Showing all posts tagged: video

A Guide to Dating at the End of the World by Samuel Gay

13 August 2022

I couldn’t go passed the title… A Guide to Dating at the End of the World, trailer, the debut feature of Queensland, Australia, based filmmaker Samuel Gay, which is set in the state’s capital, Brisbane.

The story follows unlucky-in-love Alex (Kerith Atkinson), a thirty-something woman who wakes one morning to find she’s apparently alone in the city, after a Large Hadron Collider experiment somehow dissolves everyone else.

Alex meets John on a blind date set up by her friends, and declares that she ‘wouldn’t see him again even if he were the last man on earth!’ The next day Alex wakes to find that a scientific experiment seems to have wiped out the rest of humanity. The streets of Brisbane are deserted; her annoying boss has disappeared; no longer does she have to put up with her friends trying to set her up with losers. Alex finds that she has the City of Sunshine to herself — at first it’s bliss. No traffic, no queues, no deadlines — though the novelty wears thin after a few weeks of harmless carjacking, home-invasions and tinned food. Until Alex discovers that there is someone else still alive, and it’s John!

The premise reminds me a little of The Quiet Earth — made in 1985 by late New Zealand filmmaker Geoff Murphy — though minus the star crossed lovers. A Guide to Dating at the End of the World premieres in Brisbane on Friday 26 August 2022.

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100 years a film by John Malkovich locked in a safe for 100 years

12 August 2022

Written by American actor John Malkovich, who also stars with Marko Zaror and Shuya Chang, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, 100 Years, teaser/trailer, is a film made in 2015 that will not be released — all things remaining equal — until 2115.

The only physical copy of the movie was placed in a time controlled safe at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, which apparently will not open until Monday 18 November 2115. While details of the plot remain sketchy, it seems a certain brand of cognac features prominently.

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The history of the dumpling by Miranda Brown

11 August 2022

An animated history of the dumpling by Miranda Brown, professor of Chinese Studies, at the University of Michigan. While dumplings feature prominently in Chinese cuisine, they may have originated elsewhere, possibly closer to central Asia.

As archaeologists pored over ancient tombs in western China, they discovered some surprisingly well-preserved and familiar relics. Though hardened over 1,000 years, there sat little crescent-shaped dumplings. So who invented these plump pockets of perfection, and how did they spread across the world?

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Michael Spitzer: 40000 years of music history in 8 minutes

6 August 2022

Because music is so accessible today we’re drowning in it, says Michael Spitzer, professor of music at the University of Liverpool. That’s a far cry from a few hundred years ago when people attended, at best, two recitals in their lifetime, and music went unrecorded until 1877 when Thomas Edison invented the phonograph.

But the arrival of the phonograph is only a small part in the story of music. Changes in the way music was performed, and the instruments created to make that possible, evolved as we moved away from our hunter-gatherer roots, and eventually began living in towns. Spitzer’s recounting of forty-thousand years of musical development, in the space of eight minutes, is fascinating.

If you’re looking at the broad picture of the evolution of sapiens, then the epochs are hunter-gatherer, farming community, and then the founding of cities and city-states. Each of these epochs is associated with mentalities. So, hunter-gatherers tended to be nomadic. And if you’re essentially journeying through a landscape, what you don’t do is carry heavy instruments. Music has to be portable, ideally, just a voice or if not, a very light flute or a small percussive instrument. And if you look at the music that is played by the Cameroon Pygmies, every time they play a piece, it sounds different. It’s very much music of the moment.

Now, what changes when you invent farming? You settle down. And your whole mindset becomes fixed on the circle of the seasons, the circle of life. And you invent repeatable work. And the structure of the work becomes as cyclical as life itself. You invent a circle in music, invent musical rituals. And once music migrates from the farm to the town, certain changes happen. Instruments can become heavy because you start to set quite permanent roots into the town. You create heavy instruments like bells and gongs, but also very delicate ones like harps and lutes which would be damaged over a journey.

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Trailer for Blaze a film by Del Kathryn Barton

2 August 2022

Sydney based Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton has turned her hand to filmmaking. Her debut feature Blaze, trailer, which premiered at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, tells the story of a girl, Blaze (Julia Savage), who retreats into an imaginary realm after witnessing an act of violence.

Although she has made a couple of short films previously, Barton is probably best known for winning the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 2008, with her painting You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella.

Looking at the trailer though, I couldn’t help but thinking Blaze — which opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 25 August 2022 — is like one of Barton’s artworks come to life.

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Vale Nichelle Nichols AKA Lieutenant Uhura of Star Trek

1 August 2022

American actor Nichelle Nichols, perhaps best known for her role as Lieutenant Uhura, the communications office of the USS Enterprise, in the original Star Trek TV series and later movies, died aged 89 over the weekend.

