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The suits of James Bond

Leisure Safari Jacket 1024x519 Who goes hang gliding in a leisure suit? Bond. James Bond. Graphic designer Matt Spaiser's blog "The Suits of James Bond" should be an inspiration to all of us. Nobody in Hollywood wore terrycloth or linen better than 007.

Visitors, from Koyaanisqatsi-director Godfrey Reggio

More than three decades after Koyaanisqatsi, director Godfrey Reggio has created Visitors, another wordless collaboration with Philip Glass and Jon Kane. It will premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival, accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

"Presented by Steven Soderbergh in stunning black and white 4K digital projection, "Visitors" reveals humanity's trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, "Visitors" takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves."

Margaret Pellegrini, original Oz Munchkin, RIP

NewImage Margaret Pellegrini, one of the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz (1939), died today at age 89. Pellegrini was just 16 when she appeared in the film. Of the 124 actors who portrayed Munchkins in the film, there are only two still known to be alive. (Yahoo! Movies)

Califone's music video auto-generated from Tumblrs

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Califone Stitches 608x608The new video for Califone's "Stitches," the title track from their forthcoming album, generates itself from images and Gifs culled from a selection of Tumblrs. The band is a collaboration with filmmaker Braden King and programmer Jeff Garneau. The new album, Stitches, will be released September 3.

Watch the video here: Califone. Stitches.

Background about its creation is available at their record label Dead Oceans' blog.

If Daria was a live action film

College Humor's faux movie trailer for a live action Daria film, starring Aubrey Plaza. La la la la la. Daria's High School Reunion

Underground filmmaker documenting his own Lou Gehrig's Disease

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Patrick O'Brien is an underground filmmaker suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, AKA Lou Gehrig's Disease. As I've posted before, Patrick is making a 35mm feature documentary about his experiences. Now having lost almost all control of his body, Patrick is using an eye tracking computer to complete his film, with the help of his friends. He's launched a RocketHub crowdfunding project to raise the money to finish the film. "Everything Will Be OK: An Epic Documentary about ALS"

Big Star documentary and soundtrack

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is the new documentary about the mythic, incredible, and commercially unsuccessful rock band formed in the early 1970s in Memphis by Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens, Chris Bell, and Any Hummel. Their three albums #1 Record, Radio City, and Third/Sister Lovers, influenced everyone from REM and The Replacement to Afghan Whigs and Wilco. The film's companion soundtrack album, out this week, is an excellent compilation of demos, alternate mixes, and rare recordings that will delight both longtime fans and those who are (gasp) new to the overwhelmingly awesome Big Star sound. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me soundtrack (Amazon)

Tintype stop motion animation of a circus

Fine art photographer Antonio Martinez combined more than 800 dryplate tintype photographs of a circus into this mesmerizing stop motion animation "Near the Egress." Absolutely stunning work. (Thanks, Randall de Rijk!)

Exclusive: Where the inmates really do run the asylum

Video Link

In 2011 I set off with a camera to explore a mental asylum in Mexico run by its own patients. The place is just beyond the last junkyard on the curdled fringe of Juárez, the world’s most violent city. On one level these people shared common purpose in that they dressed each other, cleaned each other, fed each other. But then there were many other levels, many other worlds. The tragicomedy of Beckett was everywhere, I can’t go on, I’ll go on, while the infantile grotesqueness of Jarry’s Ubu Roi was never far away. The more I filmed, the less I understood and the more curious I became.

I met a man called Josué who was managing the asylum. Five years previously he’d lost his mind and the ability to walk but I found him in a reflective mood. He told me his dream. After two visits and many hours of material my editing was frustrated by a desire to present the mystery I’d encountered while needing a story to hang it on. Then Josué’s dream came true. His daughter in LA emailed me to ask what her father was doing in a mental asylum. She’d seen a trailer for the film I’d posted online. She hadn’t seen her father in 22 years and had been told he was dead. Two more visits and I managed to put Josué and his daughter together and filmed the reunion.

The film, titled Dead When I Got Here, is due to be finished later this year and we’ve launched a Kickstarter to help fund its completion.

Below is an exclusive scene for Boing Boing featuring Josué trying to reason with a psychopath, and an excerpt from my diary during the last shoot at the asylum.

Read the rest

One Hundred Watts, 120 Volts: a lightbulb manufacturing ballet (1972)

During a visit to the (incredible) new Exploratorium in San Francisco, I was captivated by Carson "Kit" Davidson's "One Hundred Watts 120 Volts," a 1972 short film where the manufacturing of Duro-Test light bulb is presented as a ballet for Bach's Brandenburg concertos. "One Hundred Watts 120 Volts" (Archive.org)

Dery does Buñuel

BB contributor Mark Dery wrote a fascinating rumination on the Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel, best known for his 1929 short film collaboration with Salvador Dalí, Un Chien Andalou. (Yes, the one with the infamous eyeball-slicing scene, above.) From Dery's essay at Thought Catalog, titled "Thank God I’m An Atheist: Buñuel’s Last Laugh":

Buñuel is a philosopher — a moral philosopher, to be exact, albeit one who makes his case with gleeful, Surrealist savagery, using images dredged from the depths of the unconscious. A sardonic satirist and inveterate practical joker—he once strolled down the boulevard Montparnasse dressed as a nun, complete with false eyelashes and lipstick—he is, at the same time, shadowed by the existential melancholy from which the lapsed Catholic never fully recovers. He loves disguises, and it can’t be mere coincidence that he gets a perverse kick out of passing as a priest. Religion is his abiding theme, there from the first in Un Chien Andalou, in the two priests yoked to the protagonist and dragged unceremoniously across the floor, the dead weight of so much obsolete belief; there at the end in his last movie That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), where the bombing campaign of a gang of absurdist terrorists calling itself the Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus is the backdrop to the movie’s May-December romance (itself fairly explosive!).
"Thank God I’m An Atheist: Buñuel’s Last Laugh"

Peter Tscherkassky's contemporary cut-up films

Austrian avant-garde filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky makes compelling cut-up movies from "found" 16mm and 35mm footage and samples from other movies. All of the frames and clips are treated in the darkroom, without digital tools. For Outer Space (1999), seen above, Tscherkassky chopped up and decolorized bits from The Entity, a 1982 horror film starring Barbara Hershey.

Repo Man: Criterion release and interview with director Alex Cox

NewImageHere's Alex Cox, director of Repo Man (1984), interviewed recently by psychotronic film buff and master poster artist Jay Shaw. Criterion just re-released Repo Man on DVD and Blu-ray, featuring original package art by Shaw and Tyler Stout of Austin's Mondo Gallery scene. Repo Man: Criterion Collection edition (via Mondo)

Documentary about magician Ricky Jay

The new documentary about esteemed magician, magic historian, and actor Ricky Jay opens next week at New York City's Film Forum with screenings in many other cities to follow in May and June. Jay is a fantastically curious and entertaining fellow and I can't wait to see this film. "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay"

Super 8 music "video" for new Barn Owl song

Behold the beautiful grain of director Paul Clipson's Super 8 short film for San Francisco droneography duo Barn Owl's new track "Void Redux." Clipson shot the footage on trains in Zagreb, Geneva, and Berlin. "Void Redux" will be included on Barn Owl's forthcoming album "V," out April 16 on Thrill Jockey. Barn Owl: V