Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
Staff and customers at Wholesale Tropicals in the East End of London have two preferred topics of conversation: how the character of the rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood is changing and, of course, tropical fish. Brimming with subtle charms, gentle humour and poignant observations, and set to the soothing sound of bubbles percolating through an aquarium’s air pump, the short documentary Bubble provides a portrait of the specialist retailer and its many characters, land- and water-dwelling. Juxtaposing human and fish perspectives on their surroundings, and especially the unusual creatures staring at each through the glass, the UK director Eleanor Mortimer finds a compelling subject in this slice of London, building an understated atmosphere from the small joys that compound with each passing minute.
Director: Eleanor Mortimer
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
In this 1975 lecture, the maglev train’s inventor deconstructs his ingenious design
Information and communication
There are many ways to make a flat map of the world – each of them a unique distortion
What is it like to clean the world for tomorrow while the rest of a city sleeps?
The nearly forgotten origin myth of Hawaii’s third-gender healers, as told by one