Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pablo Ferro Discovers Cinema

This is an animation from the upcoming biopic of legendary designer and filmmaker Pablo Ferro. I am excited to see it when it comes out. I had the privilege of attending a collage workshop with him a few years ago, and someone filmed the whole thing, so perhaps i am in one of the scenes for a split second or two...

Pierrot Le Fou

I love this poster. It's from the recent Criterion release of the film.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Fly

On the highway down to Portland yesterday I felt a little something on my neck, and thinking that it was simply a piece of my dangling hair I touched my neck to swipe it away. I then relized that it was a little beetle, who somehow managed to find himself in a car traveling 65 mph. Perhaps he was hitchhiking his way down to a better art scene or cheaper real estate, but whatever it was we decided it wise to drop him off, not knowing much about his background, who he was. He could have been an ax murderer for all we knew. So I scoped him up in a styrofoam cup and sent him flying out the window. Perhaps he was able to find his way into another more willing car or truck, or perhaps he is stuck between here and there flying around aimlessly looking for a better life.

This post is dedicated to that beetle.

"This Academy Award winner animation by Ferenc Rofusz showed a magnificent new technic of background animation in its age back in 1981. Telling the story trough the P.O.V. of it was also a unique state of art from the Eastern-European block."

Friday, December 7, 2007

On the Couch

This video from Quebec is an interesting take on the song "Belleville Rendez-Vous"-- combining a psychoanalysis session woven with elements from the heart-achingly beautiful animated French delight Triplets of Belleville.
With all of the subtle social statements buried within the folds of the film (a thinly veiled Belleville as a bloated, money and power hungry America for one), drawing parallels to psychoanalysis aren't too far off.

The Last Frontier

In the spring of this year, guitarist Eric Howk of Seattle band the Lashes took a tragic fall that left him partially paralyzed and in a wheel chair. Last night marked his triumphant return to the stage with his side project Palmer, AK-- a creative outlet he's been consistently working on throughout his recovery. Backed up by four fellow musicians, all seated as well, his solo material was beautifully executed, full of melodic hooks and harmonies over solid walls of rhythmic acoustic guitar. It was a heartening, soul warming experience to see the songs brought to life with such expertise, grace and enthusiasm. Here's to hearing much more from Palmer, Alaska of Seattle, Washington.

Give a listen to "Same Rain/Noelly" over here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Jean-Dominique Bauby was a French journalist and author and editor of the magazine ELLE. At the age of 43, on December 8, 1995, he suffered a massive stroke which rendered his brain stem inactive. When he woke up twenty days later, he found he was mute and almost entirely paralyzed; he could only move his head a little, grunt, and blink his left eyelid. This rare condition is called locked-in syndrome.

He was able to develop a way of communicating by blinking once for yes and twice for no as someone read the alphabet. And through this process wrote a novel about his experience.

That book has been made into a film directed by the painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. I just saw the film tonight at a special SIFF screening, and it is stunning, it's no wonder Schnabel picked up the Best Director award at Cannes this year for it. I think that this movie could have been have been just average in the hands of another director or if it was made in the US. The studio and even the French distributers wanted it to be an english language film, but as i learned at the Q&A afterwords, Schnabel fought to have it shot in France and spoken in French with French actors. The sound of the french language allows for someone reading the alphabet over and over again to have a beautiful, poetic rhythm, that could have easily sounded dull and repetitive in English. The photography in the movie is stunning, shot by Janusz Kaminski, Steven Spielberg's longtime DP. It is a beautiful piece of filmmaking that should be experienced in a movie theatre. It should be out soon, but in the meantime watch the trailer.

i - Wikipedia

The Believer

In the cluttered basement of an eccentric's estate sale, I happened upon a very old book about the Cottingly Fairies. The book examines a series of photographs from 1917 that capture a pair of girls frolicking about with faires and gnomes. Much ado has been made about the authenticity of the shots, but they remind me of a song by one of my favorite Seattle songwriters, Bill Patton. His beautiful, meandering version of Black Sabbath's "Fairies Wear Boots" is almost enough to make you believe.

City Shrinker

The tilt shift effect in photography has seen a recent spike in popularity due to the fact that it is quite easy to replicate in photoshop. The effect turns a normal photograph into a wonderfully miniature world. But it only works best with the right kind of photographs. Ben Thomas seems to have it down right. Take a trip through his shrunken cities here. Found via It's Nice That.

If You're the Girl That Won't Decline

Michael Cera, perhaps best known as George Michael on Arrested Development plays an awkward teenage accidental inseminator in Juno, but he's also got his own awkward teenage band. And unlike many of the awful, celebrity boasting efforts out there, Cera's The Long Goodbye is actually worth listening to, a bit lo-fi Microphones meets the melodies of Belle and Sebastian. This video of them covering Weezer's "El Scorcho" isn't the best representation of what they do (in fact, it might be the worst), but it is funny. Head here for a few tracks, lyrics like "Betty, Shelly, Jody, you can slap me around/You can tell me all the things that I do wrong/You're still the girl I want to have around" and "If you're the girl that won't decline/Can I call you mine", and endearing candid shots of Cera.

Dollar and a Dime

A number of folks have brought this traditional Southern song to life, from Doc Watson to Mississipi John Hurt but there's something about Gillian Welch's version that seeps through the cracks and gets right to the heart. Arm yourself with this one on a long lonely journey, and never want for a spot on some kind soul's floor.

Pretty Cool People

I stumbled upon this website today Pretty Cool People. It features some interesting video interviews with filmmakers and artists and designers, and etc. Check out the Mike Mills and Miranda July ones for a good taste.

Via Motionographer

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Lost Mine

Will Vinton brings us the genius of his Claymation Christmas Special's "Carol of the Bells", circa 1987.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Robin Sings a Song on a Monday Night

Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes debuts a brand new song at Chop Suey in Seattle, WA.