Tag: Documentary

Scifi style drawing of Le Guin

Trailer For Upcoming Documentary Lets You Dive Into the ‘Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin’

The documentary of award winning science fiction novelist, Ursula K. Le Guin, has been released and it looks so good. Any sci-fi book fanatic will be ecstatic.

 

Le Guin, who championed feminist fantasy literature with novels such as The Left Hand of Darkness, and the Earthsea Cyclepassed away in January of this year, prompting tributes from some of the world biggest authors

 

The documentary looks like it will be sweet, intimate, and full of information you wouldn’t learn by simply reading about her. Check out trailer below.

 

 

 

The Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin promises to be a lovely dedication to one of the greatest American authors of our time. The film will premiere in Sheffield, UK at the Sheffield Doc/Fest on June 10.

 

Feature Image Via New Yorker

A photo of Chris Martin and Shakespeare.

‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ Set to Become a Bone-Chilling HBO Series

Cold Case Files has always been a show that sends a chilly feeling up my back and across my skin. Knowing that whoever committed those heinous crimes may still be out there somewhere. Are they next to you on the bus? Is it the guy in front of you in line? Now, you’ll question everything all over again with HBO’s new crime book-turned-docuseries.

 

'I'll Be Gone in the Dark'

Image Via Amazon

 

Michelle McNamara’s posthumously published book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, based on her consuming search for a serial killer and rapist, is coming to TV. McNamara’s husband, actor Patton Oswalt, moved forward with finishing and publishing the book after his wife’s passing. Now, the book which went on to become a New York Times best-seller is going to be a docuseries following the hunt for a man that supposedly said to one of his victims “You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

 

Patton Oswalt and Michelle McNamara

 Image Via Entertainment Weekly

 
Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, Oswalt spoke about looking forward to seeing his wife’s work recognized.

 

HBO taking on this story will advance the passionate pursuit that Michelle shared with dozens of men and women in law enforcement — to solve the mystery of one of California’s most notorious serial killers… Michelle was a very logical person with a lot of compassion… When she saw someone act with such cruelty, the logic part of her brain would kick in and go, ‘Well, that kind of cruelty should be met with justice, and there should be someone to answer for the victims.’ To have all of those threads and have it be open and unresolved for so long really ate away at her sense of order. She took on the pain of the survivors and of [those] that lost family members because of this guy. That’s what drove her.

 

We don’t have a set date or premiere for the series, but HBO should begin development soon. Until then we can only wait, for an eerie true story and maybe some justice.
 

 

Feature Image Via People Magazine and Los Angeles Magazine

Netflix Documentary

Joan Didion Explained: The Woman Behind the 1960s

Precise essayist, poignant novelist, mother, and notable badass, Joan Didion is one of the most celebrated authors of her generation. Her voice is so fresh that she’s become an essential American cultural figure, particularly since the release of Slouching Towards Bethlehem. The book is a personal account of the hippie movement in the San Franciscan neighbourhood of Haight Ashbury. Her cult following has since grown and intensified sinceHers is the voice of a generation, and an incredible Netflix documentary about her life was released back in October of 2017. Check out the trailer below.

 

 

Just from the trailer, you can see the author speaking candidly about her various life experiences. We are given a glimpse into her life following the very difficult tragedy she experienced in losing her husband and daughter within a year and a half of each other. A Year of Magical Thinking won the National Book Award for nonfiction, and it’s a must for anyone in grief. In Didion’s words: “Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” Didion speaks about her daughter’s death in her 2011 book, Blue Nights.

 

Joan Didion: The Center Cannot Hold is an intimate, affectionate portrait of a life made by Didion’s nephew, Griffin Dunne. Of his aunt, he said to Vanity Fair, “I asked her and from the moment she said yes, I said oh boy, I’m in for it now. This person means a lot to a lot of people.” 

 

Joan Didion is best known for her years spent narrating some of the biggest moments in recent American history—1960s San Francisco, the Manson Murders, etc. Didion explores the disintegration of American morals and descent into cultural chaos. 

 

Today, Didion, who is now 83-years-old, continues to write and has just published another nonfiction novel called South and West: From a Notebook, which is based on notes she took while travelling in Alabama and Mississippi in the 1970s.

 

Joan Didion

Image Via Pinterest

 

Feature Image Via Netflix

Rodent

6 Books to Read if You’re Hankering for More ‘Planet Earth’

Fans of the BBC series Planet Earth have the highest highs and the lowest lows. The highs, of course, include the high definition vistas, the close-ups of exotic animals, and David Attenborough’s quirky voiceover. The low is the long wait between seasons. Look, BBC, we get it. It takes a long time to capture a snow leopard kicking slush, but ten years is a long time.

 

Well, between now and Planet Earth’s next season in 2027, you can read several books. I’ve gathered some books that are right up the alley of you Planet Earth cravers.

 

1. The Peregrine by J. A. Baker

Peregrine

Image Via Amazon

 

From fall to spring, J.A. Baker set out to track the daily comings and goings of a pair of peregrine falcons across the flat fen lands of eastern England. He followed the birds obsessively, observing them in the air and on the ground, in pursuit of their prey, making a kill, eating, and at rest, activities he describes with an extraordinary fusion of precision and poetry. And as he continued his mysterious private quest, his sense of human self slowly dissolved, to be replaced with the alien and implacable consciousness of a hawk.

