#SoReal - December 24th

Something Old

As the year draws to a close and festive season intoxicates busy young minds, it is rather important that we don't forget to spend time with more mature members of kith and kin. To serve as inspiration we offer two golden wonders. After a glass of sherry you'll either be dressing up or playing whiff-whaff with your grandparents tonight.

Advanced Style

Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to ageing. 

Dir. Lina Plioplyte (2014)

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US: iTunes / Googleplay / Vudu / Youtube UK: Curzon Home / iTunes / Blinkbox

Ping Pong

8 players with 703 years between them compete in the World over 80s Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia.

Dir. Hugh Hartford (2012)

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US: iTunes / VUDU UK: Vimeo On Demand / Direct / iTunes

#SoReal - December 17th

Something Rocks

The electric guitar has been around for little over eighty years. In that short period of history it has inspired some of the worst haircuts in the history of mankind and the best stories of people who were simply born to run. Here's a duet of great docs with acceptable hairdos.   

The Punk Syndrome

A music documentary like no other, film makers Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi tell the story of Pertti Kurikka's Name Day: four very lovable punk musicians with learning difficulties who fight, fall in love, and become national heroes. 

Dir. by Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi (2012)

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US: iTunes / Vudu / Amazon UK: Curzon Home

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

The story of a Canadian heavy-metal band 'Anvil' who delivered a highly influential 1982 album that would inspire the likes of Anthrax and Metallica, and then dropped off the map to begin what would become decades of toiling in obscurity.

Dir. Sacha Gervasi (2009)

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US: iTunes / Amazon UK: Blinkbox / iTunes

#SoReal - December 12th

Something Sensorial

During the festive season the sensorial assault of commercially charged environments is rather difficult to avoid. We are smothered with glitter and jingles. Reading about The Blind Film Critic and seeing the below filmic wonders are welcome reminders of just how touching sight and sound can actually be.

Planet of Snail

A deaf-blind poet and his devoted wife share a rich life together and communicate with a touch-based form of Braille.

Dir. Seung-jun Yi (2011)

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US: iTunes / Fandor UK: Netflix / iTunes

Black Sun

Tragically blinded in a random New York City mugging, artist Hugues de Montalembert defied expectations and continued to work & travel the world...alone. The film is a poetic meditation on an extraordinary life without vision.

Dir. Gary Tarn (2005)

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US: Vimeo On Demand / Snagfilms / Hulu UK: Vimeo On Demand

#SoReal - December 2nd

Something Chinese

Protests against changing election rules in Hong Kong have tested China's resolve in recent weeks. Only to end in police violence and 'resistance is futile' statements from the government. This week we bring you two moving stories of growing pains in the town and country of China.

Last Train Home

Annually, an estimated 130 million factories workers in China migrate from their city of employment back to the village they grew up in. This documentary spotlights married couple Chen and Zhang as they make their own journey.

Dir. Lixin Fan (2010)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / VUDU / Fandor / SundanceNow UK: iTunes

Up the Yangtze

Yung Chang returns to the gorgeous, now-disappearing landscape of his grandfather’s youth to trace the surreal life of a “farewell cruise” that traverses the gargantuan Yangtze waterway.

Dir. Yung Chang (2008)

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US: SundanceNow / iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Fandor UK: Vimeo On Demand

#SoReal - November 23rd

Something Changed

As documentary nuts we often come across curious and wonderful anecdotes about them. Whilst reading about the glorious British docmaker Peter Watkins we learnt that he inspired John and Yoko's famous peace bed-in. 

Documentaries aren't half bad when it comes to changing the world. All you need is love, hard work and a bloody good film. Here are two.

The House I Live In

From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

Dir. Eugene Jarecki (2012)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / VUDU / Youtube / Netflix / GooglePlay UK: iTunes / Blinkbox / Netflix

Granito: How to Nail a Dictator

Discover how a 26-year-old documentary became vital forensic evidence in the trial of a dictator for human-rights abuses.

