Conner Griffith describes his short film, Ripple, as “an advertisement for planet Earth.” It’s a flurry of frame-by-frame images, mostly from Google Earth and Wikipedia, that depict the many developed and undeveloped surfaces on the planet. Griffith, who is a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design, sequenced the images in rapid succession and paired them with accompanying sounds. The result is an interesting juxtaposition between the natural and the man-made—a three-minute snapshot of the indelible marks that human beings have left on Earth.
To see more of Griffith’s work, visit his Vimeo page.
Peter Vosper is an engineer by day, but at night he can be found dancing in the streets in a glowing body suit. This short documentary follows Vosper to No Lights No Lycra, a weekly dance event where strangers come together in a dark room to see where the music takes them. “It feels like you are in some music video,” he says. “The feeling I get when I’m dancing in the dark—when you’re free and connected with your body and the community—has basically been the driving force behind my art.”
The Loading Docs initiative supports 10 filmmaking teams to create three-minute, creative documentaries that tell New Zealand stories. This year’s theme is connection.
At this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, we asked a group of professors, psychologists, and journalists what to do in order to feel more content. According to the writer Suleika Jaouad, people should learn to slow down a little: “We live in such a fast-paced world that’s filled with so many exciting things happening all the time,” she says. “But I find that the biggest challenge is really not trying to do all those things, and carving out spaces of time in your day where you can just do nothing.” Other panelists include Pete McBride, Tim Kasser, Eli Finkel, Paul Bloom, Robert D. Putnam, and Jennifer Senior.
The Big Question is a series inspired by The Atlantic‘s back-page feature.
The 24 Hours of LeMons race consists of a subculture of car geeks who take $500 junkyard cars and turn them into racing machines that can go for hours. Often what this entails is an extreme amount of dismantling and reassembling of parts to create “Frankenstein machines.” The filmmaker Marcus Ubungen follows a Bay Area team as they put together their “lemons” and discuss what goes into creating these elaborate and themed vehicles. “These cars shouldn’t exist but they do, and they do really well,” says one participant. “It’s like Halloween meets gasoline.”
More of Ubungen’s work can be found on his website, Tumblr, and Instagram.
In this excerpt from Darius Monroe’s feature-length autobiographical documentary, Evolution of a Criminal, he uncovers the events that led him to rob a bank as a teenager—convinced that it would help his financially-strained family. The film is an intimate portrayal of the guilelessness of youth: “When you’re 16 you don’t really think about that,” Monroe says. “We’re not going to hurt anyone, we’re just trying to get this money and get out.” Monroe couldn’t imagine the repercussions of his actions, and the honors student found himself facing 5 to 99 years in prison.
The full-length film is currently streaming on PBS’s website until September 11, 2015. For more information about the film, visit the Independent Lens website.