Strange Things In The Middle Of The Night

Over the summer I was living in temporary digs so I went without a TV for a while. A friend recommended Netflix. I had read about the company in the news and had judged it as having a dubious business model so I didn’t rush to sign up. But I’m an insomniac so having nothing to watch at 2AM, I gave it a try. I’ll admit that Netflix opened a new world for me. A world I like to call “Strange Things in the Middle of the Night”.

I initially started watching documentaries every night because the drone of the voiceovers put me to sleep. As you probably know, Netflix has an odd recommendation system. The more documentaries I watched the more obscure the offerings became to the point where they became positively fascinating. Now sometimes I’m up in the wee hours watching programs about the most curious people and events.  So here are some docs I think you should check out if you’ve got Netflix and insomnia:

Moving Midway; a family decides to move their antebellum era plantation house & sell the land to developers. It tells of the extended family’s feelings and those of the slave descendants who were all invested in the land.

-Waste Land; Brazilian artist Vik Muniz organizes a big art project with the collectors in a landfill and the found recyclables from which they make their living. It tells of their life and how the project affects them.

-Dr Bronner’s Magic Soapbox; most of us have seen his soap and some of us have used it. How many of us know what a strange guy he was?

-Thunder Soul; “Back in the day” there was an all black high school jazz band that blew away all competition. It tells of the one teacher responsible, his challenges and the love he inspired.

-The Cats of Mirikitani; an independent film maker connects with a Japanese- American street artist in NYC. It tells of their relationship and the very complex set of circumstances that led to his homelessness. The insights into the consequences of the WWII Japanese internment are startling.

-TED Talks; how is it I didn’t know about these before? There are so many of these mini-lectures on so many subjects! Some are absolutely brilliant and some are absolutely boring.

These are just a few. I’ve found little documentaries that touch on almost every subject in which I’m interested and I’ve connected a lot of dots in terms of related themes as a result. If you’re interested in the other nuggets I’ve discovered let me know and I’ll list some more. If you have Netflix and have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

Speaking of strange things, here are some photos of things I’ve seen lately. Is it me?!

Velvet Rope
Who exactly is my neighbor expecting?
Hurricane Sandy
This blew through my daughter’s neighborhood during Hurricane Sandy
This was parked next to me in a mall a few days before the election. Really?

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