George Michael, 23, had just ended Wham! and launched his solo career when he spoke with Joe Smith, author of Off The Record: An Oral History of Popular Music:
I do have the advantage of youth. I’m going to make two types of music: one is the type that people are expecting me to make because it’s really what I’m best at and what I would imagine whatever happens from now on or probably be remembered the most for is my songs in terms of structured ballads and stuff like that with strong melodies. You know, I’ve done that, I’ve done Careless Whisper.
But also there’s a kind of sexuality that I haven’t really made the most of with the first part of my career. I suppose obviously as a 22 year old, 23 year old, obviously I’m more experienced sexually than I was as an 18 year old. So maybe it’s time for that to start reflecting in the music.
(Blank on Blank)
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In this gorgeous video produced by Al Jazeera's media literacy show The Listening Post, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now narrates an explanation of the "5 Filters of Media Manipulation" set out by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman in their 1988 classic Manufacturing Consent, brought to life by Pierangelo Pirak's spectacular animations. You could hardly ask for a more timely intervention in our current media and political landscape. (via JWZ)
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A short film written and animated by Kirsten Lepore, starring Garrett Davis. It's part of the Strangers anthology from Late Night Work Club...
... a loose, rotating collective of indie animators. That is, animators who do independent, non-commercial work. It’s an excuse to bring a whole bunch of us together and make something great, and also to promote the work of the artists involved. Some of the best, most personal, experimental and vital animation going right now is happening on the internet. It’s being made late at night when other people have gone to sleep and on weekends when everyone else is out. It’s being made by students, freelancers, full-timers and folks with unrelated day jobs. It means something to us. It’s our scene.
It's hard to describe; it makes me think Salad Fingers in Arcadia. Read the rest
Manufacturing Consent feels like a must-read all over again lately, and this excellent primer by animator Pierangelo Pirak lays out the five filters of the mass media machine. Read the rest
The technology to create emotionless, plastic-faced "uncanny valley" animation is getting cheaper, and those placed in charge of using it are giving less and less of a fuck.
Another compendium here from xLetalis.
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The Power of Privacy is a brisk animated jaunt through the legal development of privacy, starting with the fireplace chimney. Read the rest
Hugh writes, "These amazing animated shorts on physics feature an adorable, 1930's style version of Maxwell's Demon. There are 3 so far -- can't wait to see more!"
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First aired in 1994 as a Beavis and Butt-Head spinoff, Daria was a fantastic animated series about a whip-smart, sardonic, misanthropic highschool girl, her punk friend Jane, and a familiar gang of jocks, dimwits, and cool cats. Daria, the show and the character, was funny, feminist, emo, and awesome. La la la la la. Vice has an oral history of Daria:
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Daria was put together by Harvard-educated Lampoon alum Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis, who spent her days at Temple University doodling MTV logos on notebooks until a classmate suggested she get an internship at the network. His book smarts combined with her street smarts and pop culture knowledge, in a dynamic not dissimilar to that of Daria and her best friend, Jane Lane. They made their project work without a singular creative mastermind like (Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike) Judge, who wanted nothing to do with the spin-off and was on his way out the door to bigger (and much more lucrative projects) with Fox anyway.
Daria ended up being the longest-running show to come out of MTV's Animation department, surpassing even Beavis and other cultural touchstones like Celebrity Deathmatch...
David Felton, Beavis and Butt-Head writer and creator of the character Daria Morgendorffer): In my script, Daria was ordered to work with Beavis and Butt-Head on a science experiment because their project was a disaster. It seemed like it would be interesting if they had someone to back them up who was a female, but not a sexual object. They certainly didn't think of her in sexual terms—they'd ask her about sexual things, but they called her "Diarrhea" instead of "Daria."
Tracy Grandstaff, voice of Daria Morgendorffer: I was the only female writer on the Beavis staff at the time, so I was the default choice [for Daria].
Why does Who Framed Roger Rabbit seem so much more integrated with live action and animation than anything before it? "Bumping the lamp," slang that YouTuber kaptainkristian says originated from the film for animators who go above and beyond expectations. Read the rest
Toros Köse created mesmerizing visuals to accompany some of Neil deGrasse Tyson's thought-provoking ideas. The result, Into the Bright Unknown, is a nice way to do a quick reset of your priorities and worries. Read the rest
Club drugs: when they're good, they're good, and when they're bad, they're better. Five directors collaborated on this trippy animation that stands among the best depictions of a club trip I have seen. Headphones, full screen, and dark room strongly recommended. Read the rest
FutureDeluxe created this gorgeous series of procedural animations, physical light, and projection based experiments, all of which is shot in camera. It feels like a dose of mushrooms that only lasts one minute. Read the rest
If Raymond Chandler was writing for the Brothers Quay, it might feel like The Agitated, a fantastic new short film directed by Preston Maybank. The stop-motion animated film tells the dark, witty, and weird story of Guy, a creepy clown puppet who breaks free from the literal and figurative strings controlling his life and embarks on a nightmarish journey through his own tortured soul. This is cartoon noir at its finest. And if the voice of Foxy sounds familiar, that's because the character is played by John Billingsley, Doctor Phlox on Star Trek: Enterprise! The Agitated is making the film festival rounds or you can rent it for a couple bucks on Vimeo On Demand.
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The short answer is efficiency! But it was also an artistic choice that became a creative convention...
"We didn't want (Mickey Mouse) to have mouse hands, because he was supposed to be more human," Walt Disney wrote. "So we gave him gloves. Five fingers looked like too much on such a little figure, so we took one away. That was just one less finger to animate."
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Blooms are sculptures that animate when a camera captures them in motion at a certain frame rate—a common accidental example is the illusion of car hubcaps spinning "backwards" on video. John Edmark's designs embody the mesmerizing precision of objects one would assume were computer-generated if we didn't know better: reality itself seeming to simulate our simulation.
Unlike a 3D zoetrope, which animates a sequence of small changes to objects, a bloom animates as a single self-contained sculpture. The bloom’s animation effect is achieved by progressive rotations of the golden ratio, phi (ϕ), the same ratio that nature employs to generate the spiral patterns we see in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotational speed and strobe rate of the bloom are synchronized so that one flash occurs every time the bloom turns 137.5º (the angular version of phi).* Each bloom’s particular form and behavior is determined by a unique parametric seed I call a phi-nome (/fī nōm/). -John Edmark
Update: Previously! Read the rest
"Be better and more beautiful than you were before." Adult Swim is with us always, but this time from @Sleevesmith & @JerryPaperREAL. Read the rest
Day Dreamers Limited -- the artist collective of Kelly Tunstall, Ferris Plock, and creative studio Form & Fiction -- are making an animated series starring Donald Trump's Hair as the protagonist! From Hair to the Throne:
Whenever the President drifts off to dreamland or is too busy Tweeting to notice, The Hair gets to work: undoing Trump’s wrongs, pacifying allies, counteracting hostilities, and unifying a divided nation....
This is not just a show about cheap laughs and making a mockery of our President. The overarching theme is the bipolar and symbiotic relationship between President Trump and The Hair, which together represent our divided nation.
Our plans are to have The Hair engage and challenge not only the characters in the fictional world of Hair to the Throne but in the real world as well. Just imagine for a moment, the delightful Twitter conversations @realTheHair will have with @realDonaldTrump as we hold our President accountable for being elected to the most powerful office in the free world. If every person whose voice was ignored on Election Day gives just one dollar, we will send the world a powerful statement, followed by even more powerful action. Only you can help us turn The Hair into a symbol for hope and democratic responsibility! #HopeIsInTheHair
Support "Hair To The Throne" on Kickstarter!
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