13 December 2013

Watch: Fresh Off the Boat, Blackfish, Lisa Frank

I watched this three-part documentary the other day and, to be honest, I spent a lot of the time saying, "Um, what city are you in? Cuz, my city doesn't really look like that." 

They had to have gone in the four-week window during the summer where Moscow is all green and the pollution is drifting south and the streets are clean. It happened for a hot second. I was there. But it did kind of bug me that they didn't go in the winter to film a movie about Moscow because Russia is winter. It's not a summer country- it's a winter country. I think if you want to see Moscow in the way Moscow really is, you need to come over when there's some snow on the ground. It's just how Moscow is the majority of the time and it just struck me as odd that they picked such a nice-weathered time to go when that's just not the usual for this place. 

Other than that, there was a lot of stuff I really liked in this documentary. I thought it showed Moscow in a really nice light and they went to a lot of cool places around here. I did feel kind of bad that I've lived here for almost a year (what?) and I hadn't been to most of the places Eddie goes in a week. I tried to remind myself that he was a tourist on a mission and I live here and have a soul-sucking job, but I really want to challenge myself to get out there more. Ben and I are still in the works of trying to figure some stuff out so we can enjoy this city more and I'm sorry to be vague, but I don't know who reads this blog so I should really stay mum about it until everything is settled. But we want some changes in our life. 

We were talking last night on our porch about how much fun we had when we first moved here and everything was so new and exciting. I remember going to the grocery store and wandering around like I was in a magical fairy land. Everything was so foreign and exciting. Now it's just my grocery store. I'm sure this is a common feeling for all expats but it is an especially frustrating one when you see a documentary about someone else enjoying the place you live and you take a step back and think, "I really need to get back into that mindset."

Sorry for the little rant. Watch those clips though-they're really great and they do show Moscow's best sides. 

I must have posted this trailer on this blog somewhere before, because I've wanted to see it for ever, but I don't know where it must be. Anyway. Blackfish. Wow. It lived up to the hype. That's for sure. It is shocking and disturbing and... jesus. It's not really a cry-your-eyes-out documentary so much as it is a sinking-heart documentary. Highly recommend. 

What I took away the most from this film is the innocence and love these trainers had in regards to the animals. I never realized that the people who work with these orcas really have no qualifications to do so. They aren't marine biologists or zoologists or have degrees in animal behavior. They're kids who love whales and dolphins and can swim really well. You can really see how this massive, unethical corporation let so much information slip through the cracks and these trainers are the ones caught in the middle, and as you will see in the film, some of them are seriously hurt or killed. 

And speaking of creepy documentaries about twisted places (but this one in a slightly different way), watch this video Urban Outfitters made about the notorious recluse Lisa Frank's factory. 

It came out awhile ago when UO was trying to bank in on Lisa's now vintage stash of goodies, but y'all still need to see it. I forgot about it for the most part until this morning when I was eating cheese in bed and surfing Jezebel and I found this  fascinating article about the fall of Lisa Frank's empire.

And. It. Is. Scandalous

Really, I would never have that it was such a dark place (doesn't that documentary seem so eerie now that you know it's actually a horrific place to work?). Or that Lisa Frank was not the tripped-out hippie loving on girly things I would have thought her to be but... well, you should just read it. It's very well-written and certainly interesting to anyone who owned pieces from her collection when they were young. 

Alright, so those are my recommendations for now. Any of you got any scandalous stories or upsetting documentaries you want to share? Let me know because it's Friday the 13th and it just seems like a day for things like that.


  1. i typically love vice documentaries! however - i do find it strange that it wouldnt be filmed in winter which most people think of when they think of russia. and even more strange they just happen to also be there when the streets are clean. i noticed that about naples, italy - the streets were always dirty and full of trash but that's just the way it is there. as for blackfish - what a great documentary. i love all the information about the whales and their personalities and how emotional they are as creatures. however sad all of the information was, it was so great to be informed. and thanks for that article and video on lisa frank! i am off to read it right now and i love juicy + creepy thing like this. got any more info on other companies?

    1. The only other company doc I know about is "Inside Job" and it explains the ins-and-outs of Wall Street. Reeeeally creepy, but at this point-after occupy wall st.-it might be information you already know. But it's still really interesting and shows the extent of the corruption.


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