Rooms

3 minutes

Why did the Mexican jumping bean jump?

4 minutes

Gardening with Nietzsche

8 minutes

Steve is undocumented

10 minutes

You and the thing that you love

12 minutes

How our rooms shape our world, and vice versa

A nearly inescapable fact of modern life is that most of us spend more time in just a few rooms in our homes than the sum of time spent anywhere else on Earth – and perhaps doubly so over the past year of pandemic-related lockdowns. And so, unsurprisingly, our spaces also tend to occupy a rather prominent place in our minds. Do they need a clean? A redecoration? To be ditched for a new arrangement altogether? And what – good, bad and ugly – do they reveal about us to visitors? Featuring clever animated sequences in which talking, shifting shapes transform along to the reflective words of interviewees, Rooms explores how the mental and physical spaces of our rooms intersect and overlap.

Director: Rohan Patrick McDonald

Website: Shelf Shelf

How moth larvae carve out cozy, mobile homes inside Mexican jumping beans

You might know that moth larvae are the hidden creatures that make Mexican jumping beans jump. You might also know that Mexican jumping beans aren’t ‘beans’ at all, but seed pods – those of a shrub native to the Sonoran Desert, which straddles the border of Mexico, Arizona and California. But, as this video from the science documentary series Deep Look explores, burrowing further into the lives of Mexican jumping bean inhabitants still makes for highly fascinating viewing. Captured in stunning 4K resolution, this short film documents the months that a jumping bean moth larva spends hollowing out, residing inside, and manually repairing and relocating its 10mm home, before ultimately emerging in its mature form.

Video by KQED Science

Producer and Writer: Mike Seely

Narrator and Writer: Laura Klivans

Cinematographer: Kevin Collins

Amid the chaos of being, Nietzsche believed that plants offer us inspiration for living

Aristotle thought that plants possess what he called a ‘vegetative soul’. Centred on growing and reproducing, this primordial, unthinking state of being was encompassed and far surpassed by the ‘rational soul’ of humans. Friedrich Nietzsche, however, believed that, in the overwhelming confusion of considering how we might live, there was much we could learn from plants – deeply rooted in the ground and yet limitlessly expressive as they are. Borrowing from some of Nietzsche’s lesser-known writings, this short video essay might just inspire you to look at a plant growing through a crack in the ‘inhospitable ground’ – and perhaps even Nietzsche himself – in a new light.

Video by The DOX Channel

Writer: Zoe Almon Job

Animator: Theo Garcia

Meet the British bouncer in LA on an expired visa who has no time for immigrants

Steve is a former weightlifter who still keeps up with quite a few hobbies: fitness, heavy metal music, clay sculpture, bikes, motorcycles, and lots and lots of weapons. He works as a bouncer outside a Los Angeles nightclub, making small talk with the (often over-served) young patrons, and throwing out troublemakers. And, as he’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, he hates what immigration is doing to the country – despite being a Brit who’s overstayed his own US visa by 25 years. Steve Is Undocumented captures him at a moment of transition, preparing for a move back to England with his wife, who is pregnant with twins. With their stylish and often wry profile, the directors Michael Barth and Kauai Moliterno build a complex portrait in just 10 minutes, capturing the many intricacies and blaring hypocrisies of Steve’s life and worldview.

Directors: Michael Barth, Kauai Moliterno

Producer: Nathan Truesdell

After losing his sight, a skateboarder takes an unexpected path to realising his dreams

Nick Mullins fell in love with skateboarding as a teenager and, rather quickly, became quite skilled. As one of the best young skateboarders in the Detroit area, he was putting together a video to catch the attention of sponsors, when, after taking a rough but mostly innocuous fall, he scraped the side of his body and contracted a staph infection. He would barely escape with his life, and after waking up from a medically induced coma, realised he had gone blind. Believing he had no prospects – in skating or in life – he fell into a deep depression. The short documentary You and the Thing That You Love retells how Mullins would eventually realise his dreams, albeit by taking a very much unanticipated path. Capturing Mullins’s story with kinetic style, the US filmmaker Nicholas Maher avoids cliché to create a standout portrait of perseverance and love of craft – and one that can be savoured even if you don’t know your ‘blunts’ from your ‘fakies’.

Director: Nicholas Maher

How our rooms shape our world, and vice versa

A nearly inescapable fact of modern life is that most of us spend more time in just a few rooms in our homes than the sum of time spent anywhere else on Earth – and perhaps doubly so over the past year of pandemic-related lockdowns. And so, unsurprisingly, our spaces also tend to occupy a rather prominent place in our minds. Do they need a clean? A redecoration? To be ditched for a new arrangement altogether? And what – good, bad and ugly – do they reveal about us to visitors? Featuring clever animated sequences in which talking, shifting shapes transform along to the reflective words of interviewees, Rooms explores how the mental and physical spaces of our rooms intersect and overlap.

Director: Rohan Patrick McDonald

Website: Shelf Shelf

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Photo by Elliott Landy / Magnum Photos

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