THE BEST Documentaries

McLaren (Trailer)

McLaren (Trailer)

“To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy.” From director Roger Donaldson (The World’s Fastest Indian) comes a documentary about McLaren Racing’s founder, the late Bruce McLaren.

When Darkness Falls

When Darkness Falls

“Time speeds up, it slows down, it melts. You may be out there for 3 hours at a time but you can’t recall any one particular moment.” Filmmaker Adrian Bonvento shares the thoughts of the Stevenson Motorsports team at the 2017 24 Hours of Daytona in this perfect short film.

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The Big Wave Project (Trailer)

The Big Wave Project (Trailer)

Tim Bonython’s documentary will take us to some of the best and most dangerous surfing spots in the world as it follows a tight-knit group of big wave surfers who are addicted to the thrill of the sport. Premieres Spring 2017.

Mr. Overton

Mr. Overton

National Geographic introduces us to Richard Overton, America’s oldest living World War II veteran. The 109 year-old drinks whiskey, smokes cigars, and can still walk, talk, and has a valid driver’s license. He’s sharp as a tack, and could teach all of us a thing or two about life.

Hollywood’s Greatest Trick (Trailer)

Hollywood’s Greatest Trick (Trailer)

McClatchy Video Lab’s documentary explores one of the nastiest secrets of the movie business, that visual effects studios and artists are often forced to work ridiculous hours, often at fixed bid pricing to meet unrealistic demands of movie studios. Premieres online on 2/22/17.

Five Star

Five Star

“The hardest thing that he’s gonna have to do is tell people, ‘No.'” Hank & Booth’s stellar documentary about promising college football player Brandon Jones, and the chaos surrounding the then 17-year-old in his final year in high school.

The Crash Survivor

The Crash Survivor

(PG-13: Language) In 2012, Doug Wright was in a crash which left him seriously injured. PLGRM explores the impact it had on his marriage, and his contact with Clyde Rowley, the man who caused the accident. Despite his hardships, Doug’s attitude is surprisingly positive.

Abstract: The Art of Design (Trailer)

Abstract: The Art of Design (Trailer)

An upcoming Netflix documentary series that profiles some of the world’s best designers and artists, including Nike’s Tinker Hatfield and graphic designer Paula Scher. Premieres 2/10/17.

Battle for Birthday Mountain

Battle for Birthday Mountain

In 1972, Norwegian geophysicist Bjørn Geirr Harsson realized that the highest peak of Halti, a mountain that rests mostly in Finland, was actually in Norway. He proposed that his country adjust its border and give the peak to Finland for its 100th birthday.

Toonami: A History of Broadcast Anime

Toonami: A History of Broadcast Anime

YouTuber kaptainkristian tips his hat to Toonami. While not the first to broadcast Japanese cartoons to American audiences, Cartoon Network’s niche program block sought to bring anime to mainstream while championing its diversity.

Sacchan, Who Does as He Pleases

Sacchan, Who Does as He Pleases

YouTuber funny japan shares this hilarious segment from a Japanese talk show in 1994. A housewife asked the show to find out how her free-spirited dog Sacchan got so fat. What follows is investigative reporting at its finest.

Sculptures by Alan Williams

Sculptures by Alan Williams

“I think in a way that destroying things is a creative process…” Alan Williams explains how his childhood knack for breaking and re-configuring toys inspired his design aesthetic. His current works are intricate animals with bio-mechanical bodies. A film by Ben Cox.

Miyamoto on Game Design

Miyamoto on Game Design

Vox sums up the contributions and philosophies of Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto – who helped create Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and more – with the help of Miyamoto himself.

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Ben Venom: Heavy Metal Quilter

Ben Venom: Heavy Metal Quilter

“My art is a collision. And it’s a collision of fine art, craft, and what I call the fringes of society.” San Francisco-based artist Ben Venom uses recycled fabric and old clothing to make punk and heavy metal-themed quilts, patches and more.

Messages in Bottles

Messages in Bottles

Vox introduces us to Clint Buffington, who has found not just one of those fabled messages in a bottle that washed up on a beach, but 83 of them. Learn how he does it, and how he seeks out their senders. Check out that ocean current simulator here.

Blank Tape: Electronic Cassette Culture

Blank Tape: Electronic Cassette Culture

Along with vinyl, cassette tapes are staging their own comeback, with ongoing interest from electronic musicians who find the analog sound and hiss complements rather than detracts from their music. The Vinyl Factory explores this growing movement. (Thanks Paul!)

Tasogare

Tasogare

“Tasogare means twilight – a time of ambivalence…” Musician Lia Mice recently performed at Tasogare, a music festival held at Komyoji, a Buddhist temple in Tokyo. She spoke with Tasogare’s founders to find out the origins and ideas behind this unorthodox gathering.

Inside the Raptors 905

Inside the Raptors 905

“There’s only 450 jobs man.” A short documentary about the D-League team Raptors 905 and their rookie head coach – two-time NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse. A great behind-the-scenes look about what it means to be a coach on and off the court.

Find My Phone

Find My Phone

(PG-13: Language) Anthony van der Meer claims he worked with the developer of an anti-theft Android app to monitor a phone that he purposefully left to be stolen. We suspect this is a viral ad, but it’s also a riveting film about voyeurism and technology’s threat to privacy.

Tasting Sight

Tasting Sight

A moving short documentary about Andy, a man who lost his vision after a brutal assault, and the fascinating new technology which is helping him to regain his lost sense by sending electrical impulses to his tongue.

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He Who Dances on Wood

He Who Dances on Wood

BRIC TV introduces us to Fred Nelson, an elderly man who found his true love late in life, bringing a much needed sliver of joy and happiness into the world using his feet, shoes, and an old piece of wood.

The Origin of The Wacky Waving Man

The Origin of The Wacky Waving Man

While you might think those goofy dancing inflatable guys you see at car dealerships were the brainchild of some advertising genius, they actually got their start as moving sculptures during an Olympic opening ceremony 20 years ago. Great Big Story shares the details.

Slow to Show

Slow to Show

Once a year, a crowd of hard-working and dedicated fans gather at the Tejano Super Show in Odessa, Texas to show off their low-riders with their crazy jacked up suspension systems. Director Ben Steinbauer’s slice of life documentary is basically the exact opposite of Petrolicious.

Planet Earth II: Iguana vs. Snakes

Planet Earth II: Iguana vs. Snakes

Shot in Galapagos, this excerpt from Planet Earth II sees a newly hatched marine iguana surrounded by racer snakes, which had already devoured most of the hatchling’s kin. Apparently, this is the first time that snakes have been seen hunting en masse. More here.

The Fitness Model Without a Pulse

The Fitness Model Without a Pulse

Andrew Jones is a serious stud. Not only is he more physically fit than most people we know, he’s a model, and he doesn’t let the fact that he has to live with an artificial heart while he waits for a transplant donor match get him down in the least.

Welcome to Atlantium

Welcome to Atlantium

Atlantium is a tiny self-declared sovereign state about 4 hours from Sydney, Australia, with about 3000 citizens in its current ranks. It was formed in the interest of creating a place where people of all kinds from around the world are welcome, and that values freedom above all.

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