THE BEST Documentaries

The Pixel Painter

The Pixel Painter

97-year old Hal Lasko makes very detailed digital paintings using Microsoft Paint, which was introduced to him in the late 90s. Despite being partially blind and deaf, Hal still paints up to 10 hours a day. Buy his prints here.

World’s Greatest Extra Docu

World’s Greatest Extra Docu

A documentary about Jesse Heiman, aka the World’s Greatest Extra. The film is about Jesse’s unusual claim to fame, and the biggest question of his career: should a professional nobody try and become somebody?

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Dear Mr. Watterson (Trailer)

Dear Mr. Watterson (Trailer)

Joel Allen Schroeder’s Dear Mr. Watterson explores the legacy and the influence of Bill Watterson and his comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, not just with his readers but with fellow cartoonists and artists as well.

The Coffinmaker

The Coffinmaker

Dan McComb’s short profile on coffinmaker Marcus Daly, who began making coffins due to a tragic personal incident. This moved him to treat his profession as a meditative and deeply personal experience. Vote for it here.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

PBS Off Book talked to a variety of experts about one of mankind’s most exciting and frightening endeavors: developing artificial intelligence. Watch the video to find out some of its challenges, rewards and risks.

Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs

Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs

Tim Harris has Down Syndrome. He’s also a restaurant owner and an accomplished athlete. You can often find him at his restaurant, Tim’s Place Albuquerque, mingling with customers and giving away free hugs.

I Know That Voice (Trailer 2)

I Know That Voice (Trailer 2)

The documentary I Know That Voice features a who’s who of voice actors, including Tara Strong, Nolan North, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. The movie is already finished; check its Facebook page for the release date.

Ernie’s Dwarf Cars

Ernie’s Dwarf Cars

A promotional documentary about Ernie Adams and his collection of dwarf cars. The cars are street legal and modeled after classic cruisers. Ernie built all seven cars by hand and helped start a dwarf car racing scene.

Cutie and the Boxer (Trailer)

Cutie and the Boxer (Trailer)

A documentary by Zachary Heinzerling about the “chaotic 40-year marriage” of accomplished artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. Cutie and the Boxer looks at the evolution and endurance of their relationship.

In Saturn’s Rings (Trailer)

In Saturn’s Rings (Trailer)

A film about the Solar System by Stephen van Vuuren. In Saturn’s Rings was made by stitching together over one million photographs taken by various satellites as well as from spacecraft, observatories and more. Best watched in HD.

The Rise of Tabletop RPGs

The Rise of Tabletop RPGs

An educational primer on tabletop RPGs – from its militaristic origins to its offshoots and effects on pop culture. Even if you don’t play tabletops RPGs, if you enjoy fantasy fiction or games, you owe it to yourself to watch this video.

Glas

Glas

An Oscar-winning documentary by Bert Haanstra, Glas is about the glass industry in the Netherlands during the 50s. It forgoes narration, opting instead to augment footage with music and quick camera cuts. A masterpiece.

Take My Picture

Take My Picture

The street fashion scene flourished as a reaction to the rise of supermodels. But it’s becoming a parody of itself, threatening to turn into an endless echo, where people yearn to be seen, and bloggers become each others models.

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Williston: The ND Oil Boom

Williston: The ND Oil Boom

After reading contradictory press coverage about Williston’s oil boom, Colin Archdeacon and Skyler Swezy journeyed to North Dakota to find out what’s really happening. Good mix of interviews and befitting cinematography.

Pussy People

Pussy People

“I don’t call ’em cats. They’re little people.” Do you consider yourself a cat lover? Filmmaker Andrew Lang would like you to meet a few people. These folks really love cats. And they don’t care if the feeling isn’t mutual.

Steve Jobs Documentary

Steve Jobs Documentary

An excerpt from Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur, a documentary based on a 1994 interview with Steve Jobs. It also features interviews with other successful figures in the tech industry about Jobs’ legacy.

Teen Speaks 20 Languages

Teen Speaks 20 Languages

17-year-old Tim Doner is a hyper-polyglot: he can speak nearly 20 languages, and is said to be the youngest person to achieve such a feat. How did he do it? Through good old hard work. And by watching TV.

Life in Biosphere 2

Life in Biosphere 2

The Avant/Garde Diaries spoke with two of the eight people who lived inside Biosphere 2 from 1991 to 1993. Biosphere 2 was designed to be a closed ecological system, thus the crew was isolated from the rest of the world for 2 years.

The Bike Maker

The Bike Maker

(NSFW) The fifth episode in the Bureau of Common Goods’ Made by Hand series is about Ezra Caldwell, a talented and headstrong man who found his calling in making bicycles, only to be challenged by cancer. Godspeed, Ezra!

Ferrari BB 512i: A Piece of Art

Ferrari BB 512i: A Piece of Art

Holger Schubert’s museum-like garage may have won him praise from Maserati, but right now it is home to his main source of inspiration: a Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. Petrolicious talked to Schubert about the car and its throne.

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A Mother’s Day Surprise

A Mother’s Day Surprise

Like millions of other moms around the world, YouTuber Mike’s mother works hard to provide for her family. In 2004 she had to sell her house as money became tight. Mike vowed to set things right some day.

Cosplaying the Part

Cosplaying the Part

Polygon’s short feature on Ger Tysk. Tysk immersed herself in cosplaying, from making props to dressing up and now documenting the culture. She reminds us to respect everyone’s right to self-expression.

Modern Motorcycle Diaries

Modern Motorcycle Diaries

Alex Chacon’s adventure of a lifetime. He traveled from his home in Texas to Argentina, up to Alaska and back to Texas – a 75,000mi trip that lasted over 500 days. More on his website. Image from Alex’s Facebook page.

The Birth of a Tool Pt. II

The Birth of a Tool Pt. II

We’ve already seen how the craftsmen of John Neeman Tools make its axes. Here they show how they make their chisels, which are currently sold out due to high demand, despite their prices. The song is Re: Stacks by Bon Iver.

Classic American Cars in Cuba

Classic American Cars in Cuba

Motor Trend’s Epic Drive show takes a trip to a Caribbean museum of 1950s American cars – Cuba. Even if you’re not a gearhead, it’s still worth watching, because it meanders and looks at the culture of the island nation.

20 Feet from Stardom (Trailer)

20 Feet from Stardom (Trailer)

Is being a backup singer a stepping stone or a black hole that aspiring stars should avoid? Morgan Neville presents “the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.”

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