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Morgan Spurlock on 50 Un-Miss-able Documentaries

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 10:40 am

Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me and Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the host of a new series on Current called “50 Documentaries to See Before You Die.”  He quotes Alfred Hitchcock: “In feature films, the director is God.  In documentaries, God is the director.” He will discuss the list with fellow documentarians and film experts and catch up with some of the people and stories

The shows will count down from fifty to one, eventually revealing what our panel of preeminent film critics, academics and industry insiders has chosen as the most entertaining, powerful and influential modern documentary. However, this is not your average list show. Renowned documentarian Morgan Spurlock will embark on a road trip to track down the filmmakers and characters behind some of the most remarkable moments in contemporary cinema. Along the way, he’ll meet maverick directors and eccentric contributors, travel to iconic locations and explore the impact that the documentaries have made on both their subjects and society, all the while counting down to number one.

Current will also be running some of the documentaries he recommends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1M2Elfa_cI

 

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Documentary Television

Bar Karma Lets the Viewers Tell the Story

Posted on February 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

“Bar Karma” is a new series on Current TV set in “a place at the edge of the universe, a venue that’s behind time and before space, a watering hole where the tab you run up may never be paid – in this lifetime, at least.” Anything can happen. Really, anything. Because the show is “crowd-sourced.” The audience gets to decide on the story. Wired reports:

Four short months ago, a web programmer from Barberton, Ohio, named Jason Lee Holm had an idea for a TV show that sounds like something right out of a vintage episode of The Twilight Zone: What if a man, worried that his soon-to-be published book will cause a global meltdown, rectifies the problem by traveling to the future and hashing out the dilemma with a 20,000-year-old bartender?

That’s Bar Karma.

Every happy hour one lost soul wanders through the bar’s doors, finding themselves at a karmic crossroads in his or her life. The Bar Karma staff guides their patrons using eerie glimpses into the past, present and many possible futures. What would happen if you could change your fate? That’s the question Bar Karma sets out to answer. The show may begin with “a guy walks into a bar…” but Bar Karma always ends with someone’s life being changed…forever.

Try out the very cool Storymaker application to Wiki your way into Bar Karma’s storyline and guide its direction. Or just visit the Create Episodes site to vote on what goes on the chalkboard, why Dayna leaves the bar, or whether the woman played by Genie Francis of “General Hospital” has multiple personalities or is a twin? (Hmmm. If there’s a “both” option, I just might try it.)

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Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Television

Movies That Take Place in One Night

Posted on April 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Rotten Tomatoes picked the five best movies that take place in one night.

Some other one-night movies:

“Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Dazed and Confused” — like “American Graffiti,” both stories of the celebration of the end of school/start of the school year
“Adventures in Babysitting,” “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” and “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” — like “Date Night” and “After Hours” these are stories of a night of unexpected and mostly disruptive events
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and “Conversation(s) With Other Women” — after a social gathering, the characters interact in unexpected and often disruptive ways

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For Your Netflix Queue

Viral Video Film School/Rotten Tomatoes Show

Posted on October 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I’m a big fan of Current TV’s weekly Rotten Tomatoes Show with Brett Erlich and Ellen Fox. They have smart, funny reviews of each week’s movies with their own take and comments from viewers, looks at what’s coming next, top 5 lists from stars and directors pushing some new film, and very clever compilations — clips from a dozen different movies with characters saying things like “I have a bad feeling about this.” (It would be nice if they would include a non John-Hughes movie made before 1990 once in a while, though.) I get it as a video podcast and highly recommend it.

Erlich also has a “Viral Video Film School” series on Current that is wonderfully astute, a sort of combination of arts criticism, anthropology, and stand-up comedy. He compiles clips that illuminate YouTube trends I would never otherwise have known about and his commentary is hilarious and ill. Did you know that there are zillions of YouTube clips of people talking about what they just bought? Or about getting laid off? Erlich does, and curates them so expertly you don’t even get the usual “I just spent half an hour watching idiots on YouTube” feeling. (Some mature material)

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