Pamela Yates (2011)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / VUDU UK: iTunes

#SoReal - November 13th

Something Missing

This has been a week of remembrance of things lost: Ceremonies around the world marked the centenary of World War I, and this shocking story of 43 missing students in Mexico has triggered a wave of public anger. Here are two moving films that give a voice to the missing. 

The Missing Picture

Rithy Panh uses clay figures, archival footage, and his narration to recreate the atrocities Cambodia's Khmer Rouge committed between 1975 and 1979.

Dir. Rithy Panh (2013)

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US: iTunes / Vudu / Amazon / Youtube / Google UK: Curzon / iTunes / Amazon

Who is Dayani Cristal?

An anonymous body in the Arizona desert sparks the beginning of a real-life human drama. The search for identity leads us back across a continent to seek out the people left behind and the meaning of a mysterious tattoo.

Dir. Marc Silver (2013)

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US: Fandor / iTunes / Amazon UK: Google / iTunes

#SoReal - November 7th

Something Written

Travel is the movement between myth and memory. On our commute to work this morning we stared hazily at The Lady With The Little Dog and drifted into a jealous reverie of this wonderful Muscovite virtual library. Here are two lyrical stories of writers and writing.

The Arbor

A meticulously crafted true story of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar (The Arbor, Rita, Sue and Bob Too) and her daughter Lorraine.

Dir. Clio Barnard (2010)

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US: Amazon UK: Blinkbox / BFI Player / iTunes / Curzon Home

Patience (After Sebald)

A richly textured essay film on landscape, art, history, life and loss, Patience (After Sebald) uniquely explores the work of acclaimed writer W.G. Max Sebald.

Grant Gee (2012)

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US: iTunes UK: Amazon / iTunes

#SoReal - 29th October

Something Timely

This week the clocks fall back, nights come sooner and chlorophyll gives way to carotene shades on leaves all around. It's the time of year to sit back in your autumnal armchair and watch a damn good movie. Here are timely stories of dark days and noontime glories.

Dark Days

DARK DAYS explores the surprisingly domestic subterranean world of a homeless community living in a train tunnel beneath NYC. 

Dir. Marc Singer (2000)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / XBox UK: DogWoof / BlinkBox / iTunes

12 O'Clock Boys

12 O’CLOCK BOYS provides a compelling and intimate personal story of a young boy and his dangerous, thrilling dream.

Dir. Lofty Nathan (2013)

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US: iTunes / Vudu / Amazon / Youtube / Googleplay / VHX / Vimeo UK: iTunes / Direct

#SoReal - October 24th

Something Fashioned

Oscar Wilde once bluntly remarked 'Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.' Many would disagree, and as this exhibition at London's Design Museum displays, fashion can offer a beautiful language of power and subversive negotiation. These two behind the scenes films hold up an honest mirror to power and ugliness of the fashion world.

The September Issue

Have you ever wanted to sit on the front row of a catwalk fashion show? The September Issue puts you in the shoes of the world’s most influential woman in fashion, Anna Wintour, icon and editor of U.S. Vogue magazine.

Dir. R.J. Cutler (2009)

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US: iTunes / Vudu / Amazon / Xbox / TargetTicket UK: iTunes

Girl Model

This revealing film follows the modelling industry's 'supply chain' between Siberia, Japan, and the U.S., told through the experiences of the scouts, agencies, and a 13-year-old model.

Dirs. Ashley Sabin, David Redmon (2011)

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US: iTunes / Netflix UK: iTunes / DogwoofTV

#SoReal - October 19th

Something Animated

There was a time when comic books were thought to cause corruption of youth. In its maturity this art form has managed to blur boundaries of graphics and graphic narratives. This weeks films are serious sketches of the comic and the tragic.  

Waltz With Bashir

An animated journey into the director's memory as he attempts to recollect horrors of the 1982 Lebanon war.

Dir. Ari Folman (2008)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Xbox UK: Blinkbox / iTunes


A sometimes hilariously funny but often disturbing journey into the mysterious and creepy world of underground artist Robert Crumb. 

