Showing all posts tagged: video

For a hard boiled brew try deep fried coffee beans

3 December 2022

Instead of roasting some coffee beans, the more usual process for preparing beans for brewing, British coffee connoisseur James Hoffmann decided to deep fry a batch.

Like Hoffmann, I was unsure why anyone would actually, or ever want to, deep dry coffee beans, but his experiment is purely in the name of curiosity. After the beans have been fried, Hoffmann prepared two brews to sample. One by filter, the other by shot. All very interesting I’m sure, but I might stick to drinking roasted bean coffee…



Sydney act 1300 wins Triple J/RAGE music video of 2022

28 November 2022

And before another Ausmusic month, and November for that matter, falls behind us… Western Sydney based Korean rap act 1300 have won the music video of the year for 2022, with their clip Oldboy in the 2022 J Awards. The video was directed by long-time collaborator Raghav Rampal.


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Trailer for Moja Vesna the debut feature of Sara Kern

27 November 2022

Moja Vesna is the slow-burning, deeply affecting, debut feature of Melbourne based Slovenian-Australian filmmaker Sara Kern, which premiered at the 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival. The trailer is certainly gripping.

In Melbourne’s outer suburbs, reticent Moja, her well-meaning Slovenian father Miloš and her volatile older sister Vesna all struggle to cope with the impacts of a significant death. But Vesna is in denial about the demands of late-stage pregnancy and Miloš barely speaks a word of English, so Moja is forced to assume the role of stabilising presence and cultural mediator — with little chance to mourn the loss of their mother.

Moja Vesna commences a theatrical season in Australian cinemas from today.


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The Sun will not go supernova but it may still drive us away

25 November 2022

In five billion years, hopefully long after a, hopefully, still extant humanity have departed the solar system for a new home somewhere among the stars, the Sun will become a red giant star. In this late phase of its life, the Sun will expand in size to engulf all the solar system’s inner planets.

While this part of the Sun’s lifecycle will be relatively short-lived — some estimates suggest a mere one billion years — our home planet will have well and truly been obliterated, by the time the Sun shrinks in size again. Unless of course any of our descendants, who stayed home, succeeded in moving Earth further out into the solar system.

The idea has been mooted previously. Even before the Sun becomes a red giant, its gradually increasing heat output, or luminosity, will, in time, make living on Earth ever more uncomfortable.

Such as undertaking will be quite the feat of astronomical engineering. Being able to move the planet will be an achievement in itself, to say nothing of navigating to a suitable spot elsewhere, clear of the larger outer planets. But what happens when the Sun shrinks and cools off again? Do we try and send Earth sunwards again? Perhaps our efforts would be better served finding a Earth-twin planet to live on, orbiting a younger star. And, while we’re at it, figuring out a way of reaching said location in a reasonable timeframe.

At least it’s not something we need concern ourselves with right this minute though. Likewise, the prospect of the Sun exploding as a supernova. It’s something that cannot happen. But what about another star — one in the approximate proximity of the solar system — going supernova? That could be a whole another story.

That’s the question the people at Kurzgesagt explore this month, in their latest video presentation. Again the prospect of a relatively nearby star exploding is not something that will occur any time soon. At present, IK Pegasi, a binary star some one hundred and fifty four light years away, is the nearest possibility, though by the time it is projected to explode, it will be more like five hundred light years distant.

Still as Kurzgesagt explains, risks remain, and even supernovas occurring at some distance could have an impact, no matter how minor, on Earth.


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Vance Joy, Baker Boy, Archie Roach win at 2022 ARIAs

24 November 2022

Melbourne based Australian indie pop musician Vance Joy has won the Best Video award for his 2022 single Every Side of You, which was directed by William Bleakley, at Australian music’s night of nights, the ARIAs.

Meanwhile fellow Melbourne music act Baker Boy also known as Danzal Baker, picked up five ARIA awards, being Album of the Year, Best Hip Hop/Rap release, Best Solo Artist, Best Cover Art, and Best Mixed Album.

