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March 30, 2012

Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness

This documentary tells the story of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, consul to Lithuania during World War II. Sugihara defied Tokyo authorities and wrote transit visas that allowed hundreds of Jewish families to flee Europe through Russia to Japan and other countries. Includes home movies, photographs, film footage, and interviews with Holocaust survivors who owe their lives to Chiune Sugihara.

Heroes can be found in every culture, in every time and sometimes as an enemy. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 41949-D 82 minutes 2005

Posted by mcmike at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

Thomas Eakins: Scenes from a Modern Life

In addition to the full length documentary this DVD includes: An Annotated Soundtrack Highlights from the Exhibit Thomas Eakins: American realist, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mini Documentaries The Unfinished Portrait ... The Centennial Exhibition of 1876 ... The Bregler Collection and Eakins Postcards" from inside cover.
Accompanying music CD titled Bodies in Motion.

I found this documentary very informative. The life, history and development of this artist were certainly an insight into mid-late 1800s America. After his father paid for a replacement for Thomas to fight in the Civil War Eakins then traveled to France to learn from the artist masters of the time. His passion for painting was realized when he visited Spain. His "realism" is outstanding, his method controversial.

Askwith Media Library 56997-D 2002

Posted by mcmike at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

The battle for Marjah

"On February 13, 2010, American-led coalition forces launched the biggest military operation since the beginning of the Afghanistan War. Their target was the town of Marjah, a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan ... Journalist Ben Anderson tells the story of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, and its commanding officer, Captain Ryan Sparks".
Featuring U.S. Marine Captain Ryan Sparks, commander of Bravo Company of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, and his unit operations in the town of Marjah; interviews with the Bravo Company troops and Afghan civilians.

Journalist/documentarian Ben Anderson is "in" with the troop and taking gun fire. Political realities are driving the U.S. troops and Taliban fighters to defend and attack. It is the civilians who will and always will pay the price. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53616-D 84 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2012

The war you don't see

"The War You Don't See traces the history of 'embedded' and independent reporting from the carnage of World War I to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan. As weapons and propaganda are ever more sophisticated, the very nature of war has developed into an 'electronic battlefield'.
Special feature: film entitled: The goal is justice, the method is transparency : Julian Assange in conversation with John Pilger (68 min.)

Very insightful and equally distrubing. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 57013-D 96 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

The anatomy of hate

" film which provides an emotional and intellectual insight into the common mechanisms present in all acts of violence, war, and hate -- and through this exploration leads to a most unexpected conclusion -- Hope."

Insightful and very well done. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55852-D 86 minutes 2008

Posted by mcmike at 02:32 PM | Comments (1)

The flaw

Inspired by former U.S. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's acknowledgment that he'd found a flaw in his model of how the world worked, 'The flaw' attempts to explain the underlying causes of the financial crisis in more depth than any documentary to date. The film tells the story of the credit bubble that caused the financial crash, and presents an original and compelling account of the toxic combination of forces that nearly destroyed the world economy.
Welcome to Wall Street! -- Parsing the problem -- Greenspan finds the flaw -- The optimism of standard economics -- The efficient market hypothesis -- The anomaly of bubbles -- The explosion of capitalism -- The housing bubble -- The instability of asset markets -- Greenspan's self-stabilizing financial system -- The golden 50s : lowest income inequality -- 70s : income growth only at the top -- The 20s credit bubble as a precursor -- Profit from credit feeds bank bonuses -- Globalization and industrialization hit wages -- Real estate in the Hamptons -- Trickle down asset bubbles -- The dynamics of the housing bubble -- Mortgages in the 20s and the founding of the FHA -- Red-lined districts flooded with credit -- The rise of CDOs -- Liars' loans and no ratio loans -- Predatory lending and the foreclosure crisis -- The refinancing gamble -- Upwards redistribution of American income -- Consolidating debt by refinancing -- Housing bubble bursts -- Not enough time to sell -- Connection lost, people hurt -- Instability of income inequality -- Where are they now?