Dir. Terry Zwigoff (1994)

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US: Vudu / Amazon UK: Distrify

#SoReal - October 11th

Something Skatepark

After eighteen months of campaigning an iconic London skatepark has been saved from redevelopmentThe plans were met with 27,286 planning objections, making it the most unpopular application in history. These two docs show just how far skateboarding has come in the last 40 years. Good times.

This Ain't California

An energetic portrait of the world of roller boarding in the German Democratic Republic. This Ain't California is a real joy ride, and not only for skateboarders or anyone else who experienced life on either side of the Berlin Wall.

Dir. Marten Persiel (2012)

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US: HuluPlus / Netflix / iTunes UK: iTunes / Netflix / Blinkbox / Googleplay

Dogtown and Z-Boys

A sun-tinged journey with a seminal skateboarding group. Dogtown and Z-Boys explores the pioneering of the Zephyr skateboard team in the 1970s and the evolving sport of skateboarding.

Dir. Stacy Peralta (2001)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Vudu UK: Amazon / iTunes

#SoReal - October 1st

Something Nostalgic

The admiration of recent ruins stretches as far back as Piranesi's romantic etchings. After reading about these Mexican artists on their back-to-the-future foray and listening to this podcast we're convinced that our sense of nostalgia has formed an even shorter historic memory. Industrial glories fall into ruin faster than ever before and these two films offer playful reflections of hope for changing urban characters.


Sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution.

As Detroit's houses are demolished by the thousands, automobile-company wages plummet, institutions crumble, and tourists gawk at the "charming decay," the film's vibrant, gutsy characters glow and erupt like flames from the ashes.

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US: Amazon / iTunes / Netflix / Youtube / Vudu UK: iTunes / Netflix

Of Time and the City

Both a love song and a eulogy to the city of Liverpool

A haunting response to memory, reflection and the experience of losing a sense of place as the skyline changes and time takes it toll. 

Watch Now:

US: Amazon UK: iTunes / BFI Player

#SoReal - September 25th

Something Landscape

Anselm Kiefer's colossal paintings will be displayed at London's Royal Academy from this weekend. Their sublime scale and mythical subject matter offer a bewildering field for the eye. Here are two monumental films about monumental landscapes.

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

This fascinating documentary offers a revealing and intimate insight into the creative process of acclaimed artist Anselm Kiefer. Beautifully shot, the films tracks Kiefer as transforms the environs of an abandoned silk factory in southern France with an ongoing series of monumental installations.

Dir. Sophie Fiennes (2010)

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US: Netflix UK: iTunes / Blinkbox / Amazon


Told without dialogue, narration, cast or characters this captivating film is entirely composed of nature imagery, manipulated in slow motion, double exposure or time lapse, juxtaposed with footage of humans' devastating environmental impact on the planet. These arresting images are illuminated with a film score by Philip Glass. 

Dir. Godfrey Reggio (1982)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Hulu / Xbox UK: iTunes

#SoReal - September 19th

Something Scottish

Morning broke in Scotland with good news for some and bad news for others. Here are two fine films from Scottish documentary makers celebrating life and its ups and downs. So sit back with a single malt and viddy these on VOD.

I Am Breathing

A bluntly honest, deeply moving record of the last months of architect Neil Platt's life, as he succumbs to motor neurone disease.

Dir. Morag McKinnon and Emma Davie (2013)

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US: Distrify UK: Distrify / 4oD

Life in a Day

Compiled from over 80,000 YouTube submissions by contributors in 192 countries, Life in a Day presents a microcosmic view of our daily experiences as a global society.

Dir. Kevin Macdonald (2011)

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US: Youtube UK: Youtube

#SoReal - September 11th

Something Superstore

Check out these colour-packed portraits of small shops and their assistants.  Vladimir Antaki documents the disappearing dusty mom-and-pop stores and cluttered corner shops in cities around the world. This week we bring you stories of their adversaries: the dystopian dreams of the superstore.

Czech Dream

Two students commission a leading advertising agency to organize a huge campaign for the opening of a new supermarket named Czech Dream. The supermarket however does not exist...

