THE BEST Documentaries

Mesh Color Panel Art

Mesh Color Panel Art

Mashable introduces us to Tomislav Topic and Thomas Granseuer of Quintessenz. The duo creates colorful and dynamic art installations by spray-painting flexible mesh material, then layering them into gradations of color. When set against real-world backdrops, they look almost like digital imagery.

Finger Painting Level 9000

Finger Painting Level 9000

Artist Iris Scott doesn’t believe in paintbrushes. Instead, she creates detailed and vibrant images using only her gloved fingers. Her works include people, animals, landscapes, water, and urban scenes. Find more of her art on her website, and canvas prints are available here.

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Desolation Center (Trailer)

Desolation Center (Trailer)

Burning Man, Lollapalooza, and Coachella owe their existence to a series of 1980s guerrilla punk rock events in the California desert. Stuart Swezey’s documentary combines interviews of punk and post-punk luminaries with performances by Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Perry Farrell, and more. Drops 9/13/19.

The Great Hack (Trailer)

The Great Hack (Trailer)

This feature-length Netflix documentary is a shocking look inside the multi-trillion-dollar world of digital data collection and mining, specifically in the context of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal, in which data was harvested from over 87 million people, and used to manipulate public opinions.

Yarrow: The Virtues of Monochrome

Yarrow: The Virtues of Monochrome

Untitled Film Works’ short about one artist’s creative process becomes a film about three artists. At once, it’s a glimpse inside the mind of fine art photographer David Yarrow as he seeks the perfect shot in South Georgia, while showcasing the vision of directors and cinematographers Abraham Joffe ACS and Dom West.

The Typewriter Sculptor

The Typewriter Sculptor

In this episode of Wired’s Obsessed, they introduce us to Jeremy Mayer, an artist who creates truly incredible sculptures of birds, people, and other living things entirely from old typewriter parts. Check out more of his works on his Instagram feed.

Where Are Bob Ross’ Paintings?

Where Are Bob Ross’ Paintings?

Despite his phenomenal posthumous popularity, and having painted thousands of works of art, it’s nearly impossible to find an original Bob Ross painting anywhere. The New York Times dug into the mystery behind what happened to Ross’ numerous paintings in this great short documentary.

The Art of Sushi

The Art of Sushi

“I want my sushi to create a moment for my customers, to say “Wow!” as they put it in their mouth.” BuzzFeed Tasty filmed Daisuke Nakazawa as he made samples of some of his sushi. Like his mentor Jiro Ono, Chef Nakazawa makes it look effortless.

Taking Risks with Poison

Taking Risks with Poison

Great Big Story presents a compilation of short documentaries about working with poisonous food and substances. From a gardener who tends to only poisonous plants, to a pioneering group of volunteers who ate poisoned substances, these people risk their lives for science and culture.

Deborah Harry Does Not Like Interviews

Deborah Harry Does Not Like Interviews

Blondie co-founder and lead vocalist Debbie Harry has been the subject of interviews for 40+ years. As a woman leading a rock band, she’s been subjected to all manner of stupid questions. Meghan Fredrich’s brilliant short film documents some of Debbie’s better ways of handling such off-putting interviews.

Children of Invention

Children of Invention

Little Inventors is a UK-based non-profit organization that encourages creativity and innovation by asking children to come up with their own inventions, then collaborate with makers to build prototypes of them. SciFri dropped by to see what sort of wonderful madness they’re up to. You simply must browse the kids’ ideas.

Killer Ratings (Trailer)

Killer Ratings (Trailer)

Netflix’s documentary is about a wildly popular Brazilian TV show host. Wallace Souza claimed he started an anti-crime show to help people. He would go on to parlay his show’s popularity to become a politician. But investigations allege that he was more criminal than savior.

Woodstock (Trailer)

Woodstock (Trailer)

From August 15 to 18, 1969, an outdoor concert was held on a 600-acre dairy farm in New York, with over 400,000 people in attendance. Woodstock would go on to be one of the most legendary festivals ever staged. PBS’ documentary on the show features never before seen footage.

