Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin is the scientist behind more than 200 psychedelic compounds including MDMA, more commonly known as Esctasy. Considered to be one of the the greatest chemists of the twentieth century, Sasha’s vast array of discoveries have had a profound impact in the field of psychedelic research. ‘Dirty Pictures’ delves into the lifework of Dr. Shulgin and scientists alike, explores the world of these scientists; their findings and motivations, their ideas, and their beliefs as to how research in this particular field can aid in unlocking the complexities of the mind.
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Merely Marvelous is a celebration of the art and life of Broadway’s greatest dancing star, Gwen Verdon. She overcame many obstacles, including rickets, the Hollywood system, a loveless first marriage and a difficult second marriage to choreographer/director Bob Fosse, to become a multi-Tony Award-winning performer. Gwen’s life is told through interviews with family members and theatre associates as well as a mine of rare footage from her Broadway and Hollywood careers. Merely Marvelous is the story of a brave woman who rose to the very top of her profession.
With the rapid emergence of digital devices, an unstoppable, invisible force is changing human lives in ways from the microscopic to the gargantuan: Big Data, a word that was barely used a few years ago but now governs the day for many of us from the moment we awaken to the extinguishing of the final late-evening light bulb. This massive gathering and analyzing of data in real time is allowing us to not only address some of humanity biggest challenges but is also helping create a new kind of planetary nervous system. Yet as Edward Snowden and the release of the Prism documents have shown, the accessibility of all these data comes at a steep price. The Human Face of Big Data captures the promise and peril of this extraordinary knowledge revolution.
Never before have we watched as much porn as today yet the traditional porn industry is dying. The arrival of web sites showing amateur clips has transformed the way porn is made and consumed. Behind this transformation lies one opaque multinational.
On April 2nd 2011, LCD SOUNDSYSTEM played its final show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. LCD Frontman James Murphy, disbanding one of the most celebrated and influential groups of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensured that the band would go out on top with the biggest concert of its career. The instantly sold out, near four-hour extravaganza featured special appearances by Arcade Fire and Reggie Watts and moved the crowd of thousands to tears of joy and grief. SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS both captures this once-in-a-lifetime event with stunning visuals and serves as an intimate portrait of Murphy as he navigates the 48 hours surrounding the show. Woven throughout is an honest and unflinching conversation between Murphy and author Chuck Klosterman as they discuss music, art, aging, and the decision to call it quits while at the top of your game.
Eleven year old Masha Kulabokhova is about to be adopted into fourteen year old Cami Diaz’s family. Masha grew up in a Russian orphanage; Cami was born and raised in Wisconsin and has been the exclusive focus of her parents’ love her whole life. The process of Masha becoming part of the Diaz family is going to change both girls forever. The Dark Matter of Love follows Masha as she leaves Russia to the spend her first year as part of the Diaz family, who have also adopted five year old twin boys Marcel and Vadim. When the reality of bonding with children who have grown up in institutions turns out to be more difficult than they ever imagined, the Diaz’s hire two of the world’s best developmental psychologists to help them build their new family – through science. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, The Dark Matter of Love melds the story of the Diaz family learning to love, with rare archive footage of science experiments exploring parent-child love.
The ‘Casa do Povo’ cultural centre in São Paulo, an icon of the secular Jewish workers’ movement: a crumbling theatre flanked by staircases, entryways and corridors. Construction noise drones away in the background, clinking crockery, a broom sweeping over tiled floors, an expressive façade of countless adjustable panes of glass covered by a patina. It’s October 2016 and a group of young people are preparing a preview of Bickels [Socialism]. The venue is to form a prologue to the completed film, which tours 22 buildings in Israel designed by Samuel Bickels, most of which for kibbutzim. Dining halls, children’s houses, agricultural buildings, bright structures inserted into the Mediterranean landscape with great ingenuity. An architecture with a sell-by date: That many are now empty or have been repurposed at best is linked to the decline of the socialist ideals they embody.