Archive | Video


Be the Hero of Your Own Movie

Joe Rogan delivers an inspirational and important message. If you haven’t heard his podcast, it’s one that I frequently recommend to friends: The Joe Rogan Experience. This video reminds me of another that I posted here a few years ago called The Grind about the value of persistence and the fleeting satisfaction of comfort.

Published on January 26, 2015

Infinite 115 @ Columbia University

Years ago I met a Chinese live visual artist named Miao Jing. At the time he was a student at an art university in Chongqing transitioning from painting to interactive media, and we did about 20 shows together across Western China.

As of a year ago, one Miao Jing has moved to NYC and has been setting up and maintaining art galleries and exhibitions in the city. This is the latest one, in collaboration with the Columbia University Arts Initiative, is called Infinite 115.

Needless to say, this is amazing work and Miao Jing has progressed very far from when I first met him. But I still have a framed painting of his from 2008 hanging on the wall in my living room. A portrait of a surviving child of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Published on May 12, 2014

One Second Everyday: Year 2013

About half a year ago I discovered an app called One Second Everyday, which captures and sequences one-second long video clips every day. The genius of this app, like so many outstanding apps, is that it’s so limited in what it tries to do. It doesn’t allow you to use more than one second at a time, nor to use more than one clip per day. It takes only a second to record and edit your clip, and then the clips all reside in a calendar interface.

Although I wasn’t as diligent as I could be as far as recording a clip every day, I quickly found that after the first few weeks you have to be mindful about what you record. Most of us live within a restricted range of motion, so to speak, wherein we become habituated in our routines. This can really come through as you look for interesting things to film each day.

I’ve found that after months of recording clips, I began actively looking for those unique moments which made each day memorable. One Second Everyday is all about identifying, capturing, and collecting those.

Some highlights from 2013 which are depicted in this video:

  • The Natooke shop, bicycle polo, and group bicycle rides
  • Outdoor street parties, club DJ gigs, rock shows, and music festivals
  • Street scenes all across China, and a few in Europe
  • Time spent with some of my best friends in 2013, too many to count
  • Countless challenging and fulfilling days spent in my office
  • Unforgettable memories at Dojo throughout the summer of 2013
  • Too many more memories to count

Now that I’ve assembled clips from the last six months into one two-minute long clip, I have renewed interest in continuing this habit into 2014. If this has piqued your interest, download One Second Everyday and start collecting your own clips. It’s great fun.

Published on January 3, 2014

The Grind

What is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way?

Published on November 30, 2013

Song of the Day #141: My Number

Foals – My Number

Great video. This band, Foals, is a UK-based one that I hadn’t heard of until recently, around the time of the release of their third album, Holy Fire. The band name, foals, means a group of young horses.

Learn more: Foals on Wikipedia

Published on February 19, 2013

Movie Review #4: Skyfall

Although this movie came out last year in the US, I saw it in a theater in China just over a week ago.


The 23rd (!) James Bond film and Daniel Craig’s third, Skyfall is probably the best Bond film in decades. In this iteration, Bond pursues an ex-agent (played by Javier Bardem) determined to murder Bond’s boss, the head of MI6. This is the first Bond movie directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), and the cinematography in this film is heads above the previous Bond film Quantum Solace.

James Bond feels a little cliche to me – especially when the theme song plays – but this film is difficult to knock. Action scenes are stunning from the first moment, an intense motorcycle chase scene in Istanbul. The Bond series in general is moving in the direction of The Bourne Trilogy in it’s grit, which I think is a good thing. With that said, I think I still prefer Bourne as a franchise over Bond. There’s so much less baggage.


4 Stars

Official Trailer:

Published on February 5, 2013

Movie Review #3: Seven Psychopaths

Seven PsychopathsIn this late-2012 film, Colin Farrell stars as Marty, a struggling writer working on a screenplay called Seven Psychopaths. As he struggles to make progress, his best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) begs to work with him on the script. Together they assemble a cast of seven sociopaths, one who is based on a real-life serial killer who leaves behind a jack of diamonds card with each body. As they navigate a landscape of crazed madmen while completing the script, they encounter a coke-headed mafia boss Woody Harrelson and an eccentric, dog-stealing Christopher Walken.

When I was that this was starring Colin Farrell my first thought was “oh shit” – I’m still trying to forget 2012’s Total Recall. He’s surrounded by such a phenomenal cast in this film though, that his character being lame doesn’t greatly detract from the overall movie.

The character who really steals the show isn’t Walken or Harrelson, but sidekick Sam Rockwell. He starred in Moon a few years ago but I didn’t recognize him from anything when watching this – I won’t forget him now, though.

This movie is filled with great quotes and passages by quirky, flamboyant, memorable characters.


4.5 Stars

Official Trailer:

Published on February 3, 2013

Movie Review #2: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern WildDescribed as a fantasy drama film, Beasts of the Southern Wild tells the story of a father and daughter fighting for survival in a Southern Louisiana bayou called the “Bathtub”. The protagonist is six year old Hushpuppy, a wide-eyed girl abandoned by her mother who is raised by her short-tempered father nicknamed Whip, who struggles with a life-threatening illness. Before a storm arrives and destroys the Bathtub, Hushpuppy learns of the Aurochs, ancient mythical creatures trapped inside melting ice caps. As the film progresses, the “beasts” are freed from the ice which has encapsulated them.

This film is carried by its two leads: daughter Hushpuppy and father Whip, both of whom deliver incredible performances in this low-budget epic. Their relationship is tenuous at best but the 9-year old protagonist brilliantly communicates the complex character, and at the same time became the youngest ever Academy Award nominee for Best Actress.

Watching this film I felt it was truly art, unlike so many formulaic movies that follow in the well-traveled footsteps of others. It packs a strong emotional punch, and the fantasy element of the Aurochs lends this movie an imaginative flair which reminded me of Where the Wild Things Are. Abstract and beautiful like a Björk music video in feature film format.


4.5 Stars

Official Trailer:

Published on January 30, 2013