|Documentaries shown and discussed in 2018.|
In Search Of Mozart (2006, 128 Min) tells the story of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The documentary was produced in association with the world’s leading orchestras and musicians, and told through a 25,000 mile journey along every route Mozart followed. This is a detective story that travels to the heart of Europe, and the heart of a genius itself.
JANE (2017, 90 Min) – Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall – a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.
In UTOPIA GIRLS (2012, 53min) historian Clare Wright presents an investigation into how and why Australia became the first western country to give women full political rights. The film covers the period 1850 – 1900. Australia’s unique history bred an amazing group of rebellious women who each played crucial roles in shaping the destiny of the country.
MURIAL MATTERS (2013, 26 Min) – London 1909, Australian actress Muriel Matters (Brooke Satchwell) makes worldwide headlines after taking to the skies under a 25-metre balloon emblazoned with ‘Votes For Women’. Known as ‘that daring Australian girl’, Muriel Matters is inspired by playwrights, anarchists and revolutionaries to use her performance skills and bravery in the fight for women’s rights. Featuring stylized drama and animation, Mariel Matters is the story of an unsung hero.
A PLASTIC OCEAN (2016, 102 Min) – A Plastic Ocean is a documentary film directed by the Australian journalist Craig Leeson. It dives into and investigates the devastating impacts that plastic has caused to our environment, especially our marine life.
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (2013) – Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.
STARE INTO THE LIGHTS MY PRETTIES (2017, 129 Min)
The full video is here. . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBc8ZQQG85o
Look around you. People appear to be permanently glued to their electronic devices. Heads bowed and eyes transfixed, our society has been hijacked by these dominating technologies. In less than the span of a single lifetime, we have advanced from rustic computers the size of buildings to extremely capable mobile devices that fit in the palms of our hands. We haven’t even stopped to catch our breath. That’s precisely was Stare Into the Lights My Pretties aims to do. This engrossing and ambitious feature-length documentary outlines the progression of our computerized world, and examines its consequences to this and future generations.
We’ve become fully enveloped in a screen culture. The average person spends more time staring at a screen on any given day than they do sleeping. This has drastically altered the way we interact with others, conduct our personal and business affairs, and experience the world in general. These stimuli are all about shallow sensation, distraction and instant gratification. What they often fail to provide is context, metaphor or meaning. They are changing the way we learn, and the lessons they’re teaching don’t incite critical thought or require a prolonged attention span.
In the film’s view, screen culture has also empowered corporate and government interests with the ideal narcotic with which to control us. Your Google searches offer these structures an unprecedented glimpse into your thoughts, desires, political leanings and other defining characteristics. Everyone from advertisers to politicians have used this data to modify our behaviors and make us subservient to their cause. Online surveillance constitutes a major threat to our basic right of privacy. Yet many users have accepted this intrusion as a necessary evil. Once we willingly relinquish our rights, and allow our lives to become fully immersed in the fantasy fulfillment of our machines, then we have lost our capacity for empathy and autonomy.
On a technical level, Stare Into the Lights My Pretties is top-notch; its ambient scoring and inventive editing style give the film a mesmerizing pull. The filmmakers pose moral and ethical questions that couldn’t be more timely or profound. What kind of world do we want to live in, and do we have the willpower to change it?
BOMBSHELL: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) – What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and 40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of mobile phone and bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a secure radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII. Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.
PARIS: THE LUMINOUS YEARS (2010) – Between 1905 and 1930, the cultural movement known as ‘Modernism’ hit western society, radically altering modes of expression in such areas as literature, film, dance, music, theater and painting. Paris, France served as the epicenter of this revolution, with now-iconic figures including Marc Chagall, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp and others at the helm. The story of modernism has been told well and often, but this documentary undertakes an unusual approach by making the City of Lights the active protagonist of the story – the catalyst for all of the changes that impacted European and American arts during the said 25-year span. It also examines how the city of Paris itself shaped and honed the artists’ perceptions, and how the changes manifested themselves in the works that those individuals created.
SECRETS OF SILICON VALLEY (2004) – BBC journalist, Jamie Bartlett, uncovers the reality behind Silicon Valley’s glittering promise to build a better world. The entrepreneurs believe progress is powered by radically changing the world as it is – a process they call Disruptive Technology.
TROUBLED MINDS – The Lithium Revolution – This is the story of Australian doctor John Cade discovered a drug treatment for bi-polar disorder, and revolutionised the way we treat mental illness.–
Stephen Fry 1 . . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj8hqXd7N_A
Stephen Fry 2 . . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3rHTm1YLxA
The two Stephen Fry videos provide more information on bi-polar disorder. Stephen is a sufferer of the complaint that Lithium is used to treat.
THE ART OF WAR – 2009, 91 Minutes – This American produced documentary explains the main principles of Sun Tzu‘s “The Art of War“. It is illustrated with examples from the Vietnam War (Demoralization), the Second World War (Invasion of Normandy), the American Civil War (Gettysburg) and Tzu’s own battles. Sun Tzu’s (544–496 BC) “The Art of War” remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare. It has had a profound influence on both Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and sport. It’s principles are still taught in military schools today.