Out of the many videos and discussions on this topic: This DVD looks at the historical aspects and interviews those involved in all sides of the collapse. It is much more pertinent and in depth than some of the others and offers solutions for moving forward into the future. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 57022-D 82 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)


An introduction and explanation of the basic concepts through to the higher level concepts of the theory of Chaos. ~Mike

Part 1. lecture 1. The chaos revolution -- lecture 2. The clockwork universe -- lecture 3. From clockwork to chaos -- lecture 4. Chaos found and lost again -- lecture 5. The return of chaos -- lecture 6. Chaos as disorder--the butterfly effect -- lecture 7. Picturing chaos as order--strange attractors -- lecture 8. Animating chaos as order--iterated maps -- lecture 9. How systems turn chaotic -- lecture 10. Displaying how systems turn chaotic -- lecture 11. Universal features of the rought to chaos -- lecture 12. Experimental tests of the new theory --|a Part 2. lecture 13. Fractals--the geomtery of chaos -- lecture 14. The properties of fractals -- lecture 15. A new concept of dimension -- lecture 16. Fractals around us -- lecture 17. Fractals inside us -- lecture 17. Fractals inside us -- lecture 18. Fractal art -- lecture 18. Fractal art -- lecture 19. Embracing chaos--from tao to space travel -- lecture 20. Cloaking messages with chaos -- lecture 21. Chaos in health and disease -- lecture 22. Quantum chaos -- lecture 23. Synchronization -- lecture 24. The future of science.

Taught by: Professor Steven Strogatz, Cornell University.

4 videodiscs 720 minutes

Askwith Media Library 54705-D 2008

Posted by mcmike at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

The queen of the sciences

This is an outstanding series. It covers the basics to higher level math concepts. However being a "talking head" presentation intitiative may be required. ~Mike

Pt. 1, lecture 1. What is mathematics? -- lecture 2. Babylonian and Egyptian mathematics -- lecture 3. Greek mathematics, Thales to Euclid -- lecture 4. Greek mathematics, Archimedes to Hypatia -- lecture 5. Astronomy and the origins of trigonometry -- lecture 6. Indian mathematics, trigonometry blossoms -- lecture 7. Chinese mathematics, advances in computation -- lecture 8. Islamic mathematic, the creation of algebra -- lecture 9. Italian algebraists solve the cube -- lecture 10. Napier and the natural logarithm -- lecture 11. Galileo and the mathematics of motion -- lecture 12. Fermat, Descartes, and analytic geometry.
pt. 2, lecture 13. Newton, modeling the universe -- lecture 14. Leibniz and the emergence of calculus -- lecture 15. Euler, calculus proves its promise -- lecture 16. Geometry, from Alhambra to Escher -- lecture 17. Gauss, invention of differential geometry -- lecture 18. Algebra becomes the science of symmetry -- lecture 19. Modern analysis, Fourier to Carleson -- lecture 20. Riemann sets new directions for analysis -- lecture 21. Sylvester and Ramanujan, different worlds -- lecture 22. Fermat's last theorem, the final triumph -- lecture 23. Mathematics, the ultimate physical reality -- lecture 24. Problems and prospects for the 21st century.

4 DVDs 720 minute Lecturer: David M. Bressoud, Macalester College.

Askwith Media Library 49368-D 2008

Posted by mcmike at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2012

Hotel Terminus -The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

An examination of Klaus Barbie, the infamous Nazi 'Butcher of Lyon' and Gestapo chief implicated in 4000 deaths and the deportation of 7000 Jews, during the Nazi occupation of France. Tracing the 40-year hunt for the war criminal, it exposes a complex web of political intrigue, collaboration and deceit. Weaves together historical footage and interviews with former Nazis, American intelligence officers, South American government officials, victims of Nazi atrocities and witnesses.

Klaus Barbie survived for 40 years after the war. He used his contacts within the American occupation force to provide an exit from Europe. As a stringent anti-communist, immediately after World War II and well into the cold war, he received protection from anti-communists everywhere.
He did not concern himself with his past and he set up a new criminal lifestyle, as a thief, a gun runner, and who knows what else well into the 1980s. One cannot leave the film without a sense of disgust. His atrocities destroyed lives and families. While the suffering continued for the victims and the families long after the war, Klaus Barbie was apparently lived unburdened by the reality of his actions. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54265-D 267 minutes 1989
(1989 Academy Award for best documentary)

Posted by mcmike at 12:03 PM | Comments (1)

