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Archive of the category 'Film'

HOW’D THEY DO THAT? The Batsuit gets a makeover, by Tom Russo

Special to The Times
Originally published: July 20, 2008

Image and text source: LA Times

Note: I’ve seen many of the live-action as well as animated features of Batman that have been spun out by Hollywood throughout the last few decades. As much improvement has taken place in the area of special effects in order to live up to the action that graphic artists created in comic books, one thing that had not been dealt with properly was the fact that in live-action features, when a super-hero ran in tights he looked quite silly. (The issue has been mainly with men. Women in tights like Elektra or Wonder Woman become sexual objects). Tim Burton’s Batman was not bad, but it looked as though Batman was wearing a type of plastic suit, and one could not quite believe the suit’s functionality as an enhancing device for the human body. Now, the suit for men has moved beyond the comic book’s concept of showing off an overdeveloped body onto become an extension, a type of body armor which not only protects but enhances the physical strength of the superhero. The LA Times article below eloquently reflects on this shift in the translation of the comic book to the big screen. One can only expect that comic books will pick up on this concept and incorporate it into new graphic novels, completing feedback loop.

– E. Navas

The ‘Dark Knight’ hero has tossed the sweaty rubber and molded-plastic costumes of yesteryear and sports a cooler, motocross-style flexi-suit this time around.

WHEN “THE Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming considered how they would retool Christian Bale’s Batman armor for the new movie, one question leaped to mind immediately: “Why, in 2008, would a superhero put on a rubber suit?” Hemming asks. “Why would he wear something that made him less active and unbelievably, unpleasantly hot? He wouldn’t. He’d use all the technology available to be as comfortable as possible.”

So when audiences get a look at the new, heavily segmented Batsuit with its Kevlar pecs and abs and exposed titanium-mesh under layer, they should know that this was no George Clooney Batnipple exercise in impishly messing with tradition. Rather, the “Dark Knight” crew was adhering to the creative mandate that Nolan first set on “Batman Begins”: Ground the proceedings as much as possible in real-world believability. As costume effects supervisor Graham Churchyard pointedly puts it, “You’re supposed to be scuba diving in a neoprene body suit, not kickboxing.”

Read the entire article at LA Times

Youtube Video: DJ Spooky – That Subliminal Kid -Remix Culture

Still from Youtube upload: Spooky lectures on Remix Culture and Sampling

Looking for material on Remix Culture, I recently ran into this two hour lecture by DJ Spooky at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Spooky beat juggles history to argue his position on sampling. From the Phonograph to the Jamaican Sound System, one gets a good sense of the potential creativity that Spooky and other promoters of Remix Culture believe in. Some of the questions at the end are quite interesting, and challenging. Definitely worth the 100 minutes of your time.

Notes on Planet B-Boy, by Eduardo Navas

Image source: Youtube, still from Planet B-Boy Excerpt

Planet B-Boy website: http://planetbboy.com

I just saw Planet B-Boy, directed by Benson Lee at Ken Cinema, in San Diego. I was hoping to get more of a historical overview about B-Boying, similarly to how Scratch, by Doug Pray, took a historical survey of turntablism but this was not the case. The film does provide a brief history of B-Boying in the United States, then quickly shows how it became a global movement. The cooption of Breakdancing by the media is briefly mentioned, to then move to 1991, when an annual B-Boy competition was started in Germany which today is globally recognized. The actual investment of the film, however, is not in B-Boying globally, but B-Boying in South Korea. They’re the best, as far as I can tell–something I knew before I saw the film–and this film was made to prove just that.

Anyone who views Planet B-Boy on the big screen will not be disappointed. All the crews, even those from Latvia, and Greece, make brief but impressive appearances. But in the end, I was left with the desire for a film that is truly sensitive to the global power of Breakdancing. What Planet B-Boy does show is that hip hop is no longer U.S. centric; today, it is owned by the world, just like soccer. A concise historical film about Breakdancing as a global movement is yet to be made. Planet B-Boy does not come close to that, but it will have to do for now.

Following some B-Boy moments from Youtube:

Landmark Shots from Around the World:

Excerpt from the film focusing on Korea:

Planet B-Boy, France:

Knucklehead Zoo:

Early Battle:

Brief Notes on “No Country for Old Men/Creeper Remix” by Eduardo Navas

Image source and video : Ebaum’s World

I recently saw No Country for Old Men, which I highly recommend, and when looking for reviews and critical analysis, I ran into No Country for Old Men/Creeper Remix in Ebaum’s World. The remix video takes the sound from one of the movie’s trailers and combines it with footage from Scooby Doo. The author/remixer, whose name does not appear in the post, explains that s/he found a resemblance between Scooby Doo’s Creeper and Javier Bardem’s character, Anton Chigurh.

No Country for Old Men/Creeper Remix exposes the importance of sound in film-making (or any other time based project), something which most viewers don’t think about once they become immersed in a film. For a remix such as this one to be successful, the viewers need to already be familiar with the film’s soundtrack; they need to recognize almost naturally Chigurh’s voice, just like they are also expected to know about Scooby Doo–at least in terms of popular culture. Scooby Doo’s footage, on the other hand, becomes supplemental, or subverted by the sound. Even if viewers don’t know about the Scooby Doo TV show and its characters, they are likely to see the Creeper’s resemblance to Bardem’s character–which is largely marked by the haircut. In this way the conventional roles of image and sound are reversed: the sound becomes the main point of reference, while the image supports the message carried by the sound. Filmmakers obviously know that there is a fine balance between image and sound to tell a good story, so this gesture is designed for popular consumption. In the end, that’s were most remixes are expected to find their audience.

