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Iraq War Coalition Fatalities

iraq fatalities

The flash site animates the deaths of the coalition fatalities during the Iraq war with each frame representing a day of the war. What is eerie is the almost gun-like sound of the flash animation. Like small machine gun fire that is just beyond the hill. No idea of how many Iraqi forces or Iraqi civilians that have died during the same period. I wish that was added as well.

Watch it

(via BoingBoing)

Dreams Will Come True

Dreams Will Come TrueDreams Will Come True

The video reminds me of David Lynch’s Eraserhead but with color. The most disturbing scene in Eraserhead (at least for me) was the scene where in a dream a man grabs a fleshy tubey thingee from a woman’s vagina and throws it against the wall, splattering it to pieces. There is nothing as disturbing as that in the Dreams Will Come True video but the use of flesh to create empathy with the viewer is as always profound and unsettling.

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(via Said The Gramaphone)

Film Your Issue

Found this information from a friend’s blog, thought it was worth a look. George Clooney is involved with yet another interesting project. ‘Film Your Issue’ is asking you to go out and shoot, “We are encouraging young Americans to engage in current issues, and add their voice to the public dialogue”. Prizes!!!!

Check it out

Four Eyed Monsters: Episode 6

four eyed monstersfem6

The Four Eyed Monsters podcasts is one of the elite video podcasts, they pretty much have conquered Myspace. The podcasts are a behind the scenes look at the movie Four Eyed Monsters which lived a very short life in mainstream movie distribution. For those who have not experienced the phenomenon, let me just say that it would be a shame not to witness the talents of these two filmmakers.

Episode 6 or otherwise know as the episode when the shit hit the fan is unlike anything before. With the preceding episodes, you could feel the filmmakers kinda over-dramatized the drama, however, in this episode the drama is so ugly and real that you kinda feel filthy watching it. And for that I would nominate it the best FEM episode of the new year (with the best episode still being episode #3 from ’05).

With all of these podcasts, the filmmakers have displayed an incredible honesty with nothing too sacred not to be torn apart. So I was little taken aback with the rawness of Episode 6. Partially because it was about acting and the art of it. Acting is never pretty, it usually tends to painstakingly awkward and that is captured quite well in the various shots inside an acting class. The other reason the honesty was disturbing was unlike before where it was an internal struggle, mainly the filmmakers overcoming themselves, this episode the conflict was external.

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Classic Video: Gondry’s Star Guitar

gondrygondry

What can you say about Michael Gondry? He is everything a filmmaker should be. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, he showed his stuff in regards to drama. Anyone who has read the original script by the brilliant Charlie Kaufman would know that the film took a different turn in the editing room. Less skeptical, more focused on the actual relationship at hand. Charlie’s script focused on the ideas, the gymnastics of it all. And how much ever I love the end film, I would love it if someone would remake the original screenplay.

Anyways, before Gondry became the director of Eternal Sunshine, he was arguably the biggest video director. He was always ahead of the pack in his grasp of technology but he was also was successful in making it human. Take for example Gondry’s Star Guitar video for Chemical Brothers. The graphics are actually quite extensive but it is so neatly done that it is almost impossible to see when it is happening. But the neatness also focuses the mind on the sensation, namely the pleasure of travel. We have all been there, listening to our walkmans or iPods looking out a window of a moving train or car and feeling like the entire landscape is crafted to your song.

Watch it

[note: the online quality is not as enriching as watching it on DVD, you miss all the subtlety]

Sand Animation

sand animation

As a kid, I used to sit in the beach and draw stuff with my hands. A very soothing feeling, even now the memory of the sensation sooths me. So watching Ilana Yahav paint little stories on sand is pleasurable not just because you are in awe of the skill of her hands but also the memory recall of the pleasure of how that act feels.

Watch it – Page of videos

(via Kottke)

Pouring Down

pouringdown

Being a doc filmmaker and mom to a 10 month old I am partial to these beautiful, thoughtful vignettes Dan from NYC puts together while his starlet baby girl is napping. I really like everything this vlogger creates. He has a beautiful simplicity – the style of his shooting, his music choice and arrangement, the cadence of his narration. I haven’t seen Dan yet as he prefers not to point the camera at himself, in his words he “tend not to listen so well when information approaches head on.”

