Documentaries to watch

I’ve been on a documentary kick streaming from Netflix lately.  I don’t know what it is about Netflix (perhaps the terrible and limited selection of movies), but it makes me want to watch all of the documentaries that ever existed.  Please tell me you know what I’m talking about.

This month’s binge includes the following:

blackfish

Blackfish is getting widespread attention for calling out SeaWorld’s poor treatment of killer whales and negligent treatment of whale trainers.  The movie itself isn’t very well put-together (extremely old and poor-quality footage), but the message it sends is loud and clear: SeaWorld is a terrible place for whales.  I couldn’t watch parts of it and cried for the whales at several points.  Needless to say, I will never go to SeaWorld or any other place that captures and encloses whales in my lifetime.  This is a must-see.

Craigslist-Joe-review

Craigslist Joe follows one man as he sets out on a month-long journey to see if there is a big enough online community to feed, shelter, and entertain him for free for one month.  I don’t know what else to say about this movie other than the fact that I was in shock, awe, and horror throughout the whole film.  Besides the obvious safety concerns, Craigslist appears to be a genuine community of strangers that help one another survive and travel.  It was fascinating.

north korea

Inside North Korea was something I happened upon when trying to find a different North Korean documentary my friend told me about. (Does anybody know the name of the documentary that follows a basketball team into North Korea?)  This one is from 2007 and follows Lisa Ling and a team of ophthalmologists who train doctors to perform cataracts surgery.   I was expecting a lot more out of a documentary on North Korea, since the country is under the most extreme dictatorship in the world, but alas, it is difficult to film, interview, and report on anything that happens there.  I will say, that the levels of isolation, fear, brainwashing, and idolatry are extreme and frightening.  Biggest takeaway message: I am glad to live in America.

Have you watched any documentaries lately?  What do I need to add to my must-see list?

-Mads

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Winter break loves

It feels like a long time since we’ve caught up!  I am at a point where I have so many things to write about at once, that nothing is taking shape.  Tricky, I know.

Instead of regaling you with twisted tales of the winter course load I’m currently in the midst of (hello, domestic violence and drug abuse), I will keep things upbeat!  Here are some of the most fabulous things I fell in love with over winter break:

1) Immersion blenders

I actually made soup specifically to test out the blender.  I don’t know when I’ve ever had that much fun in the kitchen.  A side note, this curry sweet potato soup is delicious.

2) Moonshiners

This is one of the most horrific shows on television, but I Can’t. Stop. Watching.  My eyes were glued to the tv for several hours while I watched the antics of Tickle and Popcorn (yes, those are their names) play out in backwoods Virginia.  Jonathan pointed out that they would probably increase profits astronomically if they legalized their business, branded it, and distributed it.  I’m not sure Tickle and Popcorn would ever come up with a solid business plan.

3) Hue Slippers

The image doesn't even come close to how adorable these are.

These were in my Christmas stocking and I haven’t taken them off since Christmas morning.  I plan on buying them in all colors.

4) Hanna

Uhm, this movie was AWESOME!  Child assassin, incredible soundtrack, great acting…what more could you ask for?  This is the best action movie I’ve seen in a while.

5) Wedding planning (the fun parts)

I will post the engagement pictures as soon as I get them in the mail, but for now, just know that we had THE BEST TIME posing for the camera.  I’m pretty sure we’re going to start part-time modeling for the photo frame insert pictures.

Also, taste-testing the catered meals is also a major highlight of getting married.  They practically had to roll us out of there.  Mmmm!

What have you recently fallen in love with?  What was your favorite holiday gift?

-Mads

p.s. I forgot to add Adele.  You probably already knew that I love her, but I really want to emphasize how incredible she is.  Seriously, I can’t stop listening to her music/singing in the shower.

Bingeing on Documentaries

Somehow I’m still on my documentary kick.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I now enjoy NPR and other “grown up” things.  Or maybe I am just sick of the garbage Hollywood is producing for mainstream movies.

Who knows?!

Either way, last night I watched “Helvetica”.  That’s right.  Instead of partying til morning, I was curled up watching a movie about fonts.

California has changed me.

This movie captivated me, but mostly because I was in awe that somebody could create a feature length film about fonts.

Plot: Helvetica–Some people love it.  Some people hate it.  It is everywhere.

My final thoughts: While we have the ability to make feature length films about fonts, maybe we shouldn’t.  Maybe fonts shouldn’t ever be talked about.  Maybe I need to do more drugs.

(my apologies to all of the type designers who might be reading this post)

-Mads

p.s. Any other great documentaries I need to check out?  What have you seen?

Let’s not talk about that

I won’t share my personal religious views on my blog, because that’s not what this space is for.  However, I will share a very interesting documentary series with you all.  It’s called The Atheism Tapes and it’s currently on Netflix Insta-watch.  It’s a 7 part series of interviews with well-known intellectuals on the topic of their beliefs, how their beliefs have changed over time, their responses to religious arguments, and their take on past and current events. 

I like it because you don’t have to agree with what they are saying to find value in the series. 

Plus, I’m on a documentary kick right now.  Anyone seen the Life series?  Thoughts?

-M

Spirited Away to the insane asylum

(blog title credited to Joe S.)
Do you want your mind to be blown and your brain to start going into epileptic shock?  Well, then you need to see Spirited Away, the most mind blowing Japanime movie ever.

It might not come as a surprise to you that it is on IMDB’s top 250 movies of all time list at spot #54.
It’s about a girl that goes on a journey with her parents and gets lost in a kind of spirit world.  Beyond that, there is absolutely no explanation. 

If you are having doubts as to the greatness of this movie, give it 20 minutes.  If you want to turn it off after 20 minutes, then I’m guessing you either have no imagination or you are a real jerk.

One of my goals is to now watch all Top 250 IMDB movies.  I’ve seen 120 of them, so I’m about halfway.  Not bad. 

-M