18 March 2014

Gangs Of New York Vs Kill Bill (Vol 1)

Are you ready for blood? Then let it flow. Take two of the most violent films ever and juxtapose two of their pivotal fight scenes and you get this. Ali Shirazi - film student, young filmmaker, photographer and editor (we can tell that!) has put together this gloriously bloody montage homage to .Kill Bill (Vol 1) and Gangs of New York.



It is the eve of the launch of the first spaceship to explore an exoplanet, a journey which will take well over a century.  Two people meet in unusual circumstances and share the evening together.  This understated slice of sci-fi is quite different in as much as you won’t see any spaceships and exoplanets in a short film which is about just that.  Written and directed by Cidney Hue, Odessa is a low-key and reflective look at one aspect of the human condition – the urge to explore.

15 March 2014

Pandas World Tour Takes Over Taipei

There were a few heads being scratched in the port city of Taipei recently when the streets of the city were invaded by 1600 papier-mâché pandas. However, this delightful sight did not signify an attempt by the black-patched bear to take over the city (in the manner of the Dolphins of Simpsons fame). Rather it is the latest stage in the Pandas World Tour, created by the World Wildlife Fund to highlight the plight of endangered animals around our pale blue dot of a planet.

14 March 2014

Titanfall Intro Sequence

Have you downloaded it yet? If not then take a look at the intro sequence for Titanfall, Respawn/EA's new Xbox One game. Influenced by footage from NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn, this cinematic sequence shows humanity's s escape to the stars using footage of space travel. It utilizes Spov’s CG and animation skills to visualise Titanfall’s game world where ships and people have travelled to the farthest reaches of the universe. All in all pretty cool.


Perhaps zombies, like vampires, have a rule that children are out of bounds.  Whatever the case, there has always been something of a dearth of zombie babies in the movies and on TV shows like The Walking Dead.

Until now.  Here’s a short dark comedy by Duffel Films about parental martyrdom, featuring Zominic, a baby with a monstrous appetite for life.

Morebarn: Silver Screen

Here’s something for a lazy afternoon. The latest track by Morebarn (a musical collective formed by Gary Waldman around a large group of songs he's written over the last few years) is a lovely almost elegiac piece: you can almost smell the hay and feel the summer sun. Painted, directed, and animated by Julie Gratz of Kaleida the combination of visuals with the song is absorbing to say the least.

8 March 2014

10 African American Female Firsts

Most of the women on this list lived during times when they were not expected to excel but to know their place in society. These African-American women became the first to accomplish a variety of things. Some of these achievements we may take for granted these days but others are still astonishing.

To mark International Women’s Day here are ten African-American women who changed (and continue to do so) lives and perceptions through their deeds, challenging attitudes not only because of their gender but their color too.

Phillis Wheatley: First to Publish a Book

Phillis Wheatley took her first name from the ship that carried her from Africa in bondage at the age of seven.  She was ‘lucky’ enough to be sold to the Wheatleys of Boston who seemed to have been liberal slave owners, if that is not too much of an oxymoron.  They encouraged her, after teaching her literacy skills, to write poetry.  This she took to with fervor and became the first African-American woman to have a book published in 1773.

She underwent a trial to prove that she had in fact written her poems as many refused to believe, because of her race and gender, that she was capable of such work.  Although feted by the rich and famous of the day, Wheatley failed to find a publisher for a second volume and tragically died in childbirth at the age of thirty one.

International Women’s Day 2014: A Homage to the Sportswomen of the Past

At the turn of the last century women in the western world were finding a voice, both collectively and individually as this wonderful picture from a much longer feature in World in Sport shows. As the Victorian era lapsed in to memory and the Edwardian Era commenced many women chose to pursue sports. Some women chose to flaunt convention and compete in sports that, even today, are not thought of as traditional womens’ sports.

Many of the vintage pictures featured on World in Sport are from the Edwardian Era (and just beyond) could surprise you. Yet these few representatives are surely testament to (under represented photograhically) a greater percentage of the women of the past who were unafraid to pursue their sporting ambitions in a still male dominated world.

To The Seas

If you are in a reflective mood today then I suspect you will enjoy this. To The Seas, created by Francesco Paciocco is a meditation on human nature to explore the wild and be free, showing the majesty of the open seas. It features the poem Sea Fever by English poet (and Laureate) John Masefield, which combines with imagery to create a mood of freedom and adventure.

2 March 2014

Fallin’ Floyd

If you have ever been dumped, you will get this. Floyd, our hero, has saved up his hard earned cash for an engagement ring only to be rejected.

He soon discovers that although he has lost his girl, he has gained a new companion: his psychological torment manifests itself as a little demon determined to disrupt any future life he may attempt to make for himself. Whether he escapes this fate, you will have to watch this very beautifully made animated short written and directed by Albert 't Hooft and Paco Vink of Ducth animated production company il Luster.

If you live in the Netherlands, you can help kickstart their next project, Trippel Trappel, here.

Soundtracks to My Life: Tell the Story of Your Special Songs

It gives me great pleasure to introduce a new sibling site for Kuriositas. Soundtracks to My Life aims to enable people to tell the story of songs or albums which have had an impact on their lives. Above you can see the official video for the site, clumsily but lovingly put together by me.

I am a great fan of watching old episodes of music shows, not to mention trawling my back catalog of CDs (if you can remember them!) and sometimes a song comes on which makes my heart race. It takes me back to a particular moment or person in my life and all those memories come flooding back.

Yet I only get to share that story with the person next to me – or no one at all if I happen to be on my own at the time.

What I hope that Soundtracks to My Life will do is encourage people to share their stories with the rest of the world and use the site as a repository for them. They could be stories which end ‘happily ever after’ or those which are profoundly sad.

We already have a small but excellent selection of contributions from people all over the world. Ultimately, I would like the site to develop in to a huge archive of memories which people can access and read – while at the same time watching and listening to the songs.

So, do you have a particular song (or album even) which engenders specific and powerful memories and emotions? Can you share that story with the site’s readers?

Click here to visit the site and (I hope!) make a contribution!

Any and all stories are welcome!  Best regards