I went to see the recent documentary ‘McCullin’ about the British Photographer Don McCullin last week and was very impressed. Directed by McCullin’s old assistant Jacqui Morris and her brother David. It is phenomenal what he achieved in his career. McCullin a one point talks of becoming addicted to wars and wished to cover at least two a year.
Don McCullin covered some of the last centuries worst humanitarian disasters including wars and conflicts in Cyprus, Congo, Biafra, Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Cambodia and Lebanon putting himself in immense danger and exposing himself to deeply tramatising circumstances, working principally for the Sunday Times until the 80s when Rupert Murdoch decided, McCullin tells us, that the paper should move away from his kind of harsh realism and concentrate on “the pleasures of life”. McCullin discusses the impossibility of any photographer today getting the kind of access he did as the military are now very sensitive in controlling their public image. McCullin’s very straight and open discussion of his fearless life is countered by his self-doubt, coming back several times to his position of documenting atrocities and feeling like a hypocrite, he describes himself as a humanitarian photographer doing his job but in effect exploiting someones misery, ‘I feel guilty because I’ve made a success out of my photographic life,’ he says. ‘Those pictures were of suffering, dying children. I cannot indulge myself by saying I was proud. I wasn’t. I was ashamed, if you want to know the truth.’
He now devotes himself to recording the British countryside, his reasons succinctly summed up in this quote; “I have been manipulated, and I have in turn manipulated others, by recording their response to suffering and misery. So there is guilt in every direction: guilt because I don’t practice religion, guilt because I was able to walk away, while this man was dying of starvation or being murdered by another man with a gun. And I am tired of guilt, tired of saying to myself: “I didn’t kill that man on that photograph, I didn’t starve that child. That’s why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace.” If you get a chance go see this film.
The Waiting Room is a documentary film directed by Peter Nicks telling the story of everyday life for staff, patients and their families at the Highland Hospital in Oakland CA. You can see a video of Peter Nicks discussing this film project at TEDxMaastrich here.
The Waiting Room
The Mast Brother‘s are craft chocolate makers based in Brooklyn, New York. Their produce is all handmade; even down to the packaging. The short films below by The Scout Magazine and Conor Hagen document Rick and Michael Mast developing their business concept of basic traditional production by sailing to the Dominican Republic to create a deeper connection with the families who grow the coco beans they use in their chocolate. Fairly Hipstertastic but you got to admire these guys, it’s really great to see something like this becoming a viable business.
Unbelievable video from Finnish free-skiing group Nipwitz by Flatlight Films. They mix free running and skiing with deadly results. The video is the crew free skiing in abandoned burned out buildings and frozen landscapes of the remote Murmansk Oblast in Russia. ”This remote corner of Russia is just a five hour drive away from our home but feels much more distant.” You can see a few more of their videos below.
Beautiful short documentary on the making of a Classical Guitar. This film is part of a collection of films called the ‘Art of Making Series’. ”Pieces of wood, love, knowledge and 299 hours of work, condensed in a 3 minute film.” This short was made by Dimitris Ladopoulos who is part of Deep Green Sea; a group of multi-disciplinary artists involved in film, animation & experimentation. Guitarist and composer is Edsart Udo De Haes and the Guitar maker is Vassilis Lazarides.
A superb documentary looking at a selection of the very vibrant Irish DIY Music scene over the last decade and a little further by Community Of Independents. With insightful interviews from the bands, the record shops, the promoters and record labels; along with live performances from ASIWYFA, Adebisi Shank, The Redneck Manifesto, The Jimmy Cake, Hands Up Who Wants To Die, Halves and a good few more.
Fair play to John Breslin, Barry Lennon and the guys at Community of Independents for putting this beauty together. You can find more on their Twitter and Facebook.