ which was admittedly eye-opening).

Honest portrayals of everyday issues and triumphs (or as close as we get to ‘triumphant’ in real life) are something I’m very fond of, and hard to come by. I’d love the opportunity to speak with the filmmakers about how they accomplish what they did, especially as this is the first documentary feature for each (the first directing gig altogether for one of them) because it’s what I’d aim for in the projects I’m working on.
Big thanks to PBS’ POV for presenting this to everyone, if you’re at all interested in documentary, coming of age stories, interviewing, American life, etc. you owe it to yourself to check this out while its available. It’ll be streaming on PBS.org until the middle of August.

http://www.pbs.org/pov/onlytheyoung/

I had been following the release of this documentary feature for quite some time, unfortunately Oscilloscope only screened it for a handful of special engagements & I was sick the one time I had the chance to see it nearby. Only the Youngis a disarmingly simple piece of work, it follows three teenage friends through everyday life over the course of a school year. But that logline might make for a simple work of fiction, it’s a different story however when trying to capture that kind of thing authentically and openly in documentary. The filmmakers follow the leads as though they’re not an intrusion at all, and even the ‘talking heads’ aspects come off as natural, near inner-monologue type revelations. A touching look at young adult friendship, the struggles of coming of age, and the dual profundity & naïveté of teenagers. It is also one of the more respectful treatments of modern day Christians in the media, though that angle is teased more than fleshed out (they talk about church plenty, but the most we see of the leadership and participation is a single event for a ‘skateboarding ministry’ which was admittedly eye-opening).

Honest portrayals of everyday issues and triumphs (or as close as we get to ‘triumphant’ in real life) are something I’m very fond of, and hard to come by. I’d love the opportunity to speak with the filmmakers about how they accomplish what they did, especially as this is the first documentary feature for each (the first directing gig altogether for one of them) because it’s what I’d aim for in the projects I’m working on.

Big thanks to PBS’ POV for presenting this to everyone, if you’re at all interested in documentary, coming of age stories, interviewing, American life, etc. you owe it to yourself to check this out while its available. It’ll be streaming on PBS.org until the middle of August.

Science fiction’s most influential writer may not have lived to see the premiere of Blade Runner, the troubled and maligned-on-release adaptation of his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? from director Ridley Scott, but unlike most everyone else during the run up to its release he predicted its immense impact to come. In this letter from the website of his estate (kudos to Open Culture for posting this!) he discusses his anticipation for it, while he was unfortunately wrong about its commercial prospects, the film has survived the studio’s fears and tampering and audiences’ initial confusions to become probably the most acclaimed science fiction film of all time and endures to this day as a most-watch film for all genre and film fans alike. It is sad that the studio’s cuts and horrid voiceover additions turned a high brow film into a more muddled mess and robbed the film of its chance to make a great first showing and has instead needed the vocal members of its cult believers to continue to spread its influence, but thankfully they have allowed Scott to slowly but surely restore the film to what he intended it to be with the much improved director’s cut and the incredible 2007 ‘Final Cut’.
It’s interesting that a large number of the author’s fans usually bring up how much it departed from the source material, and yet the closest thing we have to a reaction to it from the author himself is effusive praise.

Science fiction’s most influential writer may not have lived to see the premiere of Blade Runner, the troubled and maligned-on-release adaptation of his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? from director Ridley Scott, but unlike most everyone else during the run up to its release he predicted its immense impact to come. In this letter from the website of his estate (kudos to Open Culture for posting this!) he discusses his anticipation for it, while he was unfortunately wrong about its commercial prospects, the film has survived the studio’s fears and tampering and audiences’ initial confusions to become probably the most acclaimed science fiction film of all time and endures to this day as a most-watch film for all genre and film fans alike. It is sad that the studio’s cuts and horrid voiceover additions turned a high brow film into a more muddled mess and robbed the film of its chance to make a great first showing and has instead needed the vocal members of its cult believers to continue to spread its influence, but thankfully they have allowed Scott to slowly but surely restore the film to what he intended it to be with the much improved director’s cut and the incredible 2007 ‘Final Cut’.

It’s interesting that a large number of the author’s fans usually bring up how much it departed from the source material, and yet the closest thing we have to a reaction to it from the author himself is effusive praise.