The Communism of Form and the Music Clip, by Miguel Amado [reblog from Rhizome News]

Image source: comunismodaforma.zip.net
text source: Rhizome.org

July 18, 2007

From this Friday until the beginning of August, Sao Paulo’s Galeria Vermelho hosts one of the most riveting exhibitions of the summer. Curated by local critics Fernando Oliva and Marcelo Rezende, ‘Communism of Form: Sound + Image + Time ? The Music Clip Strategy’ brings together works by 30 Brazilian and international artists that reflect, examine, or evoke the aesthetics of the music clip within contemporary visual culture. The show’s organizing principle takes on French critic Nicolas Bourriaud’s definition of ‘communism of form,’ an expression that identifies the current art practices based on an immense library of images, emotional states, and psychological experiences generated by post-Fordist societies that are shared both by the artists and the audience–as the music clip– that thus engage in a participatory relationship with the pieces. Many artists–such as Forsyth & Pollard (UK), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Nuevos Ricos (Mexico), Laibach (Slovenia), and Tetine (Brazil)–developed new works, addressing with different and surprising styles the fundamental elements of the music clip: sound, image, and time. As Oliva and Rezende say, ‘the music clip, with its absence of an hierarchy between the old and the new and the technological and the craft, puts in motion all the world�s repertoire.’ A blog comprising several posts–from film stills to YouTube videos–and a book with various commissioned essays and interviews discussing the theoretical frame of the show complements this project, expanding its original and very opportune features in unexpected ways and furthering the debate around this prominent cultural expression. – Miguel Amado

Charlie Rose – Shakespeare in Literature and Film (Remix) [reblog from Google Video]

Image and video source: Google Video

Note: Though the term “Remix” may be over-extended in this particular video interview with Harold Bloom by Charlie Rose, one is more than likely to learn a few things about important literary texts and their current interpretations.

Watch the entire video:

The Latency of the Moving Image in New Media, by Eduardo Navas

Image and text source: Telic Arts Exchange

Written for an exhibition with the same title curated by Eduardo Navas at Telic Arts Exchange, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA. May 25 – June 16, 2007

Text released: May 25, 2007

What separates new media from previous media is, in part, waiting periods that define public and private experience; whether the download of a file from the Internet is taking longer than expected, an e-mail message has not been sent from one server to another for some unknown reason, or a large file is being rendered in video software like Final Cut Pro for output as a viewable movie, new media is largely dependent on constant moments of waiting, often referenced as latency.

Latency is used with three significations in mind. First, is the technological latency that takes place in new media culture due to the nature of the computer: the machine has to always check in loops what it must do, to then execute commands, eventually leading to the completion of a task. This is the case when someone uses Photoshop, Microsoft Word, or any other commercial application; or streams image and sound across the Internet. This constant checking in loops at hardware and software levels opens the space for latency’s second signification, which extends in social space when the user consciously waits for a response that begins and ends with the computer. Latency becomes naturalized when a person incorporates computer interaction as part of his/her everyday activities.


Rosebud Remix. The Citizen Kane DVD is as coldly magnificent as the original film, by Christopher Hawthorne

Image source: http://www.cinematographers.nl

Text source: Slate

Oct. 24, 2001, at 11:09 PM

When the great film critic Pauline Kael died last month at 82, obituaries as well as tributes from her friends and acolytes poured into print. The remembrances tended to mention only in passing what was perhaps the most important, and easily the most exhaustive, piece of criticism Kael ever wrote. “Raising Kane” appeared in The New Yorker 30 years ago, sprawling across a total of 68 pages in consecutive issues of the magazine. The essay celebrated and dissected Orson Welles’ film debut Citizen Kane, which was itself 30 years old in 1971.

As it happens, Kael’s death and that double anniversary coincide with the release of a commemorative edition of the film on DVD. Citizen Kane will be the first building block in the collection of any self-respecting film buff, of course. But watching it on DVD re-raises a lingering if heretical question: Why does the film so often ranked as the greatest ever made strike so many viewers as cold, as oddly soulless? It’s easy to appreciate or admire Citizen Kane but hard to revel in it. Put another way: It’s just about the last movie you’d want to watch on a rainy night.

Read the article

Remixing Hollywood, by JA

Image source: http://irish.typepad.com/photos/covers/darknet.html

Text source: Bright Cove

June 24, 2005

This past week I spent my time among two disparate crowds — in San Francisco with Supernova’s new media digerati, content anarchists, and self-publishing blogging media visionaries, among others, and in Los Angeles with Hollywood’s “Masters of the Universe”, those responsible for producing the most mainstream of mainstream film and TV, and individuals who are architecting the strategies for media empires making their shift to the Internet.


Performative Cinema: Time Code Live Mix Performance, by Michela Pilo

Image and text source: http://01sj.org/content/view/976/52/

Jul 27, 2006

Time Code — the Live Mix at ZeroOne San Jose will feature Mike Figgis’ new interpretations of this seminal work he started in 2000. For this performance Mike Figgis will be “playing” with the image and “re-mixing” the sound to create a new way to experience this story. Shot simultaneously on four cameras and presented in four frames, Time Code tracks the lives of a smitten lesbian lover as she obsesses over her partner’s dalliances and the tense goings-on of a Hollywood film production company. Time Code is, as one of its critics point out, is one of the “first films shot in real time in one take, to be truly interactive, and to present four different concurrent stories filmed simultaneously.”


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