Archive for January, 2010

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Sites for Free Online Documentaries

27 January 2010

My, what a lot of sites showcasing documentaries!

I found a list of 15 recommended sources on a website on resources for online students and thought it looked useful for anyone interested in nonfiction film.

Here are those rated  ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ on video quality, sorted by ranking. For the complete list, please look under Online Viewing Options under Links.

Top Documentary Films
Selection:
Around 500 videos embedded from other sites
Categories: 9/11, Art & Artists, Biography, Comedy, Conspiracy, History, Military & War, Mystery, Nature & Wildlife, Other, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, Sports
Notable Films: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Tupac: Resurrection, Planet Earth, The Bridge, Africa Addio, Bigger Stronger Faster, Super High Me, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, An Inconvenient Truth, Mad Hot Ballroom, Born Into Brothels, Why We Fight, Shut Up & Sing, Maxed Out, March of the Penguins, Step into Liquid, Grizzly Man, When We Were Kings, Rize
Video Availability: Good

Free Documentaries Online
Selection:
Around 280 videos embedded from other sites
Categories: Anthropology, Astronomy/Space, Biography, Biology/Environment, Cosmology/Physics, Crime/History, Lifestyle/Society, Mystery/Conspiracy, Politics/Religion, Science/Technology
Notable Films: Cocaine Cowboys, Man on Wire, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, Religulous, Planet Earth, Microcosmos, Baraka, Taxi to the Dark Side, Bowling for Columbine, The Yes Men
Video Availability: Excellent

SnagFilms
Selection:
Over 650 legally licensed videos hosted on site
Categories: Campus, Environment, Health, History, International, Life & Culture, Music & Arts, Politics, Science & Nature, Sports & Hobbies, Women’s Issues
Notable Films: Confessions of a Superhero, Hoop Dreams, The Times of Harvey Milk, Dig!, Life After Tomorrow, A Century of Black Cinema
Video Availability: Excellent

Online Documentaries 4 U
Selection:
Close to 250 videos embedded from other sites
Categories:
Activist, Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Atheism, Biography, Biology, Countries, Economics, Education, Environment, Evolution, Film, Food, Future, General Science, Genetics, Health, History, Human Biology, IT, Language, Life Extension, Mathematics, Medicine, Murder, Music, Nature, New Age, Palaeontology, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Society, Space, Supernatural, Technology, War
Notable Films:
The Secret, The Business of Being Born, What Would Jesus Buy?, Religulous, Koyaanisqatsi, Cosmos, An Unreasonable Man, Super Size Me
Video Availability:
Good

PBS Video
Selection:
Close to 100 high-quality (both video and content-wise), proprietory PBS productions hosted on site
Categories:
Arts & Literature, Cinema, Culture, Health & Wellness, History, Home & How-To, Nature & Environment, News & Public Affairs, Performing Arts, Region, Science, Technology
Notable Films:
Episodes of American Experience, American Masters, FRONTLINE, Nature and NOVA
Video Availability:
Excellent

GUBA
Selection:
Around 3,500 videos hosted on site, less than 100 of which are “feature length” (90+ minutes)
Categories:
Aviation, Conspiracy, General, Military; mostly unsorted and difficult to search
Notable Films:
Various Discovery Channel, History Channel and BBC programs.
Video Availability:
Excellent

Hulu
Selection:
Around 70 doumentary films and over 300 TV episodes, all legally licensed and hosted on site
Categories:
Unsorted
Notable Films:
Confessions of a Superhero, The Buena Vista Social Club, Hoop Dreams, The Times of Harvey Milk, Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, Super Size Me, Dig!, The Impaler
Video Availability:
Excellent

Joost
Selection:
Over 200 legally licensed films hosted on site
Categories:
Unsorted
Notable Films:
Hoop Dreams, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, Trembling Before G-d, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, several dozen National Geographic specials
Video Availability:
Excellent

Internet Archive
Selection:
Thousands of vintage documentaries, shorts, educational films and newsreels hosted on site
Categories:
Various collections; not always easy to browse
Notable Films: Africa Speaks, Steal This Film, lots of public domain and special collections of historical value
Video Availability: Excellent

Babelgum
Selection:
Around 400 videos small independent productions of varying length hosted on site
Categories: Unsorted
Notable Films: All relatively unknown
Video Availability: Excellent

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Links Added for Cable Viewing Options

23 January 2010

We’ve created yet another category of links: Cable Viewing Options. Find the on-line schedules for TCM (Turner Classic Movies), IFC (Independent Film Channel), and Sundance Channel there.

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Now on Twitter!

23 January 2010

Follow us at http://twitter.com/oswegofilmgroup

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Sundance Festival Films on YouTube (for a Fee)

22 January 2010

From cnet:

YouTube on Wednesday announced that it will soon be offering video rentals on its service, beginning first with five films from the 2009 and 2010 Sundance film festivals.

The rental feature, which goes live this Friday [1/22], will apply to the five Sundance films until the end of January. YouTube says that other films and programs will be made available for rental in the near future, but has not yet named which partners will be involved outside of mentioning that the health and education industries will be included.

YouTube has long been expected to get into the video-on-demand business, especially since Google removed video content purchases from its (now-defunct) Google Video service at the end of 2007. Also, late last year, reports surfaced that YouTube was in talks with a number of film studios in an attempt to warm them to the idea of renting their films on the service. Notably, Sony Pictures went on the record as having talked with Google about such an offering, although at the time it was looking for a way to boost the brand image of its Crackle video streaming site.

Going forward, YouTube is inviting what it calls a “small group” of partners that will be able to apply the new rental model to videos they have hosted on the service. And similar to what YouTube did with paid video downloads around this same time last year, owners of these videos will be able to set their own pricing, as well as duration of how long that rental can be accessed.

In order to rent videos, users must have a Google Checkout account. The company has not said whether it will allow other payment platforms, such as PayPal, to be used as as a payment option.

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Link Added to The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made (The New York Times)

21 January 2010

We’ve added a link to The New York Times‘ website list of the greatest 1,000 films.

This list is drawn from the second edition of “The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made” (St. Martin’s Griffin, $24.95), edited by Peter M. Nichols and published in 2004. For additional information about the list, read Peter M. Nichols’s preface, or A. O. Scott’s introduction.

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Well, Something Along Those Lines: “Movie Misquotations”

20 January 2010

Also in this past Sunday’s New York Times,  the On Language column this week (by Fred R. Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations) considered “Movie Misquotations”. Some highlights:

Alfonso Bedoya in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"

“Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!”

From The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948).
In the film, “Alfonso Bedoya declared, ‘I don’t have to show
you any stinking badges!'”This phrase changed
(and that Spanish double negative added)
when the line was paraphrased in a television episode of
The Monkees (1967) and the movie Blazing Saddles (1974).

“The natives are restless.”

From the film Island of Lost Souls (1932). Charles Laughton’s character  (Doctor Moreau) commented, “They are restless tonight.”
This is an example of a line changed to
“stand alone, without the cinematic context.”

“Greed is good.”

From Wall Street (1987). Michael Douglas’
Gordon Gekko (not to put too fine a point on it) actually said:
“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” One of the many
examples cited of the original phrases being streamlined.

“Come with me to the Casbah.”

Attributed to Charles Boyer’s character in Algiers (1938),
but not in the movie, the phrase probably “was the creation
of Boyer impersonators who used it to mock the film.”

“Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”

Often identified with Mae West and her 1933 film
She Done Him Wrong, the line isn’t in there or
in any other West movie. The author cites this as an example
of a “quotation [that] captures the essence of a performer”‘
even though he feels it was “too risqué” to have been
made it into films of West’s era. (I’m not so sure about it
being too racy to have made in past the censors.)

17FOB-onlanguage-t.html?ref=magazine

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Excerpts from “Declaration of Indies: Just Sell It Yourself!”

20 January 2010

The changing landscape of independent film distribution was the topic of Manohla Dargis’ article in this Sunday’s New York Times. Here are some excerpts:

In the Old World of distribution, filmmakers hand over all the rights to their work, ceding control to companies that might soon lose interest in their new purchase for various reasons, including a weak opening weekend…. In the New World, filmmakers maintain full control over their work from beginning to end: they hold on to their rights and, as important, find people who are interested in their projects and can become patrons, even mentors. The Old World has ticket buyers. The New World has ticket buyers who are also Facebook friends. The Old World has commercials, newspapers ads and the mass audience. The New World has social media, YouTube, iTunes and niche audiences…..

….companies — large and small — continue to dominate distribution. Hollywood’s historical hold on resources and the terms of the conversation have made it difficult for an authentic alternative system to take root in America. The festival circuit has emerged as a de facto distribution stream for many filmmakers, yet the ad hoc world of festivals is not a substitute for real distribution…..

In 1992, the year before Disney bought Miramax Films, thereby initiating the indie gold rush, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky became a model for true independence when they distributed their own documentary “Brother’s Keeper” (1992) to substantial critical and commercial success. In the years since, those entering self-distribution have included emerging talent like Andrew Bujalski (who initially sold DVDs of his 2005 film “Mutual Appreciation” online) and established filmmakers like David Lynch (who released his 2006 movie “Inland Empire” in theaters himself). As self-distributed movies have found levels of critical or commercial success or even both, others have followed, including “The Talent Given Us,” “Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037,” “Ballast,” “Helvetica” and “Good Dick.”

…hybrid distribution,….filmmakers hold on to their sales rights and sell the DVD retail rights to one buyer and the video-on-demand rights to another and so on — rather than handing them all over to one distributor, as has been traditional.

One of the buzzy ideas in D.I.Y. is transmedia, a word borrowed from academia, in which stories — think of the “Star Wars” and “Matrix” franchises — unfold across different platforms. “Star Wars” helped expand the very idea of a movie, because it involved a constellation of movie-related products, from videogames to action figures, all of which become part of the understanding and experience of the original, originating work. ….

It might seem counterintuitive that D.I.Y. independents are borrowing a page from the George Lucas playbook. But only if you forget that Mr. Lucas is the most successful independent filmmaker in history. 20th Century Fox distributed the first “Star Wars,” yet Mr. Lucas kept the sequel and merchandising rights.

To read the entire article, click onto this link:

17dargis.html?em