Friday, December 16, 2011

Documentaries! Documentaries! Keep your brain alive over Christmas break!

UPDATE: Links to each documentary have been added! Just click on the title! 

I know just about everyone's brains are TIRED at this point, but hear me out. I've discovered something AMAZING this last year, and you deserve to hear about it. Free streaming of HUNDREDS of documentaries. You can't download 'em, and most of the videos are links from the actual companies' youtube channels. You can search. You can browse. You can make your brain jump for joy.

If you're not sold yet, here are a few things I've watched recently:

The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
Before there was Michael Corleone, there was Cosmo de Medici. He and his family may have operated an enormous mafia racket back in the 1500s in Italy (or, ahem, "banking business"), but they were also patrons of Boticelli (who changed painting to be fantasy-based), Brunelleschi (who invented linear perspective), and a young man with a chisel in his hand named Michelangelo Buonarroti. Oh, and they "produced" four Popes, too.

Titanic's Achilles' Heel
Did you know that in the Senate Investigation of the White Star Line, the record states that the Titanic went down intact? The majority of eye-witnesses swore she sank in one piece. We're learning that James Cameron's famous description of how the Titanic sank might be completely incorrect.

Modern Masters
I've just started this series, but I watched the hour-long special on Andy Warhol, and I was fascinated. Just about every single thing that happened in graphic design and pop art (and experimental film and the look of rock music) can be traced back to this blond child of Slovakian immigrants. Did you know someone tried to murder him once? Crazy. I'm excited to watch the rest of the series.

Clever Monkeys
First of all, it's narrated by David Attenborough, so you really can't go wrong. Second of all, monkeys are crazy smart. People say language is one of the things that separate us from apes, but some apes seem to actually speak other monkey species' languages! And they use tools. And it's cute.

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France
I read a fictional autobiography of Marie Antoinette this past summer, and have been fascinated by this woman ever since. The poor woman was the ultimate victim of the press, I think, and a figure deserving of more pity than we give her. (Incidentally, most people know Marie Antoinette only for saying "Let them eat cake" and for being beheaded. Only one of those things actually happened.)

The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs
Um, do I even NEED to sell you on this one? Scientists using fossils and math to figure out just how deadly a T-rex or Triceratops actually was? Oh, still not convinced? That steel T-rex skull on the cover is recreated from actual fossils. It's life-size. They feed it cow bones. (Why are you even still reading? Go watch it!) Oh, and Bill Oddie is delightful.


brandilyn said...

i meant to post this comment on your moving post, but i'm posting it here: when you move, can we have a breakfast date a cocoa bean pleeease?

also: i can't wait to watch documentaries loudly so my baby gets smart while i do, too.

Jules Isaacs said...

I watched one on Mr. Warhol that just left me really depressed. The man was kind of dead inside. And a jerky fame-whore friend-user.

Janessa said...

Yes! I am so glad that I am not the only one that is obsessed with documenteries. I LOVE THEM! :)

James Best said...

This is a good list. Have you ever seen American Movie? It might be in my top five favorites if not my favorite all time hands down.

If I watch some of these, I will let you know. I'm kind of into watching Community over and over and over.

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