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Anime-Style Gundam Model Painting

Anime-Style Gundam Model Painting

Seo Gyeong-deok channels his lifelong love for anime by painting Gundam models and other figures in a vibrant two-dimensional cartoon style. Thestory met with Seo to learn more about his craft. He also accepts commissions. You can see more of his work on his Instagram page. Turn captions on.

Chalk of Champions

Chalk of Champions

You’d think that chalk would be chalk, but it turns out that some of the brightest scholars on the planet believe that Hagoromo Fulltouch chalk is magical in some way. The Japanese chalk is said to not only write more smoothly and elegantly, but possess some mystical qualities.

Extreme Cameramen

Extreme Cameramen

“All of the danger, and none of the glory.” HBO shares this segment from Real Sports with Bryan Gumbel about cameramen who cover extreme athletes. Whether its wingsuiting, surfing, skiing, or mountain climbing, these cameramen flirt with both death and seeing someone else die.

Camel Finds Water

Camel Finds Water

Trevor Gordon found an abandoned tiny fishing boat in a field, and reconstructed it in the hopes of using it to find surfing spots. Ian Durkin and his crew chronicled the rebirth of the Camel in an endearing short film that is a sweet tribute to both making and surfing.

The Guy: The Brian Donahue Story

The Guy: The Brian Donahue Story

Brian Donahue packs boxes at UPS. But he’s also been an NFL player, a WWF pro wrestler, a Disney theme park actor, and for decades now a stuntman and an actor. His body is broken, but he’s still in the mix, hoping to catch that big break in Hollywood.

Dish Pigs

Dish Pigs

(PG-13: Language) Dishwashers are the unsung heroes of restaurants. CBC Docs’ documentary gives us a peek into the life of three dishwashers. Instead of focusing on their work, the short film humanizes them by showing us their struggles and experiences.

Special Effects for Medical Simulation

Special Effects for Medical Simulation

Greg Loan used to build creatures for theme parks. Now, he’s taken his knowledge of prosthetics, effects, and robotics to create simulators for Boston Children’s Hospital, so doctors can practice procedures and improve outcomes for real patients. More Here.

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Farming Real Wasabi

Farming Real Wasabi

The Atlantic shares Edwin Lee’s beautiful documentary, Wasabia Japonica. It’s about Shigeo Iida, a 75-year-old who’s an eighth generation wasabi farmer. Most “wasabi” is actually dyed horseradish. Iida’s crop is the real deal, and fetches up to $250/kg.

The Library of Rare Colors

The Library of Rare Colors

Tom Scott recently paid a visit a truly unusual and extraordinary collection – a working research library dedicated to the history of color. The Forbes Pigment Collection has spent decades cataloging and storing rare pigments to help verify the authenticity of works of art.

Screw the Box

Screw the Box

Stig Pryds was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2008. It cost him his business and more. But 5 years into the pain and drug dependency, he went cold turkey and sought alternative ways of fighting his ailment. Daan Verhoeven’s short film is a true inspiration.

10 Brilliant Documentaries

10 Brilliant Documentaries

Documentaries can be as strange, beautiful and horrifying as any work of fiction. CineFix presents its top 10 docs, from legends like Baraka and Hoop Dreams to lesser known classics such as Shoah, Close-Up and The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Trailer)

Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Trailer)

“I’ll do anything I can to get the best results possible. I’m not worried about dying.” From the producer of the critically-acclaimed documentaries Senna and Amy comes an unprecedented look at the drivers, the teams, and the families behind Formula 1 racing.

Losers (Trailer)

Losers (Trailer)

History remembers the victors. But this Netflix documentary is about the other side of sports – those who got knocked down, scored fewer points, fumbled, and lost. Losers presents eight stories of athletes who failed and how they bounced back.

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