Tag Archive | Basketball

The Greatest Sports Documentaries of All Time

the last dance netflix
Michael Jordan in The Last Dance

Settling down to watch an interesting, thought-provoking documentary is a way of learning something new. As you are probably held in quarantine right now, you might be missing sports, if you are a fan. Currently, everyone is buzzing on the recently launched Netflix documentary about Michael Jordan’s golden era, The Last Dance. However, if you are looking for similar documentaries to keep you entertained, we got you covered.

Even if you aren’t a particularly big fan of the following sports, you should find that these documentaries involving them make for great viewing.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

This 2001 documentary takes us back to the 1980 Winter Olympics. At the height of the Cold War, a young and inexperienced American ice hockey team took on the vastly experienced Russians for a crack at winning the gold medal. This inspirational story shows us footage from the legendary final from Lake Placid in New York. It became known as the Miracle on Ice and this documentary lets us see exactly what was so incredible and unexpected about the American comeback and eventual triumph.

Commentator Al Michaels shouting out “Do you believe in miracles?” as the crowd counts down the final seconds remains as one of the most thrilling moments in sport. It is one of the greatest underdog stories of all time.

A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story

You will find yourself engrossed in this riveting story of the golden age of motor racing. Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio was the main figures in the early years of Formula One, as he won five of the first ten championships. His record of five victories was only beaten almost half a century later, by Michael Schumacher. Fangio has the highest winning percentage in the history of the sport and is regarded as being arguably the greatest racing driver of all time. Yet, this documentary looks at more than just his triumphs on the track.

A Life of Speed is a misty-eyed look back at the days when the drivers were great friends and when the sport wasn’t so dominated by commercial interest. Originally broadcast in Spanish, A Life of Speed shows interviews with the likes of Fernando Alonso and Mika Hakkinen.

Hoop Dreams

Dating from 1994, this fascinating documentary shows us how basketball offers the hope of a brighter future to many players. It follows a pair of promising young players – William Gates and Arthur Agee – from inner-city Chicago who dream of becoming professionals in the NBA. It is about the hopes that these players have of reaching the top of their chosen sport. Hoop Dreams is also about the sacrifices that are needed to make a dream come true. The youngsters need to take a 90-minute commute to a new school to try and fulfill their potential.

Hoop Dreams was only meant to be a 30-minute short film, but filming was carried out over 8 years and it ended up as a 3-hour documentary that has enjoyed huge success around the planet. It is a story that can capture anyone’s interest, regardless of whether they understand NBA odds and statistics.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

He may not be a household name now, but this 1998 documentary gives us an intriguing glimpse at the huge impact of Hank Greenberg in baseball and in sport in general. Hammerin’ Hank played in the MLB in the 1930s and 40s, mainly for the Detroit Tigers and also briefly for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

His spectacular statistics show us that Greenberg was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He recorded a batting average of .300 in the 8 seasons he played as a pro and still holds the record for most runs batted in during a single season by a right-handed player. However, this documentary largely looks at the uphill struggle he faced to be accepted, due to the fact that he was Jewish. We can see how he was forced to ensure abuse on and off the field before going on to cement his reputation as one of baseball’s true legends.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Hank Willis Thomas, Liberty

Liberty
Liberty (2015): Fiberglass with Chameleon Auto Paint Finish (Photo By Gail)

In Liberty, Hank Willis Thomas renders a two-dimensional image as a three dimensional sculpture — modeled after an original photograph that appeared in Life Magazine in 1986, which featured a Harlem Globetrotter in front of the Statue of Liberty, spinning a basketball on his finger. Interested in popular culture, photographic history and sports as a metaphor for individual and collective struggle, Thomas created a life-size sculpture of the moment by casting the arm of retired NBA All-Star, Juwan Howard.

Liberty is part of Thomas’s Punctum series, which draws inspiration from the French philosopher Roland Barthes’s idea of the punctum: that “element which rises from the [photographic] scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces,” Using this concept as his foundation, Thomas selects a specific area of an image and re-presents it as Sculpture. Through cropping and isolation, he encourages us to contemplate framing itself: what is left in or out of a photographs, narrative, or an account of a historical event, and why?

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

 

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Globes at O2 Arena

Cutty Sark Pink Globes
Photo By Melinda Warby

There is really nothing like other people’s FaceBook pages for providing awesome things to put on this blog. The above photo was taken by my friend Melinda inside a bar at the O2 Arena in London, UK after she attended a basketball event during the recent 2012 summer Olympics. Melinda confirms that this eye-popping sculpture of hanging globes in varying pink hues is purely decorative and not an actual light fixture. It sure does remind me of this thing here. Want.