True Films

Long Way Down


longwaydown-cover-sm.jpg

Two guys ride motorcycles 10,000 kilometers from the tip of northern Scotland down to the southern tip of Africa. As you might expect, this is a great 3-month road trip, with accidents, adventures and much to learn. Since it’s the same two celebrity actors who rode motorcycles from London to New York “the long way around” (also a recommended True Film) there’s a lot of good natured fun and horsing around. It’s hard not to like the company of the two personable chaps. In short, this is a buddy flick. In seven hours they give you an enjoyable and decent orientation to the continent of Africa.

LongWayDown1.jpg

LongWayDown2.jpg

LongWayDown3.jpg

Long Way Down
Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian and Russ Malkin
2007, 510 min.
$17, DVD (3 discs)

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted December 24, 2009 at 5:00 am | comments


The Ascent of Man


ascentofman-cover-sm.jpg

Filmed in 1973, this 13-part BBC production made great waves when it was broadcast in America. It was one of the first hits on public television, and made PBS cool. Written by the mathematician Jacob Bronowski, it’s billed as a personal history of humanity. Filmed on location around the world, the series is a rousing, philosophical celebration of science, invention and art. I thought that it might not have the same gravitas it had 40 years ago, but the newly restored DVD version keeps its power. Bronowski is deeply optimistic, surprisingly contemporary, and very sympathetic to the current ideas of emergence and self-organized systems. His account could have been written yesterday. The thing that struck me most about his ode to humanity was Bronowski’s precise, pithy, almost poetic style. He’s a fabulous presenter, a remarkable person, and while watching him you think, yes, if he is an example of what humans are, then they have indeed ascended. I learned a whole lot from this poem, and recommend it as one of the best short histories of humans written so far.

– KK

AscentMan1.jpg

AscentMan2.jpg

AscentMan3.jpg

AscentMan4.jpg

The Ascent of Man
Jacob Bronowski, Mick Jackson and Adrian Malone
1972, 676 min
$72, DVD (5-disc set)

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Book also on Amazon

Posted December 17, 2009 at 5:00 am | comments


Between the Folds


between-the-folds-sm.jpg

This may be the first documentary I’ve ever seen that I thought was too short. It’s about obsessive paper hackers who fold extreme origami. They make paper do things you would never believe. Sheets are folded into impossible shapes, in impossible ways. Some origami unfolds in almost lifelike gestures. The folders use computers, math, craft, art, and sheer will power to turn uncut paper into anything, even all things. I could watch them do this for hours. It’s magic. It’s deep. It will change your mind about paper. They know things ordinary mortals do not. This documentary will bewitch you, making you ask for more.

–KK

BetweenFolds1.jpg

BetweenFolds2.jpg

BetweenFolds3.jpg

BetweenFolds4.jpg

Between the Folds
Vanessa Gould
2008, 55 min.
$16, DVD

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted December 10, 2009 at 5:00 am | comments
in category Design