Star Trek fans doubtless have many favourite Uhura moments and lines, but this isn’t reality, this is fantasy, from The Search for Spock, the third Star Trek film starring the original cast, has to be up there with the best of them. See also this IMDb photo gallery honouring Nichols’ life and work.

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Restored colourised 100 year old film of well known cities

30 July 2022

Taking one hundred year old film footage found in the Prelinger Archives, YouTuber NASS has added colour and ambient sound to create an eight minute slice-of-life glimpse of cities across Europe and America, as it was in the 1920s.

New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagan, Amsterdam, Nice, Geneva, Milan, and Venice, are featured, along with Paris, and some aerial footage of the French capital. Today that would be as simple as sending a drone up, but one hundred years ago the undertaking would have required a little more planning.

The novelty of being on camera, in an age when cameras were still something a novelty, is also apparent. In one segment a police officer appears to be amused at being filmed, as does a boy in another part of the clip. Today a film crew on the street would probably go virtually unnoticed.

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A trailer for Not Okay a film by Quinn Shephard

30 July 2022

What’s a wanna-be writer who no one takes seriously, who also aspires to be an influencer, despite only having a handful of followers, to do? Fake it, of course. Fake it til she makes it. What else?

But.

Be careful what you wish for. Twenty-something New Yorker Danni (Zoey Deutch), finds she has bitten off more than she can chew when a faux trip to Paris goes horribly awry, in Not Okay, trailer, the second feature of American actor and filmmaker Quinn Shephard.

This is one I’ll be looking out for on streaming (no word to date of an Australian cinematic release).

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Infinite zoom in art and illustration by Lucas Vaskange

29 July 2022

The stunning infinite, zoom-in stories, of Paris based French artist and illustrator Lucas Vaskange will doubtless leave many of us wondering, damn, why didn’t I think of that?

More work by Vaskange can be found on Instagram and INPRNT.

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Rabies, a deadly virus from which few people recover

28 July 2022

According to Wikipedia, fifty-nine thousand people die from rabies annually. Once infected — commonly by way of a dog or bat bite — the prognosis is grim: death is a virtual certainty. There is some good news however, if you suspect you may have been infected somehow, you can still get the rabies vaccination which should halt the disease. But you need to act quickly.

Rabies, a word deriving from Latin word, means madness, and is the subject of this month’s Kurzgesagt video, which they describe as the deadliest virus on Earth. If you’re not a Kurzgesagt subscriber, I highly recommended following them. They have a knack for explaining complicated concepts in simple terms, while being engaging at the same time.

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A trailer for The Princess a documentary by Ed Perkins

27 July 2022

Directed by British documentary maker Ed Perkins, The Princess, trailer, which opens in Australian cinemas on Friday 12 August 2022, looks at the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Made up mostly of archival footage, in a similar style to Asif Kapadia’s 2010 documentary Senna, The Princess also examines the lasting influence Diana’s life, and death, had on the British monarchy.

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The extended trailer for House of the Dragon, a GoT prequel

27 July 2022

If you can’t do without Game of Thrones (GoT) in your life, then there’s good news. A ten episode prequel series, titled House of the Dragon is set to go to air on Sunday 21 August 2022.

Based in part on the 2018 novel Fire & Blood, by GoT creator George R. R. Martin, House of the Dragon is set two hundred years before events of Game of Thrones, and centres on the “Dance of the Dragons”, the name given to the war of succession within the House Targaryen of Dragonstone.

An extended trailer for House of the Dragon was screened at Comic-Con last week, too much excitement from GoT fans, but that’s probably no surprise.

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The first year in the life of a mango tree time lapse video

25 July 2022

Incredible time lapse video footage of the growth of a mango tree, from being planted as a seed, to a year later, from the people at Boxlapse.

I once lived in house that had a mature mango tree in the back yard. It was sizeable, three metres, maybe a little higher, planted on the fence line. Now I know what I missed earlier on.

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A trailer for Nope, the 2022 film by Jordan Peele

22 July 2022

Nope, trailer, being released in many parts of the world today, is the third feature of American actor and filmmaker Jordan Peele, and is being billed as a sci-fi horror comedy:

After random objects falling from the sky result in the death of their father, ranch-owning siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood attempt to capture video evidence of an unidentified flying object with the help of tech salesman Angel Torres and documentarian Antlers Holst.

But what does the title Nope mean? That, nope, there are no aliens in the film, because they don’t really exist in the first place? Nope, I don’t think so.

Peele chose Nope as the title because he wanted to acknowledge movie audiences and their expected reactions to the film. He also said, however, that he had considered titling the film Little Green Men to reference a theme in the film about humanity’s “monetization of spectacle.”

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Why do young people in old photos look old?

19 July 2022

This is something I’ve often wondered about. I’m looking at a photo portrait that might be one hundred years old, of a person who is, or was, aged about twenty at the time the photo was taken. Despite their obvious youth, they still somehow look… old. Why should that be though? It’s a question that Michael Stevens, host of Vsauce, explores in a recent video.