Dir. Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda (2004)

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US: GooglePlay / Youtube UK: Amazon / DocAlliance

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

A dirt digging journey into the unscrupulous business practices of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer. The film features interviews with current and former employees as well as owners of small businesses who have been affected by the giant's expansion.

Dir. Robert Greenwald (2005)

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US: Netflix / Amazon / HuluPlus UK: Netflix / Amazon

#SoReal - September 4th

Something Laborious

The week began with Americans celebrating the social and economic achievements of workers. Visions of hard work have long been an inspiration for artists from ancient Egypt to twentieth century North Korea. Here are two recent Herculean pictures of labor.


An immersive documentary that takes you deep inside the dangerous world of commercial fishing. The film captures the harsh, unforgiving world of the fishermen in starkly haunting, yet beautiful detail.

Dirs. Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel (2012)

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US: iTunes / YouTube / Googleplay UK: iTunes / Blinkbox / Amazon Instant

Workingman's Death

Five unflinching portraits of heavy manual labor from across the globe. These loud, colourful, rhythmic, and messy visions are increasingly less visible in our technological 21st Century.

Dir. Michael Glawogger (2005)

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US: DocAlliance / Fandor / Hulu / iTunes / Amazon Instant UK: DocAlliance

#SoReal - August 28th

Something Fake

This week it was revealed that a young lady in captivity faked pregnancy for months so that she would receive nicer food. The lady in question was a Giant PandaHere are two more playful truths about faking it.

F For Fake

File somewhere between mad ramblings and profundity

This free-form documentary about fakery focuses on the notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory. A vintage gem brought to you by this larger-than-life legend of cinema.

Dir. Orson Welles (1973)

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US: iTunes / Amazon UK: iTunes

Fake It So Real

A portrait of passion, performance and artistry

The film dives head-first into the world of independent pro wrestling. The director follows a ragtag group of wrestlers in North Carolina over the course of a week leading up to a big show. 

Dir. Robert Greene (2012)

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US: Fandor / iTunes / Amazon / Xbox / Youtube UK: iTunes

#SoReal - August 21st

Something Eccentric

Allan Kaprow once said "The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible." Amazing things happen when we play an extravagant, magical versions of ourselves. Fall in love with some playful, wild hearts tonight.

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

A stunning portrait of a musical genius that nearly slipped away. 

The film artfully melds current footage, vintage performances, home movies, and dozens of recorded audiotapes from Johnston's life. His poetic songs tell their own passionate, haunting, and truly unforgettable story.

Dir. Jeff Feuerzeig (2005)

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Target Ticket UK: Curzon Home

Grey Gardens

A truly endearing portrait of two wild souls

An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton. A modern classic. 

Dirs. Albert Maysles, David Maysles (1976)

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US: Amazon / iTunes / VUDU / Hulu Plus UK: MUBI

#SoReal - August 14th

Something Russian

As politicians play chess and chess plays politics one country appears to have mastered the art of checkmate - Russia. One thing they can't embargo however is great documentary cinema. So put down the Tolstoy and turn on the tinternet for these creative visionaries. 

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

The best use of balaclavas. Ever.

The incredible story of 3 young women: Nadia, Masha and Katia. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond - young artists or the society they live in?

Dirs. Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin (2013)

See more viewing resources here. 

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US: Xbox / Amazon / iTunes / Googleplay / Youtube UK: Blinkbox / Googleplay / iTunes

Man With A Movie Camera

One of the most innovative and influential films of all time.

A man travels around the turbulent soviet cities of Kiev, Kharkiv and Odessa with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention. This film is a visionary blast 24 times a second.

Dir. Dziga Vertov (1929)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / VUDU UK: iTunes / Curzon Home

#SoReal - August 10

Something Proud

Last weekend a court ruling in Uganda gave a small glimmer of hope that anti-gay laws may be overturned. Such changes don't come about by chance, they happen because activists stand up for their rights. These two emotional stories show us exactly what that means and why dignity matters.

Call Me Kuchu

A stirring, heartbreaking and thoroughly infuriating story

In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato - Uganda's first openly gay man - and his fellow activists work against the clock to defeat the legislation while combating vicious persecution in their daily lives.

