26 November 2017

The History of the Tulip


The Himalayan mountain range was the original home of the tulip even though most of us associate the flower with the Netherlands.  How it got there makes for a fascinating story, from the courts of the Turkish dynasties to its Dutch arrival, this animation gives us the whole history.  That shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise as it was created especially for the Tulip Museum in Amsterdam by Stepahne Kaas, an independent Dutch maker of film, documentaries, short fiction, music videos, commercials and this.

When the tulip got there it was considered such a rare and interesting flower that it sparked something of a social frenzy which would eventually lead to the down fall of an entire economy (known as the tulip bubble).  It’s amazing to think that a single flower could be responsible for all of that, but watch the video and discover the truth for yourself!

The Sim Chung Story


This is a rather lovely animated version of a traditional Korean myth.  It tells the story of a dutiful daughter, Sim Chung, whose mother died when she was young and whose father is blind.  Promised that his life will be restored if she sells herself to sailors for sacrifice, Sim Chung does so and as she hits the waves her adventures are barely beginning.

You do have to bear with the first minute or so of this animated short by M9 as it does take time to tell the story before the full visual treat gets underway.  But do stick with it – the underwater sequences are quite lovely.  Plus the denizens of the deep put Gershwin to good use!

Bismuth: Beautiful Diamagnetic Chemical Element


Until the 18th century it was often mistaken for tin or lead. Yet once refined in to its purest form it becomes a thing of great beauty. About twice as abundant as gold, the chance are you have come unwittingly in to contact with it if you have ever had a minor digestive upset. As a bismuth oxide core structure with salicylate ions attached to the surface (uh huh) you probably know it as Pepto-Bismol. What you see here is the chemical element bismuth in crystalline form.

Paris Hyperlapse


The time-lapse is dead, long live the hyperlapse!  This is perhaps not a completely truthful statement but one which could be argued over a glass of wine or two.  And where better to do that than the city of lights, Paris?  This remarkable hyperlapse by Kirill Neiezhmakov shows the city in all its spectacle.

The video shows some of the best examples I have seen of the hyperlapse techniques which involves moving the camera while still shooting at a speed normally associated with time-lapse.  It’s a new(ish) technique and one that has been evolving at some speed recently - Neiezhmakov and his ilk are comfortably taking it to the next level with some huge, sweeping shots that make you wonder exactly how they were done.  They  certainly make me scratch my head.  Have a gawp and see if you can work it out yourself.

12 November 2017

The Dandelion - Whimsical World-Wide Weed

The humble dandelion. From your garden to almost the ends of the earth this small but conspicuous plant flourishes. Gardeners do not appreciate its presence, considering it a weed, even though its flowering usually indicates the beginning of the honey bee season and could be seen as a welcome sign. Its simplistic looking structure hides a few surprising secrets and its cultural resonance, especially in Europe is strong. Here is a short but sincere homage to one of the small wonders of our botanical world.

Let’s start with the names, both common and scientific. In English, dandelion is a corruption of the French. Originally it was called ‘dent de lion’ and the name came over in 1066 with a certain William and his Conquerors. It means ‘lion’s tooth’ and many people mistakenly believe it refers to the orange colored flower head, confusing the words beard and tooth.

Sprout


A woman decides that she wants a child and goes about getting one in quite an unconventional way.  She decides to go mail order and grow one in a plant pot.  Although this is not quite what one might expect to have delivered using Amazon et al, this animated short by Anne Breymann could prove one day to be a cautionary tale!  Be careful if you were going to click the play button expecting a happy ending!

Polaroid


Is it the things that you can’t see that terrify you the most?  Perhaps you had better not watch this, then, for there are ways to see behind the corner of your eye in to a different world.  Written, produced and directed by Joey Greene this is not for the faint-hearted especially if you are not a big fan of those made me jump and I’m still clinging to the ceiling by my fingernails moments.

5 November 2017

Spain on the Edge

For many, Spain is and forever will be associated with its beautiful coastline and beaches and that is certainly where most tourists head.  However, there is an altogether steeper side to this larger than you might have thought country on the Iberian Peninsula.  This is Spain on the edge.

Our first stop is Malaga to the town of Ronda which dates back to Neolithic times.  The town of over thirty thousand people is built either side of a dizzying ravine.  There are three bridges which span the gap between the sides.  First there is the Puente Romano or Roman Bridge. There is the Puente Viejo or Old Bridge, and then comes the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge – which is the name it was given when it was completed in 1793).

I Am Here


Alone in an aging cosmos, a traveler's pilgrimage comes to an end.  He has a story to tell but who to tell it to at the end of time and space?

This enigmatic animated short was created by Eoin Duffy, whose work we have featured a number of times on Kuriositas.

Stick with it to the end…

The Last Time


Have you just quit smoking or are on the verge of giving up? Then this is for you.  One woman struggles with trying to finish with cigarettes forever but, like some sort of destructive relationship, she is just drawn towards them again and again (and includes some strong language).  The Last Time, directed by RCA graduate Christine Hooper and narrated by Charlotte Ritchie of Fresh Meat fame, captures just how hard it is for smokers to stub out love’s flame.

4 November 2017

Hollywood Zombies


This new movie imagines a Hollywood overrun by a zombie virus, where all of your favorite stars are turned in to the living dead and stalk the world in search of flesh. Well, sounds like a great idea but this is a fake trailer by the super-talented Fabrice Mathieu.

Once more, Fabrice has put his very clever film editing techniques in to full-throttle – I for one would pay to see this movie!

Mistletoe – Festive Favorite on the Decline

Kissing under the mistletoe has been a tradition since Victorian times in England and before that in other countries. When the railway arrived in the UK, this yuletide habit spread from southern England to the north and beyond. The chances are if you are offered a seasonal kiss then the person making the offer may well be waving a bunch of it over your head.

The legends around mistletoe go back further than a few centuries – it has always been associated with fecundity and the winter solstice. The white fruit has a parallel with human reproduction which is impossible to avoid – and one of its favorite hosts, the apple tree, is also a favorite among people.
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