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I've not seen the ABC show but there is a podcast series also called The Dropout which is excellent.

 

The HBO one is good but it's far too long - pushing two hours when it could have been half that length. It feel more like the Elizabeth story than the story of Theranos. The book Bad Blood is far better and tells the story in a much deeper way. But I thought the Dropout podcast was the best of the lot. 

 

The HBO one does have one amazing moment that made me very pleased that all those rich investors lost their money.

 

Spoiler

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Watched 'Beyond The Curve' on Netflix, a look into the world of people who believe the world is flat. Great watch that pushed me through multiple feelings towards these people. 

 

 

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Incredibly tense doc on BBC iPlayer called The Last Breath - North Sea saturation divers have an awful accident and events unfold in almost real-time, lots of footage from the day interspersed with interviews ( one of the divers is a bit weird) and careful reconstructions.

 

Title is obviously a clue but this is best enjoyed if you can go in cold.

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I watched a couple of documentaries over the weekend. The first was Beyonce:Homecoming. It's about Beyonce and the lead up to her Coachella show in 2018. She had been originally booked to play in 2017 but had to cancel after getting pregnant. She promised she'd come back the following year with something special. And this film is a mix of that performance and the creation of the show.

 

I'm a big Beyonce fan so I've been trying to find the 2.5 hours I'd need for this. Eventually I got to watch it on Saturday and it was as good as I thought it would be. The show itself is spectacular; the banks of musicians and dancers combined with the screens and other visuals make for something properly special. But the rehearsal and preparation stuff takes it to a different level.

 

The amount of work that went into creating a one-off event is mind-blowing. Massive warehouses and sound-stages full of people going flat out for months at a time. Beyonce herself oversees every aspect of the production - clothes, choreography, visuals etc. She's a proper auetuer. And at the same time she's on an insane diet and fitness regime to get fit for the show.
This was so good. One of those things that make me glad to pay my Netflix sub. My only, slight, criticism is that I would have liked to know more about the costume design. In particular the Black Panther inspired outfits of the backing singers. But that aside this is essential viewing for any music fan. Beyonce is truly on a different level.

 

Next up was the new HBO Muhammad Ali film Say My Name. This follows the same structure as the HBO Elvis film from last year, The Searcher. It's all archive footage and photographs strung together chronologically to make a biographical narrative. There's no voice-over or onscreen text.


I thought this was incredible. There was nothing new here if you're familiar with Ali and his life but the footage of his early years is still as powerful as ever. They do this really clever thing were they show footage of the early fights, which is all blurry, and occasionally cut in still photographs that are clear and crisp. This effect works really well and makes the old fight footage seem really modern.


One particularly powered bit was all the stuff with Malcolm X. And the Black Muslim movement. The charisma and intelligence of Malcolm is still undiminished all these years later. And you can see why the man had him killed. 
 

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I've watched  a lot of gaming documentaries recently;

 

TellTales - NoClip (Youtube)

More of a set of 4 intimate interviews. Great insight into this studio and no sugar coating, felt the most honest of the 3. I remember around the GOT game thinking 'They really need to change things up, even change the engine' etc. It's quite tragic just how aware the devs were of this early on too and wanted to change and were now finally just starting to refresh, Stranger Things seemed to be a really pivotal moment for them as well as WolfAmongUs2.

 

Playing Hard - (Netflix).

Look into the creation of Ubisoft's ForHonor. This is pretty fascinating with it's focus on one person in particular, gets VERY deep and physiological, it almost feels like watching someone have a breakdown. There really isn't any other gaming documentary like it. 

 

Raising Kratos (Youtube).

Probably the most formulaic of the three with a strong focus on team/family/studio life. They have a tonne of special footage that really shows the stress of going against the grain. It's also the most 'back patting' of the three.

 

I think the most important it probably the TellTales one and it's only a hour. These are all brilliant in their own right, full of intimate special moments.

