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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Documentaries
Thread: Documentaries This thread is 5 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 · NEXT»
artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted October 25, 2013 03:11 AM
Edited by artu at 03:12, 25 Oct 2013.

Documentaries

We have threads about movies and TV shows but we didn't have one about documentaries. Recommending interesting documentaries to each other on a single thread may result in a very interesting collection here, full of different perspectives. People link a lot of interesting stuff but they all get buried and lost over time. I'll start with four of them that I find worthy of watching. Note that all of the documentaries I link as Youtube videos can also be found as torrents, that may be easier for people who's mother tongue is not English, since to most torrent video files, you can also find English and other subtitles.


The First World War

BBC documentaries are almost always splendid, this is no exception. A 10 episode look in the -back then- biggest international conflict in history, resulting in only a 20 year break to continue with the second. For people who are rather interested in the Second War, I must again recommend this, since it can also transform the way you evaluate the second war.



Century of the Self

This is a very interesting documentary and the creator of it, Adam Curtis is a man who can present many unorthodox angles in all of his work. This one is about 20th century and advertising, political propaganda and their relationship with some schools of psychology but especially psychoanalysis.



PBS - Evolution

This is an eight episode series, the first longer episode mostly being the dramatization of Darwin's life. I started it yesterday and finished today, so I guess you can say it's catchy. The only problem was the last episode (What about God?) where they focus way too much on a fundamentalist college and their students' request to teach "The Theory of Special Creation" alongside with evolution. I don't think such a thing is to be taken as serious as giving it a full episode. Yet, it was interesting in a sociological way, to witness the sermons of young-earth creationists and how people of a modern country that sends people to moon and invents the internet can still be convinced by such things so easily just because "that was the way they were raised in Sunday-School." I guess U.S. puritanism will never fail to surprise me about such matters.



The Adventure of English

Recommended to me by our own Markkur, this is really good if you're into etymology and/or history. Because of it's unique history, the amount of vocabulary exchange and linguistic transformation English had been through is extraordinary. This series is also handy for indirectly observing how social-class functioned in the middle ages and even in modern times.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted October 25, 2013 11:04 AM

Genius within - The inner life of Glenn Gould

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted October 26, 2013 01:02 AM

Sal, for comparison, can you give two links to the same composition one played by an adequate (but not bad) player and one by Gould. I've heard of the famous Goldberg variations before, I even downloaded the 50's recordings and then the avi file of the 80's version to compare. To my ear, he plays just fine but I really cant hear an enormous difference between Gould or another player. What is it that they mean when they say we've never heard Bach played like that before, has it become the normal way to play nowadays? He's really good but I fail to see what's significantly different in the style.

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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted October 26, 2013 05:43 AM

Gould would have been better if he hadn't eschewed Chopin.  I prefer V. Ashkenazy.
____________
I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. -Mitch Hedberg

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted October 26, 2013 07:49 PM

Good idea Artu, I thought about doing this and am glad you did.

I had not seen the teacher/presenter of The Adventure of English before seeing this Doc but <imo> he's one of the finest I've seen do this work; for me, a near perfect delivery. I've seen another of his since and it's on Tyndale; "The most dangerous man in England" another very good Doc.

Anyway, moving right along, here are two Docs on famous poetry of the Heroic/Warrior age. The first is done by a Poet and he does one fine job of taking the Poem to the sights and scenes of Wales. The latter is done by the famous historian Michael Wood who's done many Docs over the years. Btw, it was his Doc on the Lords of Hitushua (sp?)that I first saw the latest on the Hittites. (searching his name on utube brings up all sorts of topics)


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
ggk

Michael Wood - In search of Beowulf
Beowulf

About the next Doc; this was the first time I've seen this presenter and he brings another POV to the history of the UK. I think he's important because he's still doing the science and not chalking everything up to the Romans.

History of Britain: The Anglo-Saxon Invasion
doc

Here are two unusual Docs for me, in that the first is on what it was like to feast in a "Great House" in the time of the Tudors and the next is in part, about the upkeep of all those stained-glassed cathedrals, something that I always wanted to learn-well but made only a small effort. <L>

A Tudor Feast at Christmas
feast

[BBC] Britains Most Fragile Treasure
link

In addition to the WWI-Doc you've listed; I recommend the 1960's info (26-episodes)with host Michael Redgrave.  Anyway, iirc,  the following is a better Doc about the reasons for the start of the war. i.e. there is a lot more info on the Kaiser than any I've seen.

