27 January 2014

Nothing But Water


You know what they say about being lonely in the middle of a crowd? This little pig in renaissance Lisbon feels isolated and alone in his own city.  As explorers arrive home to be greeted with love and adulation he remains sequestered in himself.

Yet perhaps all is not lost for him in this lovely yet somewhat intangible animated short by Carlos De Carvalho.

Air Balloon - Lily Allen


Following the success of her cover of Somewhere Only We Know (the soundtrack to the Christmas ad for a certain department store) and her escape from the several hits of a non-musical nature ordered after a number of individuals had gone demented after seeing it for the 100th time (that day), Lily Allen is about to release her third album.

Alasdair and Jock from Trunk have created the video for Air Balloon the second single from the yet to be released album.   As per it’s full of the usual Allen pithiness and it is horribly, horribly catchy.

If this song drives you mad in the near future I can only apologize. Yet I owe Lily one too.  She may admit (in the song) to Kurt Cobain that Elvis got to first base with her before him but in terms of solo singers of the female variety, Lily, Cilla got to me way before you were born. However, it’s the lyric animation here that I really, really like (and I hope you do too!).

26 January 2014

Henna Tattoos: Exquisite, Impermanent Stains

Henna has been used since ancient times as a dye to color fabrics such as wool, leather and silk. Yet at some early point in its shared history with humanity it was discovered that it could be used to stain the skin temporarily. Ancient wall paintings discovered during the excavation of Akrotiri (destroyed by volcanic eruption in 1627 BCE) show women adorned with patterns and designs wholly consistent with henna on their nails, palms and soles. It is a tradition still thriving and evolving today.

25 January 2014

Shift


Ever wanted to do something different? When life becomes a routine, step out of the ordinary and follow your dreams. Shift follows a white-collar worker who escapes the confines of his working environment, exploring and dancing freely through the outside world.

Award winning Director Patrick Ryder and renowned creative director and choreographer Del Mak team up to create and direct this inspirational narrative based dance short film. Shift stars Renako McDonald famed for achieving runner's up position on Got To Dance, UK and Ireland's biggest reality TV talent dance show as contemporary couple act 'Alleviate'.

Neurotransmitter


This is an animated film for people who want to learn more about the chemistry of our emotions in a humorous and entertaining way.

Take a journey through the human brain and experience the fantastic world of neurotransmitter.

Neurotransmitter was created by Katharina Petsche.

23 January 2014

Nothing Really Mattress


Although Dalston in North London is home to a plethora of wonderful street art, this temporary, ahem, installation immediately catches the eye. Naïve, somewhat introspective but with a dark humor, this bears all the hallmarks of one of the UK’s foremost artists and should really be saved for the nation before the elements destroy it. Although the name of the artist is not known for certain, I suspect that Tracey Emin may have been slumming it again.


Image Credit Flickr User Boring Lovechild

22 January 2014

Cicada Princess


This very lovely animation tells the story of the cicada – under the earth for sixteen years and then, briefly, winged and abroad.

Yet you won’t find David Attenborough narrating this – instead it’s the lovely Steven Fry who lends his dulcet tones to tell us this charming tale.

Sit back and enjoy.  This is wonderful.

20 January 2014

Twins


Sometimes, before we can grow up, we have to give something up. This beautifully animated short is both straightforward and enigmatic. As a visual metaphor in motion one could possibly read a number of meanings in to it.

Directed by Ho Tsz Lam, the sheer loveliness of the colors used and the gentle flow of the action is something quite special.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?


The question that has been bothering you since your childhood may finally be answered – why exactly did the chicken cross the road?  Here you can follow Mr Chicken from his early, troubled, childhood to that pivotal – even infamous – moment later in his life, courtesy of Wonky Films.  Plus if you are taken by his cuteness, why not go and play the games available on the app which has recently been released?

Comeliness


You might be forgiven for thinking at the beginning that this is a documentary. Yet this short film about the peaks and pitfalls of the modern American Beauty is very much a drama.

Written and directed by Freddie Favar, Comeliness stars Katarina Duma as Jesse Latham, a top model who has moments where her career and personal life come crashing together.

The Neptune Memorial Reef – An Under Sea Cemetery

When you think of dead people, concrete and underwater, you might be forgiven if your mind produces images of mafia gangsters and of their victims swimming with the fishes.  All that has changed - in the future what might spring to mind is a remarkable new underwater cemetery.

Off the coast of Miami in Florida a new reef is forming. It is not, however, the result of nature playing its course but the bi-product of people’s desire to have a last resting place which is both unusual and creates a new ecosystem. This is a cemetery under the sea, the Neptune Memorial Reef.

