In 1985, Charles Bronson went 8-bit in the Death Wish 3 computer game from Gremlin Graphics for the ZX Spectrum, Armstrad CPC, and Commodore 64. It was an intensely violent and gory game. For the time, people, for the time. You can download the TZX tape image here, the Amstrad CPC version here, and likely locate the C64 version via GB64.com. (via @death_waltz_records on Instagram)
Smithsonian posted a guide to "5 Essential James Bond Accessories." The list ranges from his Rolex "Sawtooth Submariner" seen in Live and Let Die (and sold last year at auction for $200k) to the Parker Jotter pen from Goldeneye. You can purchase the same pen for just $6 but it's unfortunately C4-free. That said, it would make an excellent stocking-stuffer to accompany the new collection Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection just out on Blu-ray and DVD.
Just Do It - a tale of modern-day outlaws is an exciting new documentary which takes you behind the scenes of the secret world of environmental direct action in the UK. Granted unprecedented access to film, director Emily James embedded herself inside a group of nonviolent UK activists as they shut down airports, stormed the fences of coal power stations, and super-glued themselves to bank trading floors, all despite the very real threat of arrest.
The film opened in the US just last week on Earth Day, however, in solidarity and support with May Day actions planned around the world - starting at 5:30pm EST on Monday 30th, the full film will be available to watch online for FREE for 24 hours on occupy.com, with a live Q&A with director Emily James at 7pm EST. To reserve your seat for the 5:30pm screening, simply head over to www.occupy.com/watch/ or to watch the film at any time during the 24-hour invitation, click "watch now" in the player.
You'll remember Emily and her awesome movie from such blogposts as this one.
Chick-Fil-A threatens guy who made "Eat More Kale" shirts; he fights back with a Kickstarter documentary
Bo sells a t-shirt that says "Eat More Kale" from his home in rural Vermont. Titanic chicken sandwich chain Chick-Fil-A claims that this shirt infringes on their trademark for the slogan "Eat Mor (sic) Chikin' (sic)." They've demanded that Bo shut down and turn over his website to them. Rather than capitulate, Bo is making a defiant documentary about his refusal, and he's raising funds on Kickstarter.
Of course, I might not win --- the odds are against me. All over the country 'trademark bullies,' large corporations that bully small businesses over alleged claims of trademark infringement, are legally harassing small businesses and wearing them down with repeated lawsuits and appeals. In the face of overwhelming legal bills, most small businesses just give up.
This is more than just plain wrong: it's un-American.
By helping make this documentary I want to shine a light on this issue, my battle, and other trademark bullies, too. If I win, it's a great story; if I lose, it's a sad story. Either way, Jim and I think it's a story worth telling.
It seems to me that there shouldn't be any valid trademark claim here. Leaving aside the spelling issue, the graphic presentation of "Eat More Kale" is very different from "Eat mor chikin." The phrase "Eat more," is pretty generic, and is unlikely to result in confusion. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm inclined to think that if Bo can stay in the fight long enough -- that is, if they don't outspend him into oblivion -- he stands a chance of winning.
Girl Walk is a 77-minute dance film that accompanies Girl Talk's astounding album All Day, produced through an extremely successful Kickstarter project that raised $24,817 out of the $4,800 the producers were seeking. I just watched the first half (it's in a series of segments on Vimeo) and was blown away.
What's the story? A young dancer finds herself disgruntled with her low-paying, mundane waitressing job. One day, she impulsively quits, then takes a ferry to the city. Feeling incredibly inspired by what she sees, Anne dances her way across New York, using the city as her stage. Throughout her journey, she meets characters of all types, including a series of like-minded dancers, who'll inspire new movements, engage her in small battles, and teach her to fear, love, laugh and live anew. From the ferry to museums, subways, ball games, bridges, bodegas, graveyards, flower shops, and more, Anne's journey will bring her far and wide. See the trailer, in full, at http://girlwalkallday.com
In the NYT, Mary Pilon profiles a (now defunct) ring of Christian blackjack card-counters who lead Bible-study classes and youth groups when they're not scoring millions at the casinos. One such Christian counter, Colin Jones, has branched out into running for-pay card-counting workshops for would-be sharps. One of the team has produced a documentary on the team's activities, called Holy Rollers.