Seeds Of War - WWI Documentary
seeds

The 1st of 26 parts of the older Doc.

The Great War BBC 1964) Episode 01of26 On The Idle Hill Of Summer
one

Btw. I own the following Docs and I would recommend them; Battlefield Britain, World at War, Monarchy and A History of Britain. <imo> The World at War should be edited (too many dead bodies...keep a few)and seen in classrooms across the World.
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"Poetry is a felt change of consciousness"

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted October 26, 2013 11:00 PM

Looking at your list, you seem particularly interested in Britain, is it an ancestors thing?

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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted October 26, 2013 11:07 PM

@Artu,

Glenn Gould phenomenon is still baffling the musical world and even outside of it. The piano was a hobby, while the list of activities he practiced is quite long: writer, philosopher, radio programs, music composer, organ player, musical director. Today he is considered as one of the most brilliant minds of our century, and his books or the books relating his activities are there to testify.

About Goldberg variations, I am unable to exhaustively explain you why his interpretation is outside this world or differs from others, it concerns as well pragmatic details as the piano structure and modifications, as well as a very personal play-style, emphasized by a very intense capacity to underline simultaneously counterpoints and present them as organic components. The difficulty about this is that people without dozens of years of musical practice or studies are unable to follow polyphonic designs, would be like asking me why De Vinci's sfumato is a revolutionary technique. I can read things about, but I can't really understand, unless I study that for years.

I think the documentary is a rather interesting mirror of G. Gould. It starts with a movie from inside the taxi bringing him to the concert hall, and this alone shows that Gould felt his life will overthrown music boundaries.

About G.Gould's Chopin: he was a very skilled musical analyst, then he wrote a lot of very detailed critical articles about Mozart, Schubert and Chopin because he disliked their music. The recordings he made about those three composers have the purpose of showing what he disliked inside. His argument was "this music is bad, and I will show you why". Quite original approach, but at least now you are warned.

Well, Ashkenazi is a good pianist for sure and will be remembered as such. Glenn Gould was a living legend and is remembered as such.

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted October 27, 2013 12:57 AM
Edited by markkur at 00:58, 27 Oct 2013.

artu said:
Looking at your list, you seem particularly interested in Britain, is it an ancestors thing?


In part, some of my ancestor's came from Wales but mostly, I would say it started with Castles. I'm a romantic at heart (the Arthurian myth) and since childhood I've been enthralled by stone towers and structures in general. Cathedrals are another point of interest for me. I suppose nowadays it's more a "dream" thing for me, since I've only seen the Tower of London, Arundel and Chepstow castles and have actually seen more castles in France.

Probably it's mostly about "the ease of my native tongue" and a strong dash of Boredom.<L> I've seen most things in the U.S. at some time or another and ofc, since the country is not that old, history fades rather quickly. I'm enjoy my native-American heritage but let's face it, the lifestyles of my ancestors in that direction was one of movement; so they left no trace.

I know some European-history but most of that has came from books. Docs are a fairly new discovery for me and I find I'm morphing into some sort of pseudo-English-Doc-expert...courtesy of my malady. Anyway, that's why in my general history thread, I've asked for other histories from eastern Europe and also, the near, mid and far-east.
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"Poetry is a felt change of consciousness"

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted October 27, 2013 01:06 AM
Edited by artu at 01:07, 27 Oct 2013.

@Sal

Well, the difference must be really subtle. I made an experiment, while playing the 1981 version of Goldberg Variations, I used Shazam (the most popular track-ID app.) As you probably know, these programs identify tracks using sound frequency matches, sort of like fingerprinting the digital data of songs. In all of my four attempts, Shazam identified the variations but in two cases displayed a different name as the performer (Beth Levin, Evgeni Koroliov) although the Gould version was certainly in the databank , otherwise we couldn't have the two positive identifications.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted October 27, 2013 01:27 AM

The difference is enormous, any experienced musician will identify Glenn Gould within 2 seconds of piano-play, among 1 million others. The quality of a sound is not only given by movements or touch, but also by the internal ear development and training, mind accuracy and rapidity to process harmonic conflicts then create the matching color.

I am not surprised technology fails when comparing; this can only succeed with empiric experience, I believe. Computers have yet a hard time to analyze creativity.

