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Old 10-24-2013, 11:10 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Late night bullshit: Your favorite documentary.

I've been on a documentary bender the past few days. I've started threads about documentaries I've seen in the past, and I'm on record saying that Planet Earth and WWII in HD are the best things ever put on television.

I've seen a couple documentaries recently that really left a profound impact on me. Maybe you've seen some you'd like to talk about? Or maybe you just want to piddle around late at night. This is your thread.

1. I saw "Crisis: Behind A Presidential Commitment" on some channel called Pivot a few days ago, about John F. Kennedy enforcing the integration of the University of Alabama over the segregationist civil disobedience of its then-governor, George Wallace (almost certainly at the behest of his constituents).

This was pretty okay. The story it told didn't have a lot of chapters to it: the federal court decision that mandated integration isn't discussed, nor is any of the other fallout surrounding school integration in the south. This confrontation was entirely civil; there was no violence or use of force. Here's the entire movie: Kennedy wonders if Wallace is going to stand in the way of school integration at U of A, Wallace does, so Kennedy nationalizes the Alabama Guard and there you have it: school integrated.

What's really awesome about this documentary (and it's really old, made in 1963) is it has almost zero voiceover commentary. You are seeing everything happen as history unfolds, as cameras tape Kennedy sweating bullets in the Oval, and Wallace mouthing off to a federal representative as he stands in front of the entrance to his school, blocking it off.

This happened about 50 years ago. That is absolutely ****ing insane, that we've gone from segregation to total integration in such a small amount of time. A public divided on an issue so important became a public overwhelmingly in support of it. So much can happen in such a small amount of time. These were people that mostly look like us, dress like us, and talk like us. This is not ancient history. And we're at each other's throats over increasing gas mileage standards for cars. These people were talking about treating black people equally. Makes our fights seem small by comparison, if you ask me.

2. I saw "Blackfish" tonight on CNN, after months of wanting to see it at my local arthouse theater but never getting a chance to. This movie's about the gross negligence of aquatic amusement parks (SeaWorld, SeaWorld, and SeaWorld) for their criminally negligent treatment of killer whales.

I think the most amazing thing about this documentary is how ****ing amazing orca are. These are creatures that are the sizes of school buses, the intelligent capacity of humans, and what seems like an emotional capacity that far exceeds humans. It's really stunning, the things this documentary reveals about these gigantic mammals.

Mainly it follows the exploits of this one orca they call "Tillicum" from his capture at sea to his confinement in a tank that's simply impossibly small for a creature of his size. The fact that they store a ton of these things together in the same tank is revealed as absolutely insane: they're a lot like people from all over the world, and when you just cherry pick them, separate them from their families, and throw them into what must feel like a bathtub to them with a bunch of others who they can't talk to, can't understand, and don't trust, bad things happen.

Namely, trainers get attacked, mutilated, and occasionally even killed. And of course you see all the deliberate actions from SeaWorld to keep churning out product even in light of this danger.

Mostly, for me, this film really illustrates what it's like for us to abdicate our responsibility to take stewardship over the earth. Humanity simply does not have the resources to adequately care for these creatures: they span hundreds of miles a day, and require more stimulation and social interaction than we are capable of providing. These are incredibly social creatures apparently, and we are placing them in underwater jail cells.

I'm a religious person, and I can't help but think of this as a sin. I don't think you have to be religious to feel like the animals that share our world deserve moral treatment, and that aquatic amusement parks like SeaWorld are absolutely abdicating this responsibility with killer whales.

Anyway. That's my rant. What kind of mind-expanding documentaries have you seen recently?
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:04 PM   #121
Ace Gunner Ace Gunner is offline
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:07 PM   #122
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:08 PM   #123
Portlantis Portlantis is offline
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By Ken Burns:

The Civil War
Prohibition
The Dust Bowl


From 30 for 30 series:

Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks
No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson
June 17th, 1994
The Best that Never Was
Broke
You Don't Know Bo

Also:

Anvil: The Story of Anvil
American Movie
Grizzly Man
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Hoop Dreams
Crumb
The Fearless Freaks (documentary about The Flaming Lips)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (probably more a pseudodocumentary)
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:53 AM   #124
chiefzilla1501 chiefzilla1501 is offline
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This is pretty awesome. Dave Grohl talking about American Idol and The Voice:
http://heavymetalblog.org/wp-content...rohl-Quote.jpg


Sorry... posted link, not the image, as it's NSFW
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:53 PM   #125
crispystl420 crispystl420 is offline
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Queen of Versailles was extremely interesting.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:58 PM   #126
tooge tooge is offline
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:01 PM   #127
vailpass vailpass is offline
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Spinal Tap! Nothing else comes close
True!
Fear of a Black Hat is the only one in the same category...
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #128
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Queen of Versailles was extremely interesting.
+1 on QoV

Absolute Zero is good, too.
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