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August 06, 2009

John Hughes has died

John Hughes Dies | TMZ.com
John Hughes has died of a heart attack. Hughes suffered the heart attack while taking a morning walk during a trip to NYC to visit family. He directed such '80s hit films as "The Breakfast Club," Weird Science," "Sixteen Candles" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." He was 59.

August 04, 2009

Vol Libre, the first fractal-generated film ever.

Via Waxy. Vol Libre, an amazing CG film from 1980
In 1980, Boeing employee Loren Carpenter presented a film called Vol Libre at the SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference. It was the world's first film using fractals to generate the graphics. ... That must have been absolutely mindblowing in 1980. The audience went nuts and Carpenter, the Boeing engineer from out of nowhere, was offered a job at Lucasfilm on the spot. He accepted immediately. ... The commercial worked on Lucas but a few years later, the computer graphics group at ILM was sold by Lucas to Steve Jobs for $5 million and became Pixar. Loren Carpenter is still at Pixar today; he's the company's Chief Scientist.

Vol Libre from Loren Carpenter on Vimeo.

July 29, 2009

Recommended Viewing: Pontypool

YouTube - pontypool trailer An isolated Canadian town falls to...

July 27, 2009

Recommended Viewing: Baghead

YouTube - Baghead A very funny movie with a handful...

July 24, 2009

NYT on SDCC '09

Serious business. Studios Bring 3-D to Comic-Con - NYTimes.com
For the first time, the giant annual convention for fans of comics, movies, superheroes, science fiction and video games that has become a major event on Hollywood’s calendar — now in its 40th year — devoted almost an entire day to presenting films in 3-D, culminating with a 25-minute glimpse of “Avatar,” the eagerly anticipated science-fiction thriller due in December from Mr. Cameron and 20th Century Fox. ... But if technology ruled the day, it took flesh-and-blood movie stars to bring down the house. A surprise appearance by Johnny Depp — who showed up beside the director Tim Burton in support of his Mad Hatter’s role in “Alice” — caused a near riot, with fans rushing the stage for pictures. A couple of hours later, the cast of Summit Entertainment’s “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” provided the day’s emotional pop. Teenage girls started lining up on the street to see snippets from the second movie in the series. Many wore cardboard Burger King crowns emblazoned with “Team Edward,” referring to Edward, the nonbloodsucking vampire at the franchise’s center. ... The trade-show floor and the streets surrounding the convention center presented the usual array of Comic-Con curiosities. Two men in “Star Wars” Stormtrooper uniforms mingled with women dressed as Alice in Wonderland. Vampires and grim reapers were in abundance. The cable network A&E staged a mock funeral to promote “Chris Angel Mindfreak” — complete with coffins carried by men wearing black lipstick — in the middle of a main walkway.

July 23, 2009

Recommended: American Zombie

I'm home sick today from work. It's probably the flu. It's probably not some sort of zombie-animating virus, but who knows, eh? I'm couching it. Wrapped in a faded yellow blanket and catching up on my Netflix "Watch Instantly" queue. Today's big surprise is American Zombie. American Zombie is a fictional documentary that follows a ragtag documentary film crew as they explore Los Angeles' community of Zombie-Americans. The zombies are emblematic of all sorts of Los Angeles types: the burnout convenience store clerk; the social activist; the hippie new age emotionally-fragile artist; and a macro-biotic, vegan marketing exec. They have their own un-lives, passions, questions, etc. They all wish they had rights or could find a place in the world. In short, the zombies are a perfect stand-in for any other outcast group. At first. But there are questions raised. There is a slow burn of tension. One of the producers, John, becomes convinced the Zombie-Americans are hiding something and he becomes determined to go to their big, no-humans-allowed, Burning Man-esque festival. And the slow burn boils over. It's an engaging, warm film with a masterful undercurrent of dread. This is highly-recommended stuff, folks. Ignore the reviews, most of them are from people who wanted a typical blood-and-guts zombie film and were disheartened to discover a thoughtful and weird film with a tiny hungry void in its heart.

July 19, 2009

Schwa Video

Yeah, where the hell is Bill Barker? ** Gracias, Jack ** Schwa (30-second spec spots) on Vimeo
by Meinert Hansen "These are ads I directed and animated, based on Bill Barker's ingenious Schwa Corporation, which had a small cult following in the mid-90's. Between Bill Barker and myself, we were to create 50 of these spots for MTV, but the deal unfortunately fell through. This was animated pre-Flash days, using a D-1 editing suite at Buzz to move the levels around. Today it would be so quick to make this kind of animation." "Where is Schwa or Bill Barker these days? "

Schwa (30-second spec spots) from Meinert Hansen on Vimeo.