So, this week in unemployment, I fed my addiction to Netflix. Now, I have been a loyal Netflixer for six years or so. Now with the Instant Watch on my computer, I have access to the greatest treasure trove of documentaries from every viable source imaginable.
Why do I like watching documentaries? I don't know. I like learning things. Learning things like "in most states it is legal for the family to take care of the body of a loved one before the burial and after the death" and "Philadelphia is guilty of stealing billions of dollars worth of art from a Trust". I have watched hours of footage from Auschwitz, the number one death camp in Nazi Germany. I have cried numerous times. I have laughed out loud. Here are some recent titles. Some you should check out. Some were okay. Some were amazing. Just saying.
1. Ken Burns' Civil War: Now, Ken Burns has brought us many awesome things. This documentary is a masterpiece and everyone should watch it. It's long but the narration and the different perspectives made me feel like a Civil War scholar.
2. Helvetica. This documentary has one thing going for it. The title is cool. Although there were some interesting parts, it's just not that great trying to pretend that typefonts are a big controversial thing.
3. The Rape of Europa. I really liked this documentary about Nazi Germany, specifically Hitler and his top Officers, stealing art from all over Europe and Russia during WWII. I also learned about the people who were in charge of planning bombings and other military attacks on various important cities so as to avoid destroying anything of historical value. Did you know that the Louvre was evacuated before the Nazi invasion and all of it's art was smuggled to various farmhouses in the French countryside? Me, either.
4. Forgiveness: A time to love, A time to hate. This was okay and did bring up some very important ideas about the issue of forgiveness in our society. Not my favorite, though.
5. The Sweetest Sound. The director of this film found all of the other people in the world with his name and gathered them all together for a meeting. It was pretty amusing and very dead on in the fact that "the sweetest sound" is the sound of someone saying your name. Also, the jealousy and fear that someone who has your exact name could somehow diminish your accomplishments.
6. Burning Man:Beyond Black Rock. Comfirmation that I would not have a good time at Burning Man, which is less about drugs and more about art and expression. The architects of burning man create some beautiful things.
7. Between the Folds. Through this document I learned that Origami is the most pretentious of all art forms. And it's all about math and science, which is probably why I don't understand it.
8. Frontline: The Madoff Affair. This was really good. I don't really follow politics and Wall Street but this story is crazy entertaining and sad to watch.
9. Rembrandt's J'accuse. If you are wondering what the guy from the British Office (Martin Freeman? I think) has been up to, it's playing rembrandt in this documentary/theatrical production. This documentary had some scandal in the form of swearing and probably nudity (I wasn't really watching, just listening). However, it was interesting to dissect a painting that is so famous into what it all meant for the painter. The Nightwatch was Rembrandt's revenge against a corrupt governing body and it ruined his reputation forever.
10. The Art of the Steal. This film followed the story of the Barnes Foundation, probably the single greatest Private art collections ever made...ever. Put together by a man who was laughed at for his forward-thinking love of Matisse and Picasso, this collection is now being stolen by "do-gooders" in Philly who simply want to make money off of a collection worth $40 billion, give or take. This film was a must see for anyone who believes in government conspiracies, the protection of Art, and the responsibility to protect someone's property after they die.
11. A Family Undertaking. This was a short piece about people who participate in "home funerals". Let's just say, I don't want one.