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Fractals Hunting the Hidden Dimension

   2010    Science
The ultimate adventure in scientific inquiry, this fascinating program follows the exploits of a small group of pioneering mathematicians who discovered a whole area of study that is revolutionizing all branches of understanding in the world: fractal geometry. Fractals are most recognized as a series of circular shapes with a border surrounded by jagged "tail-like" objects. The program, aimed at the average viewer does a fine job of explaining the background of fractals, first by beginning with the story of Pixar co-founder, Loren Carpenter's work at Boeing, developing 3D terrain from scratch using fractals. From there the program starts at the beginning with an introduction to Benoit Mandelbrot and his revolutionary work. The explanations are full of solid factual information but never talk above the level of a viewer who has some understanding of basic mathematical principles. Once the concept is presented the program spends the rest of the time showing how prevalent the fractal is in life. For a program about a mathematical concept, "Fractals" is very engaging, showing how the process was applied to special effects as far back as the Genesis planet from "Star Trek II" all the way to the spectacular finale on Mustafar in "Star Wars: Episode III." I found myself astonished at how fractals were the source of the lava in constant motion and action during the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight. What is more amazing is when the program delves into practical applications such as cell phone antennas, and eventually the human body. For the average person who enjoys watching science related programs, even on a sporadic basis, "Fractals" will prove to be a very worthwhile experience. The program is well produced, integrating talking head interviews (including some with Mandelbrot himself) with standard "in the field" footage. The structure of the program is very logical and never finds itself jumping around without direction. In simplest terms, this is a program as elegant as the designs it focuses on.

The Definitive History of Star Wars

   2015    Art
To get us in the mood for the launch of the seventh Star Wars film, discover its Definitive History. Documentary taking a behind-the-scene look at how the world's biggest, multi-billion pound movie series came into existence. Featuring rare interviews with Star Wars producers Gary Kurtz and Robert Watts and insights from those members of the creative team who won Oscars making the visual effects. Plus, a few little-known and surprising facts surrounding the film franchise.

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

   2014    Culture
This documentary looks at the remarkable genius of Orson Welles on his centenary - the enigma of his career as a Hollywood star, a Hollywood director (for some a Hollywood failure), and a crucially important independent filmmaker. Orson Welles's life was magical: a musical prodigy at age 10, a director of Shakespeare at 14, a painter at 16, a star of stage and radio at 20, romances with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Rita Hayworth. His work was similarly extraordinary, most notably Citizen Kane, (considered by many to be the most important movie ever made), created by Welles when he was only 25. In the years following Citizen Kane, Welles's career continued to change as he made film after film (some never finished, many dismissed) and acted in other projects often to earn money in order to keep making his own films. Magician features scenes from almost every existing Welles film, from Hearts of Age, (which he made in a day when he was only 18 years old) to rarely-seen clips from his final unfinished works like The Other Side of the Dream, The Deep, and Don Quixote, as well as his television and commercial work.

Speed Limits

   2010    Science
Richard Hammond explores the extraordinary wonders of the world of detail hidden in the blink of an eye. It takes our brain around a hundred and fifty milliseconds to process what we see. We're not aware of this time lag going on, but in those few milliseconds, there are extraordinary things happening that completely pass us by. But what if we could break through this speed limit? Bend and stretch time in ways never thought possible. What new marvels would we see? Now, using the latest high-speed cameras, Richard takes us on a journey beyond our eye's limits, letting us see secrets hidden in every element of our planet. A world where thin air can shatter rock. And water can tear through metal. A world where the fastest thing on earth lies right beneath our feet. And where a spectacular celestial display is finally captured, even though many have claimed it doesn't even exist.
Series: Invisible Worlds

Doc of the Dead

   2014    Culture
Take a look at the zombie genre in film, literature, and in pop culture as a whole. Several entertainers from various fields such as film and literature are brought in and interviewed on how zombies have changed not only them, but how they entertain others and how the genre has influenced and impacted society at large. Written and directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, is the definitive zombie culture documentary.
Everything and Nothing
Everything and Nothing

   2011    Science
Ice Age Giants
Ice Age Giants

   2013    Science
Beyond the Elements
Beyond the Elements

   2020    Science
Wild South America
Wild South America

   2005    Nature
The Cell
The Cell

      Science
The Life of Birds
The Life of Birds

   1998    Nature
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture