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Supported by the National Geographic Society, the world’s eminent blue whale scientists embark on a revolutionary mission: They’ll find, identify, and tag California blue whales, use the DNA samples to confirm the sex of individual whales, then rejoin the massive creatures’ stunning migration when they collect at a chimera known as the Costa Rica Dome.
Vancouver-based filmmaker and TV news veteran Fred Peabody explores the life and legacy of the maverick American journalist I.F. Stone, whose long one-man crusade against government deception lives on in the work of such contemporary filmmakers and journalists as Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, David Corn, and Matt Taibbi.
The Endless Summer, by Bruce Brown, is one of the first and most influential surf movies of all times. The film documents American surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August as they travel the world during California’s winter (which back in 1965 was off-season for surfing) in search of the perfect wave and an endless summer.
As the unabashed cradle of Hollywood superficiality and smoggy urban sprawl, Los Angeles has long been condemned as a cultural wasteland. In the richly penetrating documentary odyssey City of Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold shows us another Los Angeles, where ethnic cooking is a kaleidoscopic portal to the mysteries of an unwieldy city and the soul of America.
An inspiring, triumphant and wickedly funny portrait of one of comedy’s most enigmatic and important figures, CALL ME LUCKY tells the story of Barry Crimmins, a beer-swilling, politically outspoken and whip-smart comic whose efforts in the 70s and 80s fostered the talents of the next generation of standup comedians. But beneath Crimmins’ gruff, hard-drinking, curmudgeonly persona lay an undercurrent of rage stemming from his long-suppressed and horrific abuse as a child – a rage that eventually found its way out of the comedy clubs and television shows and into the political arena.
David Byrne is a visual artist as well as a musician, and ever since his early days as a member of Talking Heads, he’s wanted his concerts to be more than just a static performance. In 1984, Byrne and filmmaker Jonathan Demme redefined the boundaries of the concert film with the Talking Heads documentary STOP MAKING SENSE, and more than 25 years later Byrne has teamed up with David Hillman to create RIDE, RISE, ROAR, which documents Byrne’s 2008-2009 concert tour, in which he performs new material written in collaboration with Brian Eno as well as favorites from his solo career as well as his tenure in Talking Heads. Using costumes and inventive choreography, Byrne and his musicians and dancers give his music a stage presentation as exciting as the music.
Anas has been called the James Bond of Ghanaian journalism. He’s exposed a sex-trafficking ring by masquerading as a bartender, uncovered deplorable conditions in Accra’s psychiatric hospital, posed as a crown prince in order to bypass a rebel checkpoint. His unorthodox methods are infamous throughout Ghana, but, despite his notoriety, his face is unknown to the public. The film takes us behind the scenes of the Tiger Eye Investigations Bureau hot on the heels of his next big case.
Pug, a wisecracking 13 year old living on a dangerous Westside block, has one goal in mind: to join The Twelve O’Clock Boys; the notorious urban dirt-bike gang of Baltimore. Converging from all parts of the inner city, they invade the streets and clash with police, who are forbidden to chase the bikes for fear of endangering the public. When Pug’s older brother dies suddenly, he looks to the pack for mentorship, spurred by their dangerous lifestyle. Pug’s story is coupled with unprecedented, action-packed coverage of the riders in their element. The film presents the pivotal years of change in a boy’s life growing up in one of the most dangerous and economically depressed cities in the US.
From the first time he performed Swimming to Cambodia – the one-man account of his experience of making the 1984 film The Killing Fields – Spalding Gray made the art of the monologue his own. Drawing unstintingly on the most intimate aspects of his own life, his shows were vibrant, hilarious and moving. His death came tragically early, in 2004; this compilation of interview and performance footage nails his idiosyncratic and irreplaceable brilliance.
Who are we? Why are we here? Where do we come from? These are among the most enduring and profound questions we can ask, and it is an essential part of human nature to want to find the answers. We can trace our ancestry back hundreds of thousands of years to the dawn of humankind, but in reality our story extends much further back: it starts with the beginning of the universe. Professor Brian Cox tells the epic story of the universe and shows how its story is also our story.