Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

13 JULY, 2012

How a Bicycle Is Made

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All you ever wondered about how handlebars are bent, why mudguards exist, and where lubricant comes from.

The bicycle is indisputably one of humanity’s greatest inventions — a feat of design and engineering, a royal mode of transportation, a global canvas for art, a metaphor for computers, a vehicle for both subjugating and emancipating women. But how, exactly, does a bicycle come to life? This wonderful 1945 short film from the British Council traces the process of how a Raleigh bicycle is made, from raw material to the intricacies of craftsmanship.

Careful designing, reliable materials, and expert craftsmanship in every stage of manufacture turn out a British bicycle second to none.

Doobybrain

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10 JULY, 2012

North: How a Small Arctic Town Became a Global Epicenter of Climate Science

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A cinematic history of climate change by way of the North Pole.

From British filmmaker, designer, and storyteller Temujin Doran — who has previously delighted us with this cinematic homage to language, some advice to sink in slowly, a meditation on the art of protest, and a thoughtful take on the distortions of democracy — comes North, an exquisite short documentary about how Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Circle, became an epicenter of climate change science after the Svalbard Act was signed in 1920, an international treaty recognizing Norwegian sovereignty over the islands and declaring the whole region a demilitarized zone.

Doran shot most of the footage during a residency in the Arctic Circle in 2010.

In 1969, as the Swiss were marveling at the hazel trees that had been flowering since January, two men stared back at the world from the surface of the moon and took a photograph of the blue-rimmed planet they lived on — a small fragile planet, all they had, wrapped in life, yet enveloped by war — perhaps the most beautiful image ever made.

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05 JULY, 2012

Epilogue: Book-Lovers on the Future of Print

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“The central role of the bookseller is curatorial and….the intervening years have increased that role in terms of importance.”

EPILOGUE is a lyrical student documentary about the future of books by Hannah Ryu Chung, featuring a number of interviews with independent bookstore owners, magazine art directors, printers, bookbinders, letterpress artists, and other champions of bibliophilia. The conversation, though beautifully cinematic, bespeaks the classic deficiency of the same old print vs. digital debate — earnest enthusiasm and genuine passion for the printed page, but underpinned by stubborn reductionism of digital possibility and a certain self-importance. There is practically no exploration of how the love of printed books can, and does, live and thrive online — this isn’t a world in which our only choice is how to read, pitting analog vs. digital; it’s a world in which the more urgent and important choice is the one we’ve always faced: what to read and, above all, why to read. Increasingly, these decisions are being made online, whether their end objects manifest in bits or atoms.

Print, since 1886 — which would be Otto Mergenthaler invents the linotype — between here and now, the history of print has been all about change.

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I feel like the central role of the bookseller has not changed: The central role of the bookseller is curatorial and I feel, if anything, the intervening years have increased that role in terms of importance.” ~ Brian Morgan, Walrus Magazine

The film’s Flickr stream is a treasure trove of book candy:

Monkey's Paw Bookshop, Toronto, ON

Eliot's Bookshop, Toronto, ON

KOZO Letterpress Studio Gallery, Akemi Nishidera

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