Mar 7, 2014
If you haven't heard of Mars One just yet, it's a truly amazing endeavor, both for the fact that it might be the first attempt to establish a human settlement on mars, as well as simultaneous reality show that might usher in the next generation of live entertainment. The privately funded project attracted over 200,000 applicants, with a plan to send crews of four at a time starting in 2024.
The only caveat is the fact that current shuttle technology would only enable crews to get there but not back, which as you imagine would probably create an interesting conundrum for chosen participants. Mars One Way documents the thoughts and theories of five hopeful Mars One astronauts as they contemplate the possibility of leaving Earth forever in ten years. I can't even imagine what it must be like, but the idea of being immortalized as a space pioneer sounds intriguing to say the least.
Nice poppy color palettes, an interesting fashion sense for her original characters, an awesome variety of styles and a knack for some real fun subject matter made Pigeon's portfolio really fun to look through. Chck out more of her awesome art after the break!
Expect a deliciously retro flavored blast of EDM in this Golden Wolf directed music video for Dog Blood's Chella Ride, a musical collaboration initiated between Boys Noize and Skrillex back in 2012. Mixing a variety of 2D, 3D and cel animation techniques that kind of channel the same visual styles that coexisted with the sound back in the 90's. The theme is centered around a dog astronaut who ultimately succumbs to his paranoia during a lengthy space mission. The track is taken from their new Middle Finger Pt. 2 EP, which is available now on Beatport.
Created as Daniel Beaulieu's final animated project at Vancouver Film School, Malaise was an animated short created to pay tribute to movies including elements of Solaris, Barbarella and Alien. It's quite obvious thanks to the chunky retro-futuristic look he captured with the interior design of the ships, which pay homage to that era of scifi. Beaulieu chose to marry a more stylized look for the characters with more realistic animation, which actually ended up working pretty well within the confines of this mini narrative.
MAD is an acronym for 'music anime douga,' the Japanese term for anime music video. Unlike the AMV's we're accustomed to seeing stateside, which tend to focus on adding Linken Park soundtracks to cool footage of say, Naruto, Japanese MAD artists tend to create these as tributes to individual animators.
This MAD covers the work of Toshiyuki Inoue who's had a chance to work on features including Akira, Jin Roh, Ghost In The Shell, Evangelion, Millenium Actress, Paprika and dozens of others.
Well damn, this was an awesome find. Looks like China is stepping up their animated feature game with God Hunters, a new animated movie coming out in 2015 based off of the legendary exploits of Sun Wukong, aka the Monkey King. Rather than going whimsical with it, the movie is taking the more epic route, focusing on his rebellion against heaven and his war against various gods.
With an animation style that resembles a mix of Ghibli films and Peter Chung's signature style seen in series like Aeon Flux, this is probably the most impressive animation I've seen come out of China other than Studio Wolfsmoke's efforts. The feature is being directed by Wang Chuan in collaboration with Studio Vasoon, and is set to premiere sometime in 2015. Keep your eyes peeled for this one, as it's looking mighty ambitious.
Triplets of Belleville director Sylvain Chomet just recently jumped onto the Simpsons couch gag bandwagon, delivering his own very uniquely French take on the classic opening. A blackout serves as a gateway into a world of stereotypically French tropes: An escargot eating Homer, Bart toying around with a slightly disturbing do it yourself foie gras kit and a shrill Marge yelling 'Ou est Maggie' (Where's Maggie?) over and over again, leading to another gag. Of all the couch gags in this aging show, this probably ranks up there with the bizarre John K (Ren & Stimpy) styled opening.
Mar 6, 2014
Did anyone else sincerely think that this movie was going to happen? I had my doubts after what, nine years of development time between the release of the first film and this one? Fortunately, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are as good as their word and A Dame to Kill for is finally seeing release this year.
From the looks of the trailer, the events of this film take place a little before and after the first Sin City. Mickey Rourke is back as the lovably gravel-toned Marv, Bruce Willis as the hard-nosed cop John Hartigan, plus some stunning newcomers through the likes of Josh Brolin, Ray Liotta, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And who could forget the lovely Jessica Alba? August 22nd needs to hurry its ass up.
8 Bit Cinema is at it again, this time taking one of the most iconic films of the late 90's/early 00's and adapting it for the small screen. In an especially clever choice, the talented folks at Cineflix have mashed together Fight Club with the classic side-scrolling beat 'em up Streets of Rage to make something that is nothing short of spectacularly hilarious. From the soap-collecting bonus round to the car washing priest, there are a lot of noteworthy scenes in this remake. If only the officially licensed game could have been this awesome.
Mar 5, 2014
SOMA is one of the few titles that continues to leave me scratching my head at the end of each trailer. The concept seems absolutely brilliant, and Frictional Games (the team behind Amnesia) tackling sci-fi horror looks like a match made in heaven but I can't seem to grasp what direction the game's story is truly headed in.
