Author Topic: DOCember Group Marathon 2019  (Read 119 times)

Beavermoose

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DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« on: November 26, 2019, 04:48:10 PM »
I need some more docos in my life!

Index

Bondo
Hail, Satan?
Cannabis Revolution


« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 03:59:04 PM by Beavermoose »

Bondo

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 04:52:37 PM »
Thanks for getting this going. I've got quite a number of docs hanging around my various queues so I'll probably try to make a big showing.

Beavermoose

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 04:57:12 PM »
My List

Primary (1960)
Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography  (Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy, & Stuart Samuels, 1992)
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)
Standard Operating Procedure (2008)
Nostalgia for the Light (2010)
Freakonomics (2010)
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (2010)
The Tillman Story (2010)
The Gatekeepers (2012)
The Unknown Known (2013)
Author: The JT LeRoy Story (2016)
Batman & Bill (2017)
American Dharma (2018)
The Game Changers (2018)
Free Solo (2018)
Apollo 11 (2019)
Seven Worlds, One Planet (2019)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 04:18:50 AM by Beavermoose »

Bondo

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2019, 09:01:59 PM »
Hail, Satan?

First let me state that as a matter of constitutional interpretation, it shouldn't even be a debate that religious invocations at public events, public religious monuments, and inclusions of religious mottos like "In God We Trust" or "One Nation, Under God" are improper establishments of religion. The assertion of religious liberties under Hobby Lobby are dubious but not quite as clear violations, though I disagree with that decision. The Colorado cake case is even more ambiguous, though the implications of allowing that assertion of religion quickly leads to no blacks at the diner counter. I'm not blithe about the impact of actions of state on individual religious beliefs, but that we keep having to fight on the basics shows how much Christianity remains a dominant force in America, and not the besieged entity its adherents often claim. Heck, we recently had a court refuse to let a Muslim man on death row have his spiritual leader attend to him, even though it is common practice for Christian priests to do so.

This documentary explores the Satanic Temple, a non-theist religion that has as one of its points of action to assert separation of church and state not just by pointing out that a current practice is an establishment of religion but testing the equal treatment of religion by presenting their own invocations or monuments to stand on public grounds wherever a Christian one is offered. The documentary, by keeping focused purely on the Temple, may undersell how much atheist and humanist groups also contribute to this battle, but they do provide a valuable contrast. It definitely seems the case that they are more effective at playing with the media environment.

While the bulk of the film focuses on this public first amendment campaign, it does hit on some other interesting aspects that maybe could use more development. It draws back on the history, helpfully contrasting the satanic panic of the 80s/90s against the recent revelations of a long-term coverup by the Catholic church of sexual assault. As always, the religious right's condemnation of satanism was projection of their own sins. There's also the concept that by creating the Temple as a religion, it may lend itself more to community than amorphous atheist identity. That said, as much as I might long for an atheist equivalent to faith communities, I am not sure I'd fit well among crowd drawn to the Temple. Finally, it briefly tackles the contradiction of basing a religion around the concept of Satan as rebel against false authority with the need to have some form of authority within the Temple to retain a coherent value system and avoid confluence with darker aspects. All in all quite engaging.

B

Cannabis Evolution

Maybe adding random documentary things on interesting topics, even though they are not contemplated as films or have any assertion of quality, is a bad idea. This is an educational video pairing boring narration with stock footage. It is a pure F in terms of artistic merit. While the information is fine, I'm sure, it has to be considered bad even as an informational device. Better to watch the Explained by Vox segment on Netflix that covers the topic, or some other random doc that played the film festival I worked with a number of years ago (I'm not going to look up the title because I can't imagine it has any distribution).

On a tangent, can I talk about how much I hate the phrase "recreational marijuana?" Like, even the most recreational use is probably self-medicating, and I imagine a significant proportion of "recreational" purchases are actually basically over-the-counter purchase with a medical purpose contemplated. Getting a medical license when recreational is available is a bit like going to the doctor for a prescription for ibuprofen...expensive and needlessly complicated.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 09:57:10 PM by Bondo »

MartinTeller

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2019, 10:19:26 PM »
On a tangent, can I talk about how much I hate the phrase "recreational marijuana?" Like, even the most recreational use is probably self-medicating, and I imagine a significant proportion of "recreational" purchases are actually basically over-the-counter purchase with a medical purpose contemplated. Getting a medical license when recreational is available is a bit like going to the doctor for a prescription for ibuprofen...expensive and needlessly complicated.