But first Jones and his group had to wrestle with the apparent moral paradox: Should Christians be counting cards?
“My father-in-law flipped out about it,” Jones said. “I remember Ben and I discussing everything. Are we being dishonest to the casinos? Is money an evil thing?”
Group members believed what they were doing was consistent with their faith because they felt they were taking money away from an evil enterprise. Further, they did not believe that counting cards was inherently a bad thing; rather, it was merely using math skills in a game of chance. They treated their winnings as income from a job and used it for all manner of expenses.
The 1964 NYC World's Fair is legendary -- birthplace of animatronics and Belgian waffles, the zenith of exuberant goofy corporate futurism and the beloved coming-of-age for millions who entered a modern world filled with promise. Documentarians are raising funds to produce "After the Fair," a doc featuring any amount of droolworthy archival footage of the great fair.
Videophones, space satellites, computers, color television. Today, these technologies are everywhere. For millions of people though, their first experience with these innovations came in Queens, at the 1964-65 World's Fair.
The fair also marked the debut of Belgian Waffles, and for many, the first foray into different cultures and ethnic foods.
In our documentary, we will travel the country to reveal the cultural, technological, and physical relics of the fair. We will travel to over 30 locations, with dozens of interviews looking at not only what the fair meant in 1964-65, but more importantly, what it means to all of today.
Our first teaser trailer gives you a taste of the wonderful archival fair footage we've found, along with our trek across the country to visit dozens of relics (and people) from the fair so far.
The Man Who Prints Houses is a documentary about Enrico Dini, an Italian roboticist who switched tracks to design and build enormous 3D printers capable of outputting houses:
Having built his printer – the world’s largest – from scratch, there’s no shortage of work offers for this highly-skilled and imaginative engineer. Throughout the course of the film, we see Enrico embark on an array of innovative projects: constructing the tallest printed sculpture in existence, working with Foster + Partners and the European Space Agency on a programme to colonise the moon, solidifying a sand dune in the desert, and printing the closest thing to an actual house: a small Italian dwelling known as a trullo.
The long-term nature of these projects and the current financial climate take their toll on Enrico and his team of workers, as contracts fail to be honoured and the infant technology stutters. Travel back to 2008 and it’s a different story, as Enrico describes how he was staring a €50m investment in the face. Just as he’s about to sell up and move to London, the stock market crashes… he must rebuild his business all over again.
The Man Who Prints Houses (Thanks, gaiapunk!)
Kidnapped for Christ: documentary about children whose parents rendered them to offshore militarized discipline camp
Here's a trailer for a documentary-in-progress called "Kidnapped for Christ," which tells the stories of children whose evangelical Christian parents pay military-style boarding school to render them to an offshore facility, where they are subject to inhuman treatment in the name of reforming their wicked ways, from "discipline problems" to simply being gay:
The film centers on the story of David, a straight-A student from Colorado who was sent to Escuela Caribe in May of 2006 after coming out to his parents as gay. Like many others, David was taken in the night without warning by a “transport service” and was never told where he was going or when he would be brought back home. While at Escuela Caribe, David had no way of communicating with any of his friends or family back home until the filmmakers arrived and he decided to ask them if they would smuggle out a letter that he had secretly written to his best friend. Once word got back to David’s community about what had happened to him, many people sprung to action and formed a plan to get him released. Getting David out of this school, however, turned out to be a much more difficult task than anyone had thought, and the trials they went through to get David released revealed just how far Escuela Caribe would go to prevent a student from leaving.
