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Thread: Documentaries

  1. #1
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    Documentaries

    We have threads for current blockbuster movies. We have threads for popular tv shows and threads for movies that come out of nowhere. Well here is a thread (hopefully) for documentaries.

    Docs tend to be my favorite type of tv entertainment, it doesn't usually matter what it's about as long as it's done well and can elicit an emotional response. I hope we can keep this thread updated everytime we watch a new (new to you) doc that we would like to share and perhaps even discuss some of the content.

    So... Let's begin with some simple questions just to get engaged.

    1) What was the last doc you watched?

    2) What are your favorite(s)?

    3) Which did you learn most from?

    4) Has one ever caused you to alter the way you view things? Have you ever acted on something because of a documentary?

    5) If you could only recommend 1 documentary to a total stranger, what would it be?
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by JNort View Post
    We have threads for current blockbuster movies. We have threads for popular tv shows and threads for movies that come out of nowhere. Well here is a thread (hopefully) for documentaries.

    Docs tend to be my favorite type of tv entertainment, it doesn't usually matter what it's about as long as it's done well and can elicit an emotional response. I hope we can keep this thread updated everytime we watch a new (new to you) doc that we would like to share and perhaps even discuss some of the content.

    So... Let's begin with some simple questions just to get engaged.

    1) What was the last doc you watched?

    2) What are your favorite(s)?

    3) Which did you learn most from?

    4) Has one ever caused you to alter the way you view things? Have you ever acted on something because of a documentary?

    5) If you could only recommend 1 documentary to a total stranger, what would it be?
    Off top of my head,
    1: World War II in Color (this week some episodes)
    2: Hard to say, especially if you throw in the dramatic documentaries, which are often very well done...like the FBI Behavioral Unit Docu Drama.
    3. Learn something from just about all that I watch....
    ...more when the bandwidth returns...
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  3. #3
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    1) What was the last doc you watched? Walking Home. Follows a son and dad duo who attempt to thru hike the Appalachian trail from Georgia to Maine.

    2) What are your favorite(s)? I loved Minimalism. It was strange, it was awkward, and I couldn't do it but I find the whole concept intriguing and have tried to incorporate some of what they do in my life. 2 guys try to educate others on what it means to be a minimalist and how they choose to live. They live with as little "stuff" and as simply yet modern as they can.


    I'll say 1 more because I can't help it. Empire Games. A docuseries that goes through the rise and fall of some of earth's greatest dynasties by talking with historians and the show having reenactments.

    3) Which did you learn most from? Inequality for All. This is done off a book by Robert Reich (former labor secretary) and he discusses America's inequality problem from when it started, how, why, and what can be done.

    4) Has one ever caused you to alter the way you view things? Have you ever acted on something because of a documentary? Yes, a few times actually. Instead of going through all of them I'll just use the biggest for me... COSMOS. I'll maybe get into it later but I'm sure everyone knows about it.

    5) If you could only recommend 1 documentary to a total stranger, what would it be? Because of current events I might choose Inequality for All. I considered Before the Flood, Blackfish, Forks Over Knives, American Factory and COSMOS.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  4. #4
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    How timely. My wife and I are fond of dogs, and last night watched HBO's documentary Well Groomed. Completely blew our minds. Who knew human beings were out there doing this stuff...count me among those who feel it was all for the benefit of the groomers, not much in it for the dogs. Shoot me if I ever do such a thing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    How timely. My wife and I are fond of dogs, and last night watched HBO's documentary Well Groomed. Completely blew our minds. Who knew human beings were out there doing this stuff...count me among those who feel it was all for the benefit of the groomers, not much in it for the dogs. Shoot me if I ever do such a thing.
    Are they being poorly treated? I never even thought about it too much honestly. I know a guy who does grooming as a side business and he's a huge animal lover, I wonder if he's seen it with other groomers.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNort View Post
    Are they being poorly treated? I never even thought about it too much honestly. I know a guy who does grooming as a side business and he's a huge animal lover, I wonder if he's seen it with other groomers.
    I have absolutely nothing against conventional dog grooming, but this isn't that (much to our astonishment)...most of the dogs seem to wag, but I think most reasonable people will conclude that this is making a genuine spectacle out of dogs for the self glorification of the groomers...

    https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/well-groomed

  7. #7
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    Great idea for a thread, JNort.

    I'll answer the full range of questions over the weekend, but wanted to name three odd ones that are well worth watching:

    Jiro Dreams of Sushi -- about a sushi master who has a three-star Michelin restaurant in a Tokyo subway station which only seats ten people, and his relationship with his two sons. Really fascinating and oddly touching.

    The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man -- a documentary that tracks random and crazy Bill Murray pop-up sightings that seem like trying to follow stories of a mythical and absurd-acting yeti. Interesting, funny, off-beat.

    Dying Laughing -- interviews with stand-up comics, famous and not, about the life of a stand-up comic. The highs, the lows, the road, the hecklers, the mental strain. Interviews include Jerry Seinfeld, Gary Shandling, Sarah Silverman, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Jerry Lewis, and a bunch of folks you may or may not have heard of but who tell great stories. Funny, sad, interesting, eye-opening.




    Of course, right now my favorite is They Shall Not Grow Old and the featurette describing how it was made. Not sure it is a true documentary, but more a broad painting of an experience in time.
    "We're only tourists in this life
    Only tourists but the view is nice"

    -- David Byrne

  8. #8
    I could watch Ken Burns' National Parks series about once a week. Makes me want to throw my bag in my truck and take off every time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I could watch Ken Burns' National Parks series about once a week. Makes me want to throw my bag in my truck and take off every time.
    That's on my to watch list! You should try the one I mentioned above about hiking the AT! Makes me wanna drop everything and give it a try one day.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Great idea for a thread, JNort.

