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Style Wars is still the king - capturing the pure enthusiasm of the times and the excitement that bombing brings. whereas Infamy, in going to both coasts and between, shows that you can have two cats who are thousands of miles apart driven by the exact same unexplainable compulsion to write.

stle wars will probably never be surpassed, changed my life the night it aired in the UK.

cheers for the link

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I caught the Storyville doc last night and it was really heartbreaking stuff. Well worth tracking down on iPlayer.

Watched it earlier this evening. Totally compelling.

For those going to watch it, if you can, avoid spoilers.

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Another astonishing doc on storyville this week, I urge you to watch it.

Storyville: Your Father's Murderer: A Letter To Zachary

Watch it here: iPlayer

Wow. That's a tough watch.

I saw The Corporation earlier aswell. Makes you feel rage for very different reasons.

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I just noticed nobody has mentioned Salesman in this thread. Rather than write a mini-review myself I'll just post up what Rowan Morrison said about it in the movie watchers blog from a couple of years ago:

Forced into consciousness at 5:30am by a truculent baby on Saturday morning, I popped her on my shoulder (where she instantly fell asleep so long as she wasn't moved), accepted my fate and popped in Salesman (IMDb / Wikipedia) from the Masters of Cinema series, which I'd been meaning to watch for a while.

I hadn't heard about it until six months or so ago, when I spotted it in a catalogue and read enough to need to know more. It's by the Maysles brothers, who would shortly go on to film Gimme Shelter. Salesman follows a quartet of bible salesman in the US as they go door-to-door trying to scrape together a living by selling pimped-out bibles and Catholic encyclopaedias to the weak-willed.

It's described in the notes as being the first proper 'feature documentary' (though I don't think it can claim that chronologically) and the surviving director makes many references to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood as an inspiration. The two-man team were able to get uniquely candid results (for the time) thanks to new-fangled portable equipment, though looking at production stills they are, of course, laughably obtrusive by modern standards. Still, the film does feel honest and genuine, or as close as you could have hoped for.

It's essentially Glengarry Glen Ross with bibles. The four salesmen all have nicknames based on their sales techniques (The Bull, The Rabbit, The Badger and The Gipper - the techniques associated with the last one probably require a finer understanding of American football history than I possess), they're given leads (from priests) to potential rubes, and they're regularly harangued by a gruff area supervisor. They make their way into fascinating 60s US homes and pitch their wares with what seems like a very low success rate. They charm, scare and bully their marks towards the sale with varying levels of shamelessness, and then retire to cheap, shared hotel rooms to swap the day's stories, watch boxing matches on small TVs and reminisce.

It's irresistibly charming in a lot of ways. The characters of the salesmen really come through - they're all Tom Waits characters made flesh. They work hard - ten week stints away from home, long days, driving out in thick snow and knowing full well they have little chance of success. But they plough on. At a sales conference, deluded colleagues stand up and declare hideously unrealistic targets - "I'll pull in 35 thousand this year, I know I can do it!". The boss berates them all and announces supposedly regrettable layoffs with thinly-disguised menace. Everyone chain smokes and wrings their hands when they're not sat in front of a potential customer.

The people they sell to are great, too - Irish Catholic couples that live up to every stereotype, an earnest secretary living with her loud, wisecracking mother, a new bride caught between the salesman and her husband and mercilessly pressured into buying, and in particular a fantastic passive-aggressive husband who looks like a young Frank Costanza. As his wife signs the payment agreement he gets up and announces that he just bought a new Beatles record; he goes over the the huge wooden record player and an awful string arrangement of Yesterday starts blaring out, forcing the salesman and wife to shout their way through the rest of the transaction while the husband sits there smoking a cigarette and silently staring at them.

It's one for repeated viewing - the first time round you get a feel for the characters of the salesman (and their marks), and further visits are only going to reveal further depths and nuances. On the one hand it's quite a stirring, if low-key, testament to the persistence and resilience of the human spirit, and on the other hand it's a study of crushing, pointless futility. All this and more! I recommend. A tenner on Play and Amazon at the moment.

Well worth tracking down a copy.

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A repeat of Zimbabwe's forgotten children over on BBC4 now.

It's a hard watch, poor fucking kids.

Heartbreaking.

Finally got around to watching this on Sky+ and it really was heartbreaking. I travelled around Zimbabwe 15 years ago and it was the most beautiful country I've ever been to so it really brought home how devastating the last decade has been in the country's history. My parents and I met an Australian journalist at the time who was writing an article on Mugabe and the corruption in the government, yet at the time you never got any indication of what lay ahead for the people of Zimbabwe.

