Tag Archive for 'documentary'


author: JORIS IVENS – duration: 15:36

This week in Amsterdam: The 21st edition of the International Documentary Film Festival or IDFA, the world’s largest and amongst filmmakers best known festival for docs. The ultimate prize to gain is the Joris Ivens Award, named after the controversial Dutch film pioneer. Controversial especially because of his communist believes, for he was a fine fellow traveler, admiring and meeting crooks like Stalin & Mao. Ivens (1898–1989) made a lot of propaganda films, most of them terrible to watch. The film we post today though has no political message and contains some charming imaging. Special for us Dutchies is to see pre-war Rotterdam since the city was bombed to ashes in 1940.

”As the film was intended to be a completely personal experiment, I was surprised by the favourable response it received from the public,” writes director Ivens in his Autobiography of a Filmmaker. Ivens started work on his film THE BRIDGE after having seen work by the European avant-garde at the Film Society. The absolute films of Walter Ruttmann and Hans Richter had made an especially strong impression on him.

When Ivens said what he was looking for – a lifeless subject with a wide variation of movement and shape – a railroad engineer suggested that he should take a look at the new railroad bridge over the river Maas in Rotterdam. It was exactly what he was looking for. ”For me, the bridge consisted of a laboratory of movements, hues, shapes, contrasts, rhythms and relations between all these elements.”

Trains passed by in a flash of black metal and white steam. Ships slowly sailed under it, hidden by gritty chimney smoke. According to Ivens, the lifting bridge formed an ode to modern engineering, with its revolving cable wheel and counterweights held up by shivering cables.” (text from Memory of the Netherlands)

Having no soundtrack (and no score known) we decided to add some Mahler to it, coming from the 7th Symphony, to be more precise, part II – Nachtmusik (Allegro Moderato) as played by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, directed by Bernard Haitink.

IDFA information about this movie:
Joris Ivens in Wikipedia:


author: DAVID KESSLER – duration: 02:40


You are watching a short monologue from a woman who happens to be a crack addict and a prostitute. Her situation is sad but she ain’t. She lives her life under the northern El tracks of the Philadelphian subway, where David Kessler has been following the lives of many other people as well. He cut his material in 26 short, unpolished doc clips that are fascinating to watch. Or as our vlogbrother JAY DEDMAN says in a great article on both the project, the people, history and links to the best parts of the series (published by Philadelphia Weekly):

“Shadow World is such a great example of what Web video can be. It’s not TV. It’s not film. It’s uniquely suited to the Web with its short vignettes on life in this part of Philly. Kessler records people who’d go totally unnoticed. It’s a great counterpoint to the argument that Web video is just self-centered crap.”

“Before video blogs, you may have expected to see Shadow World in the form of a documentary film. This would force the creator to sacrifice years for the project and raise tens of thousands of dollars. The creator would hope to get the movie played in a couple film festivals. But now Kessler can explore this Philly neighborhood with an inexpensive digital camera, edit on his laptop and put it on the Web the next day, with a potential audience of millions.”

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE (very much recommended).

This is the kind of neighborhood where Barack Obama once was a community organizer. Just crossed my mind! …& fingers…

Shadow World: CLICK HERE
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Permalink to original posting: CLICK HERE


authors: HOMETOWN BAGHDAD. Main Characters: ADEL, AUSAMA & SAIF – duration: 01:55

Today’s Headlines: Nearly 200 people have been killed today in a string of attacks in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad – the worst day of violence since a US security operation began. BBC REPORTS

As we are completely disgusted by the horrid slaughter taking place in Iraq, day in day out, we praise the brave Iraqis who are trying to give us an insight into the total madness that is surrounding them. We focused before on ALIVE IN BAGHDAD; today we revlog Hometown Baghdad’s first posting Forbidden Salad.

“In this episode Ausama introduces his family and their questionably heretical eating habits…. Hometown Baghdad is a documentary web series following the lives of a few Iraqi 20-somethings trying to survive in Baghdad… They want to show the world what life is like when your hometown is a war-zone…. Hometown Baghdad is a co-production between NY-based CHAT THE PLANET and a group of Iraqi filmmakers in Baghdad.

Permalink to the original posting: CLICK HERE
Hometown Baghdad: CLICK HERE
Subscribe to Hometown Baghdad: RSS FEED

MY SECOND LIFE – dispatch #1: Out Of My Skin

author: DOUGLAS GAYETON – duration: 04:44

A United Vloggers Must Watch and Shake Announcement:

In January 2007, a man named Molotov Alva disappeared from his California home. Recently, a series of seven video dispatches by a Traveler of the same name have appeared within a popular online world called Second Life.

In these dispatches Molotov Alva encounters everything from Furries to Cyberpunks to Neo-Luddites to Sex Slaves to the King of the Hobos, Orhalla Zander, who becomes Molotov’s guide as he searches for the creator of their brave new world.

Filmmaker Douglas Gayeton came across these video dispatches and put them together into a documentary of seven episodes, with a total length of 35 minutes.

A documentary shot entirely in Second Life…

Permalink to the original posting: CLICK HERE
My Second Life (the video diaries of Molotov Alva): CLICK HERE
Molotov Alva?: CLICK HERE
Website of director Douglas Gayeton: CLICK HERE

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