Marked Death of the Yakuza

No criminal group in the world is more closely identified with tattoos than the largest: Japan’s Yakuza, 80,000 strong. In this episode of Marked, we go deep into Japan’s underground for an exclusive look at the stunning full body-suits of ink thatmark the skin of today’s yakuza. Hidden within the layers of spectacular imagery are secret codes that reach back far into Japan’s bloody samurai history: violent warriors, images of hell, prostitutes, and a range of predators from tigers to dragons. Wehear from yakuza as they share stories of their criminal pasts, the significance of their tattoos, and the pain they experienced in getting most of their bodies tattooed the old fashioned way: by getting poked over and over again with needles fastened to the ends of sticks.
Master tattoo artist and former yakuza boss Horizen guides us through the intricate process of creating a traditional Japanese tattoo, or tebori, from scratch, demystifying this ancient craft in which everything, from making the ink to sharpening the needles, is done by hand.

Dick Winters: “Hang Tough”

In the year 2000, Emmy Award-winning British actor Damian Lewis was chosen to portray a humble World War II veteran by the name of Dick Winters in a television mini-series called Band of Brothers. The series was based on a book by the same name by author Stephen Ambrose.
Lewis called the television role “more than just an acting job,” but “a defining moment in my life” that provided him “an opportunity to portray a humble man whom I came to admire and respect.”
In the documentary Dick Winters: “Hang Tough,” Damian Lewis lends his voice and thoughts to a film honoring one of World War II’s finest and most respected combat leaders. Richard D. Winters was a soldier who always led from the front with the well-being of his men his top priority.
From his early days in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, to the famed attack on Brecourt Manor on D-Day, to the dedication on June 6, 2012 of the Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Normandy, France, Lewis describes the process with which Dick Winters prepared himself to be a leader with heroic results on June 6, 1944 in Normandy.
The Dick Winters legacy in Normandy today is also emphasized.
A never before seen interview with Major Richard Winters is the foundation of the film, as are thoughts of many of the original Men of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne, which Dick Winters commanded in World War II.

John Forbes Nash (A Brilliant Madness)

A Brilliant Madness is the story of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by a descent into madness. At the age of 30, John Nash, a stunningly original and famously eccentric MIT mathematician, suddenly began claiming that aliens were communicating with him and that he was a special messenger.

Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Nash spent the next three decades in and out of mental hospitals, all but forgotten. During that time, a proof he had written at the age of 20 became a foundation of modern economic theory. In 1994, as Nash began to show signs of emerging from his delusions, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics.

The program features interviews with John Nash, his wife Alicia, his friends and colleagues, and experts in game theory and mental illness.

UK’s Scariest Debt Collector

Ten years ago Shaun Smith was an enforcer for one of the biggest crime families in Liverpool and embroiled in a war against a rival drug gang.

Shaun introduced urban terrorism to the British underworld. He sprayed up houses with machine guns, tortured people and used homemade napalm to firebomb his enemies.

Today, after a spell of five years in prison for firearms offences, he is trying to transfer those skills to the legal economy by working as a debt collector in the northern English satellite town of Warrington.

Boyfriends for Hire in Japan

In Japan, it’s not uncommon for successful women to pay attractive young men huge sums of money for a few cocktails and an hour of platonic companionship. VICE in conjunction with Schweppes sends correspondent Joel Cornell to Shibuya to explore this strange world and to find out if he can cut it as a professional boyfriend for hire.

500 Nations The Story of Indian Americans Part 1

500 Nations is an eight-part documentary on the Native Americans of North and Central America. It documents from pre-Columbian to the end of the 19th century. Much of the information comes from text, eyewitnesses, pictorials, and computer graphics. The series was hosted by Kevin Costner, narrated by Gregory Harrison, and directed by Jack Leustig. It included the voice talents of Eric Schweig, Gordon Tootoosis, Wes Studi, Cástulo Guerra, Tony Plana, Edward James Olmos, Patrick Stewart, Gary Farmer, Tom Jackson, Tantoo Cardinal, Dante Basco, Sheldon Peters Wolfchild, Tim Bottoms, Michael Horse, Graham Greene, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Amy Madigan, Frank Salsedo, and Kurtwood Smith. The series was written by Jack Leustig, Roberta Grossman, Lee Miller (head of research), and W. T. Morgan, with Dr. John M. D. Pohl.
“The truth is, we have a story worth talking about. We have a history worth celebrating. Long before the first Europeans arrived here, there were some 500 nations already in North America. They blanketed the continent from coast to coast, from Central America to the Arctic. There were tens of millions of people here, speaking over 300 languages. Many of them lived in beautiful cities, among the largest and most advanced in the world. In the coming hours, 500 Nations looks back on those ancient cultures, how they lived, and how many survived…. What you’re about to see is what happened. It’s not all that happened, and it’s not always pleasant. We can’t change that. We can’t turn back the clock. But we can open our eyes and give the first nations of this land the recognition and respect they deserve: their rightful place in the history of the world.” Kevin Costner[1]

Sep 11 – “Why the Towers Fell” – Nova PBS

For most people the image of the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, was not only a scene of unforgettable horror, it was a moment of unimaginable consequence. Within days, NOVA began following a blue ribbon team of forensic engineers as they began searching for clues that would tell them why the towers fell.

This moving and informative documentary features interviews with survivors and rescue personnel who recount the buildings’ last moments and their harrowing journeys to safety, interweaving these stories with the insights of some of the leading structural engineers in the world to explain exactly what happened on that fateful day.
Why the Towers Fell takes viewers through the process by which the investigative team came to understand the how’s and why’s of one of America’s greatest tragedies. From a detailed examination of the building’s original design to the relentless process of combing scrap steel yards and Ground Zero itself for evidence, this was one of the most extensive and difficult disaster investigations ever undertaken. The team tested building materials, calculated the role of the jet fuel in the fire, estimated the speed of the aircraft and the damage to the building’s core, and they analyzed the effectiveness of the escape and fire protection systems. The conclusions they reached will certainly influence the building of future skyscrapers for years to come.

PBS – Nova

Lovecraft’s Fear of the Unknown is a feature length documentary that looks at the life, work and mind behind the Cthulhu mythos. The film features interviews with Guillermo del ToroNeil GaimanJohn CarpenterPeter StraubCaitlin R. KiernanRamsey CampbellStuart GordonS. T. JoshiRobert M. Price andAndrew Migliore. Written & Directed by Frank H. Woodward. Produced by William Janczewski, James B. Myers, and Woodward. Lovecraft won Best Documentary at the 2008 Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. It was the official selection at: Cinema Du Parc in Collaboration With The Fantasia Festival 2008; Erie Horror Film Festival 2008; Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre Festival 2008; Shriekfest Horror Film Festival 2008; The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival 2008; TromaDance 2009 and Porto Alegre, Brazil’s Fantaspoa Festival 2009.

Documentary Film crew Inside Tower 1 from beginning to end on Sept 11

Filmmakers James Hanlon and the Naudet brothers were originally filming Tony Benetatos assigned to Ladder 1 on Duane Street with the intention of making a film about the “probie’s” experience. On the morning Battalion 1 was called out on a gas leak, Jules rode with Chief Joseph Pfeifer, to check it out. When American Airlines Flight 11 flew by overhead, Jules turned the camera and taped one of only three known recordings of the first plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center