David was not the only student whose life was impacted by the school’s severe approach to discipline. The filmmakers followed many other students who also experienced degrading punishments and who struggled to understand what was happening to them. The film also features interviews with former students, including Julia Scheeres, whose 2005 New York Times Best Selling memoir Jesusland tells the story of the disturbing physical and physiological abuse she witnessed and suffered at Escuela Caribe during the 1980s.
The growth of the troubled teen industry, especially therapeutic boarding schools located in the United States and abroad, has given rise to many other allegations of the inhumane treatment of youth and the exploitation of families who are desperately seeking help for their teenagers. The goal of Kidnapped for Christ is to tell the stories of the students at Escuela Caribe and to give them a voice so that they may make people aware of the broader industry of schools like Escuela Caribe and the potential danger they constitute for our youth. We hope that the film will be entertaining, shocking, thought provoking and will ultimately inspire change in the way these types of schools are run and regulated.
You can help us finish the film and advocate for the rights of teenagers who are sent to boarding schools like Escuela Caribe by making a tax-deductible donation to our IndieGoGo Campaign here
Kidnapped for Christ (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Here's a trailer for Tim Burton's forthcoming adaptation of the satirical horror novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Hard to tell how Burton will play it -- it will be tricky to maintain the relevance of the fact that the action hero is also Honest Abe without obliterating suspension of disbelief, since each reminder of this fact is a bit jarring in the context of a fun/funny horror romp.
Here's the Onion's Sean O'Neal's thoughts:
Adapted from the monster mash-up novel from Seth Grahame-Smith, the forthcoming film from Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov and producer Tim Burton obviously gets fairly tongue-in-cheek with its alternate U.S. history—the kind the liberal-run schools are too afraid to teach you—but it's not like you’d necessarily know it from this teaser.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Johannes sez, "Cory was so kind to post my TEDxVienna talk on monochrom's feature film project SIERRA ZULU. I wanted to give you guys an update. Today we released a short film: EARTHMOVING. It's the prequel to SIERRA ZULU. We thought that's a good way to expand on the backstory and give the folks something to see while we are still working on getting the feature film financed and (hopefully) done. We have a bunch of great actors (e.g. Jeff Ricketts, who was part of Firefly or Star Trek: Enterprise) and our crew at Golden Girls Filmproduktion (Vienna) was absolutely wonderful."
My latest Guardian column is "Movie fans turn to piracy when the online cupboard is bare," a report on the Open Rights Group's study of the lawful options for people who want to watch great British movies online. The UK government and courts keep ratcheting up Internet censorship proposals because they say that there are so many lawful marketplaces that there's no excuse for "piracy." But ORG's research shows that large swathes of critical material isn't available for sale. And as we saw when major rightsholders pulled out of Hulu and iTunes before, the availability of their material on BitTorrent spiked -- if you don't offer lawful channels, you drive customers to unlawful markets.
Here's what ORG found: though close to 100% of their sample were available as DVDs, more than half of the top 50 UK films of all time were not available as downloads. The numbers are only slightly better for Bafta winners: just 58% of Bafta best film winners since 1960 can be bought or rented as digital downloads (the bulk of these are through iTunes – take away the iTunes marketplace, which isn't available unless you use Mac or Windows, and only 27% of the Bafta winners can be had legally).
And while recent blockbusters fare better, it's still a patchwork, requiring the public to open accounts with several services to access the whole catalogue (which still has many important omissions).
But even in those marketplaces, movies are a bad deal – movie prices are about 30% to 50% higher when downloaded over the internet versus buying the same movies on DVDs. Some entertainment industry insiders argue that DVDs, boxes and so forth add negligible expense to their bottom line, but it's hard to see how movie could cost less on physical DVDs than as ethereal bits, unless the explanation is price-gouging. To add insult to injury, the high-priced online versions are often sold at lower resolutions than the same movies on cheap DVDs.