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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted October 27, 2013 01:34 AM
Edited by Corribus at 01:34, 27 Oct 2013.

Salamandre said:
Well, Ashkenazi is a good pianist for sure and will be remembered as such. Glenn Gould was a living legend and is remembered as such.

I know this is dreadfully off-topic, but it reminded me, so here it is: I don't usually go for the impressionist era of piano music, but if you can't listen to Martha Argerich playing the Scarbo from Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit and be absolutely amazed, then you just don't have ears.
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I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. -Mitch Hedberg

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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted October 27, 2013 02:07 AM

When two classical musicians meet, they spend all their energy to take over the other by enumerating who each one recently listened, how x played this, how y is better than x, how he can recognize x from 1 million others and such. The truth is in the artwork, not in the guy/girl playing it. Sure, sometimes the performer has good communication and technical skills and this makes the listening process more "flamboyant". But is more of a ego teaser, not really capital. The fact that you can't recognize Glenn Gould from other pianists does not penalize you from understanding music, is just a matter of ear training.

In fact I posted the documentary as an universal subject, to match artu's ones. Is not much about a guy being excellent musician, but about a extremely brilliant person who spent his (short) life exploring various fields and doing well in all he did. And yes, Marta Argherich rules in Scarbo. But Ravel a bit more.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted October 27, 2013 02:41 AM

I think it also has a lot to do with one's familiarity to the genre and its conventions. I like classical music but I didn't dig deep about it. There's no way I won't be able to tell the difference between a tenor sax solo by Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster or a piano solo by Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson though. Still, it seems in Classical music the differences are more subtle, after listening to jazz for a year or two, you can easily separate most of the big players spontaneously. I'm guessing that would be harder in Classical music, since the difference in interpretations are almost never as radical as in jazz, at least in terms of arrangement.

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted October 27, 2013 05:55 AM
Edited by markkur at 05:57, 27 Oct 2013.

On U.S. history

Jesse & Frank James' farm is about a 30 minute drive from where we live; so, I thought I'd give a link to one on gunfighters, even if the  western style gunfight was mostly a myth invented by Hollywood.


Tales of the Gun - The Gunslingers
guns

TimeWatch does excellent work on anything they cover, this was no exception.

Timewatch - The Real Bonnie and Clyde
link

I've seen several Docs on the Tycoons but this one really stood out and the guy was pretty amazing...especially with people.

George Westinghouse
profile

If "The Dust Bowl" (PBS) can be found it, it is another very good Doc from Ken Burns & company. I had family pics from the time and they were pretty scary for a kid.

Ken Burns also has two others that are very good in "The Civil War" and "Baseball"...also PBS.
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"Poetry is a felt change of consciousness"

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted October 27, 2013 06:12 AM

markkur said:
Jesse & Frank James' farm is about a 30 minute drive from where we live; so, I thought I'd give a link to one on gunfighters, even if the  western style gunfight was mostly a myth invented by Hollywood.

When you say western style gun fight in Wild West context I understand duels, two men face to face with some distance, some kind of countdown takes place and they draw (unlike earlier European duels where they stand back to back and walk X steps and then turn and shoot). Now if that is a myth, what was exactly legal? As far as I know, duels were legal in some states in the 19th century.

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted October 27, 2013 09:58 AM

artu said:
When you say western style gun fight in Wild West context I understand duels, two men face to face with some distance, some kind of countdown takes place and they draw (unlike earlier European duels where they stand back to back and walk X steps and then turn and shoot). Now if that is a myth, what was exactly legal? As far as I know, duels were legal in some states in the 19th century.


There were some duels but the only one I remember for sure involved Aaron Burr. I think the infamous Yankee General Sickles also demanded one because of his wife's adultery but I'm not certain.

As far as the gunfights, I grew up watching lots of them in TV shows like Gunsmoke (a gunfight is the shows lead-in) Rifleman, Big Valley etc. and ofc the movies were full of the famous "who is the fastest?" from old stuff like Shane, The Man who shot Liberty Valance, The Shootist and onward to Silverado.

