22 August 2014

This Way Up


Laying the dead to rest has never been so much trouble. This Oscar Nominated short is directed by Smith & Foulkes and written by Foulkes, Smith, and Christopher O’Reilly, and produced at Nexus by Charlotte Bavasso and Christopher O’Reilly, the film follows two dour unfortunates as they battle a series of misadventures while trying to deliver a coffin to the graveyard.

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What This Little Boy Draws in Chalk will Have You in Bits


This is a very simple, short film by Navin Kumar but despite its brevity it packs an almighty punch at the end.

A little boy searches for chalk and proceeds to draw in the playground.

However, what he draws may well have a slightly lachrymal effect on your eyes.  Hankies out, folks...

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The Swimming Pool that Turned into a Museum

In the last few years of the twentieth century the Mayor of Lille in northern France had a quandary. The old swimming pool in the small town of Roubaix had been closed in 1985 due to safety problems. 

So, why not simply knock the old building down? What was the problem?

The swimming pool just happened to be a stunningly beautiful example of Art Deco architecture. Time for a peculiarly French solution.


Doctor Who - A Visual History - 1963 – 2014: From Hartnell to Capaldi


As we get closer and closer to seeing just what Peter Capaldi will do with Doctor Who I thought it might be a good idea to present this video to you, lovingly put together by Joe Siegler. I originally shared it a few years ago but Mr Siegler has now updated it, up to and including the introduction of Peter Capaldi.

Although it is over an hour long (which means slightly longer than your average modern episode) it gives a whistle-stop tour of each and every single adventure the Doctor has had on the television. As there are so many you will only get a brief glimpse of each but it is enough to give even the newest of Who neophytes a taste of what has been happening to our time traveling Time Lord over the last fifty and a bit years.

Each and every regeneration is included plus you get to see all of the companions, old and new. Of course you will get to see how your favorite monsters looked in the 60s, 70s and 80s too – before CGI and the BBC bothered to give the show an effects budget.  What is interesting is the way that Joe has bent the timey wimey thing so we see McGann regenerating in to Hurt in the order in which is (should have) happened - all the doctors are in their correct order (if there can be such a thing when it comes to time travel!). 

My advice is go get your preferred beverage and snacks and settle in for a real treat! In fact, for people like me (and you too I hope), this is heaven!

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21 August 2014

Abiogenesis


Abiogenesis is the natural process of life arising from non-living matter such as simple organic compounds.

In this breath-taking science fiction spectacle, a strange mechanical device lands on a desolate world and uses the planet to undergo a startling transformation, that has profound implications for an entire galaxy. It was created by Richard Mans.

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When a Cartoon is Called Kung-Fu Crab, You Just Know You Have to Watch It


I make no apologies – the minute I saw the title Kung-Fu Crab I knew it was pretty much inevitable that it would find its way on to Kuriositas.  This little crustacean believes that his owner is just about to make him in to crab cakes.  Cue a metamorphosis in to the new martial arts superhero – Kung-Fu Crab!  This entertaining animated short was created by Kim Newman at Ringling College of Art and design (yes, them again!).

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Ex Libris


Thank goodness the fine art of gently paced, slow burn film-making is not dead. Not a single dead body or visual effect to be seen here. Yet down in the depths of the library passions are running high and an illicit relationship plays out among the books. Iris and Thomas embark on a doomed love affair but how can desire, pain, anger and sadness be expressed in the confines of a library? Ex Libris is directed by Jim and Jimmy of Long Arm Films.

The short film stars two very talented and versatile Welsh actors. If you are a regular reader of Kuriositas then you will probably recognize Robert Pugh (Thomas) from his roles in Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and Torchwood. Melanie Walters is perhaps best known for her role of Gwen West in the BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey but has also appeared in numerous British TV series as well as the movie Submarine.

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20 August 2014

The Sedlec Ossuary - The Art of Human Remains

The suburb of Sedlec is a quiet, everyday place, just another part of the small but historic town of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic.  The town has never had a huge population – even today the number of souls there number just over twenty thousand.  Yet this calm suburb is home to the Sedlec Ossuary a place which could well send a shiver up your spine.  This small chapel under the Cemetery Church of All Saints houses the skeletons of around 70,000 people.  And they are not exactly tucked away in a crypt, either.


When Rock, Paper and Scissors Come to Life, Who Will Win?


When Rock stumbles upon the magical Paper, it's love at first sight. But when the wrath of Scissors threatens the well-being of Paper, Rock must stop at nothing to save what he loves most, no matter the cost. Broken: Rock, Paper, Scissors is a student animated short film, produced at Ringling College of Art & Design. It was created by Garrett O'Neal, Gang Maria Yi and Bryan Locantore with music by Erez Koskas.

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19 August 2014

The Cat that Time Forgot

Have you ever wanted to take a trip through time to see what animals looked like millions of years ago? When it comes to cats there is little or no need.  This beautiful specimen is a Manul, otherwise known as a Pallas Cat and it is featured today over on our sibling site, the Ark in Space.  About twelve million years ago it was one of the first two modern cats to evolve and it hasn’t changed since. The other species, Martelli’s Cat, is extinct so what you are looking at here is a unique window in to the past of modern cats. Click the links or the picture to read the full piece and see many more wonderful photographs of this beautiful cat.

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Take a Stroll in Paris with Two Top Ballet Dancers


…and when you do, it’s not quite like any usual promenade through the streets of the French capital.  San Francisco Ballet dancers Kimberly Braylock and Anthony Spaulding display a certain joie de vivre and are obviously very happy to be there in this short by Calvin Walker.  Parisians as usual refuse point blank to be nonplussed by anything but they do manage to attract the curiosity of a very excitable little dog if you watch carefully!

