Tag Archives: documentary

Creative Compulsive Disorder: Remembering Zina Nicole Lahr

Creative Compulsive Disorder: Remembering Zina Nicole Lahr documentary creativity

Creative Compulsive Disorder: Remembering Zina Nicole Lahr documentary creativity

This short clip about artist and maker Zina Nicole Lahr may be as tragic as it is beautiful. Earlier this fall Lahr approached her friend Stormy Pyeatte and asked if they might shoot a quick video for her portfolio. The video was shot and edited in just two days and demonstrates Lahr’s insatiable desire to build, invent, and “bring life to something inanimate,” a process she called her “creative compulsive disorder.” Almost unthinkably, Lahr was killed in a hiking accident in Colorado on November 20th, a few weeks after this was shot.

I didn’t know Lahr, but if this brief glimpse into her life is any indicator it’s clear she possessed an extremely rare spirit that feels completely genuine and infectious. It seems she was involved in practically every genre of creativity we normally cover here on Colossal. Make the most out of every day, folks. Lahr certainly did.

The Record Breaker: The Strange Story of Ashrita Furman Who Has Dedicated His Life to Breaking World Records

The Record Breaker: The Strange Story of Ashrita Furman Who Has Dedicated His Life to Breaking World Records documentary

The Record Breaker: The Strange Story of Ashrita Furman Who Has Dedicated His Life to Breaking World Records documentary

The Record Breaker: The Strange Story of Ashrita Furman Who Has Dedicated His Life to Breaking World Records documentary

It seems like fate that Ashrita Furman was born in 1954, the same year the first Guinness Book of World Records was published. As a child the New York native became fascinated with the annual record books but due to his lack of athleticism never dreamed he could ever accomplish something worthy of a “record.” Years later in 1978, with very little training, he entered a 24 hour bicycle race in Central Park where he surprisingly finished in third place. The near victory sparked something deep inside Furman, and the following year he set his first official record by doing 27,000 jumping jacks. Furman now holds more Guinness records (148) than anyone in the world.

In this life-affirming documentary short from Brian McGuinn we learn about Furman’s extremely bizarre life, and watch has he prepares to climb Machu Picchu. On stilts. (via Booooooom)

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

Man Spends 40 Years Building Giant Kinetic Carnival Rides to Advertise Family Restaurant in Italy kinetic Italy documentary carnival advertising
Courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià

On June 15, 1969 in Battaglia, Italy a man named Bruno bought a few jugs of wine, some sausages and a few other items and set up a tiny food stand underneath a tree to see if anyone would show up. By the end of the day he had sold almost everything and the family restaurant, Ai Pioppi, was born. The next month he had a chance encounter with a blacksmith who didn’t have time to make a few hooks for some chains. Bruno decided he would learn to weld himself and enjoyed it so much he began to dream up small rides he could build to entice new customers to Ai Pioppi. It turned out to be brilliantly successful.

Now forty years later, the forest around the restaurant is packed with swings, multi-story slides, seesaws, gyroscopes, tilt-a-whirls, and bizarre kinetic roller-coasters for adults and children. In this artfully filmed 10-minute documentary by a team over at Fabrica, we get the chance to meet Bruno, see many of his rides in action, and learn a bit about his philosophy on existence and death.

For this post I also included a few photos courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià who visited Ai Pioppi in 2011 with several friends. You can see many more shots here and here.

The next time I’m in Italy I think this is at the top of my list.

Take a Death-Defying Ride Alongside India’s Well of Death Riders

Take a Death Defying Ride Alongside Indias Well of Death Riders stunts music video India documentary

Take a Death Defying Ride Alongside Indias Well of Death Riders stunts music video India documentary

Take a Death Defying Ride Alongside Indias Well of Death Riders stunts music video India documentary

This fantastic bit of filmmaking blends music video and documentary in a new clip for British rock group Django Django’s 2010 track WOR. The subjects of the video are Allahabad’s Well of Death riders who risk life and limb daily to earn money at local melas (fairs) by driving cars and motorcycles inside a temporary cylindrical structure about 25 feet high and 30 feet across. The cars are held in the air by centripetal force and needless to say there’s very little room for error. The Well of Death is extremely risky for both performers and audience members, but regardless, it frequently draws a huge crowd as evidenced in this video. Directed by Jim Demuth, based on an original concept by Vincent Neff. More music video documentaries, please. (via Vimeo)

Lost & Found: Inside the Bizarre Wonderland of Artist and Tinkerer Blair Somerville

