"When are we ever going to need this in life?" sound familiar?
I don’t agree with staring at a screen all day but I think what this short doc is trying to say is that we need to start teaching the next generation useful information that will be relevant to their future. The education system needs to be less systematic in league board competition and more concerned about their pupil’s individual needs. Not everyone learns the same way and there are options other than university. But that’s just me digressing again.
This doc has some critical and optimistic speakers. I solute them.
In the ’50s and ’60s, the occasional depictions of black South Africans - in South Africa and in Hollywood - mostly avoided politics, as if apartheid didn’t exist. Hollywood continued to avoid the issues into the 1980s. It took the violent repression of the mid-1980s to inspire producers and directors of fiction films to pay attention and fill the void of information. More than 30 years of stereotypes, misinformation and lack of knowledge were followed by incisive films like ‘Cry Freedom’, ‘A Dry White Season’ and ‘Mapantsula’.
"Peter Davis - three decades of filming the world of apartheid" by Lynn Schoch for Archive Zones, The Official Journal of FOCAL International, Autumn 2013, issue no. 87 (via diasporatoday)
* THIS WORLD: DON’T PANIC - THE TRUTH ABOUT POPULATION *
Rather than just throwing statistics at us it was nice to see footage of families that represent the data, because each of us are more than just a number. We all make choices based on our individual situation, opportunities and perception on life. It was funny to see the results of a survey, or the “British ignorance test” as the lecturer put it, which tested the British knowledge on the population of certain countries. You’d think after the empire we would be keeping tabs on how well former colonies are doing, but to be honest the last time I personally learnt about another country was a decade ago in primary school, which is probably why I’m so interested in documentaries.
This is probably one of the few presentations that didn’t make me slip into a daydream of boredom.
Not sure about the narrator and the at times cheesy music, but this photographer’s aim to capture images of tribes from around the world shows how important it is to document traditional existences before they indeed pass away.
Forget what the tourism industry tells you about Hollywood. Juliet Snowden captures a piece of reality in a little local hair salon that is so cosy and inviting, you feel you are hanging out with the different characters that have visited there for many years. It is a place of humble nostalgia where honest people can let go of their worries. This is probably one of the few documentaries I have watched where the interviewees and the surrounding people are allowed to behave naturally, showing their true environment. It is obvious that the notion of community has not yet died.
Japan is a country that is dying—literally. Japan has more people over the age of 65 and the smallest number of people under the age of 15 in the world. It has the fastest negative population growth in the world, and that’s because hardly anyone is having babies. In these difficult times, the Japanese are putting marriage and families on the back burner and seeking recreational love and affection as a form of cheap escape with no strings attached. We sent Ryan Duffy to investigate this phenomenon, which led him to Tokyo’s cuddle cafes and Yakuza-sponsored prostitution rings.
* WHY IS THERE A BACKLASH AGAINST CAPITAL XTRA/CHOICE FM? *
One for the music politics observers, no matter what genre you’re into. A critical debate on the potential impact of yet another product of minority interest being exploited and re-branded to appeal to the masses. Cher-ching! That’s the sound of profit making over the disappointment of the current Choice FM fans.
Unless the new Capital Xtra (sounds cringe-worthily familiar) proves satisfactory, a solution would be to become our own DJs and plug our MP3s into our cars, granted you have those facilities.
All I can say about this one is that if everyone around this lady didn’t care that her voice had changed due to brain damage then she would be less frustrated, whether she chose to get speech therapy or not. It is fascinating however that different people who experienced the same thing developed different accents and not just one that scientists can predict for future sufferers.
Medically, the painful side of her condition still needs to be looked into but on the social side of things, it seems that we still have this problem of desperately wanting to know where an individual resides from so we can treat them accordingly. In a way those with ‘foreign accent syndrome’ have potentially experienced discrimination from those who treat tourists differently in the (dis)comfort of their hometowns. Yes, accents are a part of our identity but the main interviewee is still the same person, although that is up to her to confirm.
I was surprised to view the slightly lighthearted style in which it was filmed, accompanied with an inaccurate title that conveys expectations of entertainment. But all in all it was an important one for the commissioners to have brought to our attention.