The game's visuals are quite blatantly inspired by the surrealist master H.R. Giger, and that most certainly isn't a bad thing although I would like to see a bit more in-terms of exploration rather than long hallway shots the trailers seem to frequently cut to. Unlike previous trailers, this newest entry titled Theta has a little bit more in store than a simple rundown of the game's environment, this time we're getting some story action.
Judging from the small snippets of dialogue it doesn't seem like Frictional Games is tackling a rogue AI as some have suspected, instead it seems to focus more on human interaction between technology (although we could all be completely wrong with this). Being a giant Harlan Ellison fan I'm ecstatic to see SOMA travel down a much more sinister sci-fi path, it definitely adds to the overall sense of fear.
The game won't be out until 2015 though, giving plenty of time for us to speculate as to just what the hell SOMA will end up being.
As well as fanart of series like Ironman, Laurie also has some really compelling personal pieces that showed off a love of storytelling. Two pieces in particular seem to be centered around a traditional eastern style painter practicing his craft amidst a chaotic cyberpunk city, and they offer a really cool thematic contrast and tell a story of past meets present, tradition meets tomorrow.
Pieces like that, which focus on the everyday man and the story he has to tell are truly compelling and really absorb you into the world they live in. Having watched the remake of Bladerunner recently, I really wanted to know more about the way people lived their everyday lives in their dystopian version of Earth. Laurie's work kind of taps into that curiosity, and we're honestly just left wanting more. Follow him on Tumblr and check out more of his awesome pieces after the break!
Interesting. When we think of robotic innovation Italy has rarely been in the headline in this regard, but the folks at Perceptual Robotics Laboratory (PERCRO) in Pisa just unveiled a really cool looking prototype called a 'body extender.' Allowing it's wearer to lift up to 50kg (Approx. 100 pounds) per arm, the exoskeleton is currently intended to be used for manufacturing and search and rescue work.
Among others, Japan's Cyberdyne (I'm not kidding) corporation has already taken a stab at the concept with their HAL (Hybrid Assisted Limb) system, a more streamlined looking suit with intended usage in both civilian and military functions, including cleanup duty in Fukushima. It's been amazing to see such a wide variety of prototypes from around the world in the last few years. Also considering Google's recent slew of acquisitions, including Boston Dynamics, it seems like robotics are going to be the next big gold rush for tech companies moving ahead. Not that we mind, of course.
Fuga is both the Italian and Spanish word for 'escape,' and Juan Antion Espigares' short is a phenomenal short which uses a mixture of CG, hand animation and live action footage to narrate a chilling tale. A girl with a desire to musically succeed ends up crossing the path of an obsessed individual with nothing to lose.
The beautiful pastel aesthetic is a little jarring at first, but over time it is revealed that the world around these two is only an interpretation due to the affliction that these girls share. The haunting orchestral score by Arturo Díez Boscovich really took this short to another level. For anyone who enjoyed Black Swan, this might hit a familiar tune.
Mar 4, 2014
Skunk Bear is NPR's science division, and I absolutely have been loving what they've been doing with their bite sized informational videos on various subjects. Popcorn goes into the inner workings of a popcorn kernel with a classical music driven narrative. Informative, concise and to the point, it should be an informative one minute lesson on one of the most popular (And ancient) snacks out there.
Directed by Albert 't Hooft & Paco Vink, Fallin' Floyd is a short about getting over past flames. Upon experiencing romantic distress, Floyd finds himself reminded of the love that never came to be everywhere he goes. It follows him around like a nasty parasite, and enables a downward spiral that seems mighty uncharacteristic of him. Thing is, should you choose to feed this negativity, or find a way to move on? For some people hitting rock bottom is the only way to start the upward climb again.
A humouristic turbo drama. Floyd, after being dumped by his girlfriend, suffers from psychological problems manifested as a little demon who disrupts his everyday life. Floyd has to go through great depths before he can continue his life.
MEAT has the distinction of being one of the most first installations I've heard of based off the events of a real crime. Walking a fine line between performance piece, a reconstruction of real events and musical video, this project by Swedish actor/set designer Thomas Bo Nilsson is bound to be a rather unsettling endeavor.
The 240-hour-long performance is exploring the sexual identities of its characters, online and offline. The theater performance is initially based on the story of Luka Magnotta, Canadian adult actor and model accused of killing and dismembering another man. He was eventually caught in a Berlin Internet café in 2012, which is the setting of MEAT's initial promo video. We are offered a glimpse into a truly seedy underbelly filled with some truly deviant personalities, each with their own story to tell.
While the promo seems cut straight out of one of Darren Aronofsky's upcoming films, the actual performance will take place at the Schaubühne theater in Berlin. And with it's lengthy running time, I'm really curious as to how they will approach retelling this rather twisted series of events.