What are your favorite videos of folks doing folksy things?
September 27, 2014 7:35 PM   Subscribe

I've discovered that the missus and I really come together in our enjoyment of watching documentaries about interesting people doing interesting things in interesting ways.

Help us find the best videos that fall somewhere on a Venn diagram of Foxfire, Hands, Bob Ross, Bob Villa/Rehab Addict, Kahn Academy, Project Runway, Master Chef, and Meerkat Manor*.

* or something like that...

I guess what really sparked this question is stumbling upon the amazing documentary series Hands about Irish crafts and their passing into antiquity (even in the 80s when it was made). Seriously, despite the fact that we can't understand a good bit of the dialogue in the actual episodes they're amazing to watch and enjoy together. So, for what it's worth and perhaps obviously, we don't need to actually be *doing* (or even able to do) said thing or, hell, even able to understand the words as long as the material is novel and well presented.

As to the other things I listed, I'm sure they paint a perfectly clear picture of what we're looking for here. I admit to liking some reality TV slash educational thingies.
posted by RolandOfEld to Society & Culture (23 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Folkstreams.
posted by zaelic at 7:40 PM on September 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Bah, meant to say we've already found /r/artisianvideos as well and to throw that up on the, already overly complex, Venn diagram as well.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:41 PM on September 27, 2014

The Putter might fit the bill. A short about a scissor maker.
posted by too bad you're not me at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Traditional Finnish log house building.

Roy Underhill and the Woodwright's Shop.
posted by drlith at 7:47 PM on September 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes! That Finnish Log house video (as well as Dick Proenneke's Alone in the Wilderness) and Woodwright's Shop are perfect, if already known, answers. Keep 'em coming.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:52 PM on September 27, 2014

I like these too. Are you looking for individual videos or places to find sets of videos on similar topics? If the former...

- Smokin Fish about Tlingit culture and Alaska
- Alone in the Wilderness about Dick Proenneke
- Honeybee Hunt - this may not be findable, but my local library has it, it's about local folks who go out and find wild bees to put in hives. super interesting

On preview, jinx!
posted by jessamyn at 7:57 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Are you looking for individual videos or places to find sets of videos on similar topics?

Kinda just crowdsourcing in general. I guess what I mean is that a recommendation of a set of amazing videos, a la Hands or Bob Ross or Woodwrights, would get us the most mileage and depth while a long-form documentary, like Alone in the Wilderness or the Finnish Cabin VideoTM, is great too and, lastly, a short 2 to 6 minute video, that would fit right in on /r/artisianvideos, that you're super fond of isn't going to go awry either.

On preview, jinx!

Yep, I have my own digital copy it's so good. I'm sad that my plans to build a small cabin with my dad have transformed into building a tinyTM house but whatever my parents want is what they'll get.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:05 PM on September 27, 2014

I think you might like The Iron Uke, a charming (short!) short about Ross Stuart, the man who makes Rosbilt tin can ukulele/banjos.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:06 PM on September 27, 2014

You will enjoy this video of neon sign-makers in Hong Kong. There is less and less demand for their work, and nobody to pass the business to, once these old men retire. It's neat to watch their techniques and see the creativity in this very commercial art form.
posted by HoteDoge at 8:37 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Home Movie is interesting though not heavy on examining techniques, more about the personalities of a bunch of very colorful people who live in very unusual homes. (One is a converted missile silo). Husband and I saw it when it came out and still talk about it now and then.
posted by emjaybee at 8:39 PM on September 27, 2014

Paul Sellers.
posted by synecdoche at 8:41 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

While I wish they were longer and more numerous, I could watch this company's The Birth of A Tool series over and over.
posted by teremala at 9:22 PM on September 27, 2014

I really liked A Year in the Wild.
On YouTube you might like the Victorian Farm series. They've done a number of historic periods, and the Tudor/medieval series are more general homesteading and include them making thatched roofs, charcoal, etc.
Also the PBS series Art in the 21st Century; there's also a good documentary on Andy Goldworthy on Netflix.
posted by jrobin276 at 2:12 AM on September 28, 2014

Thanks for the Hands link, I didn't even know I needed that. Do they need to be in English?
I have a bit of a crush on the "100% farmer" as he's called in Swedish, Danish dude gone all back to the earth and farms oldschool. You can watch here. You may need Hola or something, but maybe not. If nothing else, it's nice to look at the pictures, and to be honest it's about as easily understood as half those Hands videos. http://www.dr.dk/tv/se/bonderoeven/bonderoeven-3-10
posted by Iteki at 8:47 AM on September 28, 2014

I think you will like this short documentary (20 minutes) about Teddy Gray's sweet factory in the West Midlands.
posted by redfoxtail at 12:34 PM on September 28, 2014

Minka: http://vimeo.com/20658635
An incredibly beautiful story about two men, a house, and a life's work.

Chabott Engineering: http://vimeo.com/13159991
Handmade motorcycles.

Rufus Hussy, slingshot master. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ieWrWLjii0
posted by fake at 3:11 PM on September 28, 2014

Youtube Channel of Keith Fenner, who runs a machine shop that does marine and other metalwork.

I don't know how to weld and don't have any fancy tools, but find the videos better than most sitcoms.
posted by sarah_pdx at 8:50 PM on September 28, 2014

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga has some fascinating scenes featuring traditional ski and boat making.
posted by oxisos at 9:43 PM on September 28, 2014

This is possibly too arty for this question, but Rivers and Tides is amazing, and you get lots and lots of footage of the artist building his works. It very definitely fits the description of "interesting people doing interesting things in interesting ways."
posted by kristi at 10:56 AM on September 30, 2014

I was fascinated by this video of a cooper making a barrel--they show it at the Guinness storehouse in Dublin. He barely measures anything, just hacks away for a while, and makes a perfect barrel. It's amazing.
posted by zoetrope at 8:51 PM on September 30, 2014

My husband enjoys movies and other media about interesting people simply doing their jobs. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is an excellent example of this.
posted by audacity at 7:39 AM on October 1, 2014

Tim's Vemeer is really really cool. Really neat mix of science and art-making. But mostly watching a guy paint. Its amazing.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 11:44 PM on October 1, 2014

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