18 March 2018

The Clock and the Compass

America in the near future: Islam has been banned and all Muslims are kept under close surveillance and a sundown curfew.  One family prepares for the evening meal – only to have it interrupted by a zealous security guard.  Yet the daughter of her family is this evening to face something which she always expected but for which she is not yet ready.  The Clock and the Compass is a short film by FWD Stance.

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Moscow, You Will After You Watch This

Moscow as the sun goes down is something to behold but like any other city in the world, when the stars come out so do those who want to have a great time. Alex Soloviev captures the Russian capital beautifully in this short film, Moscow Moves.  There is a lot to see in this grand old city, the very old; yet there is also a vibrancy to the youth culture which puts Moscow on a par with any other capital.

For a Handful of Chanterelles

Has an animation ever made you feel hungry? No? Then this one might.  Created by Julien Grande for his final project at Belgium’s ENSAV La Cambre it tells the story of an extended family’s preparation for lunch – and in particular the trials and  tribulations of the pater familias in his search for his favorite culinary delicacy, a handful of chanterelles (the “une poignée de girolles” of the title).  This is beautifully made, a quiet, understated pleasure.

Light Pillar – Nature’s Beautiful Special Effect

Light pillars scrape the night sky over Alaska.  It may look as if an alien invasion force is beaming down to overrun our little planet but, in fact, this is a purely natural phenomenon.  Light and water is all that is needed to produce this remarkable special effect.

10 March 2018

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.

The Kiosk

For years now, the kiosk has been Olga‘s little home simply because her sweet tooth and monotonous life has made her bigger than the exit. To distract herself, she reads travel magazines and dreams of being far away. An absurd incident starts the beginning of her journey. The Kiosk is written and directed by Anete Melece, a Latvian illustrator and animation filmmaker currently based in Zürich,

Emerald Rush – Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins should have made an appearance on Kuriositas at some point over the last ten years but hasn’t.  Fortunately we’re able to put that right with this video for his track Emerald Rush, directed by Robert Hunter and Elliot Dear.  I’m not quite sure what to make of it (and perhaps that’s the point) but it hooked me in very quickly - and fantastic combination of music and artwork.  See what you think of it!

Above the Clouds: The Yuanyang Rice Terraces in China

We have covered some of China’s extraordinary rice terraces before on Kuriositas but this needs to be included!  Henry Jun Wah Lee of Evosia Studios captured this amazing arial footage of the Yuanyang rice terraces with a drone and the results are incredible.  This extraordinary landscape has been cultivated for thousands of years yet I expect they have rarely been recorded in such a way as this.  Sit back and enjoy!

2 March 2018

Holi - Festival of Colors

If you live in a large, multi-ethnic city virtually anywhere in the world it is a possibility that in the next few weeks you will see groups of people in parks merrily spattering each other with paint. While you might be excused for thinking that it is a new form of corporate team building – and what a great one that would be – you would be wrong. The throwing of multi-colored water and powder is in fact the popular Hindu spring Festival of Colors, also known as Holi.

This festival has been conducted in India and Nepal for hundreds of years but as the Hindu diaspora grows other countries as far afield as the UK and the US are getting involved in the fun. It may be that outside of the Hindu communities, however, that is religious aspect has been somewhat diluted - some Holi celebrations look more like a rock concert! However, as a rite of spring, most agree it can hardly be beaten.
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