Perspectives on Pop Culture and the Arts

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Three Great Documentaries

I've been on a documentary and juice diet lately* and have a few recommendations.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill - I remember when this hit the theaters in the US, we were still living in Norwich and were too lazy to make the trip to see it. I also remember that pretty much no one who saw it disliked this movie. Well, I can now say that I'm not the bad guy for being the first to hate it. The doc follows Mark Bittner, a guy who befriends a flock of wild parrots residing on/around Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. The story of how he came to meet the parrots and get to know them (and they him) is fascinating, as is his philosophy on life and how we interact and relate with animals. Check it out - it's brilliant. Bittner also has a web site and a book that you should probably buy. You can order signed copies of the book from the Oasis Sanctuary web site.

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History - This doc is wierd, insightful, and humorous. Not a conventional heartwarming story by any means, Cane Toads explains a bug problem in Australia and how the introduction of a non-native species (the Cane Toad from Hawaii) was designed to eliminate the bug infestation... but didn't. Now there are these ginormous toads all over the place.

I am trying to break your heart - If you love the rock band, Wilco, then you need to see this doc about the process of releasing their remarkable album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." It examines the band's process of songwriting/deconstruction, as well as recording and mixing an album. Most notably, I am trying to break your heart shows how the band, riding the wave of three previously successful albums, got dumped by their label after they had the new album recorded and in hand. The amazing thing? Wilco got to keep the album.

Great photography, great music. Check it out. Your elitist sensibilities will thank you.

The great thing about all of these documentaries is, if you happen to live within the Provo/Orem Paradox (POP), you can check them out at the Orem Public Library.

*I'm not really on any kind of juice diet.

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