* BEING CREATIVE WITH GETTY IMAGES VIDEO ARCHIVE *
Long time no type/read. I may start focusing on documentaries that use archive footage as it interests me greatly. Of course I wont turn a blind eye to other brilliant ones either. Suggestions are welcome. But bare with me, just started my third year at uni! I am prepared to become a dull girl.
Pictures are at the heart of what we do… not an adjunct, a necessary evil that shouldn’t interfere too much with the brilliance of the producer’s pen. By using archive we are saluting out predecessors, keeping their work alive, recycling excellence.
Dan Snow at the Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries (FOCAL) International Awards 2013
* STREET INTERVIEW: DISNEY TRIES TO TRADEMARK DAY OF THE DEAD *
Another short one that asks random people questions and it’s all about how corporations like to own things. Things like historical cultural holidays. Call it business strategy but this isn’t just about commercialising a popular concept, but actually owning a belief system. Is that even possible? From a young age we all know how stuff can get branded and monetised but is this merchandising scheme a step too far? It’s a perfect example of misuse of power but luckily it was not attained. Interestingly, I wonder if they would’ve been successful when Disney animations first began and not as many people knew about Dia de los Muertos - although that’s just me assuming that everyone in the media used to be ignorant elitists. Which could suggest that any emerging phenomena can get snatched up purely for money making purposes. You could say this blogger is one of those people who prefer to keep things authentic and not ruined by popular culture but it is also harmless, bringing new ideas to filmmakers and making a wide audience aware of something that happens and has been happening on our beautiful earth.
I think it’s OK for something to influence a product like Quentin Tarantino movies and copyright their content, but the mentality of corporations seems to me to be as random as someone deciding they own, lets say, yoga. And everything to do with yoga must have their stamp of approval or risk being taken to court.
This is a balanced one that leaves the viewer to make up their mind about what is right and what is wrong like good parenting. It looks at what is currently known as legal highs from the view of manufacturers, partiers who dive straight into them, and those who prefer to do their research first. Has the act of altering the different chemicals in our brain through the decades been because of a desire for a different sense of being? For enlightenment or senseless numbing from reality?
Growing up in the 90s I would see the acid house parties on television, naive to the fact that they were all on drugs, and began to like euphoric trance music. Music frission, exercise, reading, and all other healthy stuff that play with our hormones are the natural highs which all ages enjoy. But why work for it when you can get a quick fix? This doc asks this question as well as exploring the ethical issues of loop holing the legal system.
It takes me back to a Dr Who episode where all of civilisation has died because of an over consumption of ‘Bliss’ which can be bought on market stalls along with other emotions. Indulgence, or more so too much of a good thing, has its consequences and, as the doc says, can make us lack motivation when easily available.
* SAVING 10,000 - WINNING A WAR ON SUICIDE IN JAPAN *
The documentarian of this is a passionate man. Something which is needed when dealing with this sort of topic - a sullen, undeniable topic that needs to be talked about more. Because our fellow human beings think it’s perfectly fine to think suicidal thoughts. Not in a humorous way when something embarrassing happens to you but in a definite feeling of worthlessness way. We all have our down days but this is something else that too many people are nonchalant about.
I’ve never been to Japan but according to this doc it is a culture of working overtime and a condemnation of individuality. Which in fact may sound familiar but this is to the extreme. Any reasons that affect depression like addiction is dismissed as activities of fun.
Generation-wise, some elderlies see themselves as a burden with no identities. Well I see them as voices of the past with traditional views that the rest of us may not always agree with but we can still learn from their experiences. What I want to know is that if there is a hefty fine for the families of those who have committed suicide in a way that costs services, why doesn’t each generation make sure that their next of kin doesn’t experience so much social pressure? And not just to save money but, you know, out of love and compassion. Institutions have a lot to answer for also.
The researcher chose the right people in the know of suicides within institutions as well as those with experiences surrounding it. The shots reflect the beauty of melancholy, something we all need to replace with the beauty of rationality and happiness.
It’s one of those helpless things where if you can’t control it, how can you help change it. I suppose my first step has being posting this, but then what? Maybe start a petition to ban instruction books on how to kill ourselves!
As the narrator says: “I don’t know what I’m doing, I just know I have to do something.”