“You can’t sleep here,” a stranger said waking me up.
I was curled up under a couple of chairs in a hotel ballroom.
“I didn’t mean to sir,” I said. I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep because I had stayed up for more than 24 hours by that point.
I was at A-kon in Dallas. We were in high school and not smart enough or too cheap to have gotten a room at the hotel. We tried staying up but eventually just fell asleep in one of the ballrooms that was being used as a movie theater.
Back then we would joke that would spend our whole paychecks on anime. I was kinda a nerd. Now I am just kinda whatever. We had tons of discretionary income and hardly any bills. That was both good and bad.
Another time I feel asleep in the movie theater watching LOTR. I liked the movie too. I think I fall asleep every time I watch those movies at home too. I like them. I just can’t stay awake.
A while back my wife wanted to watch TV. I don’t like to watch TV. It is because I think I am better than everyone else who watches dumb TV shows. Kidding. It is because I get bored easily watching TV. People who watch it are cool. We’re cool man. But when I told her “no” I thought about why it was I didn’t want to watch TV.
Here are a few of the reasons:
- I like reading better. It is more active and engaging consumption of media instead of being passive consumption.
- I have watched thousands of hours of TV in my life. I used to stay up watching TV all night in middle in high school.
- There are books I want to read before I die, but I have yet to have a show or movie I really want to see before I die.
- People don’t like to talk during TV/Movies and that is boring and not very social. Going to the movies is a bad social activity.
- I have had several jobs where I have to be attentive and watch/supervise other humans after a day full of intentful use of my eyes, I just want a break of “having to” watch things.
- I fall asleep or talk during TV/Movies.
- I have been trained to do things during commercial breaks and therefore don’t sit still well (unless I choose to do so, usually when reading).
- In fact I don’t like having to sit still and be quiet thanks to 12+ years of “education”.
That’s all I can think of for now.
But why did I tell you all that you are asking yourself?
Here is the thing. I don’t watch a lot of movies (see above). And so when I sat down to come up with 10 documentaries I recommend, I realized that I couldn’t really even name 10 documentaries I’ve watched, let alone recommend.
After scouring the internet for lists of documentaries to see if I have seen any, I have complied the following list of 10 documentaries, almost documentaries, and mocumentaries I have seen. I am not sure I recommend any of them at all.
However I will give a small review and commentary and then the choice is yours.
DOCUMENTARIES I HAVE SEEN (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER):
INSIDE JOB (2010)
Inside Job exposes the truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. It is a bit boring but it makes a lot of the big name guys look foolish. It makes the American people look foolish for letting the foxes watch the hen house. And the best part is we still have them doing it. Go U.S.A.! “The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs.”
If you think it is going to go back to the way it was, you are wrong. The world has changed. It will never be the same.
And that is a good thing. We can be free.
WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2008)
I only wanted to watch this because it is animated and I used to be into anime (see above). This is described as a “quasi-documentary”. Whatever that means… “Waltz With Bashir follows the filmmaker’s emotional attempt to decipher the horrors that unfolded one night in September of 1982, when Christian militia members massacred more than 3,000 Palestinian refugees in the heart of Beirut as Israeli soldiers surrounded the area.”
The director, Ari Folman “was one of those soldiers, but nearly 20 years after the fact, his memories of that night remain particularly hazy. After hearing an old friend recall a vivid nightmare in which he is pursued by 26 ferocious dogs, Folman and his friend conclude that the dream must somehow relate to that fateful mission during the first Lebanon War. When Folman realizes that his recollections regarding that period in his life seem to have somehow been wiped clean, he travels the world to interview old friends and fellow soldiers from the war. Later, as Folman’s memory begins to emerge in a series of surreal images, he begins to uncover a truth about himself that will haunt him for the rest of his days.”
I don’t remember much about this film other than it was visually interesting, thought provoking and hit some deeper emotional questions about “what is war”. Or I could be wrong about all that, but it sounded good. I don’t even remember when I watched this movie. I think it was when I didn’t have a job for a few months.