The exquisite short films of Kihachiro Kawamoto

Minimal, delicate and wonderfully detailed Kihachiro Kawamoto was a master puppeteer ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 47949-D 1968-1979 DVD release in 2008 99 minutes

01 |a Hanaori = The breaking of branches is forbidden (14 min., 1968,) -- Oni = The demon (8 min., 1972,) -- Farce anthropo-cynique = An anthropo-cynical farce (8 min., 1970,) -- Tabi (zenchōban) = The trip (12 min, 1973,) -- Shijin no shōgai = A poet's life (19 min., 1974,) -- Dōjōji = Dojoji Temple (19 min., 1976,) -- Kataku = House of flames (19 min., 1979,)

Breaking of branches is forbidden: A monk orders a young acolyte, who has a fondness for sake, to guard a cherry tree.

Demon: Two brothers, living with their aged mother, go out into the forest to hunt. In the forest, a demon's arm attempts to overpower one of them. They cut off the arm and bring it home, only to find a more horrible fate at home.

Farce anthropo-cynique: A dog race is interrupted by a ringmaster who mistreats the animals. The crowd becomes incensed and the ringmaster runs for his life.

Trip: A young girl sets off on a surreal metaphysical voyage to the learn the pain and joy of life.

Poet's life: A worker fired from a factory for demanding higher wages is plagued by ghastly nightmares. Based on a story by Kobo Abe.

Dojoji Temple: On their way to worship at a Buddhist shrine, two monks stop over at the home of a young woman. Their hostess develops an all-consuming passion for the younger of the two, but he rejects her. When she finds that he has left, she follows him in the form of a serpent.

House of flames: On his way to the capital, a Buddhist monk stops over in a hamlet to ask the villagers the way to an ancient monument known as the Seeker's Mound. Though they cannot help him, he comes upon it by chance and meets the ghost of a young woman who, five centuries before, was loved by two men, a poet and a warrior. When they shot a paradise duck in order to prove their worth, she was overcome by guilt and drowned herself. As a result her suitors concluded a suicide pact and ever since her soul has been in torment, enveloped in a house of flame.

Posted by mcmike at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2012

The Bodyguard

A bodyguard determines to find and protect the missing son of his former employer but is thwarted by a gang of hit men.

Tony Jaa (Panom Yeerum) has a small cameo in this film. He plays a supermarket employee who almost steals the movie. His energy and Thai boxing moves are fantastic.
Our hero "The bodyguard" played by Piphat Apiraktanakorn, an outstanding actor, is trying to continue to protect the family of his slain millionaire employer. The amazing special effects of the hotel shoot out, take us from the banquet room to the parking lot, and is quick, funny and very unbelievable. After the death of the employer the son doesn't believe that the bodyguard is up to the task of protecting him. The film is quite a bit of fun, although they spend a little too much time with a particular butt joke, making it slightly uncomfortable. The action continues all the way through and it is good fun for anyone who is interested in fast action, shoot-em up, Thai boxing comedies. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55896-D 96 minutes 2004

Posted by mcmike at 03:31 PM | Comments (1)

Requiem for Detroit?

'More than a requiem, this documentary touches on issues relevant to all students of American history and society by using Detroit as a window into many sociocultural aspects of American life. Major topics include industrialization, the birth of suburbs and consumerism, black migration and white flight, race relations, unionization, economic decline, and community renewal--all set to a sound track by famous Detroit musicians. Director Julien Temple effectively weds scenes of poverty and urban collapse to cheerful archival footage, infusing the film with an energy that is wry, hip, and gritty. The program ends on a hopeful note as images of decaying architectural gems and feral homes give way to citizen activists converting weedy lots into community gardens. With commentary by Grace Lee Boggs, Martha Reeves, and John Sinclair."- Unedited summary from container.

Its historical understanding is much appreciated. The archival footage, new footage and video projections onto vacant buildings are inspired to say the least. The message of hope is wonderful. The editing is very manipulative. BBC uses sound to reinforce the point while reusing some of the sound effects to add to the nervousness of the viewer. Many large industrial cities have suffered tremendous changes over the last 30 years. Detroit does stand out since it has its own version of celebrity. However post industrial decline and community rebirth if evident in many locations around the world.

Askwith Media Library 56613-D 60 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)