The “Somm” franchise gets better with age

The “Somm” franchise gets better with age

Source:  Eater

Jason Wise’s “Somm” series continues to improve as the franchise evolves and more characters get thrown into the mix.

The latest installment, “Somm 3,” is a good-natured tour of the wine world that seems built to appeal to both newbies and fans of the first two films.

“Somm 3” merges the most successful elements of the first two films. It’s both a profile of three absolute legends (critic Jancis Robinson, sommelier Fred Dame, and merchant Steven Spurrier) and a deep dive into wine innovation, past and present, with commentary from a group of young firebrand sommeliers.

With multiple feature-length documentaries exploring variations on the same theme, the format of this series is a bit of an anomaly in the food/beverage entertainment landscape.

The best way to look at the “Somm” films is as an ongoing project, similar to the Up Series, as opposed to three distinct films.

“Somm 3” is available now on Amazon Prime VideoYouTube, and Google Play, and the first two films are streaming on Netflix.

Read the story at Eater.

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Life as an Instagram star is explored in “Social Animals”

Life as an Instagram star is explored in “Social Animals”

Source:  Variety

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.

Read the story at Variety.

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Legendary designer Dieter Rams thinks we’re buying too much stuff

Legendary designer Dieter Rams thinks we’re buying too much stuff

Source:  Wired

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.

Read the story at Wired.

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Somebody remade the iconic documentary ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ using random GIFs, and it’s absolutely hypnotic

Somebody remade the iconic documentary ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ using random GIFs, and it’s absolutely hypnotic

Source:  IndieWire

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.

Read the story at IndieWire. 

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CuriosityStream serves up “The History of Food”

CuriosityStream serves up “The History of Food”

Source:  Realscreen

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.

Read the story at Realscreen.

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Netflix’s new “Salt Fat Acid Heat” is unlike any other food show on TV

Netflix’s new “Salt Fat Acid Heat” is unlike any other food show on TV

Source:  The Washington Post

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.

Read the story at The Washington Post.

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