Did that grab you? I hope so. Documentaries attempt to do much the same, but sometimes move quickly into what I call “the lull”. The lull is a build-up of information which you think lacks any relevance, until BOOM; Revelation. By then, it’s too late to turn back as you need to KNOW what comes next. Then they may do my other favourite thing:
Leave it completely open, cause real life really do be like that sometimes.
Maybe it’s why this medium is so impactful. This mix of “holy sh*t it’s real” interspersed with the oft-heavy emotional tug of any good cinematic feature. And when they stray into pop culture territory, they become an even tastier morsel of “fact is stranger than fiction.”
Which is why the Doc Edge Festival exists.
Pulling together an array of documentaries which can be viewed at a “in real life” festival (which may or may not have finished in Auckland already, but is on its way to Wellington), they can also be viewed at the “much easier to manage your time with online version until July 11th” at docedge.co.nz. It truly is the future when you can simply rent them out online to peruse at your own perusal whenever you like, from the comfort of your own home.
And the comfort of my own home was on offer, as I dipped into a few docos to check out and recommend to you. It’s of no surprise then, that the first one I’d look at would be…
A Glitch In The Matrix:
A Glitch In The Matrix steps into the world of simulation theory, and it’s wearing boots made out of absolute mindf*ckery. Brought to life by Rodney Ascher (Room 237), it takes the noted speech from Philp K. Dick and asks you to have a think about it. If I was to do so right now, it would require a whole other post from me dipping further into the hows and whys of it all. But thankfully the feature does this better, with a tonne of different voices to help you try to comprehend it.
Resonant in the way it approaches how these people deliver their ideas, I found it like a conversation on the reconciliation of religion within someone; A want to understand a bigger picture we’re not privy too. But that’s only if you don’t lose yourself in the idea that maybe it’s all for nothing, and you’re just another sim character waiting for the pool ladder to be pulled up on you.
This was a feature close to home, so I had to check it out. Close to home is also a nice play on words for Sam, as it is a New Zealand doco too. A short film documentary, it tells of the unexpected birth of Sam. Their diagnosis of Down Syndrome was also unexpected. From there, it’s a heartfelt tale of loving parents just trying to raise their child in a society which others. In 20 minutes it does a lot emotionally, especially when some changes affect the family. But it manages to pull us out from this gut-wrenching moment into a story of hope, humanity and belief found through the power of dance! (I know, I love it too).
And there’s more.
LOOK I’VE BEEN BUSY. But you know what else is busy? The Doc Edge line-up. With over 80 features to choose from, I definitely bit off more than I could chew. I was also hoping to dip into:
And Wuhan Wuhan. From moments in history, to history as recent as George Floyd and the COVID pandemic, I was interested in the stories they had hoped to tell. And the big one I really wanted to see was:
Mostly because my parents are big fans. But I thought it would be a provocative story, with Turner’s past and place within the entertainment industry. This may be why it was the headliner for the festival. The lucky thing is though, I can just pick these back up online when I want.
Thanks to the online availability I spoke about earlier, along with the comfort, I can simply get back to them as soon as I can. This may be around the time I stop debating if I’m an NPC in someone else’s game, or if I’m the real player one.
Do check it out if you have the chance. Even if you walk away with your mind accidentally scrambled, and heart partially broken.
Doc Edge is now online until the 11th of July at docedge.co.nz. The Festival is arriving in Wellington on the 17th of June, and will be running until the 27th.