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Documentaries - Reality TV in one easy dose

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  • Even Yoko doesn't deserve her Yoko-ification; Lennon was a rat bastard long before he met her, and would have broken up the Beatles one way or another anyway.

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    • Did anyone else watch the Kurt Cobain doc, "Montage of Heck"?
      Yes! Watched this a few weeks ago and thought it was fascinating.

      Frances Bean was one of the exec producers, which is probably how they got access to so much material and so many family members. I can't imagine anybody saying no to her about this -- if anyone deserves a brutally honest, in depth look into Kurt's short life, she does.













      Courtney was SUCH a mess, but you can tell that Frances doesn't demonize her (obviously).











      They even went to the screening of the doc together, which I'd think would be a little bit awkward . . . but maybe not? Courtney really laid herself bare in that doc, but you get the impression she wouldn't have done that for anyone but her daughter.


      The whole thing made me super curious about Frances now that she's all grown up and engaged to a musician who looks SO FREAKING MUCH like her dad (well, in some pics, anyway):




































      That's got to be intentional, right? It's like they are recreating Kurt and Courtney as their aesthetic (although hopefully with much less heroin).

      Anyway, Frances seems to be dealing with having Courtney Love as her mother and Kurt Cobain as her father and Michael Stipe as her godfather and having everyone speculate about her all the time in her own way.










      With her influences, it'll be interesting to see what art she produces in her lifetime. She definitely doesn't glorify her dad's suicide, and won't let anyone else do so, which is good.












      So she doesn't romanticize his death, but she is fully embracing the 90s goth image of his life. I would have thought she was the coolest of the cool girls in my college dorm back in '92.

      As a documentary, Montage of Heck worked better as a portrait of a young artist than it did as a document of the band's history, or the birth of grunge as a whole. You definitely get an idea of *why* Kurt was such a broken person, long before he came onto the music scene, which was very interesting 'look at how easy it is to screw up our kids' stuff.

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      • I'm amazed at how grounded Frances seems to be. But she and that dude do look eerily like Kurt and Courtney. The b&w pic where she's wearing the pajamas-y outfit is straight outta that Sassy shoot.

        I was surprised (disappointed?) that his parents seemed to get off so light, but knowing that his mother raised Frances for the most part I guess it makes sense. She went from, "I couldn't deal with him so I foisted him off on his father" to "he was home for Christmas and we listened to his demo and it was great" pretty damn seamlessly. The only one who seemed to feel guilty about his horrific childhood/adolescence was his stepmom. That said, it's been 20+ years so they've probably all had plenty of time to make their peace with it.

        I'd actually like to see a doc about the birth/explosion of grunge, but most of the ones I've read about tend to focus on certain bands or artists.

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        • I binged on old Docs on Netflix this weekend - Blackfish, Freakonomics, Food, Inc., Jesus Camp and The Queen of Versailles.

          Now I hate SeaWorld and I feel like I can never eat again.

          Jesus Camp is almost quaint in retrospect. I remember being kind of petrified of the growth of fundamentalism back then, but then we elected Obama and things really swung in the other direction. Not that they can't swing back, but it seems less likely now. Plus, they've got all those scandals to contend with, thanks to people like the Duggars.

          The Queen of Versailles? Yikes. Everything you guys said and more about those people. I kind of felt bad for their kids, but I felt worse for the nannies and maids - I couldn't get over how tiny that one nanny's room was! That whole huge house (their main one, not the one they were building) and they have the woman who raises their kids living in Harry Potter's cupboard! And the dog poop everywhere! It was like the Osbournes x100. The really sad thing is the only one in that whole house who seemed to have her head on straight was the daughter, and she OD'd a few months ago. Ugh. Just awful, all around.

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          • I was just thinking about the Queen of Versailles yesterday, because I was reading a puppy training manual and it occurred to me that they made soooooo many mistakes with their dogs in that house.

            But in addition to being an indictment on poor puppy training procedures, the doc is *such* an indictment of the patriarchy. The dad was a narrowminded asshole too shortsighted to see that his arrogance was going to lead to economic turmoil in his family and kinda stood in as the archetype for all narrowminded assholes too shortsighted to see that their arrogance was going to lead to economic turmoil in the nation . . . but as he was King Of His Castle, no one could dare criticize him for anything. Oh, don't tell the Giant Rich Babyman that he's being a stupid turdhead! It's no wonder the economy crashed in 2008. It was Giant Rich Babymen like him and other friends of G.W. who drove the bus off the cliff and would never admit to being wrongheaded idiots.

            If any of you folks are into art history stuff, there is a great 3-part series on Hulu called The Impressionists which was super enjoyable. Very lively and informative without any dull bits, although I do wish they had spent more time on Cassat and Van Gogh.
            Last edited by ophy; 10-12-2015, 08:49 AM.

