documentary

Word of Mouth
1:12 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

When I Walk: Talking with filmmaker Jason DaSilva

Credit zeevveez via Flickr Creative Commons

On today’s show we talked to documentary filmmaker Jason DaSilva. In 2005 Jason was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He was only twenty five years old, but had more films and praise under his belt than most twice his age. Two years later, when he was on a beach vacation with his family, his brother caught a moment on tape which changed the course of his life. He fell, and for the first time since his diagnosis, was unable to get up by himself. It was from this painful and significant moment that his most recent film, When I Walk, was born. 

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Word of Mouth
3:41 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

25 Best Netflix Documentaries

Credit davidgolbitz, matteo bittanti, and scott kinmartin via flickr creative commons

Ross Scarano, deputy editor at Complex, compiled a list of the 25 best documentaries on Netflix. He spoke with Virginia Prescott about his top picks.

Scroll down for the full list and to see what Ross has to say about each.

25 Best Netflix Documentaries

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Word of Mouth
12:49 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

A Short History Of Sports Hoaxes

'The Great Imposter' Barry Bremen dressed as a Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader.
Credit via dallasnews.com

As part of its “30 for 30” series, ESPN recently released a short documentary detailing the escapades of perhaps the most prolific sports prankster of all-time, Barry Bremen. Between 1979 and 1986, Bremen was responsible for over twenty hoaxes in professional sports. In the documentary, Bremen along with a few former Kansas City Kings, remember the warm-up layup line at the NBA all-star game.

In recognition of Barry’s impressive history of ‘impostering,’ Bryan Curtis, staff writer for Grantland, compiled a list of memorable practical jokes played in the world of sports.

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Word of Mouth
2:21 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Dear Mr. Watterson: A Portrait Of Calvin And Hobbes Fans

Credit dearmrwatterson.com

Twenty-eight years ago today, artist Bill Watterson’s only syndicated comic strip hit newspapers for the first time, introducing readers to a rowdy  six-year old named Calvin, and his often hungry and always kindhearted companion, a stuffed tiger named Hobbes.  The strip quickly grew to become arguably the most popular comic of its era – but after ten years in print, the reclusive Watterson retired his pens and brushes, and retreated from the public eye. Now, almost thirty years later, adoring fans carry a nostalgic torch for the quiet subversion, unbridled joy, and beautifully rendered drawings of Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.

Dear Mr. Watterson” is a new documentary film by director Joel Allen Schroeder that explores the enduring influence Calvin and Hobbes had on a generation of fans and artists. The movie is now out in select theaters and available on demand.

We also spoke with Tim Hulsizer, creator of the Calvin and Hobbes Fan Website.

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Word of Mouth
3:34 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Kirk Bloodsworth: The First Man To Be Exonerated By DNA Evidence

Kirk Bloodsworth is the first death row inmate to be exonerated by DNA.
Credit Gregory Bayne

When Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted and sentenced to  death for raping and killing a nine year-old girl, the audience in Baltimore County’s circuit court in Maryland broke out into wild applause. It was July of 1984, and at 22 years old, the former Marine was the most notorious man in Maryland. His crimes were so brutal, that even inmates threatened to kill him; one bashed him on the back of the head with a sock full of batteries.

After serving nine years behind bars­­--two on death row--Bloodsworth became the first person in America to be exonerated by DNA evidence and released from prison. He is now director of advocacy for “Witness to Innocence”, which is attempting to convince the 32 remaining states where the death penalty remains legal, to repeal it.

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Word of Mouth
11:35 am
Wed September 18, 2013

A Conversation With Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog
Credit via scalisto.blogspot.com

Werner Herzog is one of the leading figures of world cinema. In addition to making more than 60 films, he’s produced more than 20 operas, published books and screenplays and articles, acted in films and produced art installations.

His films are known for their unnerving originality and difficult locations. He’s shot films deep in the jungles of Thailand and Brazil, through bone chilling temperatures in Antarctica, and under strained conditions from political coups to maneuvering in a cave of prehistoric art with only hand-held cameras and minimal crew.

His latest work is extreme in a different way… a startling public service announcement about the dangers of texting while driving. Herzog joined us from the studios at Dartmouth College, where he’ll be in residence this weekend.

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Word of Mouth
11:41 am
Mon September 9, 2013

PBS Film Explores Competitive Ping Pong For Seniors

Credit tadophoto via Flickr Creative Commons

Banish the bridge game, and shove off the shuffleboard… competitive table tennis for seniors is the subject of the new film “Ping Pong”, which airs tonight on PBS’s POV series.

The film shows the arch rivalries and individual motivations of the traditional sports drama, ramped up by the presence of cancer, dementia, and the physical deterioration at the end of life. The film’s producer is Anson Hartford, and he joins us to talk about it.