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Saw a good one recently that hasn't been mentioned - Into Great Silence by Philip Gröning from 2005

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It's about Carthusian monks in the french alps, that strict order no one really get to see. The director had to wait 17 years before they let him make this documentary. Doesn't tell you much factually, but makes the most of the medium to show the meditative, quiet and quite amazing lives that the monks choose to have. Quite enlightening spiritually even for the agnostic.

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This thread has just added another 10 titles to my lovefilm list.

It's only had one mention so far, so I'm going to pimp Anvil: The Story Of Anvil again. It's a film about a couple of ageing rockers who tasted success in their youth and never really let go of the dream of tasting it again. Now in their 50s, they work regular jobs but keep the band going in their spare time. It starts out like a Spinal Tap pastiche but soon develops a warmth as we get to know Lips and Robb and see how their friendship carries them through the trials of being a touring metal band that no one really cares about. Funny and touching by turns, and you can't watch Lips talking about his hopes and dreams and not feel for the big dope.

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I watched a fascinating documentary on BBC2 last night called Requiem for Detroit after reading a piece about it in the Guardian during the week.

It's here on the iplayer and well worth a watch, there's parts of that city remind me of Fallout 3. How have the U.S allowed this to happen? 29 schools shut down in 2009 alone...

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I watched a fascinating documentary on BBC2 last night called Requiem for Detroit after reading a piece about it in the Guardian during the week.

It's here on the iplayer and well worth a watch, there's parts of that city remind me of Fallout 3. How have the U.S allowed this to happen? 29 schools shut down in 2009 alone...

Detroit is the city where areas of the centre (including things like the old railway station) are effectively no-go zones for regular people now?

That's because they all bought Toyotas you see - and it's coming around to bite them in more than one way?! :(

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Another astonishing doc on storyville this week, I urge you to watch it.

Storyville: Your Father's Murderer: A Letter To Zachary

Watch it here: iPlayer

That may be the toughest 90 mins I've ever spent and yet there's a lot you can take from it - astonishing stuff, catch it whilst you can - just don't expect to make it through without being changed by it.

I took the dog out for a 90 min walk afterwards and I couldn't shake the whole thing from my head - it's still rattling round in-fact - really strong stuff.

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I've been catching up on some Nick Broomfield docs - yesterday watched The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife, Kurt and Courtney and then Juvenile Liason 2.

All interesting stuff but I particularly have a question for anyone who's watched Juvenile Liason 2. Did anyone else find it odd how with the last of the now grown up children they talked to (I think he was called George, the one who you saw being dragged out of bed in the footage from the first film) they seemed to not confront the issue that he seemed to quite clearly have some kind of learning disability or psychological problem.

It seemed to me to be quite a crucial point because there wasn't really enough shown to establish whether he had always had a mental disability as a child (in which case the treatment of him moves from dubious and quite shocking to more clearly horribly wrong), or whether he had reached that state later after leaving home and getting into alcohol/drugs. Obviously either way it was a tragic situation but if he did have a lifelong mental disability then it completely changes the context of the first scene and raises all sorts of additional questions which weren't addressed.

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I watched a fascinating documentary on BBC2 last night called Requiem for Detroit after reading a piece about it in the Guardian during the week.

It's here on the iplayer and well worth a watch, there's parts of that city remind me of Fallout 3. How have the U.S allowed this to happen? 29 schools shut down in 2009 alone...

I watched that yesterday. It was incredible.

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Just watched this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00qp...ls_Comedy_Club/

Kim Jong Ils Comedy Club.

Amazing and terrifying peep behind the last iron curtain..North Korea.

Sort of a Dogme Inspired Orwellian expose.

There is a scene at a demonstration in Pyongnang that is just minblowing.

Simply brilliant.

Please watch before it goes.

Thanks for bringing to to my attention, was fascinating.

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Are there any stand-out documentaries on the likes of NatGeo & Discovery? I've recently got the HD pack with Sky which gives you those 5-6 HD docu channels.

I've just got the same from UPC. Nothing standout so far apart from the WWII Apocalypse series mentioned upthread.

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Another astonishing doc on storyville this week, I urge you to watch it.

Storyville: Your Father's Murderer: A Letter To Zachary

Watch it here: iPlayer

That may be the toughest 90 mins I've ever spent and yet there's a lot you can take from it - astonishing stuff, catch it whilst you can - just don't expect to make it through without being changed by it.

I took the dog out for a 90 min walk afterwards and I couldn't shake the whole thing from my head - it's still rattling round in-fact - really strong stuff.

I watched this after reading TRJP's 'review' and I was not disappointed.

One word, incredible.

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I watched a fascinating documentary on BBC2 last night called Requiem for Detroit after reading a piece about it in the Guardian during the week.

It's here on the iplayer and well worth a watch, there's parts of that city remind me of Fallout 3. How have the U.S allowed this to happen? 29 schools shut down in 2009 alone...

Good recommendation, very interesting watch.

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