But, as it turns out, there were very few that happened that way. The idea was based on the image of the Wild West that had no law and order. However it seems it was mostly bush-whackers that killed folks and seldom did two men square-off on main street and "wait for the other to draw first" so the faster could claim it was self-defense...and add another notch to his gun. Then, he gets older and younger gunslingers come "lookin fer him" to prove they're faster than the old codger. We even had a Rifleman that was faster than greased-lightning.
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"Poetry is a felt change of consciousness"

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted October 27, 2013 05:41 PM

The Unforgiven did a lovely job busting that "fastest gun" myth. Clint Eastwood matured into a true artist and maybe it was his way of confronting with the earlier work he did as an actor. But as unrealistic as they were, even the Spaghetti Westerns were a step forward compared to earlier stuff, here's a funny story from Eastwood about John Wayne:
Shoot him in the back

This whole interview is a documentary worth watching anyway:
Inside The Actors Studio - Clint Eastwood

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted October 28, 2013 01:02 AM
Edited by markkur at 15:28, 28 Oct 2013.

artu said:
The Unforgiven did a lovely job busting that "fastest gun" myth. Clint Eastwood matured into a true artist and maybe it was his way of confronting with the earlier work he did as an actor. But as unrealistic as they were, even the Spaghetti Westerns were a step forward compared to earlier stuff, here's a funny story from Eastwood about John Wayne:


TY Artu, we had a good laugh. I'll check out the full interview in a bit.

Really the whole gunfight thing is based on a formula that Hollywood made a lot of money from. What the movie-maker always wanted to do was to get the viewers mad. So, the bad-guy was always really bad and hurting folks etc. so when the time comes for "Robin-Hood with a Colt-45" to face the evil-villain, the audience was more than ready for the bad guy to bite the dust; crying for blood would be more accurate. When I was a kid I remember getting angry at times because the bad-guy needed to be stopped!

One of my favorite shows was David Carradine as the Showlin<sp?> Priest, because he was a really soft-spoken nice guy "wouldn't hurt a fly and all that jazz" then he gets bullied for 25 minutes, doesn't fight back and then the same thing...we want to bad-guys to pay.

I think you're are right about Eastwood wanting to try to make some amends. Many actors and musicians have that change of heart later in life, because they were about making money and did a lot of stuff they didn't agree with. Ofc, when they're a Star & set in life, they have the freedom to demand some changes.

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"Poetry is a felt change of consciousness"

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sphere
sphere


Famous Hero
posted October 28, 2013 04:14 PM

Good Idea, Artu.

I'll through in my 2 cents


The Good

The Bad

The Ugly


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Who is this General Failure, and why is he looking at my disk ?

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted October 28, 2013 04:52 PM
Edited by markkur at 18:36, 28 Oct 2013.

@ Artu

I should have listed Rawhide too because I often watched it with my Mom as well. I watched at least 7 parts of the Doc and did find it interesting. I could identify with him about moving a lot as a kid. i.e. I went to three different schools as a 7th grader alone and it was nearly impossible to "fit-in". One time, I met the next-door neighbor kids on a Friday-night and said goodbye the next morning.<L>

My brothers and I also had to create "play" as we also had very few toys. Looking back, I think that's the way to go. I always bought "thinking/doing-toys" for my own children. Stuff like, building-sets, artistic or science-sets, how-to gifts and books.

Lastly, he didn't talk about radio really, but I think there is a lot to be said for the medium, for the intense way that it fosters our imaginations.  


@Sphere

Good idea with the topic of the Bad. Sort of a public-service-announcement, because "speed does kill."

Here are a few more;

The first, I think is a must see, maybe if every classroom had to show this, more anti-war could be generated across the globe. I had seen several bombing Docs but this one grabs your heart and makes a person really STOP and think about their own peace of life.

BBC.Timewatch-The.Bombing.of.Coventry
hell

The following I found interesting because William Marshall was arguably the greatest Knight ever but he lived long before the celebrated age of the Knight of the Garter

The Greatest Knight - Timewatch - ©BBC
link

I found the Doc about the recent tragedy in Japan that I had mentioned I had seen on-line earlier.

Megaquake Hour that Shook Japan Discovery Channel 2011
another

Edit= Well, I thought I had found it but after a much closer look, there are only short clips of the detailed account I viewed; the  interviews were also mostly about the people and not expert-talking-heads. I changed the link to a more scientific Doc. Note: I don't like the sensationalism & marketing that is found in so many Docs today but as many live near coasts, <imo> a "what if" is always relevant.

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"Poetry is a felt change of consciousness"

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