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How Do Beans Cause Gas?


You know when you tuck in to those beans on toast that there will be a consequence – every action having a direct reaction, as it were.  So, just how and why does an innocent snack become such a fart fest?  This animation by Giant Ant (created originally for Men’s Health) takes us on that journey from hole to hole as it were.  There you go, something else you really didn’t care to learn imprinted forever on your brain. Ta da.

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Feeling Lazy? Then Try Out the World’s First NON-Interactive Video Game


If you like video games but sometimes just can’t muster up the energy to power up the playstation then Journey Alpha may be just for you.  As the world’s first non-interactive video game all you have to do is sit back and watch the action as it progresses – simple as that.  Created by Patrick Poelchau at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, this may well be the answer to so many prayers.

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The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno

One of the largest cemeteries in Europe, the Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa, Italy covers more than a square kilometer.  It opened in 1851 and since then has gained a reputation for its monuments to those buried there. And what monuments they are.  It is a place for contemplation, for reflection on human frailty and the short-lived nature of our time on earth. Today we will let the pictures speak for themselves...


18 August 2014

If You’re a Thirty Something Single Woman with Kids, You Should Watch This


…because even if this isn’t your particular dream you can at least take heart that in this case it came true.  This is Beverly.  She gets a little wrapped up in her thoughts when it comes to getting the man that she wants – but that’s cool – we get to share them.  Yet will she or won’t she get the man? It won’t be for the want of trying, that’s for sure! Directed by Eliaz Rodriguez and starring Wanjiku Kairu this is based on the true story of a woman called Beverly Scott.

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17 August 2014

Girl #9 – A Dark Short about Perils Online


Every actor has to have a showreel and Eme Essien is no exception.  However, when she approached Studio Hansa for a little assistance they politely declined- but offered instead to collaborate with her in creating Girl #9.

It certainly shows that Essien can portray a wide range of emotions and maintain a narrative story and she held my attention throughout in this chilling 8 minute short film (watch till the end for the reason why the film has the title it does). As showreels go, this is one of a kind – I suspect we will be seeing a lot of Ms Essien in the future. It sets a new benchmark for showreels too - and before you ask, unless your is better than Girl #9, no, Kuriositas will not...

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Sitting Comfortably? Then Relax and Watch All the Quentin Tarantino Movie Deaths Together


Relax? Unlikely but can say what you like about Quentin Tarantino – he knows how to kill people on screen. That said, Guildenstern has put together this montage of all the deaths from all his movies: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Death Proof, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained.  I for one was surprised it lasts under five minutes but there you go. Which one is your favorite?

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The Art of the Japanese Manhole

The Japanese have a wonderful relationship with their manhole covers: they treat them as art.  Here is a selection of the ornate, the artistic and the slightly bizarre.


16 August 2014

Why Do Some Male Orangutans Have a Flange While Others Do Not?

It might not have been keeping you awake at night but here’s a question.  Why do some male orangutans have a flange – that big flap of skin around their faces – while others don’t? The answer is we probably know the why but only possibly the howThe Ark in Space has the story, and yes – it is all about the passing on of genes but there's more.  Even if you have a flange, as an orangutan you still would not be out of the woods (which, if they could speak, would probably not be the idiom they would use as generally, they seem to like being in the woods…).

Image Credit LK-GA

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If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Paris, You Will After Watching This


Paul Richardson recently spent three weeks in Paris, capturing it in all its quintessentially French gorgeousness and the result is this incredible time-lapse (with an amazing hyperlapse up to the Arc de Triumphe being my favorite part as I drove that road at about the same speed as a teenager).  While he was there, Paris experienced some massive storms, so if you like photography which captures lightning, you are going to love this.

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The Wife of Bath's Tale


It is always a surprise for students new to Chaucer just how filthy he was.  Some of the images he put down on paper were truly eye-watering in their general dirtiness.  It’s always odd how that even though we know the history of the time, a lot of which was unpleasant to say the least, we somehow expect the literature to be squeaky clean, the product of a more innocent age.

If Chaucer is certainly not one thing, then it’s innocent.  The Wife of Bath’s tale is full of political incorrectness – so much so that a lot of feminist literature has been written about it - both for and against. The Wife of Bath embodies antifeminist beliefs in some ways but in others she resists them – a contradiction which has made her character so interesting for so long.  So here is her story, one of a knight, but not the kind that you get in Hollywood movies.  Having committed a heinous crime he is sent out in to the world by Queen Guinevere to discover what it is that women truly desire.  See if you agree with what he discovers.

This animated version of the Wife of Bath’s Tale was made by Beryl Productions International in 1999 and was nominated for a huge amount of awards, including an Academy Award.  It won the Emmy and the British BAFTA for Best Animated Film.

Plus, if you are in need of some reading material at the moment, give the tale a go.  Better still, read the Wife of Bath’s Prologue where she recounts her life and her times with her five (yes, five) husbands - and how she got her own way with them.  Chaucer may have put his pen to paper over six hundred years ago, but Allison remains my favorite of his pilgrims and she is a character who has fascinated and reviled readers for centuries.

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The Golden Hour: Magical Photography

Have you ever taken a photograph that seems to have a magical quality to it, because of the way in which the light has been captured in the shot?  The chances are that you took the picture during the two times of day that photographers know as the golden hour.

The first hour of sunlight of the day makes the first golden hour.  As the sun rises the light is softer than later in the day when the full and harsh rays of the sun shine down upon us.  Likewise at the end of the day in the hour before sunset, the sun is close to the horizon again.  As in the morning, the light travel in an oblique manner and so, instead of hitting objects straight down, hits them at an angle.

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