Dir. Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall (2012)

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US: Netflix / Amazon / iTunes / Googleplay / VUDU / Youtube UK: Netflix / iTunes / Blinkbox / DogwoofTV

The Times of Harvey Milk

A beautifully constructed portrait 

This deeply moving document of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay councillor was one of the first feature documentaries to address gay life in America. It’s a work of advocacy itself, bringing Milk’s message of hope and equality to a wider audience.

Dir. Robert Epstein (1984)

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US: iTunes / Amazon / Hulu UK: iTunes / Amazon

#SoReal - 31st July

Something Rebellious

From Ukraine to Thailand to Egypt a generation of protesters has learnt that new problems need new tactics and a fresh creative arsenal to oust power. This makeshift tear-gas mask was used in Turkey and Venezuela and now resides with a collection of disobedient objects at London's Victoria & Albert Museum until February. In their honour we bring you two rebellious docs.

The Black Power Mixtape

A blazing insight into civil rights history. 

This creative doc mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. The result is a powerful soundtrack of unforgettable rhetoric.

Dir. Göran Hugo Olsson (2011)

Watch Now:

US: iTunes / SundanceNow / Hulu UK: iTunes / Amazon

The Yes Men Fix the World

Troublemaking has never been so fun

Two gonzo political activists pose as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world's most outrageous pranks.

Dir. Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno (2008)

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US: VUDU / iTunes UK: Dogwoof TV / Blinkbox

#SoReal - JUl 24

Something Lonesome

One hundred and sixty years ago Henry David Thoreau embarked upon a simple life in natural surroundings. The resulting book, Life in the Woods, was a testament lonesome bliss: a philosophy of solace that has permeated into modern life, but not all of us are content with it. Here are two offbeat and beautiful films that honour the simple life. Retreat and enjoy.

Two Years at Sea

Curious, unnerving and fascinating

Using a 16mm camera and hand-processing the footage himself, artist Ben Rivers documents the solitary existence of Jake Williams, a man who lives in isolation in the middle of the forest in remote Scotland. 

Directed by Ben Rivers

Watch Now:

US: iTunes UK: iTunes / BFI Player

The Monastery: Mr Vig and the Nun

Loving, tender and offbeat

Octogenarian Jorgen Lauersen Vig owns a tumbledown castle in Denmark and dreams of transforming it into an orthodox Russian monastery. But a nun insists on renovations, which could prevent Vig's dream from coming true.

Directed by Pernille Rose Grønkjær

Watch Now:

US: Netflix / DocAlliance UK: DocAlliance

#SoReal - Jul 17

Something Primate

As 'Dawn of Planet of the Apes' tops the US Box office we indulged in less fanciful stories of complicated human and primate co-habitation. We listened to this radio treasure about Lucy the chimpanzee and watched these two great docs. Here are the missing hyperlinks.

Project Nim

Hilarious, poignant, and heartbreaking

This moving film tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.

Directed by James Marsh

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US: iTunes / VUDU / Amazon / Netflix UK: Netflix / iTunes / Blinkbox


A captivating study of an enigmatic animal

Born in the jungles of Borneo, Nenette is a 40-year-old orangutan, and the oldest (and most beloved) inhabitant at the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris. 

Directed by Nicolas Philibert

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US: Netflix / Amazon UK: iTunes / Blinkbox / Amazon / Curzon Home

#SoReal - Jul 11

Something Luminous

This week noctilucent clouds passed over Europe producing a twilight show for open eyes. These rare glows are visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon. Here are two great docs about journeys and horizons, shining a light on the seen and the unseen.

Nostalgia for the Light

A gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey.

In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life. Nearby, a group of women sift through the sand searching for body parts of loved ones, dumped unceremoniously by Pinochet's regime. This film melds the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the women.

Director: Patricio Guzmán

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US: Amazon / iTunes / Vudu UK: iTunes / Blinkbox

Sans Soleil (Sunless)

A complex magical journey into time and memory.