Taghi Amirani, who's running a Kickstarter for a documentary called "We Are Many," writes, "The film is about the global protest movement linking the massive global Iraq War protests of Feb 15 2003 to the Arab Spring and now the Occupy movement. It tells the remarkable story of people power taking center stage. Actor and activist Danny Glover is a contributor and Executive Producer. Jesse Jackson and Brain Eno are featured. And writer of The Rocky Horror Show Richard O'Brien has become our biggest donor so far."
We will bring you the real story, the people's story, including interviews with those whose protest experiences catapulted them into founding 'people powered' campaigning movements. Most of the people who helped create the biggest human gathering ever seen in one day are unknown ordinary people reaching for the extraordinary.
We will demonstrate the remarkable links between the 2003 protests and the Arab Spring, as well as with the occupation of cities across Europe, and now in America too. The Occupy Movement in America and rest of the world is the latest chapter of one of the great untold stories of people power. Our cameras are there to capture the historic moments.
Pixar has posted the trailer for its next feature, "Brave," which opens in June 2012. I had a bit of a meh reaction to this, though I can't put my finger on why, precisely. I'm generally very fond of Pixar movies, for what it's worth (though "Cars" left me cold, and I never seemed to be able to enjoy "Wall-E" as much as other people). In any event, I'm sure I'll be seeing this, if only to bring Poesy out to a movie, something we both love.
According to Chinese activists, the production of a Hollywood movie called "21 and Over" from Relativity Media in the Chinese city of Linyi has led to human rights abuses. Local activists accuse the government of Linyi of horrific corruption and violence, and the arrival of the production crew has been attended by gangs of unidentified thugs who stone and beat activists, diplomats and journalists who try to visit the site.
In the past several weeks, dozens of activists and Chen's supporters have risked being violently assaulted to attempt visits to his home in a bid to draw attention to his plight. The latest group was made up of 37 petitioners who traveled there by bus from Beijing on Sunday and fled after being attacked by about 50 unidentified thugs as they approached Chen's village, said one petitioner, Peng Zhonglin, from Jiangxi province. Linyi police refused to comment when reached by phone.
Human Rights Watch's senior Asia researcher, Nicholas Bequelin, said it was puzzling that Relativity appeared comfortable cozying up with the city's political leadership.
"They seem to be eager to assume this role of being a prop in Linyi's propaganda campaign to cast itself as a civilized municipality that promotes culture when the reality is that it is not only holding one of China's most prominent human rights defenders, but going to extraordinary lengths to persecute him," Bequelin said.
Beloved kids' book The Phantom Tollbooth turns 50 this year (commemorated by a new edition introduced by Michael Chabon) and an oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign has been funded to produce a documentary about the extraordinary book and the impact it's had over its half-century.
With conversations - and banter - from Norton and Jules, this documentary explores the educational, political and linguistic back-story and lasting impact of “one of the great works of fantasy in American Literature” (Leonard S Marcus, author of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth).
We follow Norton and Jules as they return to the house in Brooklyn Heights where Norton began writing a little story "to get his mind off of what he had to do." Working as an architect, Norton was awarded a grant for a book on Urban Perception, which he promptly didn't write. Instead, he created Milo. When he showed his notes to his neighbor, a young political cartoonist bent on overthrowing the government, Jules began sketching – and The Phantom Tollbooth was born.
Through the lens of Milo and his adventures, we get to know Norton Juster – an incorrigible punster with a "delight in glorious lunatic linguistic acrobatics" (Maurice Sendak, in his appreciation to the 35th Anniversary of The Phantom Tollbooth). Bored as a kid, wondering why he had to learn so many useless facts, Norton is Milo. And we get taken into Norton’s personal Phantom Tollbooth: where his imagination gets him in trouble for demoralizing the Navy battalion with his drawings of elves; where his friendship with Jane Jacobs and her critique of American cities shows up in Digitopolis and Dictionopolis; where “beyond expectations” takes on a personal meaning for Norton’s daughter and granddaughter as they confront their learning disabilities.