Other winners included Amyl and the Sniffers, who collected the Best Group and Best Rock Album, while late Indigenous singer and songwriter Archie Roach won the Best Independent Release award. A full list of winners is here .

Update: not sure how I missed this, but the Australian Chamber Orchestra also had an ARIAs win, being awarded Best Original Soundtrack, for their work on Australian made documentary River.


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The antilibrary of Umberto Eco a collection of unread books

18 November 2022

Late Italian medievalist, philosopher, and novelist Umberto Eco amassed a collection of some thirty-thousand books during his life, and can be seen here taking viewers on a short tour of his acquisitions.

But who has time to read that many books? Probably not even the most ardent of readers. But that’s not the reason Eco accumulated so many tomes: he wanted to create an antilibrary. And an antilibrary, as Anne-Laure Le Cunff, writing for Ness Labs explains, is not for the vain — those wanting to show off a vast book collection — but rather, for the curious:

The goal of an antilibrary is not to collect books you have read so you can proudly display them on your shelf; instead, it is to curate a highly personal collection of resources around themes you are curious about. Instead of a celebration of everything you know, an antilibrary is an ode to everything you want to explore.

For sure, the curator of any antilibrary, especially one the size of Eco’s, will not have read every title in the collection, but the books are instead present for reference, a constantly available, off-line, trove of information.


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Apples a film by Christos Nikou a world without social media

16 November 2022

If we really are witnessing the demise of social media, then Apples, trailer, the 2020 debut of Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou, might offer a glimpse of this brave new world. Of course some people will find the scenario familiar, but others — those who grew up with a parent’s smartphone constantly in their hand — might be left feeling disorientated.

Apples is set in contemporary Athens, the capital of Greece, where the world is in the grip of a pandemic that causes instant, and in many cases, permanent amnesia.

Recently widowed Aris (Aris Servetalis) is one of the virus’s victims. As he was carrying no identity documents at the time he lost his memory, Aris is taken to a hospital where he waits to be “claimed” by friends or relatives. Medical staff warn this may never happen though. His near and dear may have also succumbed to the disease, and no longer have any memory of him.

When it becomes apparent this is the case, Aris is placed on a program that gives patients a new identity and life. He is given an apartment and a living allowance, but must complete a daily task set by his doctors. Instructions are left on a cassette placed in his letterbox, which he listens to on a cassette player. He is also required to photograph his exploits, using a Polaroid camera.

Assignments variously include riding a bike, going to a horror film, and even crashing a car in a low-impact collision with a fence or a tree. The exercises are intended to help victims of the virus create new memories. While on one of his missions, Aris meets Anna (Sofia Georgovassili), herself a virus victim, and they begin to form a bond.

But nothing is quite what it seems to be in this world devoid of an internet, where people must interact in person, or call around to each other’s apartments if they wish to see each other. At times though it seems quite comforting. People appear to live normally, as if the advent of social media and the internet were a passing blip in history.

Could it be that straightforward though? Simply forget the internet — and anything else for that matter — both the convenient and inconvenient it has brought to the world? I doubt it, and so to, I think, do the protagonists in Apples.


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If the International Space Station orbited at 3000 metres

9 November 2022

What if the International Space Station orbited at a height of just three thousand metres? Benjamin Granville decided to find out. The answer to many “what-if” questions are often perfectly implausible, but some sure are worth asking. The scenario makes for quite the ride for those aboard the station…


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The Wonder by Emma Donoghue now a film by Sebastian Lelio

8 November 2022

Manna from heaven is all eleven year old Irish girl Anna O’Donnell needs to sustain herself. She eats no other food. Or so she, and her family, say. Along with the inhabitants of the nineteenth century Irish Midlands village where Anna lives.

Her situation has come to the attention of the authorities. But is it true? Is the girl able to survive without eating? Or is it a stunt? A ploy contrived to lure curious, cashed-up, tourists to the region?

To ascertain whether the phenomenon is a medical anomaly, or perhaps a sign of something more divine, Lib Wright (Florence Pugh) an English nurse, is dispatched to investigate.