The phenomenon of people who seem to be older at a younger age, is something Stevens calls retrospective aging. People today, he tells us, are aging at a slower rate than those who came before us. Lifestyle and nutrition changes, better healthcare, less smoking, and even the wider spread use of sunscreen, all make a difference. But there’s more to it, as Stevens explains.

As to the one hundred year photo of the twenty year old, who indeed looks twenty and not thirty-five, but still seems old, is something I call the illusion of age.

Compare photography of a century ago with the casual nature of selfie snaps today. One hundred years ago cameras were not as ubiquitous as they are today. Back then, having your photo taken was an occasion. People dressed elegantly. Put on their best clothes. Suits, evening dresses. Tidied up their appearance. People also tended to pose more formally, and seldom smiled. They looked serious. Not to mention their hairstyles, which also suggest a bygone era. All of those factors could combine to present someone in a more mature, older, light.

Then there’s the fact we know said photo is a century old. We’re looking at someone we know, were they still alive, would be aged well over one hundred. The image, the illusion, of an old person, therefore presents itself in our minds. The young person — unfortunately — looks old to our eyes.

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Trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

18 July 2022

A teaser/trailer for the upcoming Amazon produced TV series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Although a continuation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings stories, written by late British author J. R. R. Tolkien, which are set during the Third Age of Middle-earth, events of The Rings of Power take place thousands of years earlier, in the Second Age.

[The Rings of Power] begins during a time of relative peace and covers all the major events of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the last alliance between Elves and Men.

While Tolkien didn’t write specifically about the Second Age, the series is based on mentions of the era featured in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings. And unlike Tolkien’s vision of the Second Age which spanned thousands of years, The Rings of Power will play out over a far shorter timeframe.

The biggest deviation the writers made from Tolkien’s works, which was approved by the estate and lore experts, was to condense these events from taking place over thousands of years into a short time period. This was to avoid the human characters frequently dying throughout the series due to their relatively short lifespans, and to allow major characters from later in the timeline to be introduced earlier in the series.

The first series of The Rings of Power goes to air on Friday 2 September 2022.

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Milling wood scraps into bricks compatible with Lego blocks

14 July 2022

How cool is this? A method of turning wood scraps, from say household building projects, into bricks that will fit together with LEGO blocks.

And tangentially related, a method of using LEGO blocks for data storage, in the form of punch cards made up of LEGO bricks in a binary format (should the need arise to do so), by American software developer Mike Kohn.

Both ideas look like fun for a rainy day, of which we’ve a fair few of recently in this part of the world.

Via Hackaday.

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Naomi R. Mercer: why should you read The Handmaid’s Tale

9 July 2022

The Handmaid’s Tale, speculative fiction novel written in 1985 by Margaret Atwood, is set in the fictitious Republic of Gilead — usually referred to as Gilead — a totalitarian patriarchal theocracy, occupying much of what is the continental United States. Gilead is a place where even the most basic rights and liberties of many, particularly women, have been curtailed.

But the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling giving women the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, has stoked fears of a Gilead-like regime becoming reality.

Talk of other long standing rights — including access to contraception, and same sex marriage — possibly being rescinded, is doing little to quell such concerns.

I first read The Handmaid’s Tale in 2019, weeks before Atwood announced she was publishing a follow-up, The Testaments. If you haven’t already read her 1985 novel, I recommend it to you, and a TEDEd video presentation Naomi R. Mercer made in 2018, is an excellent introduction.

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The Art of Life, a documentary about Michael Behrens

9 July 2022

Paused for weekend viewing… produced by Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo, The Art of Life is a documentary about mathematician Michael Behrens who walked away from academia, and made a life for himself living in a home he built in the midst of a dense Hawaiian jungle.

As a rising star in the field of abstract mathematics, Michael discovered that he could see beauty and pattern where others could not. But his path was not to be inside academia, or even inside society. He went on a grand adventure to unify his Buddhism with his ability to see an expanded view of reality. He created beauty in a place where nobody else would, and made his friends amongst dolphins.

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When will the last human be born? Not as soon as you think

8 July 2022

When will the last human be born and how many people will there ever be?

With the way things are in the world at the moment, who can help but think the last human might be born sooner rather than later. But in taking on the question, Kurzgesagt argues we may be among the first humans born, especially if our species goes on to survive and flourish over the next billion years. A whole lot depends on that eventuality, but what’s wrong with some optimism?

The future of humanity seems insecure. Rapid climate change, political division, our greed and failings make it hard to look at our species with a lot of optimism and so many people think our end is in sight. But humans always thought they lived in the end times. Every generation assumes they’re important enough to witness the apocalypse and then life just goes on. This is a problem because it leads to short term thinking and prevents us from creating the best world for ourselves and our descendants. What makes this worse is that we actually may live at an extremely critical moment in human history.

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