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Word of Mouth
9:07 am
Mon August 12, 2013

LIFTing Street Kids

Credit Lift Street Kids Blog, Merhawi Wells-Bogue

Before moving to New Hampshire, Merhawi Wells-Bogue earned his living on the streets of the Ethiopian city of Mekelle. Years later, while studying journalism at UNH, he went back and spoke with other street kids, often hearing stories of neglect and abuse. He’s since graduated, and was awarded a grant from UNH to do research on similarly neglected children. He also launched LIFT Street Kids, an organization designed to help children living on the streets of Mekelle. He is raising money for a documentary film using the crowd-funding site Crowdwise. Merhawi was with us to talk about the many children either orphaned or abandoned and left to fend for themselves on the dusty streets of Mekelle.  

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Word of Mouth
9:41 am
Thu August 8, 2013

The City Dark

(Photo by Dave Dehetre via Flickr)

PBS is hosting an encore broadcast of the documentary The City Dark. The film, part of the POV series, will be airing on August 12. Last year we spoke with director Ian Cheney about light pollution and the development of the film. Here is our conversation with him after the debut of the documentary last summer.

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Word of Mouth
9:00 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Only The Young Premieres On PBS

Credit onlytheyoungfilm.tumblr.com

In Santa Clarita, a town in southern California, there’s not much to do. The documentary feature Only the Young focuses on several teens who live there and follows them as they navigate growing up amongst the foreclosed homes and drained swimming pools that form the landscape of their youth. Only the Young premieres tonight as part of PBS’s POV series. Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims produced and directed the film, and Elizabeth Mims joined us from KUT in Austin. Also with us was Kevin Conway, one of the subjects of the film.

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Word of Mouth
9:32 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories

Credit Franz Nicolay

Brianna Hammon was in the second grade when she was first restrained and secluded, strapped into a bolted down chair, in a segregated classroom for physically disabled students.  Now in her late twenties, Brianna told her story with the help of a speech-generating device at the 2012 TASH Summit in Long Beach, California – one of five testimonies that were recorded for the new film “Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories”.  The film’s director is Dan Habib - former photo editor for the Concord Monitor, now filmmaker-in-residence at the institute on disability at the University of New Hampshire. 

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Word of Mouth
9:38 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Plimpton! Comes To Massachusetts

Credit Plimptonmovie.com

If there was ever a man who knew how to fail fabulously, it was writer, journalist, and editor George Plimpton.  Ten years after his death, and sixty since he helped launch esteemed literary magazine The Paris Review, Plimpton is probably best known for his amateur antics among pro athletes – taking hits from light-heavyweight champ Archie Moore, playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and taking the mound at Yankee Stadium. His accounts of these stories, now acknowledged as the beginning of participatory journalism, effectively transformed Plimpton one of the greatest everyman writers in modern memory. 

For the new documentary Plimpton!, directors Tom Bean and Luke Polling combed through countless hours of footage to create a film posthumously narrated by its own subject.  Already out in select cities, Plimpton! opens Friday, June 21st at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts. 

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Word of Mouth
9:59 am
Mon June 3, 2013

A Beer Genius With Autism Embarks On A Cross-Country Brewery Tour

Credit lancesbrewerytour.com

Meet Lance and Aaron Rice, whose project “Lance’s Brewery Tour” will be taking them across the country to some the best breweries in North America. Since launching “Lance’s Brewery Tour; A Beer Genius with Autism and His Dream.” on Kickstarter on May 13th, they have begun to receive national attention for the project.

Lance Rice is a brewery historian, who for forty years has been becoming an expert on all things beerish. He plans to write a book about North American breweries and their history, based partially on the trip he hopes to take with his nephew, Aaron. The kicker in all this is that Lance has autism.

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Word of Mouth
11:36 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Life. Support. Music.

Credit via lifesupportmusic.org

We dug up this interview from 2008 with Jason Crigler, the composer of the musical score for Make Sure it’s Me.

In August of 2004, Jason Crigler, a highly-regarded guitarist, suffered a brain hemorrhage during a gig in New York City. His pregnant wife rushed him to the hospital and got the bad news: doctors told Jason’s family that he might not live through the night, and if he did, little of the Jason they knew would be left.

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Word of Mouth
10:48 am
Thu May 16, 2013

The Documentary That Helped Convict Rios Montt

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt during his trial.
Credit Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters /Landov

Last year we interviewed Pamela Yates about her documentary Granito: How to Nail A Dictator which details the indictment of General Efrain Rios Montt, believed to be responsible for the murder of 200,000 mostly indigenous Mayan Ixil people during the Guatemalan genocide.

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