Gravitas Ventures has acquired multi-platform distribution rights to “Social Animals,” a documentary feature about life as an Instagram star.
Directed by Jonathan Ignatius Green, “Social Animals” follows the lives of three Instagram stars: a thrill-seeking, New York-based photographer, an aspiring swimsuit model in California, and a Midwest girl next door.
The documentary posits that each has validated their existence through followers, likes, and comments and takes an unflinching look at Instagram’s impact on their respective identities.
Gravitas will roll out the film on digital exclusively beginning on December 11 with a Video on Demand run. The distributor also retains future TV licensing opportunities.
On a weeknight at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, the celebrated German industrial designer Dieter Rams ambled up to a podium in his uniform of a black shirt, thinning silver bowl cut, and cane. He was there to introduce a movie, of which he is begrudgingly but indisputably the star.
“The film has my name, but it’s less about me, and more about my chief concerns,” the 86-year-old said with characteristic self-effacing charm.
Rams, who is famous for his clean-lined designs for home goods companies like Braun and Vitsoe, has many concerns—the state of the world, the state of design, the way our appetite for shiny, new things is leading us down a gluttonous path of destruction—and he voices all of them in the new documentary “Rams.”
The film is the newest from Gary Hustwit, who serves as the design world’s de facto documentarian having made the lauded “Urbanized,” “Objectified,” and “Helvetica.”
Unlike Hustwit’s other films, which center around concepts, theories, and ideas, “Rams” is very much a portrait of a person, despite its subject’s protestations.
Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 documentary, “Koyaanisqatsi,” is both a landmark cinematic tone poem and a beloved cult classic.
The film, featuring a score by Philip Glass, features no dialogue and simply juxtaposes slow-motion and time-lapse images from around the world. The result is a meditative examination of the relationship between humanity, nature, and technology, so naturally somebody on the internet decided to remake the film using random GIFs.
Created by Rico Monkeon, “Gifaanisqatsi” uses an algorithm to pull random GIFs from Giphy.com tagged as “slow motion or time-lapse” and assembles them in the style of “Koyaanisqatsi,” featuring the iconic Glass score that is the hallmark of the original documentary’s experience.
The result is bafflingly random and oddly beautiful as the generator can juxtapose something as breathtaking as the Northern Lights with something as absurd as a cat scaling the side of a building.
Streaming and on-demand platform CuriosityStream will launch its original docuseries “The History of Food” later this month.
The five-part culinary series explores the science, history, culture, and lore behind the foods of the world with renowned chefs, scientific experts, and cultural commentators offering deep dives into what we eat, covering two million years of natural and human history.
Viewers will be guided by renowned chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson, primatologist Richard Wrangham, food writer Sandor Katz, ecologist Robb Dunn, and other leading chefs and food experts.
Topics will include the discovery of fire, the Agricultural Revolution, food preservation, fermentation, the Industrial Revolution, and the future of food.
“The History of Food” premieres Nov. 15 on CuriousityStream.
There’s a perfect word that sums up everything about Netflix’s new cooking show, “Salt Fat Acid Heat,” and it emerges over a meal that the star, Samin Nosrat, is enjoying with her hosts in Japan, where she has just learned the traditional way of making soy sauce.
As they dig into some chicken and rice balls, the elderly woman who has helped prepare the meal laments that the rice balls are not the perfect shape. “The thing I love about wabi-sabi is that handmade quality that makes it human,” Nosrat tells her host, using the Japanese term for finding beauty in imperfection.
Wabi-sabi is one of the things that makes “Salt Fat Acid Heat,” named for the four factors of successful cooking and her cookbook of the same name, remarkable. The show and its star exude it.
It is Netflix’s first instructional cooking show, and it doesn’t look anything like the rest of that genre, which is too often the domain of cheerful domestic goddesses in glossy, polished kitchens.
It’s also a travel show — Nosrat takes her viewers to a different country that exemplifies each component in the show’s title — and it doesn’t look anything like those shows, which are usually full of brash men eating organ meats and throwing back beers, either.
Instead, it looks like Nosrat’s life, beautiful in its imperfections.
The new season of Netflix’s culinary documentary series, “Chef’s Table,” includes the series’ best-ever episode, not to mention three others that also rank very high on the list.
If you’re new to the “Chef’s Table” phenomenon, or if you’ve abandoned the series after getting fed up with all the temperamental geniuses on display, this new season is a great place to dive in. The show has a more diverse cast than any previous season, and the filmmakers are all working at the top of their games.
In terms of storytelling, cinematography, and emotional impact, the Cristina Martinez episode is a new high point for the series.
Martinez, the undocumented Mexican immigrant chef behind Philadelphia’s renowned restaurants South Philly Barbacoa and El Compadre, has an extraordinary life story that’s gracefully told here in an episode directed by Abigail Fuller.
Martinez found wild success in America by reclaiming a dish she was forced to make in an abusive relationship back in Mexico, and, in doing so, can thrive in North America while also supporting her daughter back home.
The last moment of the episode — a FaceTime conversation between Martinez and the daughter who she has not seen IRL in over a decade — is the kind of scene that will stick with you long after it’s over.