KEATING – THE MUSICAL – A humorous musical tribute to the Keating era of Australian politics. The stage show begins in 1991 when Paul Keating successfully challenged Bob Hawke for the leadership of the Labor Party, and finishes when Keating lost the 1996 election to John Howard. The show is in two acts, both of which are on YouTube: ACT 1 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-jsWJSrP3s and ACT 2 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdrZScZqMTE
LEONARD BERNSTEIN – A tribute to Leonard Bernstein on the 100th anniversary of his birth. This is the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3KAhq_vHmQ
WILD TALES – 2014, 122 Minutes – This Argentinian film consists of six stories. Each story explores a different facet of revenge and the various brilliant, mad, toe-curling and hilarious flavours in which it can be dished out. Whether it’s taking out a belligerent crime lord, getting even with officious parking enforcement, retribution for infidelity, or good old fashioned road rage, Wild Tales takes acts of vengeance for infuriating, often all too familiar situations and blows them out to a bitter and hysterical end in this outrageous, tense and ferociously funny dark comedy.
THE RED PILL – 2016, 108 Minutes – The Red Pill is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Cassie Jaye. The film explores the men’s rights movement, as Jaye spends a year filming the leaders and followers within the movement. The Red Pill shifts from Jaye’s investigation of what she initially believed to be a hate movement to more sympathetic coverage of the movement. The shift is shown in the film through Jaye’s questions about her own views on gender, power, and privilege. The Red Pill also discusses issues facing men and boys such as male suicide rates, workplace fatalities and high-risk jobs, military conscription, lack of services for male victims of domestic violence and rape, higher rates of violent victimization, issues concerning divorce and child custody, disparity in criminal sentencing, disproportionate funding and research on men’s health issues, educational inequality, societal tolerance of misandry, circumcision and men’s lack of reproductive rights.
MAO’S LAST DANCER – 2009, 117 Minutes – This documentary drama is based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao’s cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and later as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet. Li retired from ballet in 1999 at the age of 38 and joined Bell Potter Securities as a stockbroker to establish its Asian desk.
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN – 2012, 86 Minutes – Mystery is a powerful, sometimes essential weapon in the arsenal of a cult artist. But what happens when great artists’ legacies are so enigmatic that no one seems to know whether they’re dead or alive, retired or making the most important art of their lives in absolute secrecy? What happens when the case grows so cold that even an artist’s most devoted fans are left salivating for the tiniest morsel of information about their idol? Those are some of the questions behind Searching For Sugar Man, a moving documentary about spookily talented Detroit singer-songwriter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez (professionally known simply as Rodriguez), who released two albums of gorgeous, Bob Dylan-esque social commentary and moody, downbeat lyricism to deafening silence in the United States in the early 1970s. When those albums failed to find an audience, he disappeared from the public eye, amid rumors that he’d killed himself onstage or overdosed. While Rodriguez lingered in obscurity in the States, he rocketed to super-stardom in South Africa, where his anti-establishment rhetoric and soulful defiance resonated with a youth movement in open revolt against the legalized bigotry of Apartheid.
WHITELEY – 2017, 90 Minutes – WHITELEY is a visual journey into the private life and creative legacy of Australia’s most iconic artist, Brett Whiteley. This award winning, biopic is told “in his own words” using personal letters, notebooks and photographs, interwoven with reconstructions, animations, archival interviews and rare footage.
FOUR HORSEMAN – 2012, 98 Minutes – This British documentary is free from mainstream media propaganda, doesn’t bash bankers, criticize politicians or get involved in conspiracy theories. The film ignites the debate about how we usher a new economic paradigm into the world which, globally, would dramatically improve the quality of life for billions. See it at youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU
THE TRIANGLE WARS (2011) . . . . . https://www.imdb.com/tt2049573/
GENIUS … GLENN GOULD (2010) . . https://www.imdb.com/tt1503774
FAIR GAME (2017) . . . . . . . . https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4893748/ref_=tt_ov_pl
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (2016) . https://imdb/title/tt5804038/?ref_=nv_sr_1
MORE THAN HONEY (2012). https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2263058/?ref_=nv_sr_1
BHUTTO (2010) . . . . . . . . . . https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1524095/?ref_=nv_sr_1
MONASH (2008) . . . . . . . . . . https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1181609/?ref_=nv_sr_1
BUDRUS (2009) . . . . . . . . . . http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1542411/?ref_=nv_sr_1
PANDORA’S PROMISE . . . . . http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1992193/?ref_=nv_sr_1
FOOD, INC . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/?ref_=nv_sr_4
SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORK
David Schwimmer’s Sexual Harrassment Series
Domino effect of Harvey Weinstein’s sex harassment scandal
Gretchen Carlson- How we can end sexual harassment at work – TED Talk – TED.com
BANKSY DOES NEW YORK . . . . . . http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3995006/?ref_=nv_sr_1
INSIDE JOB . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645089/?ref_=nv_sr_1
FIRST AUSTRALIANS (7 one hour episodes)