What is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way?
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
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.
In 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.
Described 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.
This is a really innovative music video by a Belgian rock band called Willow. Created using a motorized belt and three projectors projecting on two floors and a ceiling!
This week I attended the inaugural “Chengdu Internet Culture Convention”.
Throughout my time there, meeting people and listening to speeches about the development of Chengdu’s IT infrastructure, I was plagued with a single thought: can Chinese internet culture exist?
In the TED clip above, a Chinese blogger goes into great detail about what the “Chinese internet” entails. Is the formula below accurate?
Chinese internet culture = block each and every international Web 2.0 service, and then clone it for a Chinese audience.
This is something that you will never hear inside China. It takes Chinese people traveling to far-away places like Edinburgh Scotland to make a case such as this, which undermines everything that the Chinese internet claims to be.