Documentary

Section



Art Documentary

Go Behind the Scenes to Watch How Heather Dewey-Hagborg Creates Portraits with Found DNA

June 25, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Just a few weeks ago we covered the amazing 3D-printed portraits created by artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who uses genetic clues from found DNA to determine an estimation of what that person might look like. In this short documentary filmed by TED’s Kari Mulholland, we learn a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes as Dewey-Hagborg utilizes the facilities at Genspace in New York to create each of her DNA portraits.

 

 



Art Documentary Photography

Back to the Future: A Documentary Short on Irina Werning’s Viral Photography Project

June 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Back to the Future is a documentary short about Argentinean photographer Irina Werning’s incredible photography project where she recreates cherished old photographs of people. I always assumed that Werning must be obsessed with details to take photos that so closely resembled images made decades earlier, but I didn’t expect the amount of labor that goes into making a single shot. From arranging the right wardrobe, to creating backdrops and perfectly mimicked bad lighting, let alone traveling to meet each of her subjects, each photograph is really a significant undertaking. Filmed by Jamie Jassett.

 

 



Art Documentary

Soo Sunny Park’s Unwoven Light Documented by Walley Films

May 22, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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If you enjoyed learning about Soo Sunny Park’s Unwoven Light installation at Rice Gallery earlier this month, you’ll like this new documentary short by filmmaking duo Angela and Mark Walley of Walley Films. The film covers the installation period and opening of Park’s chain-link fence installation and you learn quite a bit more about the artist’s process and intent behind her imaginative, surreal artwork. If you’re unable to make it to Houston to see this in person, this is the next best thing.

 

 



Documentary Music

Landfill Harmonic: An Upcoming Documentary About the ‘Recycled Orchestra’ in Cateura, Paraguay

April 11, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Cateura, Paraguay is a small city that has grown atop a massive dump. It is regarded as one of the poorest slums in Latin America, a village where people live among a sea of garbage. Incredibly, the landfill itself is the primary form of subsistence for many residents, who pick through waste for items that can be used or sold. Prospects for most of the children born in Cateura is bleak as gangs and drugs await many of them. But then one day, something amazing happened.

A garbage picker named Nicolás Gómez (known as “Cola”) found a piece of trash that resembled a violin and brought it to musician Favio Chávez. Using other objects collected from the dump, the pair constructed a functional violin in a place where a real violin is worth more a house. Using items gleaned completely from the dump, the pair then built a cello, a flute, a drum, and suddenly had a wild idea: could a children’s orchestra be born in one of the most depressed areas in the world? As you can guess, the answer was yes.

Now a group of filmmakers, producers, and photographers are trying to tell the story of the orchestra through a documentary titled Landfill Harmonic. The orchestra seems poised to offer many of the children opportunities outside of the slum— they are already planning a multi-city tour around the U.S. The movie is currently being funded on Kickstarter and just passed the halfway mark today. Watch the video above and you can learn more over on their Facebook. Backed!

 

 



Documentary Photography

Finding Vivian Maier: A New Documentary About One of the World’s Most Mysterious Street Photographers

February 16, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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In 2007 Chicago 26-year-old real estate agent (and president of the Jefferson Park Historical Society) John Maloof walked into an auction house and placed a $380 bid on a box of 30,000 prints and negatives from an unknown photographer. Realizing the street photographs of 1950s/60s era Chicago and New York were of unusually high quality he purchased another lot of photographer’s work totaling some 100,000 photographic negatives, thousands of prints, 700 rolls of undeveloped color film, home movies, audio tape interviews, and original cameras.

Over time it became clear the photos belonged to a Chicago nanny named Vivian Maier who had photographed prolifically for nearly 40 years, but who never shared her work during her lifetime. Since the discovery Maier’s photographs have received international attention with collections touring in cities around the world as well as the publication of a book. Now, a documentary called Finding Vivian Maier directed by Maloof and Charlie Siskel is nearing completion and the trailer above is a tantalizing preview of what promises to me a fascinating film. Can’t wait. (via gapers block)

 

 



Amazing Design Documentary

The Centrifuge Brain Project: A Documentary About Impossible Amusement Rides

February 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

In this brilliantly fun mockumentary from German filmmaker Till Nowak, a man named Dr. Nick Laslowicz from the Institute for Centrifugal Research (ICR) recounts his “achievements in the realms of brain manipulation, excessive G-Force and prenatal simulations,” stating unequivocally that “gravity is a mistake.” What follows is a series of increasingly terrifying and equally absurd roller coasters that fling passengers into the sky in an attempt to theoretically improve their cognitive function. Pulling no stops, the fictional ICR has a fully active Facebook page and website, though in reality the film has won numerous awards in screenings around the world in the last year. (via the creators project, swissmiss)

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A Colossal

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Sailing Ship Kite