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            • Originally posted by ophy View Post

              If any of you folks are into art history stuff, there is a great 3-part series on Hulu called The Impressionists which was super enjoyable. Very lively and informative without any dull bits, although I do wish they had spent more time on Cassat and Van Gogh.
              Thanks! No Hulu allowed here, but maybe I'll be able to find it somewhere else.
              sigpic

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              • Originally posted by ophy View Post
                But in addition to being an indictment on poor puppy training procedures, the doc is *such* an indictment of the patriarchy. The dad was a narrowminded asshole too shortsighted to see that his arrogance was going to lead to economic turmoil in his family and kinda stood in as the archetype for all narrowminded assholes too shortsighted to see that their arrogance was going to lead to economic turmoil in the nation . . . but as he was King Of His Castle, no one could dare criticize him for anything. Oh, don't tell the Giant Rich Babyman that he's being a stupid turdhead! It's no wonder the economy crashed in 2008. It was Giant Rich Babymen like him and other friends of G.W. who drove the bus off the cliff and would never admit to being wrongheaded idiots.
                So much THIS. He was such a prick. What's really funny is you'd expect the trophy wife to be the one to crumble in the face of that situation, and yet she was the one trying to keep things running while he hid in his fucking room, surrounded by piles of paper like a damn hoarder, making shirtless (ugh) bluetooth calls and begging other rich assholes for money. Meanwhile, if he'd just sold that damn hotel at the outset, he could have solved most of their financial problems. But again - stubborn and narrowminded. And just like the financial crisis, the people that really suffered from his shitty decisions (his staff, his kids, their pets) were not the ones who borrowed and spent like crazy. Ugh.

                That's one thing that actually makes me proud of the company I work for - we survived all of that without letting people go or cutting salaries (our bonuses shrunk for a while, though). If I'd been working on Wall Street, I'd probably have been hosed.

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                • I went into this thread a couple days ago and read about everyone watching Happy Valley so I go and type that into youtube. There starts a film about some teens who were using heroin in Utah. !5 minutes go buy and I think oh this must've been one of the Sandusky victims, can't wait for the tie in... blah blah.. 15 minutes later still a movie about addiction. Clever person that I am I go and expand the video description and it clearly says not it

                  Don't know if this is the right venue but I really liked season 1 of Documentary now. This is a mockumentary made by Seth Meyers, Hader and Armisen for IFC. They covered Grey Gardens, Nanook of the north, thin blue line and History of the Eagles among others.

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                  • I'm still on my Doc-kick. Hot Girls Wanted was both bleak and weird. It wasn't heavy-handed at all - it didn't shout "porn is horrible!" in your face, which was pretty much what I expected. It just laid it out there and let you have your own reaction to it, for the most part.

                    It also didn't really explore why most of these girls end up in porn after having seemingly average childhoods. It was basically, "I don't want to go to college and I don't want to live in my boring town, so I've decided to do porn." Buh? I think I'd like to have gone into that a bit more - were they all survivors of sexual abuse (as I probably would have assumed 10 years ago)? Or is this just a kind of shift in our kind of cultural morality, where because celebs have sex tapes and the internet has made porn so accessible, it's just not a big deal and the stigma has gone/is going away? I think I'd be a lot more interested in a Doc that delved into that subject a little more, rather than trying to shock me with the revelation that porn producers are sleazy assholes who hire women to do one thing and then demand that they do another, more degrading thing, once they're on set with their paycheck on the line.

                    I also watched Spike Lee's Katrina Doc from 2006 (When the Levees Broke), which I'd never seen in full. Holy shit, did that make me angry and depressed. I think I burned out on Katrina coverage after a few days, so I never really appreciated the magnitude of what happened. I knew it was terrible, and I knew that GWB & FEMA & Co. botched the response but I had no idea how many people drowned, how many people died afterwards waiting for aid, how many of those dead bodies were left in the streets and in their homes for WEEKS and MONTHS without being collected. It's unfuckingbelievable how pathetic the government response was, and they never really fixed anything. Was anybody really held to account? Honestly, one of the only pleasant scenes was when that guy told Cheney to go fuck himself. Twice. Everything else was just so desperately sad. Especially knowing that they still haven't rebuilt everything and that thousands of people never went back. Ugh.

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                    • I second wanting to know if a cultural shift is changing porn!

                      I also think the millennials are weirdly puritanical? And they have been so heavily supervised their wholes lives they actually don't get up to many shenanigans (compared to GenX, for example).
                      Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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                      • I just saw Amy (2015). I'll be very surprised if it doesn't win best documentary at the Oscars. It was riveting. I don't actually know how accurate it is but the amount of great archive footage alone is impressive. It's all very well edited and has a clear narrative. 10/10 in my book

                        I was just outside the venue at the botched Belgrade gig.

                        Damn shame but a great movie

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