30 August 2015

Once in a Blue Moon


On the 31st of July, nature and landscape photographer Luke Taylor captured the rise of the full blue moon in Aquarius. As you can see from the video, it was a beautiful sight to witness. The video is made up of 1038 frames and slowed down as close to real time as Luke could make it.  The results are amazing.  It was filmed in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

23 August 2015

Nuttin Else Matters


When all you have on your mind is your next nut the last thing you want is to be captured by a nutty human girl who is intent on dressing you up as her heroes.  However, such is life for this poor squirrel in this funny animated short by Sebastian Pfeifer.

This animation features ‘appearances’ by Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, Arielle, Alien, Hulk, Rambo, Wonderwoman, Darth Vader, Jason, Mary Poppins, Dr. Evil, King Kong, the Terminator, Psycho, Edward Sscissorhands and Raoul Duke.  It’s nuts.

Ex Animo


This is like one of those dreams that you have which you can never quite remember but what you can recall is their whole strange, surreal dislocation from real life.  Here, images conjured up by the animator create a reality of their own.  Creatures exist because they do; things happen because they do – it all makes perverse, inextricable sense. Produced by the Polish Film Board and Fumi Studio, Ex Animo was directed by Wojciech Wojtkowski. Watch in HD if you can.

21 August 2015

Disabled by Wilfred Owen


Wilfred Owen wrote ‘Disabled’ in 1917 at a time by which he had experienced the full horror of war in the trenches.  It is a long, narrative poem: vignettes of a young man’s life appear before us as he reminisces from his wheelchair.  Now, he is without arms or legs and he looks back to the time when he was ‘whole’.

Although Owen uses simple language throughout, probably to emphasize the fact that the soldier is just an ordinary man – and ‘everyman’ as it were, the poem uses a number of sophisticated poetic techniques to juxtapose the ‘then’ and ‘now’ reality of this soldier’s life. As the soldier’s life and body have been broken, Owen also deliberately breaks the rules of iambic pentameter to convey the man’s bewilderment about his current existence.  This video is an attempt to convey the soldier’s story, using images from the time (not all from Scotland, it must be admitted).

In my ‘other’ life I teach English and IT – and this is one of my summer holiday projects (which makes me sound quite sad, I suppose, but think of it as therapy!). I had been meaning to attempt to match images with the words of this poem for a while but it is so long I needed an extended period of time, doing a line or two from day to day.  I got there eventually and hope that it helps more people to become familiar with this very powerful poem.

15 August 2015

Lofoten


We have featured Lofoten in Norway a number of times on Kuriositas as it is such a special place – not least because it shouldn’t really be there at all.  Yet this stunning part of the world does exist and Kai Venøy has created this amazing short film to take you on a tour of the place from the comfort of your [insert wherever you are right now]. It was filmed with the DJI Phantom 2 drone and a number of other cameras.  The result is stunning.

Sandarah


During the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq a young photographer must make a quick decision, one which could have a profound impact on his future. This animated short, created by Yousef Al Bagshi, who spent almost two years making it, will have you on the edge of your seat but has its moments of pure comedy too.  The artwork is superb, reminiscent of Dalmation era Disney but modern and vibrant too. It is based on a true story.

14 August 2015

CocóNonó


CocóNonó are a band based in Bogota, Colombia. They were formed in 2012 and it's about time the rest of the world heard about them, frankly. Lovers of rock n 'roll, country, bluegrass and jazz, among others, the band members compose songs from these influences, with lyrics in English, French and Spanish mainly.

This deliriously energetic video for their eponymous song was created by Ana Maria Angel, an animator and illustrator from Colombia, currently living in Berlin.

I speak only a few words of Spanish, mostly involving alcohol, beaches and, ahem, the wild thing - so if the lyrics to this song are completely and utterly rude and not suitable for a family audience then I really can't say I told you so.

13 August 2015

Neuschönau: The Longest Tree Top Walk in the World

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise – a very big surprise! Nestled in the Bavarian forest just outside the small town of Neuschönau, the longest tree top walk is an unexpected but spectacular sight. It is as if the fantasy of a young child with perhaps too much imagination has suddenly come to life.

The statistics certainly stagger the imagination. The walk way is over 1300 meters long, and at its greatest height takes the visitor to over 25 meters above the trees. Yet what really captures the eye is the oval shaped dome at walk way’s end. At 44 meters high it spirals around a massive pine tree, allowing for startling views of the canopy of this beautiful German forest and beyond to the Alps.