Sans Soleil is nothing less than a mind-bending free-form travelogue that journeys from Africa to Japan. It's a meditation on the nature of human memory, showing the inability to recall the context and nuances of memory and how, as a result, the perception of personal and global histories is affected.

Director: Chris Marker

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US: Hulu UK: Amazon

#SoReal - Jul 04

Something With Two Wheels

The glorious Tour de France spins into action this week, taking the rather un-French land of Yorkshire as it's point of departure. So, fellow cyclists of the world, step out of your inbox and "on yer bike" to the nearest VOD platform to catch one of these cycling doc classics.

The Armstrong Lie

Smartly constructed and scathingly sharp

Laying bare the theatre of the Tour de France, this documentary chronicles the sports legend Lance Armstrong's improbable rise and ultimate fall from grace.

Directed by Alex Gibney

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US: iTunes / Googleplay / VUDU / Xbox UK: Blinkbox / iTunes / Amazon Instant

A Sunday In Hell

A psychological and dramatic study of battling cyclists

The film follows the French Paris-Roubaix spring classic race, notorious for the hellish paves and cobbled roads, beautifully shot from the mesmerising perspective of participants, organizers and spectators.

Directed by Jørgen Leth

Watch Now:

US: DocAlliance UK: DocAlliance

#SoReal - Jun 26

Something Censored

This has been a turbulent week to reflect on media freedom as an Iranian documentary filmmaker and three journalists in Egypt head to jail for doing their jobs. So we offer two recent voices of filmic resistance from the region, two filmmakers trying their utmost to document their world in the face of censorship.

5 Broken Cameras

An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism

5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil'in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements.

Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy David

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US: Youtube / Netflix / iTunes / Amazon / VUDU / Googleplay UK: Curzon Home / iTunes / Netflix / Blinkbox

This is Not a Film

A film shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake

This is Not a Film depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence - six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking - Panahi reflects on the meaning and the art of filmmaking.

Directed by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

Watch Now:

US: VUDU / Netflix UK: Blinkbox / iTunes

#SoReal - Jun 19

Something Kicking Off

World Cup fever has gone into full throttle this week with the usual bizarre refereeing decisions and poor results for England. Less predictably, this tournament has highlighted wider issues within Brazil with images of social inequality and protest as well as the glitz and goals. 

Here are a couple more true tales from behind the scenes of Brazil and the beautiful game.

The Power of the Game

A dramatic examination of the social impact of soccer across the world

​Six stories are followed from five continents, each one connected to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, all bound together by a transcendent passion for soccer.​

Directed by Michael Apted

Watch Now:

US: iTunes UK: MUBI

Waste Land

A story of the transformative power of art and alchemy of the human spirit.

Brazilian artist Vik Muniz visits the world’s largest landfill to create stunning portraits of catadores — garbage pickers — from the material they collect.

Directed by Lucy Walker

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US: Hulu / iTunes / Netflix / Googleplay / Youtube UK: Blinkbox / iTunes

#SoReal - Jun 12

Something Suburban

Suburbia continues to inspire creative escapism globally, nowhere more so than amongst North America's growing population in city peripheries. Long live the land of commuter queues, quirky cul-de-sacsdead end dudes, and asphalt ridden empires of unlikely heroes with spirited stories. 


A sparkling chronicle of crazed youth.

The transmissions of a lost kid falling in love in the suburbs of Fullerton, California. Featuring skateboarding, the usual drugs, and stray glimpses of unusual beauty.

Directed by Tristan Patterson

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US: Amazon / iTunes UK: iTunes / Netflix

American Movie

Hilarious, poignant look at the life of an aspiring auteur.

On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it's making low-budget horror movies.

Directed by Chris Smith

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US: Amazon / Vudu / Hulu UK: iTunes / Sainsburys

#SoReal - Jun 05

Something Polar

Dramatic records of quirky characters, changing landscapes and epic voyages have a long history in the icy regions. 2014 marks the centenary of slick-hair Sir Shackleton's early Antarctic voyage captured in this incredible footage. This week we defrost a couple more recent polar classics and serve them direct to your inbox.