One vlog I think any creator of any video format can appreciate is “theory : practice.” He turns the vlog in on itself breaking it down to its purest form by asking what is a vlog post and backs us up into his analysis via the unfolding of a candy-bar wrapper. He mixes milky shots of his penciled narration with little action sequences performed by his reappearing starlet.

Watch theory: practice

If you like that one, check out “my funny valentine” & “world maps” for a simple and rich look at Dan’s world.

Gene Hackman making a living

gene hackman lost film

There are two videos posted of a lost Gene Hackman video that he did for civil defense training film called Community Shelter Planning. Besides Hackman’s very believable acting is the cold war talk. Full of paranoia and skepticism with the cool heads being the engineers. The video is oddly structured with the actors addressing the camera. The camera voice is a booming voice that is very skeptical of the subjects. Some of the cutaways are very funny, you can see (if you are an editor) the old school cutting of film editing. Hard cuts, with awkward cutaways, the pace is off because there was no easy way, back then, to just slow down the pace of the shot. Also note, the actors know their lines, I would guess that it was recorded a couple of times with the actors going through the entire scene.

Watch it here & here

[via boingboing]

la chute de l’ande

la chute

The French titled film translated into English reads “The Fall of the Angel.” A sweet little love story, innocent and understated. And who doesn’t like a black & white French love story. I enjoy that the animation is simple, there is nothing to distract you from the beautiful little story.

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Alright by Pilate

AlrightAlrightAlright

The animation for the Alright video is very basic, you will have probably seen fancier or even more beautiful animation elsewhere. But rarely will you see more an animation style that matches what it wants to say this well. The main character is so delicate, so human in its manner and yet simple in terms of illustration. I am not entirely sure that I have comprehended the plot but the emotional weight I feel.

Watch it

Special Education for you.

autistic_bball

I heard about this story a few weeks ago and was very curious about it. The story of the Autistic Kid, the basketball team manager, that finally got a chance to play in the team’s final game.
Life is so perfect sometimes.

Watch it.

Flying Car

flying car

Flying car is a short directed by Kevin Smith, the director of Clerks, Dogma and the upcoming Clerks 2. The whole short takes place inside a car stuck in a traffic jam. Randal and Dante, characters who have appeared in other Smith films, talk about the mythical Flying car that was promised by the Jetsons. Like much of Smith’s work, the film and the conversation revolves around a rather childish topic but it never fails to be interesting or even sometimes thought-provoking. Something Smith’s imitators never manage to achieve.

And if you are wondering about the canned laughter, the film was commissioned for Jay Leno Late night show.

Watch it

[Thanks Hunter]

Tideland

tideland

The site for the Tideland movie has very little information about the actual movie, well it does, but you have to search for it. The site itself is very intriguing, I could imagine walking through the house, what it would smell like. I can imagine the house flies buzzing around the kitchen sink while the floors creek under the weight of my steps as I try to figure out what the hell the movie is about.

Note: Like many flash sites, it is interactive and you have to click on various things to open other experiences.

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Death Cab For Cutie video

what_sarah_saidwhat_sarah_said

The video for Death Cab For Cutie “what Sarah Said” is one of the most depressing videos I have ever seen. The yellowish, almost colorless, cinematography is pitch perfect for the mood.

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Do we really wish to be super?

super

I have never heard a bad or even mediocre episode of This American Life, a radio show hosted by Ira Glass. In a recent episode, the show meditated on superpowers & superheroes.

I heard about the show when my wife walked in asking “what would you want, the power of flight or invisibility?” After a slight hesitation, I answered “to fly.” But I pondered again.

It is one of those questions that it is fun to ponder. Which delicious cake would you prefer? But in the actual show, people’s responses was disappointing. People wanted the superpowers to do mundane things like fly to Paris or rob a clothing store. They generally did not want to save the world. One guy wanted the power of flight so he can check on the bar scene.

Another interesting to note was that the second people started to imagine living with superpowers, they found all kinds of faults with these powers. One of the questions was “was it a comfortable flight?” Geez. How lazy have we become. I wonder if this a generational thing.

What would you pick? Flight or invisibility? Is there another power that you would prefer over this?

Listen to it [note: you will need Real Player to play the file]

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