Mortified Nation

Country: United States

Duration: 105 min

Director: Mike Mayer

 4/5 
It is done with deep self-knowledge, and empathy for the peculiar obsessions of their youth.

Have you ever read your diary from adolescence, and squirmed with embarrassment at your younger self?

Probably the last thing you would consider doing would be to offer up such cringe-worthy content for public consumption.

Some brave souls, however, have done just that.

Mortified Nation documents a live performance evening, which first began in Los Angeles, California, where people read amusing excerpts from the diaries they kept when they were teenagers.  It’s an incredible source of comedy, and tender without becoming mawkish.

David Nadelberg created the evening after he read, to a group of friends, an excruciatingly awkward love letter he’d penned whilst in high school.

His friends found it hilarious.

Nadelberg began to contemplate this youngster that everyone found so funny.

“Who was this boy everyone was laughing at?”

That is an interesting question to pose, because though Nadelberg and that boy are one and the same, there is a significant enough difference between the two of them, for Nadelberg’s teenage self to feel like a different person.

mortified netflix

As it is with all the other performers profiled in the documentary, all of who explore, with remarkable candour and honesty, the confusion of their youth; the frustrations and longing they felt when they were teenagers, trying to figure out exactly who and what they were.

What Mortified Nation captures perfectly, is that, the performers, in reviving that long-dead version of themselves, feel no shame or scorn.

It is done with deep self-knowledge, and empathy for the peculiar obsessions of their youth.

A cheerful eulogy, for a person left behind on the long difficult journey into adulthood, but who lives on in fond memory.

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Moving Art Series

moving art netflix

Oceans:

Duration: 25 min

Director: Louie Schwartberg

Flowers:

Duration: 25 min

Director: Louie Schwartberg

Deserts:

Duration: 25 min

Director: Louis Schwartzberg

 4/5 
Schwartzberg makes splendid use of optics. Throughout the film, one is keenly aware of the interplay between light and dark.

There is no particular narrative to the Moving Art (2014) series, other than the grand narrative that sustains all life in the known Universe.

Moving Art serenely observes these phenomena in six exquisite short films entitled: Oceans, Deserts, Forests, Flowers, Waterfalls and Underwater.

The concept is simple, but deeply moving. Each film contains spectacular footage of the natural world set to instrumental music, shot in various locations, all over America.

It truly is a Zen experience, and I highly recommend watching this if you are in an anxious or stressful mood. The pure, sumptuous beauty of Moving Art will soothe those troubled feelings.

Oceans: Director Louie Schwartzberg captures the fury and turbulence of the sea and its waves, contrasting it with the deep calm of interior lakes and ponds. One cannot help but be reminded of the tumult of human emotions, which so closely resemble the fluidity of water.

Forests: There is truly an abundance of colour and texture in this film, comprising a collection of woodland scenes. There is something mystical about Forests, particularly the shots of dense thickets under bright, starry skies.

Flowers: Schwartzberg uses time-lapse (he is an expert in the field) to show the full life cycle of the flora featured in the film. Flowers is evocative and full of colour and life; indeed, the images in this film provoke deep contemplation about time and creation.

Deserts: Schwartzberg makes splendid use of optics. Throughout the film, one is keenly aware of the interplay between light and dark. The stark subject matter makes Deserts more minimalistic than the other two films, and perhaps a little more subtle too.

Waterfalls are incredibly beautiful yet terrifying forces of nature. Waterfalls, the short Moving Art film, captures the force and power they generate.

Underwater travels to the depths of the sea to record the plethora of plant, fish and mammalian life that exists there. Some of the most magnificent scenes are those that show the size and grace of humpback whales, the ocean’s giants.

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Also see: Samsara

Films About Philosophy

Philosophy Films Netflix

 

Cave of Forgotten Dreams examines the elaborate Paleolithic cave paintings recently discovered in the Ardèche Valley. It is an inspiring exploration of the origins of creativity and human curiosity.

Into the Abyss, however, explores the converse of those impulses: murder and destruction. It features two death row inmates who have received the ultimate sentence for a gruesome crime. In a very detached way, Herzog muses on the nature of death and vengeance.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2010)  Director: Mitch Schultz

DMT: The Spirit Molecule is a fascinating meditation on the  mystery of human consciousness. It specifically focuses on the research of Dr Rick Strassman an American psychiatrist who undertook groundbreaking research into the effects of the psychedelic drug DMT on the human brain. The result of his experiments were incredible and raised profound questions about our perception of time, space and indeed the entire Universe.

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