    I'll answer the full range of questions over the weekend, but wanted to name three odd ones that are well worth watching:

    Jiro Dreams of Sushi -- about a sushi master who has a three-star Michelin restaurant in a Tokyo subway station which only seats ten people, and his relationship with his two sons. Really fascinating and oddly touching.

    The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man -- a documentary that tracks random and crazy Bill Murray pop-up sightings that seem like trying to follow stories of a mythical and absurd-acting yeti. Interesting, funny, off-beat.

    Dying Laughing -- interviews with stand-up comics, famous and not, about the life of a stand-up comic. The highs, the lows, the road, the hecklers, the mental strain. Interviews include Jerry Seinfeld, Gary Shandling, Sarah Silverman, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Jerry Lewis, and a bunch of folks you may or may not have heard of but who tell great stories. Funny, sad, interesting, eye-opening.




    Of course, right now my favorite is They Shall Not Grow Old and the featurette describing how it was made. Not sure it is a true documentary, but more a broad painting of an experience in time.
    I've seen the trailer for Jiro a few times but haven't tried it yet, mostly because I despise sushi and figured it probably isn't worth my time.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNort View Post
    I've seen the trailer for Jiro a few times but haven't tried it yet, mostly because I despise sushi and figured it probably isn't worth my time.
    No sushi love needed, just the appreciation of a master at his craft and an interesting film on traditional Japanese culture.

  12. #12
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    Don't have time right now to answer all the questions but I'll throw out a suggestion - I really enjoyed Free Solo the account of Alex Honnold's attempt to climb El Capitan in Yosemite freehanded without any ropes. The footage they got will have you tensed up and on the edge of your seat even though you know how it turns out.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  13. #13
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    This one is a few years old, but I highly recommend the Netflix doc series "Wild Wild Country"

    "Wild Wild Country is a Netflix documentary series about the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon."

    Here's the trailer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBLS_OM6Puk

    Those alive in the 1980s will likely remember the news coverage of this group and their leader, the Bhagwan.

  14. #14
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    The real question is... Is Borat a documentary?
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  15. #15
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    Saw a documentary on polar bears. Pretty interesting, except they were calling the great ice bear an endangered species, which it's not. In fact the polar bear's numbers have risen to over 31,000. In 1969 there were less than 10,000.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    Saw a documentary on polar bears. Pretty interesting, except they were calling the great ice bear an endangered species, which it's not. In fact the polar bear's numbers have risen to over 31,000. In 1969 there were less than 10,000.
    What was the name of it?

    I think it's because they are going off of projections based on climate models. I think I read that it's predicted that their population will be under 10,000 by 2050
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  17. #17
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    Think it was called 'Ice Bear". They have been preaching the doom of the polar bear for nearly a century.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    Saw a documentary on polar bears. Pretty interesting, except they were calling the great ice bear an endangered species, which it's not. In fact the polar bear's numbers have risen to over 31,000. In 1969 there were less than 10,000.
    If the documentary said that polar bears are listed as endangered species, they'd be wrong or I'd need to hear which listing entity they specified. Polar bears are considered 'threatened' in the US under ESA, 'special concern' by Canada, listed as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, other countries have similar designations. Threatened species in the US are those considered vulnerable to endangerment (that is, being listed as 'endangered') in the near future for a variety of reasons.

    Polar Bear numbers were that low in the 60s for the same reason a lot of animal populations have plummeted in the past: over-hunting or over-fishing. A bunch of international treatises were developed and national governments began developing laws (like Nixon's 1973 Endangered Species Act) to protect species of various concern. They've been successful in some cases and certain populations have rebounded.

    Worldwide, habitat loss is the main driver for species vulnerability. It's no different for the polar bear. There's a resource extraction arms race among nations in the Arctic circle now that the NW passage is navigable and various projections have their ice grounds degrading significantly over the next 20-40 year. That's why every nation that has Arctic habitat and the IUCN lists them that way.

  19. #19
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    Born Into Brothels and Children Underground. Both disturbing but very, very interesting.

    And Ken Burns Country Music was absolutely amazing. I watched every minute of it, and that is a lot of minutes. And Burns The War. Learned a lot that our history classes did not teach.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    If the documentary said that polar bears are listed as endangered species, they'd be wrong or I'd need to hear which listing entity they specified. Polar bears are considered 'threatened' in the US under ESA, 'special concern' by Canada, listed as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, other countries have similar designations. Threatened species in the US are those considered vulnerable to endangerment (that is, being listed as 'endangered') in the near future for a variety of reasons.

    Polar Bear numbers were that low in the 60s for the same reason a lot of animal populations have plummeted in the past: over-hunting or over-fishing. A bunch of international treatises were developed and national governments began developing laws (like Nixon's 1973 Endangered Species Act) to protect species of various concern. They've been successful in some cases and certain populations have rebounded.

    Worldwide, habitat loss is the main driver for species vulnerability. It's no different for the polar bear. There's a resource extraction arms race among nations in the Arctic circle now that the NW passage is navigable and various projections have their ice grounds degrading significantly over the next 20-40 year. That's why every nation that has Arctic habitat and the IUCN lists them that way.
    The western Hudson Bay has frozen over early again, 3rd year in a row. Maybe some good news?

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