At least in Oregon, the regulations governing medical marijuana are completely different from those regulating recreational marijuana, hence the need for the distinction. I don't understand your objection to the phrase.
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Bondo

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2019, 12:28:32 AM »
Not sure how divided it is in Colorado...in any event pretty much all the recreational dispensaries also are medical dispensaries. Maybe there are slightly different product lines available, and a medicinal license I believe reduces or eliminates taxes. I still find it unlikely it would justify the $150/yr cost of maintaining it for low to moderate medical needs. In any event, recreational makes it sound like it is just for yuks...what makes it subject to so many dumb jokes when you tell people you are moving to Colorado (or are from Colorado).

Bondo

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 08:49:38 AM »
American Factory

The level of access the filmmakers get to this Fuyao factory is really something. It is an interesting story, with an American company moving manufacturing jobs overseas, but a Chinese company stepping into that spot. I can see the story that Fuyao was perhaps hoping to get from allowing the access. It is possible to see a version of this story that creates a positive view of the company and of China helping the heart of America. Instead, we get an object lesson of why American manufacturing (at least labor-intensive manufacturing) is at a disadvantage...because we rightfully have standards for labor and for the environment. We have unvarnished access to the contempt this company has for the right to unionize (which is more of a capitalist thing than a Chinese thing...most of the negatives here you could probably pick up with similar access to American companies). They look down on the American workers for things like the 40-hour workweek and work safety regulation. I feel like a few actions/statements captured here would be evidence of labor-law violations, and there are at least implications of other areas of law-breaking. Altogether it leaves me with a bleak feeling...the political incentive is to try to get these jobs back, similar to how Trump talked big about bringing coal work back...but it certainly feels like we are better off without this type of work, to focus on the what next.

B

Beavermoose

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 09:10:50 PM »
Batman & Bill (2017) Don Argott & Sheena M. Joyce
I imagine that many great ideas or inventions have been credited to people that had very little to do with their creation. Seeing Bill Finger get rightful credit for the creation of Batman is satisfying and cathartic yet bittersweet as both Kane and Finger have long passed away. The movie would have been better if it just stuck to talking heads as the moments where Marc Nobleman, who has been leading the fight for Bill Finger, gets his very young daughter to participate in his obsession are really awkward.

★★

56 Up (2012) & 63 Up (2019) Michael Apted & Paul Almond
These are the last two of the Up Series and the only two I hadn't yet seen. The well off people's lives obviously are the least interesting because their lives have barely changed. Andrew is building a Japanese Garden, John tries to convince us that he's struggled in the past and that the premise of a British class system know longer exists and has started a charity to help people in Bulgaria. Meanwhile Jackie, who has been on disability aid for 20 years is being sent back to work after government cuts and Lynn has passed away. Neil is still the most interesting character as, after years of struggle and mental health issues, he has begun to participate in politics. Apted prompts the participants sometimes in patronizing ways, but as they have gotten older some of the participants confront him about the questions' he's asked. It's a fascinating series that confirms the societal inequalities present in western society.

★★★

The Game Changers (2018) Louie Psihoyos
As someone who has already been cutting back on meat consumption and animal products this movie didn't really surprise me. The whole narrative behind food consumption will always be controlled by the market and with plant-based meats becoming a bigger thing obviously these kinds of movies will be showing up more and more. The movie is obviously very biased and spends more time showing us how great a plant-based diet is rather than comparing different diets, the erection scene is targeted at meatheads who I doubt will be jumping on the vegan bandwagon anytime soon. Ultimately, if this movie gets a few more people to think twice about the things they're putting into their body, it has done it's job.

★★

Freakonomics (2010) Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki & Morgan Spurlock
Having already listened to quite a few of the podcast episodes I found most of the information from these segments to be redundant although the section about sumo wrestlers was new information and very interesting to me. This obviously doesn't need to be a movie, and probably works better in book or podcast form anyway but I guess this is another way to get people into the science and research performed by freakonomics which is, more often than not, really fascinating stuff.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 07:57:24 PM by Beavermoose »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 09:23:03 PM »
Finger is one of many artists shafted by egomaniac comic book writers. See also almost everyone Stan Lee worked with.