It’s odd to think of Proenneke now, more than a year into the Coronavirus pandemic. Many of us have remained inside our homes, not able to go outside or be around people. And contrasting that with being wholly in the wilds of Alaska, more or less outside all the time – able to go absolutely anywhere at all, but there being no one else around.
Ten Meter Tower is a fascinating, short documentary about decision and doubt. A part of the New York Times’s Op-Docs, the project found 67 people from an online ad, who had never been on a 10-meter (33 feet) diving tower before.
Somm is a fantastic documentary, following four candidates who are working towards passing the incredibly difficult and demanding Master Sommelier exam. Since its inception about 40 years ago, there are less than 200 have ever passed. Liz and I were watching this on Netflix, and by the time the actual exam rolled around… it was absolutely gripping. It was a…
“You can’t just be a good ice climber. You can’t just be good at altitude. You can’t just be a good rock climber. It’s defeated so many good climbers and maybe will defeat everybody for all time. Meru isn’t Everest. On Everest you can hire Sherpas to take most of the risks. This is a whole different kind of climbing.”
“Coming down… it’s like coming out of a cloud. You sort of come down it, and it just disappears and then you’re back on normal ground again. You think, ‘Jesus, what a different way of life down here than what it is up there.'”
Wizard Mode is an upcoming documentary on Robert Gagno, a young man who has autism and is also an up and coming pinball player.
There are currently only twelve master penman in the entire world, and Jake Weidmann is one of them. He’s also the youngest. Watching what he can do by hand is really fascinating. Hearing him talk about how much work and practice he did previously is difficult to comprehend.
A lot of different people are interviewed (many of them in different states of altered consciousness). While some of the stories are incredibly wild, the most intriguing part of this doc to me is when Dunne zooms in and just holds on the face of the person he’s interviewing.
While the team is going over the massive amounts of footage they’ve accrued, they’re slowly releasing video vignettes – some of which may make it into the final film, some of which may not.
The “In Memoriam” segment came on – a portion of the awards where they remember those who worked in the movie industry who passed away, the year prior. I happened to have Twitter open during this time, and several people posted their surprise when the segment ended and there was no mention of Joan Rivers.
“Knuckleball! is the story of a few good men, a handful of pitchers in the entire history of baseball forced to resort to the lowest rung on the credibility ladder in their sport: throwing a ball so slow and unpredictable that no one wants anything to do with it.”
The Record Breaker: Fascinating Documentary on Ashrita Furman, the Man With the Most Guinness World Records
At first, Furman comes off as incredibly eccentric. The types of records he pursues are sometimes silly (catching the most malt balls in your mouth, as an example). But as you learn more about how he grew up, and how he chose to live his life… the pursuit of records begins to make a little more sense.
I recognized Kumar Pallana from his role in the movie The Royal Tenenbaums, and learned he had appearances in other Wes Anderson films. But I had no idea about the remarkable and remarkably rich life Pallana led, prior to him being in films.
Disarm is an exhibit by sculptor Pedro Reyes, transforming decommissioned weapons into musical instruments. Extending a prior project where he converted over 1,000 guns into shovels, Reyes brings new life to these devices that were (once upon a time) designed to take lives.
Though it’s dated, I found this old documentary about creating marbled paper to be really fascinating (and really soothing to boot). It’s surprising that such simple tools (colors, liquid, and rakes) can produce such interesting designs and patterns.