Encounters at the End of the World

A poignant study of the human psyche amid haunting landscapes.

Set in the awe-inspiring polar landscape, McMurdo, Antarctica is home to a hidden society where a thousand men and women live among some of the world's most beautiful and unexpected natural wonders. Now for the first time an outsider has been permitted into this extraordinary place.

Directed by Werner Herzog

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US: Amazon / iTunes / Googleplay / Netflix / Youtube UK: iTunes / Netflix

Chasing Ice

The story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history

Acclaimed photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet.

Directed by Jeff Orlowski

Watch Now:

US: Netflix / iTunes / Googleplay / VUDU / Youtube / Sony UK: Netflix / iTunes / Dogwoof TV

#SoReal - May 28

Something Hinterland

We came across these psychedelically saturated polaroid images of Dreamlands and Wastelands recently launched in a new book edition and drifted into a reverie that needs to be shared. Hinterlands are the glorious provinces of myth, magic and surreal lives. These two creative films illuminate a Californian desert and the wilderness of Wales.

Bombay Beach

Take a lyrical ride through this backyard beach.

A tender, often funny and sometimes heartbreaking portrait of the idiosyncratic residents of California’s Salton Sea ...in the middle of the Colorado desert. Join a motley cast including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn high school football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet.

Directed by Alma Har'el

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US: Amazon / iTunes / Vudu UK: iTunes / Dogwoof TV

Sleep Furiously

A poetic journey into a world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire.

Set in a small farming community in mid Wales, this is a landscape and population that is changing rapidly as small scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanised world is dying out.

Directed by Gideon Koppel

Watch Now:

US: Amazon / iTunes / Vudu UK: Amazon / iTunes

#SoReal - May 21

Something Men Do

In a week where we learned that lab rats are afraid of male technicians,  short men live longer and their toothpaste may be making men infertile, we too reflect on the male of the species. We offer two stories of the men who would be king - of the kitchen and the video arcade. They are the heroes who take small things very, very seriously indeed.

The King of Kong

An epic David and Goliath battle over the joystick

Steve Weibe is a laid-off Boeing engineer who buys a 1980's Donkey Kong arcade machine and installs it in his garage.  He starts to devote every waking hour to beating the reigning world champion (and self-proclaimed "Sauce King" of Florida) Billy Mitchell's old high score of 874,300.  But Mitchell isn't going to relinquish his crown that easily.  A perfect character-driven comedy.

Directed by Seth Logan

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US: Amazon / iTunes UK: iTunes

Kings of Pastry

Flour, sugar and tears - an ode to perfectionism

16 pastry chefs are trying to win France's most prestigious craftsmen award: the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, awarded by French President.  A kind of French pastry Olympics - it happens every 4 years.  The men have prepared obsessively and now they must create a buffet of masterpieces, over 3 days, whilst being closely scrutinised by a team of judges.  No women have ever competed.

Charm and insight from master filmmakers D.A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.  

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US: iTunes / Netflix UK: iTunes

#SoReal - May 13

Something Fearless

Ai Wei Wei's new show has opened in Brooklyn and if you can't make it, don't worry neither can he - having been denied a passport. The man may have been stopped but his work and ideas continue to cross borders - check out his tiny model from the exhibition showing his own imprisonment. This week we offer you stories of more fearless artists punching through adversity.

Cutie and the Boxer

A reflection on love, sacrifice, and the creative spirit.

This candid New York story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned Japanese "boxing" painter Ushio Shinohara and his artist wife, Noriko as they battle with creative life and creative love.

Dir. Zachary Heinzerling (2013)

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US: Amazon / iTunes / Netflix UK: iTunes / Amazon / Dogwoof TV

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

A mesmerizing portrait of the pioneering and controversial performance artist.

This film follows the unceasingly powerful artist as she prepares for what may be the most important moment of her life: a major new retrospective of her work, taking place at The Museum of Modern Art and a possible moment of weakness.

Dirs. Jeffrey Dupre, Matthew Akers (2012)

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US: Amazon / iTunes / Netflix UK: iTunes / Netflix / Dogwoof TV

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