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On 18/05/2019 at 21:11, Gotters said:

Incredibly tense doc on BBC iPlayer called The Last Breath - North Sea saturation divers have an awful accident and events unfold in almost real-time, lots of footage from the day interspersed with interviews ( one of the divers is a bit weird) and careful reconstructions.

 

Title is obviously a clue but this is best enjoyed if you can go in cold.

 

 

Surprised to see this available already as I only read a review of it in a film magazine a few weeks ago so thanks for the heads up.

 

Incredible documentary with a near unbearable tension. Not for the claustrophobic...

 

 

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I really enjoyed 'ReMastered: The Lion's Share', a Netflix documentary about the origins of a very famous song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

 

It charts how several companies, including Disney, made millions off the back of it but hardly sent a penny to the family of the originator, Solomon Linda.

 

Shades of Searching for Sugarman (though not as good as that masterpiece) and very interesting on copyright and IP law. Some fascinating insights into South African culture and apartheid too. I'll never watch The Lion King in quite the same way again, or go to a Tight Fit reunion tour with the same enthusiasm.

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Just a heads up that Free Solo is available on All 4, either to download or catch-up. Insightful, and visually staggering... obviously if you don’t like heights proceed with caution, or just enjoy it as the most terrifying horror story you’ll ever watch!

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Got to a screening of Apollo 11 yesterday.

 

Absolutely mesmerising. The moon landings have long-since fascinated me, and this doc is a perfect love letter to their awe-inspiring power and beauty.

 

Love little details revealed, such as Buzz Aldrin’s heart rate was only 88 during lift-off (Armstrong’s 112 by comparison). Ice cool.

 

Still on in a few places in that there London over the weekend, including the splendidly rickety Prince Charles.

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I will echo the praise for Apollo 11 I loved it.

 

On the NASA/space docs I fully recommend Mission Control on Netflix.  It’s bookended by some stuff in modern mission control so I was worried that’d be what it is but it’s not.  It’s a history of mission control from the start to the end of the Apollo missions told by the men who were there.  It’s absoultely fascinating and included lots of little tidbits of information I hadn’t read or heard before, for example the program alarms during Eagle’s decent were something that had happened during a simulator run as well so they were prepared with a list of alarms they could continue through.  Gene Kranz comes through as a very good leader.

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5 hours ago, Tourist said:

 

Also watching Dawn Wall after a recommendation in the health and fitness thread and currently enjoying it more than Free Solo.

 

Yeah, it's way better. Don't know why Free Solo got all the praise.

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I watched Storyville Jonestown which is on iPlayer at the moment. 
 

I knew very little about the events and was quite shocked at what happened, how it happened and how unreal the whole thing seemed. They had so much actual footage and audio of Jim Jones right up to the terrible events of the night that it gave it an almost unreal staged quality. I find it so chilling. 
 

For those unaware (I was pretty much) it’s the rise of a Christian preacher In the 70’s who grew his nutty US church, built a socialist utopia in South America then convinced 900 people to kill themselves. :seanr: Prior to 9-11 it was the largest loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act in history. How the hell it passed me by I don’t know. 

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On ‎20‎/‎01‎/‎2020 at 23:04, Yiggy said:

I watched Storyville Jonestown which is on iPlayer at the moment. 
 

I knew very little about the events and was quite shocked at what happened, how it happened and how unreal the whole thing seemed. They had so much actual footage and audio of Jim Jones right up to the terrible events of the night that it gave it an almost unreal staged quality. I find it so chilling. 
 

For those unaware (I was pretty much) it’s the rise of a Christian preacher In the 70’s who grew his nutty US church, built a socialist utopia in South America then convinced 900 people to kill themselves. :seanr: Prior to 9-11 it was the largest loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act in history. How the hell it passed me by I don’t know. 

 

I just watched the same thing last night. Two parts, 90-odd minutes each. It's very tough in places but absolutely fascinating.

 

I was aware of the Jonestown massacre but didn't know much detail.