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE (2002)
This is the only Michael Moore film I have ever watched. That guy, like him or not, has made a lot of money off making documentaries. Whatever that is worth…
This firm is “a look at America’s love affair with firearms and the pathology of violence in the United States”. It is easy to be critical of things when looking at them from 1000 miles above viewpoint after the fact. When each individual situation happens, the story changes. The US “has the highest gun-murder rate in the world”.
We’re number one!
“The question of why Canada – with 7 million guns for its total of 10 million households – doesn’t suffer from the horrific gun violence of its large neighbor to the south is examined.”
The conclusion you are supposed to walk away with is clearly it is guns that kill people and people should be afraid of them and if we only got rid of guns then people would stop killing people.
I think clearly, wherever you stand on guns, the deeper issue here is why the f—k are so many people killing so many other people to begin with? Something bigger has gone wrong and needs to be addressed.
But then again see all of human history and pretty much since the beginning people have killed one another.
At the time when I watched this film I agreed with its message. Also I had never been in the same room with a gun.
Now I own a firearm and have a different view of the world than I did back then.
Let us just say I have seen things to cause me to think differently about the society we live in.
THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS DRUG (METH)
This is one reason I view the world differently.
Not because I’ve done meth. Because I haven’t. But I have met and worked with people who have. I work a a juvenile detention center. And that is where I saw this documentary.
“On the streets it is referred to as Crystal, Ice, and Crank. Methamphetamines are viciously addictive and provide the hyperactivity effects of Cocaine along with the delusional effects of LSD. As opposed to getting a short `high’ from other drugs, this one will keep users pumped up from 6 to 12 hours and create feelings of paranoia, invulnerability, increased strength, euphoria, and may cause some to react in a violent fashion. As for health concerns, it rots the teeth, suppresses the appetite, induces insomnia, and causes brain damage among other things. Its ease of use makes it even more insidious as it can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked and it is cheap to buy or can be easily manufactured by almost anyone.”
This stuff, meth, will ruin your life and the lives of those around you.
Please never do it.
I think they said the relapse rate is around 99% too. So once you do it, you’re hooked bad.
“There are some graphic photos and a few disturbing video clips but they are necessary elements in complimenting and reinforcing the main message of this program.”
VACCINE NATION (2008)
I watched this when I used to have Netflix. “This Gary Null, Ph.D. documentary challenges the assumption that vaccines are PERFECTLY safe.” I am open to examining just about everything so I wanted to know more about why so many people were up in arms about vaccines.
I am not anti- modern medicine, but I am also not 100% in on holistic hippy-ish healing. I find things that make sense to me and go with it. I prefer organic food now. I prefer hormone free meat. I don’t go to the doctor often and do not take many medicines. I use Nasacort nasal spray for allergies because years of unusable nasal passages got old. And I’ll take an occasional asprin. But that’s about all for “medicine”.
This documentary tries it’s best to link “the use of heavy metals such as mercury” to autism. I am not sure I am buying what they are selling. Especially since everything I read says no one knows what causes autism.
They complain about “the high number of vaccines given at a very young age to children” which I understand if parents are concerned. Perhaps they could be scheduled out over a greater period of time.
Without any vaccines we get the recent measles outbreaks…
JESUS CAMP (2006)
This is “a documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.”
As a Christian, movies like this show some of the “Christians” that the media always is portraying as the normal. Truth is that everyone is different. A joke I’ve heard: Non-Christian: “I don’t go to church, it is full of sinners!” Christian: “No it’s not full, there is plenty of room for more.” Funny or not, this is true in the sense that we accept anyone willing to come. Nobody is making you come and we are not screening out “crazies”. Or hopefully not turning away people…
The deal is as a believer in Jesus Christ, I think we all can and should have a personal relationship with him. Then it is between you and God what happens. Some people come to church because they think they are “suppose to”, some because the “want to”. Some try to sin less. Some act like the are “sinless”.
I think most people are just doing the best they can. Some try is ways that are way different than others.
About “Jesus Camp”, I just wonder how much hairspray Becky uses…
Holy Ghost (2014)
“Can the Holy Spirit direct a movie?”