Ooh, this does look good: Graham "The IT Crowd" Linehan has done a stage adaptation of The Ladykillers, a classic Ealing comedy recently remade (with moderate success) for modern audiences. The original film is a great bit of gonzo humour, everything I love about Linehan's work:
The celebrated Ealing comedy– THE LADYKILLERS comes to life on stage this Autumn in a hilarious and thrilling new adaption by Graham Linehan (Father Ted) and directed by Sean Foley (The Play What I Wrote).
Featuring a stellar cast of some of the finest stage and screen comedy actors including BAFTA winner Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It) as Professor Marcus along with James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley), Ben Miller (The Armstrong and Miller Show), Stephen Wight (Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer) and Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe with Marcia Warren as the sweetly innocent Mrs Wilberforce.
THE LADYKILLERS is a classic black comedy; a sweet little old lady, alone in her house, is pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing…
Posing as amateur musicians, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in the lopsided house of sweet but strict Mrs Wilberforce. The villains plot to involve her unwittingly in Marcus’ brilliantly conceived heist job. The police are left stumped but Mrs Wilberforce becomes wise to their ruse and Marcus concludes that there is only one way to keep the old lady quiet. With only her parrot, General Gordon, to help her, Mrs W. is alone with five desperate men. But who will be forced to face the music?
(via Why That's Delightful!)
Being Elmo is a documentary on the live of Kevin Clash, who was raised on Sesame Street and dreamed of being a Muppeteer with Jim Henson. He went straight from high school to New York to throw himself at the Henson studios, came up with Elmo, and the character became his life. The film has received an incredibly positive reception on the festival circuit, and will be in wide release on Oct 21.
Read the rest
Brandon sez, "Earlier this year a friend and I produced a self-financed music video for a song we loved, with permission from the band. After several months work, we posted the video online, where it drew viewers for a week before we unexpectedly received a takedown notice from the band, who were reconsidering the rights usage for that song. Not wanting all of our work to vanish, we decided to turn this setback into a creative opportunity, and created They Call Us /Animals/. We've made the edited visuals of the film, without music, available for download, under Creative Commons license, for musicians, sound designers, and remixers to re-cut, use and share, in the hopes that these collaborations could produce even better works than our original video. I've also made an explanatory video for the project, with music courtesy of NIN's Creative Commons album Ghosts I-IV."
Since being featured here last year as an upcoming project, Just Do It- a tale of modern-day outlaws has now become a feature length documentary. This latest film from acclaimed filmmaker Emily James, has been met with sold out screenings and rave reviews from press and audiences alike. It's even inspired the impromptu occupation of a flagship Nike Town after a central London screening.Just Do It (Thanks, Emily!)
The film follows a cohort of activists from environmental direct action groups Climate Camp and Plane Stupid, whose efforts have proven to radically shift the UK climate debate. Granted unprecedented access, James follows as they blockade factories, attack coal power stations and glue themselves to bank trading floors to halt environmental catastrophe. Just Do It's narrative is funny, poignant and inspiring- prompting Danny Leigh of the Guardian to call it the remedy to the eco-doc's reputation as unwatchable.
Deviating from convention at every turn, Just Do It is part of a new wave of film making. It's crowd funded, crowd sourced and is being shown outside the corporate distribution machine. After storming the UK, Just Do It now sets it's sights on the US. With North American climate movements inching toward radicalism, Just Do It's message of resistance comes as a welcomed push. Adbusters and Rolling Stone have already called it a wake up call to the North American activist. You can support the project's American release now on their Indie Go Go page here.
The film will also push my cut paper animation to new heights. The level of detail the finished film will showcase is going to be staggering. Everything you've seen of my cut paper work so far has only been a precursor to what I feel is possible within the medium and I am very excited to put my skills to the test.Pitch in here, even if it's only $5! If you have any doubt of this guy's awesomeness, watch his wonderful vintage-video-game-themed "Mario on Paper" short below, which we've also featured on the Boing Boing Video Virgin America in-flight channel. What's not to love? (via Joe Sabia)