50 Must-See Documentaries, Selected by 10 Influential Documentary Filmmakers

≡ Category: Film |Leave a Comment


How to get a handle on documentary film? Given not just the quantity but the wide variety of works in the field, with all their vast differences in style, duration, approach, and epistemology, getting up to speed with the state of the art (or perhaps you consider it a form of essay, or of journalism) can seem a daunting task indeed.


Christopher Lee Reads Five Horror Classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera & More

≡ Category: Books |3 Comments


Image via Wikimedia Commons
The great horror actors of the genre’s golden age—the time of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and yet more Dracula—succeeded on the strength of their highly unconventional looks. Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Christopher Lee were not faces you would pass on the street without a second look.


The First Film Adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (1903)

≡ Category: Film, Literature |Leave a Comment

Once lost, this eight minute, very damaged, but very delightful silent version of Alice in Wonderland was restored several years ago by the British Film Institute. It is the first film adaptation of the 1865 Lewis Carroll classic.


An Animated Carl Sagan Talks with Studs Terkel About Finding Extraterrestrial Life (1985)

≡ Category: Animation, Astronomy, Radio |Leave a Comment

This week, Blank on Blank wraps up its series “The Experimenters,” with an episode animating a conversation between Carl Sagan and Studs Terkel–two figures we’ve highlighted on our site many times before. But never have we brought them together. So here they are.


The Met Digitally Restores the Colors of an Ancient Egyptian Temple, Using Projection Mapping Technology

≡ Category: Architecture, Art, History |Leave a Comment

Thanks to the tireless efforts of archaeologists, we have a pretty clear idea of what much of the ancient world looked like, at least as far as the clothes people wore and the structures in and around which they spent their days.


11 Shakespeare Tragedies Mapped Out with Network Visualizations

≡ Category: Design, Literature |1 Comment

Every story has its architecture, its joints and crossbeams, ornaments and deep structure. The boundaries and scope of a story, its built environment, can determine the kind of story it is, tragedy, comedy, or otherwise. And every story also, it appears, generates a network—a web of weak and strong connections, hubs, and nodes.


5 Books You Can Read Again …. and Again and Again: Here’s Our Picks, Now Yours

≡ Category: Books |21 Comments


Recently, a Metafilter user asked the question: which books do you reread again and again, and why— whether for “comfort, difficulty, humour, identification, whatever”? It got me thinking about a few of the ways I’ve discovered such books.


Watch City Out of Time, A Short Tribute to Venice, Narrated by William Shatner in 1959

≡ Category: Film |Leave a Comment

Last month, Canada lost one of its important filmmakers, Colin Low. Over a career spanning six decades, Low worked on over 200 productions at the National Film Board of Canada. He won countless awards, including two Short Film Palme d’Or awards at the Cannes Film Festival.


A Massive 800-Track Playlist of 90s Indie & Alternative Music, in Chronological Order

≡ Category: Music |12 Comments

In the time it’s taken me to grow out of my wayward 90s youth and into mostly solid citizen adulthood, cultural memories of that decade have crystalized around a few genres that have seen some renewal of late. I’m more than pleased to find current musicians reviving shoegaze, 90s electronica, and neo-soul.


Glass: The Oscar-Winning “Perfect Short Documentary” on Dutch Glassmaking (1958)

≡ Category: Film |Leave a Comment


You’ll find many a bold claim on Wikipedia, even on the page for Bert Haanstra’s Glass, a 1958 short documentary on glassmaking in the Netherlands, which, as of this writing, mentions that the film “is often acclaimed to be the perfect short documentary.


Keep Looking »