Seen

Some people say eyes are the window to one’s soul. I say they’re more like solar panels for the spirit. The light comes in, the scenes are burned into our brains, and who we become is a direct result of the things we witness. Well, witness this.

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February 27, 2009

YouTube
Jack Rebny, Winnebago Marketing Genius, by Pjotr Sapegin.
A montage of outtakes from his Winnebago commercials as compiled by his video crew. Actually makes me want to buy a Winnebago. Warning: this video is made up nearly entirely of the words “f*ck” and “sh*t”.

YouTube
One Red Paper Clip
This guy takes one red paper clip off his desk and trades it for a house. It’s old and you may have seen it, but if you haven’t, you should. If he can do it, you can do it.
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January 25, 2009

Celluloid
Movie: Azuloscurocasinegro (Darkbluealmostblack)
Director:
Language: Spanish w/Swedish subtitles

This is an excellent, excellent movie. Set in Madrid, Jorge wants to be something much more important than he is, but circumstances prevent him from leaving his life as a building super behind and becoming a businessman. He takes care of his mentally and physically incapacitated father, helps impregnate his incarcerated brother’s girlfriend (who is herself incarcerated), struggles to connect with his more successful girlfriend and her successful friends, and watches as his best friend spies on his own father’s secret homosexual life while questioning his own sexuality. It felt real and inspired me in a strange sort of way. I can’t even explain why, but it really hit a nerve with me and I felt good at the end. The story lines really worked for me and I highly recommend this as a daytime sofa flick.

azuloscurocasinegro
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January 24, 2009

YouTube
Aria, by Pjotr Sapegin.
Fabulous animation with absolutely beautiful music.

YouTube
Huset pa Kampen, by Pjoter Sapegin
Another stunning animation by this Russian director. I want to find more of this guy’s work.

Celluloid
Movie: Osama
Director: Siddig Barmak
Language: Arabic w/Swedish subtitles

The first movie made in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and based on a true story, Osama tells the story of a young girl living under Taliban rule who has to dress up as a boy in order to find work and earn food for her family. This is no Hollywood film with a happy ending. It is an Afghan director and I suspect the film gives a pretty accurate feel for life under the Taliban. I cannot remember a movie where the characters felt so real. It is an excellent movie that I will not soon forget.

osama_ver2

Celluloid
Movie: The Winter Guest
Director: Alan Rickman
Language: English

It’s a cold, rainy, gray Saturday afternoon and this movie is on the tele. It is a cold, snowy, gray movie set in a small town in Scotland where four pairs of people experience the day in seemingly unconnected ways but the white ice all around holds the stories together. It seems very foreign but strikingly familiar at the same time. The sympathies I feel for all of the characters spring from disparate, disconnected episodes of my own life and I feel melancholy in a very satisfactory way. Especially good is the sexual tension between Nita and Alex, two teens clumsily finding their way to one another. The erotic development is well-played against the innocence of youth. Oh, and I think I am in love with Arlene Cockburn, who plays Nita. This is an excellent hot-chocolate and sofa-blanket movie.

winter_guest1

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January 18, 2009
Celluloid
Movie: Sorstalanság
Director: Lajos Koltai
Language: Hungarian with Swedish subtitles

Det var en helt underbart film som jag kommer aldrig att glömma. Eftersom det gick långsamt då blev jag otroligt övertagen av berättelsen. Sorgligt och mörkt, filmen handlar om en ungerska judisk pojke som fångas av Nazisterna i Buchenwald arbetslägaren vid andravärldskriget. Filmade i svart och vit, den här filmen kan man tror är en riktigt bra och realistik framställning av hur det var i en sådant helvete. Se på den.

A wonderful film that I will never forget, this mournful and dark story of a Hungarian Jewish boy sent to Buchenwald concentration camp is as realistic a portrayal of that hell as I believe could possibly be created in a modern movie. I have been to Breendonk, a Nazi transition camp in Belgium where many Jews and resistance fighters were executed, and this film placed me squarely in the cold, dank sleeping quarters of that cursed place once again. Marcell Nagy plays the lead role of Györgi Köves and his transition from an unassuming boy in Budapest to a maggot-infested skeleton in Buchenwald and finally a morose survivor back in Soviet-controlled Budapest is handled flawlessly. See it.

sorstalansag
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January 12, 2009
Celluloid
Movie: The Station Agent
Director: Thomas McCarthy
Language: English

I’m not sure how to describe this film other than to say that it is a dark feel-good film. Not quite a comedy – though you will laugh – you will enjoy yourself while watching it and feel great afterward. Peter Dinklage plays Finbar McBride (interesting name, Finbar!), an introverted dwarf with a fascination for trains. By chance, he inherits an old train station, which prompts him to leave the big city and move to a rural New Jersey town. The new friendships – and conflicts – that develop with his arrival reveal a humanity in him that we often fail to notice in those with significant outward differences. The surrounding characters are equally emphasized and their own less-obvious abnormalities become more apparent, strengthening the bonds between them. You will discuss it with friends the next day with a grin. Highly recommended

station_agent

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December 14, 2008
Celluloid
Movie: Tsotsi
Director: Gavin Hood
Language: Afrikaans w/English subtitles

Excellent film about a young, South African hoodlum who steals a car only to discover – after he has made his escape – a baby in the back seat. Through the child, Tsotsi discovers the value of an individual’s life and life itself. His change from violent criminal to something more civilized could have fallen prey to overuse of metaphor, but Gavin Hood does a good job of avoiding the pitfalls a less-capable director would not. It also has an excellent soundtrack. I highly recommend this one.

tsotsi
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December 9, 2008
Celluloid
Movie: 2046
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Language: Chinese w/English subtitles

Incredible movie. Acting, costumes, plot, theme, soundtrack, cinematography are all fabulous. Even the Chinese dialogue is mesmerizing (English subtitles). Go see it now.

2046_movie

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December 2008
The Legends of You Tube

Let’s face it, the single greatest creation of the past three decades – aside from the internet itself (and Chunky Monkey) – is YouTube. It’s more informative than Wikipedia, more fun than playahead, more satisfying than The Hun, and more readable than your nephews Myspace page. It has created a global army of movie producers to satisfy all of our deeply hidden voyeuristic tendencies. Here are some of the strange things I’ve seen on this little slice of heaven.

OK Go! And again…here!

Amazing shadow puppetry. Woah.

Grandma got moves. (the original is here)

The latest from Lasse Gjertsen. If you haven’t heard of him until now, remember his name.

Thou Shalt Always Kill.

Actually, yes, I CAN do this.

…but not this (though I wish I could).

Eddie Izzard is my hero! This skit is a high-point in human achievement.

Another one by Lasse Gjertsen. The guy is a star. Check out his YouTube page.

The magic of Ray Harryhausen. And you thought Jurassic Park was impressive. They used computers. Ray used his hands and some clay.

You, too, can be a rock star in one easy lesson!

What if the ROBOTS win???

I love Eminem.

One of those days.

Space Invaders…LIVE!

Russian singer hitting the high notes. wow.

Bruce Lee wannabee. Too damn funny.

Best police dog ever!

The best cover of the world’s worst rock ballad. They could base an entire MTV reality show on these guys.

Matrix ping pong. There is only one.

Cool whiteboard stopmotion animation.

Virtual Reality…a real world chat room.

Indian Thriller…OMG…

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Responses

  1. hey scott – great writing on your website!

    you forgot another youtube oddity:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wendie+swanstone&search_type=&aq=f

    (i got paid for these… me and a camera by myself in death valley. i’m an idiot!)


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