"I’m open to most genres. I like to play around with genre though…28 Days later was a Zombie Movie with no Zombies in it in my opinion; Slumdog was a Fairy Tale in genre terms but there are moments of real darkness in it; 127 Hours was an Action Movie about a guy who couldn’t move… Trance is supposed to be a heist movie or an amnesia movie, or a femme fatale movie. but it’s all of those things and none of those things really. the genre hooks are macguffins that give us a route into exploring ideas about perception, reality and madness."

Danny Boyle, on Reddit

"Thank God for stories—for those that have them, for those that tell them, for those that devour them as the soul sustenance that they are. Stories give shape to experience and allow us to go through life unblind. Without the, everything that happens would float around, undifferentiated. None of it would mean anything. Once you have a version of what happened, all the other good stuff about being human comes into play. You can laugh, feel awe, commit a passionate act, get pissed, want to change things"

Tomas Alex Tizon, reiterated in the Nieman Foundation’s excellent Telling True Stories

Cities in the Sky - Forgotten Visions of the Future

rtrftr:

There’s only a few hours left to support this futurist documentary on Kickstarter, get on it! Reblog! Tweet about it! Facebook share, etc!

An inspiring reminder of the power of music to change lives, and evidence that upcycling is more than just a hipster art trend. An upcoming documentary feature about a youth orchestra from a slum in Paraguay that’s surrounded by a landfill, the adults in the community make their living from salvaging materials to sell, the music students build their own instruments to learn & perform on. 

(Source: vimeo.com)

I’m not sure about the film yet, (though I’m a huge fan of Soderbergh, and the team up of Soderbergh & screenwriter Scott Z. Burns did deliver with Contagion so I’m optimistic) but this teaser poster is such a killer design.

I’m not sure about the film yet, (though I’m a huge fan of Soderbergh, and the team up of Soderbergh & screenwriter Scott Z. Burns did deliver with Contagion so I’m optimistic) but this teaser poster is such a killer design.

Wow, I thought this was going for preachy, didn’t expect the hilarious turn of events.

Haiti is very near & dear to my heart (in fact I’ll be there in a few weeks) & is a country made up of resilient people, resilient in the face of so much pain following a burst of promise. But despite that spirit it seems Haiti is always in a position to be kicked harder when it’s already down. It took an earthquake that claimed 100,000 lives to get the world (including the US, its next door neighbor) to pay attention to the island nation & from the outpouring of both care & opportunism careless lead to an epidemic of cholera, a bacterial infection that’s simple to prevent with proper sanitation and to cure with fast hydration, can be quickly lethal in a country without clean water and much of its population living on a flood plain the fans out from the source of the contamination. In October of 2010 Nepalese peacekeepers for the United Nations tasked with relief following the earthquake carelessly let their sewage into the Artibonite River, Nepal had just been through its own terrible cholera epidemic & microbiolgical studies have confirmed the strain in Haiti is identical to the one from Nepal & since then 100’s of thousands have been infected and thousands of people have died. The UN & Nepal refuse to acknowledge respsonsibility for something that could have so easily been prevented & each rain storm brings a new surge in infections almost 2 years later.

It’s hard to convey this to people who are not already wired into the situation, nor should any aid campaign use guilt as a motivator, so that’s why it’s a great blessing that these filmmakers have put together a short documentary (it appeared in April’s Tribeca Film Festival) that conveys the sadness of the scenario and the hope instilled by those fighting for justice through the intimacy of one boy’s story. 

It promotes action that can be taken even by the busiest people, to petition the UN to take responsibility.

Please take some time to watch the film, or at the very least visit www.UNdeny.org

It’s synergistic for me because this film will do a lot to help a cause I care greatly about, and helped reinvigorate my drive to use short form and alternate media documentary to awaken people to issues & work for change with actionable requests.

Bounce across America from the perspective of a runaway racquet ball in this fun video for (Massachusetts’ own) Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk”.

I’m a huge nerd for stop-motion, I’d love to learn how to really get into it myself (in my spare time I’m actually storyboarding such a project), but in the meantime you’ll see me geek out on sharing other people’s works. This project from Vimeo user Salon Alpin combines stop motion flawlessly with CG animation for an endearing story about the world’s books can take you to, with a personified bookmark as the protagonist. Check it out!