two the documentary

Bill Nye inspired a generation to love science. Now, two filmmakers are making a documentary about the real person behind the Science Guy, and his quest to change the world.

Bill and the creators of The Bill Nye Film (now live on Kickstarter!) will be answering your questions about science, climate change, space, the film, and more on Wednesday, July 29 starting at 3pm EST/12pm PST.

Have a question for Bill or for the filmmakers? Ask it here, and follow the answers on Wednesday here!

Top 10 indigenous films of all time

Indigenous cinema, at least in its contemporary form, is only 40 years old, and the fact that there are films to be left off a list like this is testament to its rapid development and to the artists who have taken up the camera to tell their stories.

Here are 10 amazing films that are a great starting point for a journey into indigenous cinema history.

1. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, 2001 (Canada)

The first Inuktitut language feature is also the most important film in Canadian history, bringing epic film making to a Northern legend. It won Official Selection at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival, and remains the highest grossing indigenous film in Canadian history.

2. Bastion Point Day 507, 1980 / Incident at Restigouche, 1984 (New Zealand / Canada)

These two activist documentaries were often paired on the festival circuit and are among the most important films in contemporary indigenous cinema.  Directors Merata Mita and Alanis Obomsawin seemingly willed indigenous cinema into life with these two endlessly fascinating historical documents.

3. Bedevil, 1993 (Australia)

Tracey Moffat’s dreamscape/ghost story began indigenous cinema’s move away from traditional cinematic narrative structures and remains an under seen masterpiece.

4. The Dead Lands, 2014 (New Zealand)

Toa Fraser’s martial arts epic is bloody and bold, recreating pre-contact New Zealand and featuring remarkable, bone crunching performances. Coming soon to theaters.

5. Four Sheets to the Wind, 2007 (U.S)

Sterlin Harjo’s gripping feature is a descendant of Smoke Signals, portraying contemporary Indigenous life with an unflinching eye and open heart. It won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for Tamara Podemski’s remarkable performance.

6. Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, 1993 (Canada)

Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary epic chronicles the Oka Crisis in Quebec and helped shift the dialogue around Indigenous issues in Canada and globally. It was the first documentary to ever win the Best Canadian Feature award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

7. Once Were Warriors, 1994 (New Zealand)

Lee Tamahori’s ferocious and exhilarating portrait of an urban Maori family was the first indigenous feature to have a truly global presence. Among the highest grossing films in New Zealand history.

8. Rhymes for Young Ghouls, 2013 (Canada)

Jeff Barnaby’s debut feature brings the anger to indigenous cinema, a clarion call for both the cinematic community and the indigenous community. A director to watch for years to come.

9. Samson and Delilah, 2009 (Australia)

Warwick Thornton’s Camera D’or winner is a searing depiction of modern life in Australia and a marvel of naturalism and restrained storytelling.

10. Smoke Signals, 1998 (U.S)

Chris Eyre’s road movie based on Sherman Alexie’s screenplay is a touchstone for indigenous cinema, bringing humour to a story of contemporary Indigenous life. Also features the core of young performers such as Adam Beach, Michelle St. John, Irene Bedard and Gary Farmer who would go on to star in numerous other films in the ensuing years.

More films not listed here — Ten Canoes, Charlie’s Country, Patu!, Barking Water, Trudell, Before Tomorrow, Mohawk Girls.

This article was initially published in Muskrat Magazine, edited by Jesse Wente (via

New Discovery Channel Boss Rich Ross Getting Rid Of ‘Fake Stuff,’ Bringing Back Science and… Discovery

The Discovery Channel’s new boss, Rich Ross, spoke with reporters and TV critics today at Winter TV press Tour 2015, and immediately won the room over by promising to move the venerable cable channel away from its current style of programming, Deadline is reporting.

Rich Ross admitted to TV critics today that The Discovery Channel‘s main focus of late has been on pseudo-scientific schlock like “Megalodon: The New Evidence” and not one, but two fake-mermaid documentaries; and vaguely-scientific-sounding, scripted “reality” programs like “Finding Bigfoot” or “Sons of Guns.”  Read more…

Hopefully this means no more fake Megalodon crap.

It will take years to undo the damage this has caused to many people understanding of science.  There are so many people that believe what they see on the discovery channel, because they’ve purposely tried to make their fictional programs look like fact.  Every time I do a classroom presentation I have to answer questions from kids who are convinced these fake shows are real.  Though I’ll be a little disappointed to see our sales of Megalodon teeth really spike during shark week.

  • me:haha babe come over to watch a movie with me ;)
  • gf/bf:ooh what movie are we going to ignore?
  • me:why the fuck would you ignore a two hour documentary about the D-Day landings are you out of your mind? We gonna fuck when people are dying on the beaches to free France from the wrath of the Nazis??? Eisenhower didn't die for this smh

We are very excited to announce Episode Two of the documentary series on YouTube.

There’s still a long way to go in finishing this project, but with episode two now out in the world, we’re getting closer and closer to those end goals.

PLEASE REBLOG. You asked for this documentary, and it’s happening because of YOUR efforts. But we still need your help to spread the word.


-Tim and Nat :)

ps. Of course, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!


GazettE Gif-a-Day 2016

[103-104/?] Ruki during 13STAIRS [-] 1

Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and the Gendering of Martyrdom

“In the same season we’ve been presented with two different comprehensive documentaries of two of our most iconic and tragic, gone-too-soon figures in recent decades. Brett Morgan’s Montage of Heck depicts the slow unraveling of Kurt Cobain in the preamble to his suicide, Asif Kapadia’s Amy depicts a corollary narrative about Amy Winehouse’s life, and in the process sheds light on how unequal the treatment of male and female artists truly is, even in death.