Together with a nun, Wright will take turns to keep watch on Anna (Kíla Lord Cassidy), to see what is happening, in Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio’s adaptation, trailer, of Emma Donoghue’s 2016 novel (published by Pan Macmillan) of the same name.

I read the novel in 2019, and am looking forward to seeing the story on the big screen. If the trailer is anything to go by, Lelio’s film looks like a faithful adaptation of Donoghue’s book.


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Blockbuster a comedy about the last Blockbuster video shop in America

31 October 2022

I miss afternoons spent whiling away more time than I should have, perusing the aisles of the long closed local video hire shop. Somewhere among the cram packed shelves there was bound to be a title I wanted to see, but had missed at the movies. Time consuming the process may have been, but it was somehow cathartic, transcendental even.

Despite a barrage of closures over the last decade, near to five-hundred video hire shops remain open in Australia. Some even experienced a shortlived uptick in business during the COVID enforced lockdowns, as people searched for ways to amuse themselves while housebound.

Those looking to relive the old days of the video hire shop might then enjoy the aptly name TV show Blockbuster, trailer, a Netflix produced comedy set in the last Blockbuster shop in America. Timmy Yoon, the hapless store owner, is not only hopeful of keeping the business afloat, but also, it seems, catching the eye of his favourite employee, Eliza.

Timmy Yoon is an analog dreamer living in a 5G world. And after learning he is operating the last Blockbuster Video in America, Timmy and his staff employees (including his long time crush, Eliza) fight to stay relevant. The only way to succeed is to remind their community that they provide something big corporations can’t: human connection.


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The Neighbors’ Window a short film by Marshall Curry

29 October 2022

Here’s some weekend viewing for you. The Neighbors’ Window, a short film made in 2019 by American filmmaker Marshall Curry, is a story about two middle-aged parents who become obsessed with a twenty-something couple who move into an apartment across the street.

The Neighbors’ Window tells the story of Alli (Maria Dizzia), a mother of young children who has grown frustrated with her daily routine and husband (Greg Keller). But her life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings move in across the street and she discovers that she can see into their apartment.

Any film with the word window in it is just about always going to draw the inevitable comparions to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but as The Neighbors’ Window goes to show, things are never quite what they seem to be.

Based on actual events, as recounted by writer and filmmaker Diane Weipert, Curry’s fictional work has won a slew of awards, including Best Live Action Short at the 2020 Academy Awards.


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The Novelist’s Film a film by Hong Sang-soo

29 October 2022

The Novelist’s Film, trailer, the 2022 feature from Seoul based South Korea filmmaker Hong Sang-soo, casts a spotlight on “the importance of authenticity in the dishonest world of cinema.” And chance encounters.

The story might strike a chord with authors who have been fortunate enough to have a book of theirs adapted to film, though the writer here seems to be taking a slightly unorthodox approach to bringing her novel to the big screen:

A female novelist takes a long trip to visit a bookstore run by a younger colleague who has fallen out of touch. Then she goes up a tower on her own and runs into a film director and his wife. They take a walk in a park and meet an actress, after which the novelist tries to convince the actress to make a film with her. She and the actress get something to eat, then revisit the bookstore where a group of people are drinking. The actress gets drunk and falls asleep.


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Wrought a timelapse video of food gracefully going rotten

26 October 2022

States of decay can have a beauty to them. Depending on what’s in decay, and how up close you are to the action, that is. Leaves that have fallen from trees during autumn can be a colourful spectacle as they decay and breakdown. The same could be said — in some cases at least — for rotting food.

If you can’t see what possible appeal there is in watching food go off though, Wrought, trailer, a short timelapse film by Winnipeg, Canada, based producers Joel Penner and Anna Sigrithur, just might change your mind. After all, microbes spoil food, but sometimes they can enrich it:

While the very word ‘rot’ might give rise to revulsion — perhaps the memory of a mildewed fruit or the pungent stench of a past-its-prime cut of fish — the processes it describes often yield delicious results. Indeed, many of the world’s most popular foods, from beer and bread to kimchi and cheese, are born of chemical conversions that would, in other contexts, constitute a food ‘going bad’.