 

It is this extraordinary metamorphosis, magical and terrifying, that these beautifully written pages record.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

2. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

 

Origin

Image via Amazon

 

Charles Darwin’s classic that exploded into public controversy, revolutionized the course of science, and continues to transform our views of the world.

 

Few other books have created such a lasting storm of controversy as The Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory that species derive from other species by a gradual evolutionary process and that the average level of each species is heightened by the “survival of the fittest” stirred up popular debate to fever pitch. Its acceptance revolutionized the course of science.

 

As Sir Julian Huxley, the noted biologist, points out in his illuminating introduction, the importance of Darwin’s contribution to modern scientific knowledge is almost impossible to evaluate: “a truly great book, one which can still be read with profit by professional biologist.”

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

3. The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar: Evolution’s Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life’s Biggest Problems by Matt Simon

 

The Wasp

Image Via Amazon

 

On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators.

 

These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

4. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

 

The Genius of Birds

Image Via Amazon

 

Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores their newly discovered brilliance and how it came about. 

 

As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent. At once personal yet scientific, richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

5. Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams

 

Tailchaser's Song

Image Via Amazon

 

Fifteen years ago, a young author surprised and enchanted readers with his first novel—the story of Fritti Tailchaser, a courageous tom cat in a world of whiskery heroes and villains, of feline gods and strange, furless creatures called M’an.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

6. Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat by Steve Winter and Sharon Guynup

 

Tigers Forever

Image Via Amazon

 

Tigers are in trouble, and National Geographic photographer Steve Winter is on a one-man mission to address the plight of this magnificent cat – while there’s still time.  Together with Panthera, the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to saving big cats, and its Tigers Initiative, Winter reveals a decade worth of stunning images and stories of tigers in their world. In Tigers Forever, readers follow Winter through Myanmar’s leech-infested jungles in search of tigers; into the forbidden realm of poachers in Sumatra; and witness the breathtaking intimacy between a tiger mother and her cub. Winter’s gripping images, along with co-author Sharon Guynup’s eloquent prose, tell the dramatic story of the tiger’s fight for survival, and the lengths to which one man would go to bring that story to the world. Above all else, Tigers Forever reveals the tiger itself: elusive, majestic, ferocious, powerful, mysterious—and in desperate need of our help to survive.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

Feature Image Via BBC

Documentary filmmakers

These 5 Documentaries About Authors Ought To Be At The Top of Your List

I love documentaries, but every documentary I’ve watched lately has to do with nature, or food, or travel, or musicians. Seriously – George Harrison Living in the Material World, Chef’s Table, Mind of a Chef, Planet Earth, Blue Planet, etc. etc. blah blah blah. Where are all the documentaries about authors? 

 

I put together a list of five documentaries about famous authors that are definitely worth seeing, but in spite of the struggle to put this list together, I’m still jonesing for more.

 

1. Margaret Atwood: Once in August

 

Margaret Atwood

Image via Academy of American Poets

 

1984, a year before the release of The Handmaid’s Tale, filmmaker Michael Rubbo drops us into Margaret Atwood’s family vacation spot in the middle of the woods. Between frequent narration about his subject and between-interview discussions on how to best bring her out in front of the camera, Rubbo’s film often feels like a wildlife documentary. Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale or The Blind Assassin should definitely check this one out. It’s a great way to get a glimpse of the author before she really hit it big.

 

2. The Charles Bukowski Tapes

 

Charles Bukowski

Image via Discogs

 

This 1987 documentary is a compilation of over fifty interviews with Bukowski and is an exhausting but exhilarating four hours long. Filmmaker Barbet Schroeder sets up a shot and lets the author talk about anything and everything, and it doesn’t take long for things to get uncomfortable, which shouldn’t surprise you if you know anything about Charles Bukowski, especially since his column Notes of a Dirty Old Man is what brought him to both fame and infamy – just ask the FBI. Schroeder doesn’t try and mask anything, he wants the audience to see it. 

 

3. Breakfast with Hunter 

 

Hunter S. Thompson

Image via The Hollywood Reporter

 

Quintessential Hunter S. Thompson – the 2003 documentary opens with the gonzo journalist pulling up to the curb with a cigarette and a blow-up doll, both of which he then throws into the street. If you’re looking for a film about the author’s childhood or personal life, this one isn’t for you. Instead, he discusses Nixon, film adaptations of his work, and DUI laws while you get a peek at his bizarre day-to-day, including ambushing Rolling Stone co-founder and publisher Jann Wenner with a stolen fire extinguisher. It’s a trip, much like Hunter S. Thompson, and it’s a trip you’ll want to take.

 

4. William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (2010)

 

William S. Burroughs

Image via NPR

 

Luckily, this isn’t just another documentary about the Beatnik movement, which it easily could have been. Instead, it tries to understand the angry man behind Naked Lunch, including the drugs and the guns, though it’s most interested in exploring Burroughs’ capacity to love, and somehow, it actually gets an answer at the end. 

 

5. Salinger

 

JD Salinger

Image via Wikipedia

 

Apparently Salinger was huge when it was first released in 2013, but I’d never heard about it, probably because it didn’t live up to its pre-release hype. It was supposed to reveal sensational new information on the reclusive author’s life, along with a few unpublished novels, but four years later there were a few leaks, but no actual new publications. But hey, if you’ve ever wondered what Danny DeVito thinks of the author, check out this documentary.

 

Featured image via Live For Film.