“In the course of Amy, a newscaster reports on Winehouse’s infamous meltdown in Serbia by commenting that “she had the chance to make a big comeback and she totally BLEW it!” while laughing through a segment that dovetails with George Lopez announcing that Winehouse had won a Grammy by saying, “someone call and wake her up at 6 PM and let her know” before calling her “a drunk” with a derisive scoff. A slurry of ugly tabloid images fly across the screen and we see paparazzi preying upon her existential nadir– meanwhile, Montage of Heck posits a cache of neat magazine covers that offer obsequious, reverential coverage of a man whose drug addiction was portrayed as incidental to his supreme talent. Even though both deaths were motivated by depression underscored by narcotics and celebrity, Montage depicts a context in which the public was willing Cobain to succeed, whereas Winehouse, when confronted with similar drug-addled obstacles, was met with ridicule and slander. If Amy proves anything about the life and times of Winehouse, it’s that newscasters, tabloids, and even respected media outlets reported on her shortcomings with enough thinly-veiled aggression to weaken what little resolve the drugs hadn’t already sapped. Cobain’s struggle with drugs, meanwhile, was all but an open secret while he was alive, whispered about or written around in order to maintain good graces and access to the superstar and his band.

The unequal treatment here is not new.“

“The pattern is always the same: one Billie Holiday obituary dedicated an entire column to discussing her 1947 arrest and narcotics conviction; years later a Keith Moon obituary mentioned only that “his death comes at a time when he seemed to have recovered from the excesses of earlier years”, without so much as mentioning that those “excesses” included a well-documented struggle with alcoholism and the 32 clomethiazole pills that ultimately killed him. Whitney Houston, like Amy Winehouse, was depicted as a substance-addled mess in the run up to her overdose death, much unlike the courtesy that was lavished unto Michael Jackson, whose latter-day prescription drug habit was neatly and often dismissively attributed to the rueful loneliness of fame, if it was even reported at all.

Even when public meltdowns or existential tumult doesn’t result in death, the media’s depiction of female artists still tends toward collusion. When Lauryn Hill took a sabbatical from music because she objected to the way the industry commodified her lifestyle– a choice that dovetailed with a concurrent broadcast of religious faith– she was depicted as a crazy person. When Nas, Mase, Yasiin Bey and even to a lesser extent, Kendrick Lamar all did the same, they were heralded as noble, bravely pius. The reportage was damaging and unequal: when Hill left the country it was portrayed as exile; when Mos Def left the country it was to become Black Dante. …

“[T]here is a schism and a definite, unfair gender binary that favors troubled men over troubled women–and their right to be troubled. Men who grapple with issues that coincide with art and fame are canonized in death; women who do the same are made lesser, somehow, by their own unequivocal loss.

It’s very likely that the unfair portrayal of women stems from a puritanical notion of the “woman as artist”– this often unarticulated pedagogical idea that women, by their very baby-making capacity, are somehow never able to–and shouldn’t– immerse themselves as fully into art as men, because the question of gender gets in the way. Women are forever seen as outsiders, interlopers, their genius owed to the nearest male manager (The Runaways), producer-svengali (Ke$ha), famous boyfriend (Joni Mitchell) or husband (Alice Coltrane). This incredibly subtle “othering” of women, coupled with a culture-wide superficiality that places the onus of physical beauty more squarely on female celebrities than on men, sets female artists up for spectacle– the pernicious underbelly of gossip.

A friend of mine once told me about an art historian who lamented that fact that Yoko Ono would never be as widely-respected as several contemporary male artists because she was a mother. “Women who live art– who put their art first, above their families– are seen as selfish, neglectful parents…Men who do the same are regarded as geniuses consumed by their work.””



Which TWO-BROWNGIRLS have sold more records than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones? Pick up any classic Bollywood song and you’ll know the answer.

Legendary sisters of voiceovers, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle have fascinating life stories and have made an incredible multitude of work. There’s a really good, fairly recent BBC broadcast documentary about them that is definitely worth checking out >>here<<

In the meantime I’ll leave you with one of my favourite Lata Mangeshkar pieces from the 1955 movie, Seema. 

- S


>> The banyan leaf that I kept in the book / Reminds me of your green veins. / In it’s transparency / Today I can see your face…

A. Ayyappan recites a poem in Ethrayum Yathra Bhagam, The Journey So Far (2003), a film by C.V. Sathyan. 

“This documentary is about A. Ayyappan, a well-known poet who works in Malayalam. Alcohol and love are his two life-long obsessions. This documentary on Ayyappan’s life and work is filled with musings on his comrades, travels, college years, and his eccentricities, sharp political insights, humorous chit-chat, and renditions of his rousing poetry.”


The first two minutes of my new documentary, “Famous For Being Famous,” a timeline of the media’s obsession with Paris Hilton that transitioned to the Kardashian era. Please follow and stay tuned.


TWO: The Story Of Roman and Nyro documents the 12-year journey of legendary songwriter Desmond Child and his lifelong partner Curtis Shaw, and the extraordinary way they met and connected with Angela Whittaker, the woman who would carry their twin sons, Roman and Nyro, into the world. From preconception through the boys’ first 10 years, TWO is the personal and powerful story of these unique individuals whose lives become inextricably woven together in magical and unexpected ways. TWO is testament to the universal power and ultimate triumph of love – that it is love that makes a family, affirming modern families may be modern in their making, but timelessly human at their core.

TWO is premiered at the Nashville Film Festival on April 18th and is making its World Premiere at the Miami LGBT Film Festival on April 30th.