12 August 2015

The Question


Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered whether there is life on other planets? Will we ever be visited by people from light years away? What will they be like and what legends might they leave behind?

This thought-provoking animated short by freelance illustrator and architecture student Ettore Biondo poses these questions – and in a way which you might not altogether expect.

Watch a Relationship Break Up via Instant Messages


I don’t mean to be prurient or voyeuristic and you might wonder what a post with that title is doing on Kuriositas – best leave that kind of thing to... other sites. This, in fact, is a very cleverly put together music video for Harrison showcasing their song How Can It Be (feat. Maddee), from the EP, 'Colors' on Last Gang Records. When viewed on a mobile this will look exactly as if it is happening in real-time and I don’t think I have ever seen a music video quite like this before.

Above Transylvania


Admit it – if you were asked to do a variation on the Rorschach Test but with words and someone said Transylvania, your reply would be Dracula, correct?  However there is so much more to this historic central part of Romania.  Jonathan J Scott recently took his DJI Phantom 3 there and captured the lush beauty of the rolling landscapes from above.  It really is quite breath-taking and not a vampire in sight. Guess they may not have heard of daylight rings there…

Bear and Bird


Bear and Bird are so excited when their new video game, Kung Fu Fisticuffs IV arrives that they have to play it immediately.  Unfortunately for Bird, Bear’s atrocious body odor is revealed in all its glory every time he celebrates a win and raises those big hairy armpits.  Yet that might soon be the least of their worries in this hugely entertaining animated short by New York based Hornet production studio.


Data Protection Act - the 8 Principles Explained


In the ‘real’ world I teach English and also a lot of ICT (Information Creative Technology). One of the things my students have to learn about is the Data Protection Act (DPA) which became law in the UK in 1988 and is as dry as a bone... However, if you are going to be asked about legislation around ICT in an exam, then it is likely to be about the Data Protection Act.

So, as it is an important piece of legislation and affects people on an almost daily basis I thought I would try and jazz it up a little.  The video above is the result.

9 August 2015

World Record Vertical Skydive - 164 Person, Head Down Formation


Oh, a thousand, a million times - no. That just how often I would have to refuse to do something like this if I was asked (which admittedly is highly unlikely). However, each to their own – this amazing footage was captured by Ben Nelson. 164 skydivers jump from 7 different aircraft and come together in the sky to form the largest head-to-earth formation skydive that has ever been seen. The World Record was set at Skydive Chicago on July 31,2015.

8 August 2015

Lovebites


Cecil the praying mantis is in the mood for a little love and he knows just the present for the lady mantis he has in his sights.  However, poor Cecil is blissfully unaware of the fate which will befall him once the object of his affections has had her wicked way with him.  Can he escape her clutches before he gets a love bite to end all love bites? Lovebites is a 2014 animated short film by students from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Sydney, Australia.

Yesterday's Tomorrow - A Portland Journey


In “Yesterday’s Tomorrow,” Uncage the Soul Productions brought their cameras to the same position and angles of their favorite Portland historic images. We wondered, what’s changed? What’s remained the same?  This is not quite the ‘then and now’ video you might expect however – what makes it different is the fact that it is done through motion – plus there is a wonderful narration.

Old Tricks: Help this Great Short get Made in to a Movie


If the older gentleman in this short film by Theo Buckwald looks familiar that’s because you have recognized him from his many on-screen appearances.  If you are my age you will remember Joe Spano as Harry Goldblume on Hill Street Blues. Younger Kuriositas readers may have seen him as Special Agent Tobias Fornell on NCIS.  Here his character gets to grips with a hapless young burglar, played by Drake Zimmerman.

Theo has contacted us with a request.  He says “I am currently entered in a contest with Amazon Studios to pitch Old Tricks and hopefully get it professionally developed. It would mean the world to me if you could share the link of the contest page to your viewers in order for them to rate and comment on the video”.

We don’t normally do this sort of thing but as Kuriositas was instrumental in its original success online we thought we would make the exception.  Please rate this short on Amazon – you can get to the right page by clicking on the picture below or this link.  I found the review link difficult to find so look for the part of the page pictured below.  Good luck, Theo!

7 August 2015

Cecil: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

The killing of Cecil the lion created a global wave of revulsion – and rightly so.  Artist collective id-iom have come up with this lovely tribute to the lion, shot by a dentist from Ohio on an illegal hunt.  The stencil shows a winged lion with the legend ‘the lion sleeps tonight’ below.  Of course, when it came to choosing the location in London to position the stencil, there was only one place it could go: Cecil Road in the capital’s Haringey area.

Amung Feedjit
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