The Documentarian

Aggregating the best documentary films and free video content.

This footage of a NOLA Jazz funeral is a grimly appropriate way to tip the sombrero and say adios to Les Blank, one of the most gifted documentary filmmakers of the 20th century (if not the most). He died yesterday.


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Hot Pepper: The Life and Music of Clifton Chenier, 1973, by Les Blank


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Spend it All, 1971, Les Blank.

RIP LB. 1935-2013


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Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London: A Pop Concerto, by Peter Whitehead, 1967

With a soundtrack from Syd Barrett, this 1967 psychedelic doco follows the key players in so-called “swinging London” music scene – Michael Caine, Julie Christie, David Hockney, Mick Jagger and all the rest…


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God Speed You! Black Emperor, by Mitsuo Yanagimachi, 1976

Yanagimachi follows Japanese Motorcycle gang The Black Emperors as they do bikerish teenage things.
 

(Source: thedocumentarian, via thearchitrave)


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American Pimp, by the Hughes brothers, the twins who brought us Menace II Society and, by extension, about 1bn middle-class white teenage boys fluent in ebonics. Myself included.

Link via Mariah-Carey-ish heterosexual diva Dean Slydell. As always, fuck you Dean (F.Y.D)


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The Chief Architect of Gangsta Rap by Ilja Karilampi, 2009

A quiet, meditative biography of Dr Dre incorporating thoughts on utopian architecture, Le Corbusier and the evolution of rap. Kind of amazing. Watch it please.


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Mental Channel Number One

Adam Curtis just posted this brilliant 1959 BBC documentary on self-proclaimed ‘voice of interplanetary parliament’ and one-time taxi driver, George King. It’s fantastic. In it, George explains how he was contacted by Martians – initially through telepathy, later in person – and went on to become their conduit on earth, a kind of interplanetary ambassador. As is still their wont the BBC behave with great professionalism, tolerate his bizarre pronouncements and offer him the opportunity to present his case to a panel of scientists and psychologists. Indeed, they allow him to actually channel an alien voice. The experts, in turn, offer the most quiet and sensitive rebuttals to his (deranged) ideas. They’re almost apologetic. It’s very sweet.

 Curtis calls it ‘one of the most wonderful, odd and touching films I have ever found in the BBC archives’ and I’m with him on that. It’s also like a super-lolzy KPAX, so… 

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Derrida, by Kirby Dick and some other person.

Feature-length documentary on discipline-defining post-structuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida, by two unashamed fanboys (fanpeople) in turtlenecks. Marvel as they drawl phrases like “my  theory is” and “it is their condition”… Watch in horror as they actually ask him which philosopher he’d want as his mother… But, whatever you do, don’t fall into the post-snobbish trap of assuming all French philosophy is bullshit because those guys love a caveat-clause-sub-clause-caveat-clause. The obscurantism belies a genuinely rare intelligence, one that’s finessing the fuck out of a system of complexes so utterly complex you’ll want to lie down and ‘be killed’.

Rant: dunzo. 


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1,200 TED Talks

Q: What’s better than watching a dotcom millionaire repeat the words “dream”, “causality” and “accomplishment” into a bubble-mic?

A: 1,204 dotcom millionaires repeating the words “dream”, “causality” and “accomplishment” into bubble-mics.

Somebody’s collected URLs to (and descriptions of) every TED talk since 2006 in one place. Here they are. Click through.

(Source: essayist)

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