documentary entertainment

This American Life

If you missed the first episode of This American Life on Showtime last night, you can catch it online on Showtimes website. Or if you’re in a country other than the US of A, you’ll have good luck with a bittorrent search. I just finished watching it, and it really is as good as the radio version.

Also of interest, the This American Life Parody.

documentary games

Nintendo Entertainment System Documentary

It’s hard to believe that the Nintendo Entertainment System was released 21 years ago. Last year, GameSpot sponsored a documentary celebrating the early years of Nintendo.

I particularly enjoyed the demonstrations of how to make your Nintendo cartridges run. I recall that for the first few years of Nintendo playing at our house we never had to blow on the games, I guess it was only in the later years (early 90’s) when games weren’t babied so much that dust was allowed to collect on the exposed circuit boards, and the ritual of blowing on games before you loaded them began.

Here it is, Flashback NES:

Hit play or watch fullscreen at Google Video.

biology documentary ethics

Richard Dawkins’ Nice Guys Finish First

When I was enrolled in University, one of the classes I wanted to take was Philosophy of Game Theory. Unfortunately, disillusioned by my lack of interest after taking the introductory class (a prerequisite) I decided that Philosophy wasn’t for me after all.

Game Theory (Wikipedia) however, is still a very fascinating topic. Couple that with an interest in biology, sociology, and economics and the short documentary, “Nice Guys Finish First“, by Richard Dawkins becomes a tremendously interesting look at how selfish and altruistic behavior can be the greatest benefit or harm to the individual—and consequently also to the group.

Hit Play or Watch at Google Video.


The Merchants of Cool

A couple of years ago my Seminar for New Media professor showed our class a video about the symbiotic relationship between the media and today’s youth, cool Hunting, and how the network between the five media giants operates. The following embedded video is the same show.

The Merchants of Cool: They spend their days sifting through reams of market research data. They conduct endless surveys and focus groups. They comb the streets, the schools, and the malls, hot on the trail of the “next big thing” that will snare the attention of their prey—a market segment worth an estimated $150 billion a year.

Malcolm Gladwell makes a short interviewee appearance in The Merchants of Cool and reiterates some of his thoughts from his best selling book, “The Tipping Point”.

Hit play or Watch Fullscreen at Google Video.

Find the video on



This American Life on Showtime

This American Life, one of my most favourite podcasts/radio-shows is coming to television.

What would a TV version of This American Life look like? And is making one even a good idea? Believe us, we’ve wondered all of that ourselves. But now we’re done, and we’re super excited. Our first season of half-hour episodes debuts March 22nd on Showtime. We wanted to make a TV show that feels like the radio show, but isn’t just the radio show on TV. Take a look and see what you think. Here’s a trailer we created for public radio station websites, just like this one.

Check out the teaser trailer.

Update: Here’s a second movie trailer.

And here’s an interview with Ira Glass about the new show on NPR’s Fresh Air.

documentary technology

YouTube – Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us

Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University has created a short video (runtime 4:31) that elucidates how the technical side of the Internet is maturing enough to give people greater freedom to create than ever before.

Click play or watch Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us at YouTube.
(In the YouTube description he states that it’s still in draft form).

documentary religion

Jesus Camp

The scoop on what it’s like to be a kid growing up in a fundamentalist extremist Evangelical Christian environment.

Hit play or watch at Google Video.
Update: Looks like the video is no longer up at Google Video. Try Oscar Torrents instead.

Update: The full movie is posted on Vimeo:

Jesus Camp from Loki Films on Vimeo.


Steven Spielberg Documentary

This excellent documentary (one hour in length) takes a look at the amazing career of Steven Spielberg.

Click Play or watch it at YouTube.

Update: The old documentary is long gone but here is new one from 2019.

Spielberg’s Story: The Life And Career Of Steven Spielberg (Full Documentary)

Disney documentary

Disney Blocks Moore’s New Anti-Bush Movie

The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, tracing the links between the Bush family and Saudis like Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Moore’s agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney’s chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush’s brother, Jeb, is governor.

While Emanuel admits that Michael Eisner asked him not to sell this movie to Harvey Weinstein, he defiantly states, “that doesn’t mean I listened to him.”

According to news sources Miramax and Disney spokespeople had no comment, but Moore on the other hand did.

“Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show,” Moore wrote. “But there’s nothing they can do about it now because it’s done, it’s awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you’ll see it this summer — because, after all, it is a free country.”

Fahrenheit 9/11 is one of the films in competition at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.