12 January 2014

Makeover


Horrie is old. His wife is dead.  His dog is dead. Yet he has life in him yet and decides that perhaps it is time to date again.  He finds the woman (with dog) of his dreams in a dating magazine but soon realises that her expectations may be greater than what he has to offer.  So, Horrie embarks on a makeover of such extremes it may make you wince but I can assure you that the denouement of this funny short film, written and directed by Don Percy, will make you smile.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Motion Poster


While we are waiting with baited breath for the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in April, here is something to (hopefully) help allay the impatience.  Illustrator and designer Berkay Daglar has teamed up with animator Alper Balkis to create this very cool unofficial motion poster (nice!) for the upcoming Marvel movie.  It may be short but it put a smile on my face so I thought I would pass it on!

Star Wars Classical Painting Mashups

Graphic designer Leaf Scott has recently created a wonderful set of Star Wars mashups.  Taking the works of some of the world’s most renowned painters, Leaf has placed a selection of Star Wars characters in to the world of classical oil paintings.  Above we have Yoda in Alexandre-François Desportes’ Landscape with a Dog.

How the Grand Master of the Jedi Order might react to replacing a dog in this painting is anyone’s guess.  However, you can only imagine that Yoda would be as pragmatic as ever.  He might say something along the lines of ‘always two there are, no more, no less. A master and a, erm, dog.”

11 January 2014

Apocalypse Rhyme


This is something quite extraordinary which may not leave you in a happy place but will certainly provoke more than a little thought.  The poem itself is an achievement – each letter of the word is singled out for treatment.

Yet the man behind it, Oliver Harrison, also created this animation and soundtrack too.  He gets our ‘Polymath of the Week’ award.

State of the Union


You are about to witness the broadcast of the final address of the President of the United States.  Do not panic.  Find shelter as deep underground as possible as soon as you can.  What you are about to is happening in real time.

Well. OK, maybe not. Yet this standalone pilot by BranitVFX, responsible for work on Breaking Bad, Lost, Fringe and Revolution is very, very cool.  Please, more, soon!

Ocean Serpent Washes Up on French Shores

Stranger and stranger objects seem to be washing up on beaches and shores around the world. Recently the citizens of the French seaside town of Saint-Brévin-Les Pins have been witness to the arrival of the vast skeleton of a giant sea snake (serpent d'océan in French).

Yet it hasn’t had the world’s cryptozoologists rushing to France.

 It is the new work by Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping and its message is more environmental than pseudo-scientific.

This huge sea serpent fantasy is made from aluminum and is a massive 130 meters in length. Stretching along the beach the serpent (created for the local Estuary Festival) affords the viewer dramatically different perspectives depending on the angle from which it is viewed and whether the tide is in or out.

5 January 2014

Stingray


Struggling novelist Kurt endures a painful and unsuccessful pitch at the hands of a pair of publishers. He seeks refuge in his local aquatic design store only to receive ill-advice from the resident Stingray. Bemused but not swayed he attempts to connect with a nearby pretty young teacher.

This short black comedy stars Mat Horne (Gavin & Stacey), Andy Serkis (King Kong, Lord of the Rings), Dominic West (The Wire, 300), Lucy Punch (Hot Fuzz) and Kate Isitt (Coupling). It was directed by Neil Chordia and written by Charlie Gee.

Our Lady of Lourdes


One never can tell which event, large or small, can change a life forever.  Yet these occasions happen often and they sometimes overlap.  Our Lady of Lourdes centers around a young waitress who receives help from an unstable vagrant – when she tries to return the favor a chain of events happens which no one could have foreseen.

Our Lady of Lourdes stars Nick Moran of Harry Potter, Naomi Scott of Steven Spielberg's Terra Nova, and Lech Dyblik, a living legend in his home country of Poland. It was written and directed by Peter Szewczyk.


4 January 2014

Quenum - Face to Face


This video by False Manners Productions is cool not only because it features a rather trippy track by Quenum but because everyone in it is hopping around Berlin on space balls.  It looks like enormous fun, and it seems to me to be existential without being nihilistic. 

Or, perhaps as my grandmother used to say with (almost) a straight face – no wonder kids are daft…

1 January 2014

Zombillenium


This great animated short was directed by Arthur de Pins in the universe of his comics Zombillénium for the French band Skip the Use.  The band have been around for two years but have yet to achieve international recognition so this may be the first time you have come across them.  Their lead singer revels in the name Mat Bastard which may or may not be his real name.   This very cool video for their single Nameless World will hopefully bring them to a much larger audience!

Balance


2014 – a new year and a time when many consider making a new start, an attempt to get the balance right. 

This short film is about Christian Clausecker, who tells us about his passion to balance his life.  He might be taking it a little more literally than most but I am still scratching my head about just how Shua Visuals managed to get some of these shots. Don’t try this at home, kids!

Quiet on the Set


A young actor struggles to find work – and with the illness which will terminate his life in the near future.  The only job that he can find – with some irony – is as a zombie extra in a new apocalyptic horror movie. Yet this role may well define his career.  Sensitively written and directed by  RJ Berkelew, perhaps some journeys can only be fully understood by those who take the same path.
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