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The 10 best documentaries for challenging your view of the world

Waltz with Bashir

Early movies (pre-1900) were dominated by the novelty of showing an event. They were single-shot moments captured on film: a train entering a station, a boat docking, or factory workers leaving work. These short films were called “actuality” films; the term “documentary” was not coined until 1926. Many of the first films, such as those made by Auguste and Louis Lumière, were a minute or less in length, due to technological limitations.

Documentaries aren’t always seen as being super exciting compared to whatever new drama or action you could binge watch on Netflix. But the medium certainly provides opportunities to learn something about the world. Without lifting a finger.

Here are ten of the best documentaries that are not only excellent, but challenging to watch at times. Many of these will leave you thinking about the obsessive hobbies, consumption-oriented everyday living and sometimes terrifying politics that define our increasingly global world. Are you ready to change how you view the world?

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How the British really react to a royal birth explained in one simple diagram

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If you base your view of the British on their media you’ll doubtless think that they have a long and enduring love affair with their royal family. Take the latest royal birth. At the time of writing, the latest addition to their clan has only been around for a few hours, yet already she is the subject an explosion of sycophantic media adoration. But the British people themselves actually have a far more practical relationship with their Greco-German overlords. To help better understand it, the wonderfully talented Angry Flat Cap has created this simple diagram. Prepare to have your preconceptions shattered, flow chart style.

royalbaby

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21 boredom-busting websites that will entertain you forever

Silk

Bored with the same old websites? Looking for a few new corners of the Internet to get you fired up with enthusiasm? Well, you’re in luck. Here at Ink Tank, we get a kick out of unearthing and then sharing the best of the web, from sites that make you smarter to those that are downright wonderfully weird. So whether you’re looking for silly games or something more useful, we’ve got you covered. To see for yourself, check out 21 of our favorite entertaining websites — just remember you’ll eventually have to go outside again. For even more internet entertainment, here are 11 more of our favorite sites perfect for procrastination.

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These 5 remarkable directors are why you need to watch Irish films right now

Frank

Saints and scholars, right? Joyce and Yeats, Synge and Heaney, or even Keane and Paul McGrath: Ireland’s got culture sewn right up. But while we’re all aware that it’s a popular filming location, and that it’s got a few stellar acting exports (Colin Farrell, for better or worse, or Game of Thrones’ Aiden Gillen), the names of the country’s rising directorial talents aren’t quite as recognizable – yet, that is. Here are five contemporary Irish directors that you seriously need to be watching.

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You won’t believe how trippy this digital artist makes old photos look

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“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past,” US President Thomas Jefferson once said.

Well, now thanks to Luke Robson, a British 20 year old digital collage artist, we can get the best of both worlds. Luke has mixed the past with a trippy vision of the future by going crazy with old pics. A maestro at digital compositing and colour theory, he creates collage pieces, which though retro in style, are futuristic in subject matter. To find out how he works his magic, we hooked up with the man himself. Here’s what he had to say.

digitalartYour work is an amazingly trippy combination of retro photos and intense colours and scenes, what inspired you to create your collages?

I’ve always enjoyed old-fashioned vintage photography and love to see images of people or settings or even a situations that can no longer be seen today. For this reason I wanted to bring these old photographs back to life, add some colour to them and manipulate them into my own form of surrealism. I find it so much more interesting to create a scene that’s complete surrealistic and as far away from reality as I can imagine. Usually, I find inspiration from the original source images themselves.

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Rockin’ shots: The stories behind music’s most iconic photos: No.3

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The third photo in our series on music’s most iconic photographs epitomizes the rock star legend lifestyle. Hardly surprising when you discover that it features, Led Zeppelin, a group Danny Goldberg, vice president of the group’s Swan Song label said weren’t famous by accident, but “liked being the biggest band in the world”. So, who was the lensman who caught this iconic moment on film?

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Writers who partied: The myth of the lonesome author destroyed

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You’re probably familiar with the stereotype of the lonesome and reclusive author that hides from society while penning poignant works of genius–and yes, it’s actually quite common for writers to be introverted. But it’s also common for writers to be outgoing and social, wanting to be out and about in the world, mingling with the people and experiences that they write about. And then there are these writers–those that took “being social” to the next level.

Each of the writers on this list were known for their hard-partying ways–some partied sober, while others partied by experimenting with alcohol or drugs–but each of them smashed the stereotype of the lonesome writer into pieces. So let’s take a look at a few of literature’s top party animals.

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Wow! We guarantee these pioneering landscape paintings will blow your mind

Jakub Rozalski 2Enjoy history? Get a kick out of science fiction? If so, then you’ll love the digital artwork by Jakub Rozalski, a concept artist and illustrator based in Hamburg, Germany. He incorporates fantasy and sci-fi elements such as mechs, werewolves, and even Predator into historic and picturesque landscapes, resulting in artwork that’s both awe-inspiring and entertaining.

Jakub’s latest project 1920+ features giant, menacing mechs (and occasionally Wojtek, Polish bear/soldier of WWII) lurking around early 20th century Polish villages – a concept that may sound odd to some. But the series has just the right balance of weirdness, anachronism, and talent to really pull it off. And what good is concept art if it’s not a little weird? Check out a few of Jakub’s stunning artworks from the 1920+ project below and see for yourself!

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Think this is a cartoon? Take a closer look.

Cris Alex Silver Surfer

This amazing recreation of the Silver Surfer was actually done with makeup by talented special effects makeup artist Cris Alex. She created the work of art, which is based on Ron Lim’s cover of Silver Surfer Vol 3 Issue #20, by using PPI Skin Illustrator for the body and foam core and acrylic paints for the board. Did she nail it or what?

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