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The Taupo Volcano and supervolcanoes a Kurzgesagt dissection

20 October 2022

Last month the alert level for the volcano below Lake Taupō in New Zealand’s North Island was raised from zero to one. A swarm of relatively small earthquakes this year prompted geologists to make the adjustment. But as scientists monitoring the recent seismic activity noted, the change in alert status is more down to improved surveillance techniques. In other words it seems such activity is relatively normal, but has simply gone undetected previously.

Let’s hope there’s nothing to be concerned about, as supervolcanoes are truly a force of nature. An eruption at Taupō over twenty-six thousand years ago was the largest known volcanic eruption in the world in the past seventy-thousand years. With a rating of eight on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, the blast caused temperatures across the entire southern hemisphere to plummet. If such an eruption were repeated today, we’d all notice the fallout no matter where on Earth we were.

It’s timely then Kurzgesagt’s latest video examines so-called supervolcanoes, and puts our minds at ease in terms of the likelihood of such an eruption anytime in the near-ish future.



Iron Island (Jazireh ahani) a film by Mohammad Rasoulof

19 October 2022

Living amongst a tight-knit community aboard a ship as it sails the world’s seas might be a dream come true for some people. But that’s not quite the case for the residents living on a disused oil tanker anchored in waters off the the south coast of Iran, in Iron Island, trailer, the 2005 debut feature of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof.

It may not be any world cruise, but the vessel isn’t exactly stationery either. It is slowly, oh so slowly, sinking. But for the moment this is the least of ship master Captain Nemat’s (Ali Nassirian) problems. The enterprising, some might say exploitive, captain is barely out of frame as he struts about the rusting hull being all things to all people.

One minute he’s greeting new residents, the next he’s fending off the vessel’s owner, who wants to sell the ship for scrap. But that’s probably because Nemat has the same idea. Nemat doesn’t ask rent payments from his tenants, instead they become his employees, and he deducts rent from the salary he pays them.

Everyone except children — whom Nemat provides a school for — and the infirm, are put to work. Work that entails gradually dismantling the crumbling hull of the vessel they call home. Biting the hand that feeds. Any fixtures and fittings that Nemat deems superfluous are cut away and taken ashore to be sold as scrap metal.

Captain Nemat is a compelling character, and one has to wonder what his true motives are. Is he really looking out for the interests of the down-trodden who have no choice but live on his leaky ship? Or is he a shrewd, calculating, business person who sees the ship’s residents as a captive workforce, who will follow him no matter what?

This is the question viewers are left with, when everyone must leave the vessel. While Nemat may not want to see members of his community end up truly homeless, he doesn’t want to lose faithful employees either. Nemat offers them an alternative, but is there any substance to it? Worse still though, does it even matter?


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A trailer for the third and final series of Star Trek Picard

15 October 2022

The third series of Picard, another of the Star Trek franchise stories, goes to air in February 2023.

It seems to me the Star Trek stories get better as they go, if the trailer is an accurate indication of what to expect. Most of the original Next Generation cast are also set to appear alongside Patrick Stewart, who now portrays Admiral Picard, as they confront a mysterious enemy intent on destroying them, and the United Federation of Planets.

Stewart officially announced the season soon after, with filming ending in March 2022. The return of other Next Generation cast members was confirmed a month later, and [series showrunner Terry] Matalas hoped to make the season a satisfying ending for Picard’s story and the whole Next Generation cast.


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Irish filmmaker Alan Gilsenan’s take on James Joyce’s Ulysses

11 October 2022

Ulysses | Film, a documentary by Irish filmmaker and theatre director Alan Gilsenan, is screening as part of this year’s online Irish Film Festival. The work is Gilsenan’s own interpretation of Irish author James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

Alan Gilsenan’s Ulysses | Film is a personal response and cinematic ‘reading’ of Joyce’s novel. Fractured and poetic, this non-narrative film/installation is a myriad of images and sounds evoking Joyce’s imaginary world. Intended as a creative echo of Joyce’s work and life, this work is neither a film of the book nor a visual illustration of the novel. It is instead a personal interpretation of the book, acting as a doorway into the work, an invitation to read or re-visit this seminal piece of literature.


