23 August 2015

Go Delhi Go: Hyperlapse


Delhi is a city with so much history that one might need a lifetime just to appreciate its many different aspects.  However (a reluctant one, but still) in lieu of time to spend doing just that, soak in Delhi in all its glory by watching this fantastic hyperlapse by Ayush Dinker of Etheral Colours. Over 5000 pictures went in to creating this hyperlapse – and please watch it in HD if your connection will allow!


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Nuttin Else Matters


When all you have on your mind is your next nut the last thing you want is to be captured by a nutty human girl who is intent on dressing you up as her heroes.  However, such is life for this poor squirrel in this funny animated short by Sebastian Pfeifer.

This animation features ‘appearances’ by Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, Arielle, Alien, Hulk, Rambo, Wonderwoman, Darth Vader, Jason, Mary Poppins, Dr. Evil, King Kong, the Terminator, Psycho, Edward Sscissorhands and Raoul Duke.  It’s nuts.

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Ex Animo


This is like one of those dreams that you have which you can never quite remember but what you can recall is their whole strange, surreal dislocation from real life.  Here, images conjured up by the animator create a reality of their own.  Creatures exist because they do; things happen because they do – it all makes perverse, inextricable sense. Produced by the Polish Film Board and Fumi Studio, Ex Animo was directed by Wojciech Wojtkowski. Watch in HD if you can.
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22 August 2015

Ecdysis: When Growing Up is More than Skin Deep

Our sibling site, the Ark in Space, has a feature today about Ecdysis.  No, it’s not the latest strangely named Hollywood science fiction blockbuster, it’s something that many invertebrates go through.  Taken from the ancient Greek the word means, literally, to strip off.  It leaves behind an exuviae (often spelled with the final e omitted) which is the remains of the exoskeleton which has been shed, often with related structures still attached. For some invertebrates it can be a regular occurrence to facilitate growth.  For others it can be part of a series of instars which culminate in the emergence of the finished, adult form.

It is a fascinating process where beauty can be found in the grotesque. For these invertebrates, the process of growing up is far more than simply skin deep. Catch the whole feature over on Ark in Space.

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21 August 2015

Disabled by Wilfred Owen


Wilfred Owen wrote ‘Disabled’ in 1917 at a time by which he had experienced the full horror of war in the trenches.  It is a long, narrative poem: vignettes of a young man’s life appear before us as he reminisces from his wheelchair.  Now, he is without arms or legs and he looks back to the time when he was ‘whole’.

Although Owen uses simple language throughout, probably to emphasize the fact that the soldier is just an ordinary man – and ‘everyman’ as it were, the poem uses a number of sophisticated poetic techniques to juxtapose the ‘then’ and ‘now’ reality of this soldier’s life. As the soldier’s life and body have been broken, Owen also deliberately breaks the rules of iambic pentameter to convey the man’s bewilderment about his current existence.  This video is an attempt to convey the soldier’s story, using images from the time (not all from Scotland, it must be admitted).

In my ‘other’ life I teach English and IT – and this is one of my summer holiday projects (which makes me sound quite sad, I suppose, but think of it as therapy!). I had been meaning to attempt to match images with the words of this poem for a while but it is so long I needed an extended period of time, doing a line or two from day to day.  I got there eventually and hope that it helps more people to become familiar with this very powerful poem.

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17 August 2015

Hitachi Seaside Park – Tsunami Survivor

The Miharashi No Oka hill offers visitors the sight of the panoramic splendor of the Pacific Ocean. Yet it is not the sea views that people come to see in Hitachinaka, a small city on the east coast of Japan. It is the Hitachi Seaside Park, devastated by the tsunami of 2011 but now restored to its former, somewhat bizarre, glory.

The park is not large, it covers only 3.5 hectares yet the flowers draw people from all over the Ibaraki prefecture and beyond. There is something on offer all seasons. It is truly famous for the nemophilas which wash the whole area in to a blue hue.

15 August 2015

Dreams of the Last Butterflies


This almost defies definition but Dreams of the Last Butterflies is certainly this – something very special. Combining poetry, song, dance, and flame throwing among other things, this performance-film had me spellbound from start to finish.  It is a dark ‘faerie tale’ written and directed by Zina Brown and is told by the last of the butterfly queens (wonderfully –quite ravishingly - performed here by the actor-dancers).

The last of the queens tells the story of her many species, how one by one they are disappearing from the world because of human intervention.  Yet she is herself ultimately captured and the future of butterflies looks bleak…

Dreams of the Last Butterflies has wowed people at festivals across the world and has already won over ten awards. It was created in partnership with Saving Species.

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The Abandoned Giant Chicken Church of Java


Due west of Borobudur in central Java in Indonesia, a strange and somewhat bewildering sight rises above the forest canopy.  Now abandoned, this church was built to represent the Christian dove but all the locals refer to it as the giant chicken church – and you can see why.  This brilliant footage was captured by ThreatLevel11 who only had a single battery pack left when this most strange edifice revealed itself – so bravo for the excellent views.
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Lofoten


We have featured Lofoten in Norway a number of times on Kuriositas as it is such a special place – not least because it shouldn’t really be there at all.  Yet this stunning part of the world does exist and Kai Venøy has created this amazing short film to take you on a tour of the place from the comfort of your [insert wherever you are right now]. It was filmed with the DJI Phantom 2 drone and a number of other cameras.  The result is stunning.
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Wish 143


A teenage boy is suffering with terminal cancer – not to mention adolescent growing pains – when he is approached by a wish-giving charity (if you don’t know you’re dying already you do when that happens to you…).  As a horny teenager who hasn’t yet lost you know what, then you can guess what his wish is. Wish 143 is an Oscar nominated short film directed and co-produced by Ian Barnes. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, look out for a familiar face.
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Sandarah


During the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq a young photographer must make a quick decision, one which could have a profound impact on his future. This animated short, created by Yousef Al Bagshi, who spent almost two years making it, will have you on the edge of your seat but has its moments of pure comedy too.  The artwork is superb, reminiscent of Dalmation era Disney but modern and vibrant too. It is based on a true story.
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14 August 2015

CocóNonó


CocóNonó are a band based in Bogota, Colombia. They were formed in 2012 and it's about time the rest of the world heard about them, frankly. Lovers of rock n 'roll, country, bluegrass and jazz, among others, the band members compose songs from these influences, with lyrics in English, French and Spanish mainly.

This deliriously energetic video for their eponymous song was created by Ana Maria Angel, an animator and illustrator from Colombia, currently living in Berlin.

I speak only a few words of Spanish, mostly involving alcohol, beaches and, ahem, the wild thing - so if the lyrics to this song are completely and utterly rude and not suitable for a family audience then I really can't say I told you so.
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13 August 2015

Neuschönau: The Longest Tree Top Walk in the World

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise – a very big surprise! Nestled in the Bavarian forest just outside the small town of Neuschönau, the longest tree top walk is an unexpected but spectacular sight. It is as if the fantasy of a young child with perhaps too much imagination has suddenly come to life.

The statistics certainly stagger the imagination. The walk way is over 1300 meters long, and at its greatest height takes the visitor to over 25 meters above the trees. Yet what really captures the eye is the oval shaped dome at walk way’s end. At 44 meters high it spirals around a massive pine tree, allowing for startling views of the canopy of this beautiful German forest and beyond to the Alps.
Amung Feedjit
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