This is another thought provoking film by “the director of the popular films Finger of God, Furious Love, and Father of Lights, Darren Wilson” (not of Ferguson Missouri).
He “sets out to make a movie that is completely led by the Holy Spirit. No plan, no script, no safety net—just go wherever he feels the Spirit leading him to try and discover the adventure God has for him.”
This one may make some Christians uncomfortable. Also I think of the book I need to finish Forgotten God by Francis Chan.
The Holy Spirit is something the church in 2015 needs to consider more than we have in the past.
“Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16.
Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ezekiel 36:27; Isaiah 63:11; 2 Timothy 1:14; Acts 6:5; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:11; John 16:13; Galatians 5:18; Galatians 5:22; Romans 8:9; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 2:27.
But don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself.
JACKASS: THE MOVIE (2002)
Yes this was listed as a documentary. Yes, I watched “Johnny Knoxville and his band of maniacs perform a variety of stunts and gross-out gags”. Not one of my most edifying life choices, but I thought it was funny at the time. I am not sure I would laugh as much now but it is like the saying about train wrecks and not being able to look away.
I still think slapstick humor is funny. Just saying….
THESE ARE “ALMOST” DOCUMENTARIES:
They are films that explain what happened but are more stylized to have a story line and yeah…
LORDS OF DOGTOWN (2005)
“The film follows the surf and skateboarding trends that originated in Venice, California during the 1970’s.”
If this doesn’t make you want to go bust your hip falling off a skate board then you need to check your pulse.
Then check your hip. Seriously I think I might have hit the ground too many time and I was like “I’m too old for this s-.”
Skateboarding. I’ve only ever been good at it in video games…
APOLLO 13 (1995)
“”Houston, we have a problem.” Those words were immortalized during the tense days of the Apollo 13 lunar mission crisis in 1970, events recreated in this epic historical drama from Ron Howard.”
“Astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) leads command module pilot Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) and lunar module driver Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) on what is slated as NASA’s third lunar landing mission. All goes smoothly until the craft is halfway through its mission, when an exploding oxygen tank threatens thecrew’s oxygen and power supplies. As the courageous astronauts face the dilemma of either suffocating or freezing to death, Mattingly and Mission Control leader Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) struggle to find a way to bring the crew back home, all the while knowing that the spacemen face probable death once the battered ship reenters the Earth’s atmosphere. “
I think I watched this movie is every science class I took since the 6th grade… or something close to that.
It’s all right I guess. I am not a huge Tom Hanks fan. Nor do I like space.
Well that is only half true. I like space when it is cool like Star Wars or Star Trek. But that’s it.
I don’t ever want to go there.
I watched something that might have been a documentary on TV once about how some people thought the moon landing was faked. I believed it because it was convincing.
But I watched that when I was about 15 or so. So now I don’t think it was fake. But I am not sure it was real either…
THESE ARE THE MOCUMENTARIES =
A MIGHTY WIND (2003)
I found this to be funny the first time I watched it. Going back and seeing some of it, it was kinda slow. “The reunion of 1960s folk trio the Folksmen as they prepare for a show at The Town Hall to memorialize a recently deceased concert promoter.”
There were some funny bits in it. But overall I would say meh. Watch it if you want or don’t.
I’M STILL HERE (I) (2010)
This was “documenting Joaquin Phoenix’s transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper”.
I turned it off about 10 minutes into it.
NOT MOVIES (BUT DOCUMENTARIES):
LEAGUE OF DENIAL: THE NFL’S CONCUSSION CRISIS
The NFL has got a big issue on its hands. I only recently became a fan.
I think at the end of the day sports stars make big money for a reason. Because you basically destroy your body for the game.
Don’t like it? Don’t play.
And that is all I can come up with. Again not so many because of the reason I gave above about not watching to much movies.
And I think I might go take a nap now, better turn on a movie to help me fall asleep…
P.S. Want to know who influenced me the most?
I will give you a hint, one was James Altucher.
When reading Conspire To Inspire, you will find out why I chose to feature him along with eight other prominent people.
The story will tell how I discovered them, and why you should care.
Don’t believe me? Find out for yourself by joining me to Conspire to Inspire.
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