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Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, a film by Yaniv Raz

10 October 2022

James Whitman (Lucas Jade Zumann) is a troubled sixteen year old. With only one friend, Kwane (Odiseas Georgiadis), who sees the friendship as a social experiment more than anything else, James’ life is in turmoil following the disappearance of his older sister Jorie (Lily Donoghue), a month earlier.

If things were bad at home before Jorie vanished, they’ve taken a turn for the worse since. His father, Carl (Jason Isaacs), whom James refers to as “the brute” is an angry ex-navy officer, who won’t hesitate to hit his mother Elly, (Lily Donoghue) when he loses his temper.

Elly meanwhile is disillusioned with her life. In her younger days a promising career as an artist in New York City beckoned. But she was forced to abandon these ambitions because Carl wanted to move to a small town and open a sushi restaurant. Or so she tells James.

A ray of light arrives in the form of James’ classmate Sophie (Taylor Russell). Sophie is the editor of the school’s literature zine, and asks James if he can track down a poem Jorie promised to submit for publication before she disappeared. Sensing Sophie may be seeking more though, he’s happy to oblige.

While searching Jorie’s room — which Carl had placed out of bounds — for the poem, he instead finds a photo of Jorie with some friends, a few of whom James recognises. Believing they may know her whereabouts, he sets off with Sophie, who has agreed to help him, to locate his sister.

Despite its comedy billing, Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, trailer, has more than a few dark moments. James is not as well as his father likes to believe, and as the pressure builds, James begins unravelling.

Light relief in the form of the titular Mr Bird, a pigeon voiced by Tom Wilkinson, who dispenses wisdom to the downtrodden James, lifts the mood. As do the musings of James’ hero Walt Whitman (voiced by Michael H. Cole), along with nods to the work of Wes Anderson, who is clearly a hero of director Yaniv Raz.


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Kurzgesagt explores the realm of the minute and subatomic

8 October 2022

Kurzgesagt ventures to the most extreme place in the universe… a whole ‘nother universe, or microcosm: the realm of the minute and subatomic.

The universe is pretty big and very strange. Hundreds of billions of galaxies with sextillions of stars and planets and in the middle of it all there is earth, with you and us. But as enormous as the universe seems looking up, it seems to get even larger when you start looking down. You are towering over worlds within worlds, within worlds — each in plain sight and yet hidden from your experience.



The Stranger a film by Thomas M Wright with Joel Edgerton

8 October 2022

Daniel Morcombe, a thirteen year Sunshine Coast boy, went missing in December 2003, as he set off to do some Christmas shopping. In August 2011, after an extensive police investigation, and a sting operation, Brett Peter Cowan, who would later be convicted of Morcombe’s kidnapping and murder, was arrested by detectives.

The Stranger, trailer, directed by Thomas M Wright, is a dramatisation of the police operation to apprehend Cowan, and is based on the 2018 book, The Sting, by Kate Kyriacou. But The Stranger is not a direct re-telling of Morcombe’s disappearance. Instead it focuses on efforts to bring the person responsible to justice.

Australian actor and director Joel Edgerton stars as Mark, an undercover police officer, who befriends a man named Henry Teague. Teague is suspected of committing a serious crime, but police lack sufficient evidence to charge him. Mark sets about gaining Teague’s trust, and he hopes, an admission of Teague’s guilt.

A friendship forms between two strangers. For Henry Teague, worn down by a lifetime of physical labour, this is a dream come true. His new friend Mark becomes his saviour and ally. However, neither is who they appear to be, each carry secrets that threaten to ruin them and in the background, one of the nation’s largest police operations is closing in.

The Stranger is currently screening in Australian cinemas.


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