Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh docu-series ‘Wild, Wild Country’ — Yes, It’s That Good

I really enjoyed the new Netflix docu-series “Wild Wild Country,” which you may have heard about. It was released last month and has been garnering some positive reviews and tons of online buzz. It’s the story, told over six, hour-long episodes, of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his devotees, known as Rajneeshis. Thousands of the disciples, from […]

‘Arrival’: Yes, It’s That Good

You may have heard that “Arrival,” a thriller about an alien invasion based on a Ted Chiang short story, has been nominated for eight Oscars. Yes, it’s that good. Amy Adams, the protagonist, plays a linguist brought in by the U.S. government to try to communicate with mysterious beings, who have landed in pods around […]

Are Uncontacted Tribes Increasingly Emerging from the Wilderness?

I recently watched a short, thought-provoking documentary on Netflix from U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 called “First Contact: Lost Tribe of the Amazon.” It contains some captivating footage of uncontacted tribes in the Amazon, on both the Peruvian and Brazilian sides, emerging from the wilderness. (Uncontacted people are those with no direct contact with civilization. In […]

Top Lesser-Known (but Good) Sci-Fi Movies of 2016

Gizmodo has a list of good sci-fi films you might have missed this year. The only one I’ve seen here is “Midnight Special,” which I thought was solid but not earth-shattering. I must say I was surprised to see “Swiss Army Man,” which I mentioned back in April, listed here. I just couldn’t get past […]

Short Film: Guy Who Built Enormous Model Train Set

Some Kind Of Quest from Andrew Wilcox on Vimeo. Embedded above is “Some Kind of Quest,” a short documentary about Bruce Zaccagnino and Northlandz, a 52,000-square-foot model train setup he created in New Jersey over a period of four years. Dedication, pure and simple. Related video: the Belgian gentleman who is really into marbles.

Like ‘Making a Murderer’? Read This New Yorker Story

I’ve Tweeted about this and mentioned it in this week’s Newley’s Notes, and wanted to highlight it here, as well. The Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer” has been a smash hit, setting the Internet on fire, bringing renewed fame to the subject’s defense attorneys, and inspiring amateur sleuths the world over. I have watched it. It is highly […]

2015 Media Picks: My Favorite Book, Album, Movie, TV Show — and Goal and Save

Book: “Waking Up” I read a lot of really great books this year, most of which were published prior to 2015. The one that comes closest to qualifying for this list, however, since it was published in late 2014, is Sam Harris’s Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Harris, a neuroscientist, illustrates that our perception of the world […]

Does Social Media Make TV a Better Entertainment Medium for Our Time than Film?

This snippet in Richard Brody’s recent New Yorker piece on the best movies of 2015 struck me: The cinema’s self-conscious modernity arose when its makers put a virtual mirror into its lenses and revealed the filmmaking process in the films themselves. They reflected the world around the movie within the movie, the director on the screen. […]

The ‘Zoolander 2’ Trailer is Out

And it does not disappoint.* Spoiler alert: Mugatu is back. And he still has exceedingly high latte standards. *Assuming that you are, as I am, a huge fan of the original flick.

The 10* Most Beautiful Movies Ever Filmed

Embedded above and on YouTube here: “Top 10 Most Beautiful Movies of All Time,” by CineFix. Interesting roundup. I will admit to not having seen number one. Will have to change that. *Though many more than ten are featured. (Via Kottke.)