What is Marwencol? After a brutal beating stole his memory, artist Mark Hogencamp created a fictional town he named ‘Marwencol’ as a storytelling haven to help him recover from the traumatic attack. The doc follows Mark as his Marwencol photos gain national attention and bring his intensely personal, private work into the real world’s spotlight.
It’s a beautiful, poignant film, and one that serves as a powerful reminder of why we love documentaries in the first place – their ability to give us so intimate and honest a look at other people, other lives, and other perspectives we may never encounter otherwise.
And the trailer:
Doesn’t look like it’s on Netflix streaming (but yes DVD) and you can rent it on iTunes. (I borrowed a copy from my local library, thanks for asking.)
As part of a potentially explosive lawsuit making its way through federal court, the giant online-services provider Google has acknowledged scanning the contents of millions of email messages sent and received by student users of the company’s Apps for Education tool suite for schools.
Frightening rebuttal to the oft-repeated claim that “it’s just meta data; there’s not much one can learn from that”:
The NSA has defended its controversial surveillance program by arguing that it just collects metadata, and therefore doesn’t violate the privacy of individual Americans. But computer scientists at Stanford Security Lab have conducted their own simulation of the NSA’s program, and found the metadata to be inherently revealing. Bob speaks with Jonathan Mayer, one of the researchers on the project, about how much can be learned just from the numbers.
Director Kevin Macdonald and overtaxed editor Joe Walker culled their one-world symphony from a total of 4,500 hours of home video, raw material from 80,000 amateur cinematographers who shot between midnight and midnight on July 24, 2010. With 192 countries represented, the film sets about making the personal universal, one montage at a time.
The new HBO documentary Hot Coffee explores the myths behind the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit. The version of the story most of us know is, as Brooke Gladstone posits: “simply not true.” In fact, it was part of a PR push to discourage individuals from suing big business.
McDonald’s aside, lawyer-turned-director Susan Saladoff has a bigger axe to grind, as she tells us toward the end of the interview:
I practiced law for twenty-five years and I saw for all of those years how difficult it was for people to get justice because the system is totally rigged against the average person. And most people didn’t get it until they needed it, until they were effected personally. Then when they needed the system and they realized, “oh my, the system isn’t there for me,” I just got angry and I wanted the truth to come out.
It’s time for another installation of That Ain’t Smart, That’s Creepy: Augmented Reality Edition. From Augmented Reality Cinema comes an iApp that takes the scenery around you and fills in the scene from a movie filmed at that location.