 

The whole thing was essentially a personality cult around the leader Jim Jones. He seems to have had cameras and mics rolling almost 24/7 for years. Evidently this was partly an ego trip, partly a recruitment/propaganda tool and partly a means of exerting complete control over his followers (since anything they said while on his premises would be taped and could be used against them).

 

My only real criticism of the Storyville documentary was that almost all of the archival footage was stretched horizontally to 16:9. There were only a few clips of Grace Stoen that were left in pillarboxed 4:3. It's a weird editorial decision and as much as I tried to forget about it, I did find it interfered with the presentation.

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Women Make Film by  Mark Cousins is out today on BFI Player and Blu Ray.

 

Synopsis for the series:

Women Make Film is an epic exploration of cinema history through the lens of some the world’s greatest directors – all women. Told in 40 "chapters", narrated by Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Debra Winger Adjoa Andoh, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton, and Sharmila Tagore , shot and edited by Mark Cousins - life, love, politics, humour and death, are all explored and examined in this epic 14-hour road trip like no other.

 

 

I adore all of Mark Cousins' work, I give copies of his The Story of Film: An Odyssey, to all my new students each year, as its a masterclass in the history and analysis of film history. Great stepping off point for the students.

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, grounded_dreams said:

Women Make Film by  Mark Cousins is out today on BFI Player and Blu Ray.

 

Synopsis for the series:

Women Make Film is an epic exploration of cinema history through the lens of some the world’s greatest directors – all women. Told in 40 "chapters", narrated by Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Debra Winger Adjoa Andoh, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton, and Sharmila Tagore , shot and edited by Mark Cousins - life, love, politics, humour and death, are all explored and examined in this epic 14-hour road trip like no other.

 

 

I adore all of Mark Cousins' work, I give copies of his The Story of Film: An Odyssey, to all my new students each year, as its a masterclass in the history and analysis of film history. Great stepping off point for the students.

 

 

 

 

 

AND he wisely seems not to be the narrator on this one.

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Beg, borrow, buy or steal to get to see The Beastie Boys Story on Apple +.

 

It's a powerpoint presentation by Ad-Rock and Mike D on the history of the band. Sounds bad but it's absolutely amazing, entertaining, really funny and a great tribute to MCA.

 

It's really good.

 

Some surprising stuff in there for fans too.

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4 hours ago, Festoon said:

Beg, borrow, buy or steal to get to see The Beastie Boys Story on Apple +.

 

It's a powerpoint presentation by Ad-Rock and Mike D on the history of the band. Sounds bad but it's absolutely amazing, entertaining, really funny and a great tribute to MCA.

 

It's really good.

 

Some surprising stuff in there for fans too.

Watched this last week and concur was excellent. I did get a lump in my throat a few times when they speaking about MCA and I'm not even that big of a fan (I do really like them though)

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Sky Documentaries channel now live on the EPG, ch114

 

Got the excellent looking HBO McMillions up for full download and sure it will become a channel to keep an eye on - looks like a good one on 9pm Monday about pollution of the Nile, called the Plastic Nile

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McMillion$ is great. You can see why they made a documentary about it rather than a film (though I’m sure that’s coming too), as the real life characters are more interesting than anyone playing a role could be. Brace yourself for FBI Agent Doug Mathews.

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McMillions is really entertaining. The best part is being as impressed by the criminal scheming as I am amazed by the stupidity of some of their decisions. I’m only half way through but the lack of humility and remorse is unsurprising. 
 

And then there’s Doug Matthews and The Church of Fuzzy Bunny. Great stuff. 

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23 hours ago, Gotters said:

Sky Documentaries channel now live on the EPG, ch114

 

Got the excellent looking HBO McMillions up for full download and sure it will become a channel to keep an eye on - looks like a good one on 9pm Monday about pollution of the Nile, called the Plastic Nile

 

Oh nice. I was surprised to see they had a documentary as I assumed the film was still coming.

 

Problem is ive read the story twice, not quite sure ill learn anything more from a documentary but i'll probably watch at some point as it's such a a crazy story.

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