Lost & Found: Inside the Bizarre Wonderland of Artist and Tinkerer Blair Somerville kinetic sculpture documentary automata

Lost & Found: Inside the Bizarre Wonderland of Artist and Tinkerer Blair Somerville kinetic sculpture documentary automata

Lost & Found: Inside the Bizarre Wonderland of Artist and Tinkerer Blair Somerville kinetic sculpture documentary automata

For the last decade, self-confessed tinkerer and “organic mechanic” Blair Somerville has owned and operated the Lost Gypsy Gallery, a sprawling menagerie of kinetic sculptures, automata, and electronic doohickies. Located in in a remote corner of New Zealand’s South Island, the gallery has become Somerville’s life work, a testament to artistic ingenuity, and an offbeat tourist attraction where visitors can experience first-hand his interactive “Fine Acts of Junk”.

Filmmaker Joey Bania takes us inside this enchanting yet totally bizarre wonderland in his new documentary short Lost & Found, funded in part by BBC Worldwide Young Producers’ grant. NSFW-ish language here and there.

If you liked this, you might also want to take a step inside the UFO Welcome Center or learn more about the Junk King.

Revelation: Cut Paper Collages and Illustrations by Christine Kim

Revelation: Cut Paper Collages and Illustrations by Christine Kim paper illustration documentary collage anatomy

Revelation: Cut Paper Collages and Illustrations by Christine Kim paper illustration documentary collage anatomy

Revelation: Cut Paper Collages and Illustrations by Christine Kim paper illustration documentary collage anatomy

Revelation: Cut Paper Collages and Illustrations by Christine Kim paper illustration documentary collage anatomy

Revelation: Cut Paper Collages and Illustrations by Christine Kim paper illustration documentary collage anatomy

And we have another great documentary short today. Meet Toronto-based artist Christine Kim whose recent artwork explores intersections between illustration, cut paper collage, and architecture. The video above is part 10 of an ongoing series of top-notch artist interviews conducted by filmmaker Jesse Brass called Making Art.

A Retired Chemistry Teacher Merges Art and Science by Sculpting Porcelain Objects Inspired by Molecules

A Retired Chemistry Teacher Merges Art and Science by Sculpting Porcelain Objects Inspired by Molecules sculpture science porcelain molecules documentary

A Retired Chemistry Teacher Merges Art and Science by Sculpting Porcelain Objects Inspired by Molecules sculpture science porcelain molecules documentary

A Retired Chemistry Teacher Merges Art and Science by Sculpting Porcelain Objects Inspired by Molecules sculpture science porcelain molecules documentary

Educator, scientist and artist Bobby Jaber retired from teaching chemistry over 20 years ago and decided to dedicate the next chapter of his life to combining his passions for science and art. To do this he began to mimic some of the most beautifully shaped molecules in existence using porcelain. Jaber says that because he spent so much of his life studying chemistry, the study of change in matter, that ceramics were a perfect extension as they dramatically demonstrate chemical change, especially at the physical level.

Filmmaker Dave Altizer filmed this brief documentary about Jaber’s artistic philosophy and how the 76-year-old continues to find meaning and success over 20 years into his artistic career. Make sure you catch the last few seconds.

The Pixel Painter: A 97-Year-Old Man Who Draws Using Microsoft Paint from Windows 95

The Pixel Painter: A 97 Year Old Man Who Draws Using Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 pointillism documentary

The Pixel Painter: A 97 Year Old Man Who Draws Using Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 pointillism documentary

The Pixel Painter: A 97 Year Old Man Who Draws Using Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 pointillism documentary

The Pixel Painter: A 97 Year Old Man Who Draws Using Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 pointillism documentary

Meet Hal Lasko, mostly known as Grandpa, a 97-year-old man who uses Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 to create artwork that has been described as “a collision of pointillism and 8-Bit art.” Lasko, who is legally blind, served in WWII drafting directional and weather maps for bombing raids and later worked as a typographer (back when everything is done by hand) for clients such as General Tire, Goodyear and The Cleveland Browns before retiring in the 1970s. Decades after his retirement his family introduced him to Microsoft Paint and he never looked back. Approaching a century in age, Lasko is now having his work shown for the first time in an art exhibition and also has prints for sale online.

Watch this touching documentary short directed by Josh Bogdan which tells how Lasko discovered an entire new artistic career well into his 80s. If you liked this, also learn about 73-year-old Tatsuo Horiuchi who paints exclusively using the shape tool in Microsoft Excel. (via Colossal Submissions)

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