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)
The 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.
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
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: 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)
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!)
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)
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
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.
Here'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)
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"
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
Pioneering sound/video collage artist Christian Marclay's "The Clock" (2010) is a 24-hour montage of appropriated film clips related to time. OK, I'll admit that I haven't seen the whole piece, but the chunks I've watched are fantastic. Above is a phonecam recording of some of it, recording at one of its installations. The Clock will be on view at the SFMOMA starting April 6, which is appropriate given the museum's imminent closure in June for (gasp) three years of construction. "SFMOMA Presents Christian Marclay’s 24-Hour Cinematic Masterpiece The Clock"
For several years, MOVIEBARCODE has compressed entire films and famous film sequences into barcode-like images where the lines represent frames from the movie. There are hundreds in the archive and prints are available too. Seen here at top, Blade Runner, and below that, Dorothy entering the Technicolor of Oz. And here's a Movie Barcode Generator so you can do it yourself! (via @death_waltz_records)