Five Antarctica Documentaries to Check Out

Antarctica remains one of the few underexplored areas of our planet. Its startling beauty and mystery belie dangerous cold and other perils. Neither stops explorers from traveling there, nor do they stop documentary makers from going with them. Check out these five documentaries about the southern-most continent. Encounters at the End of the World Directed… Read More Five Antarctica Documentaries to Check Out

Five Comedy Documentaries to Check Out

Comedy is an important part of culture. Humor allows expression of controversial and taboo ideas in ways that some audiences can accept. Jokes bring hidden issues to public attention in ways other genres just can’t. Documentaries take comedy seriously. Well, documentaries take most everything seriously, but that doesn’t mean the form never shows its sense… Read More Five Comedy Documentaries to Check Out

Five Sport Documentaries to Check Out

Sport has been a subject of documentary since Edison’s and the Lumieres’ 1890s experiments. One of Edison’s first pieces is a boxing match between Mike Leonard and Jack Cushing. In the 1930s Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia showcased atheticism in the guise of propaganda. Today, ESPN’s 30 for 30 series has propelled sport documenatary to new popularity.… Read More Five Sport Documentaries to Check Out

Documentary and Advocacy Connections in ‘We Rise’

Documentaries can play various roles in advocacy work. In the book We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez cites several examples useful for illustrating the diversity of these roles. A documentary can evoke a wide range of emotions. Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Eleventh Hour chronicles the global… Read More Documentary and Advocacy Connections in ‘We Rise’

10 Other Documentaries about the Vietnam War to Check Out

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War begins this week, though the 18-hour series is far from the first about the subject. Unlike Hollywood’s almost 15-year delay, documentary makers started trying to make sense of the war early on. The Vietnam War has been a cultural touchstone for generations, though it resonates most with… Read More 10 Other Documentaries about the Vietnam War to Check Out

An Ode to the City Symphony (so to Speak)

The most interesting periods of documentary history are the transition periods of adopting and adapting new technologies. The late 1800s saw the Lumiere brothers’ cinematograph capturing and projecting moving images from the backpack-size device. The 1930s saw the experiments with spoken words on the soundtracks. Sometimes they were recorded on location, but more likely they… Read More An Ode to the City Symphony (so to Speak)

11 Sites about Documentary You Should be Reading

The landscape for documentaries and writing about them has changed immensely during the last 20 years. Back then, only occasional news stories or infrequent emerging blogs wrote about them. A respected resource, DocumentaryFilms.net took off when it became a collective blog. The writers behind The Documentary Blog drew a following. Christopher Campbell ran an independent… Read More 11 Sites about Documentary You Should be Reading

‘Hoop Dreams’ News Coverage Suggests a Different Kind of Impact

Popular film titles sometimes work their way into everyday language: Bucket List, Gaslight, Groundhog Day. “Hoop Dreams” is one of those film titles. As part of my background research into Hoop Dreams, I pulled 996 articles mentioning the phrase from all the years available in the Lexis Nexis news database. About half of those stories… Read More ‘Hoop Dreams’ News Coverage Suggests a Different Kind of Impact

Answering the Call from Herman in ‘The Deeper They Bury Me’

Sometimes a story is so tragic that it needs multiple media versions to encompass its depths and traumas more fully. Herman Wallace’s more than 40 years of solitary confinement offers just that kind of story. Solitary confinement isolates a prisoner within a 6-by-9-foot cell for 22-24 hours a day. Prison guards provide the only human… Read More Answering the Call from Herman in ‘The Deeper They Bury Me’