Bric à Brac: A Tragicomedy of Two Raggedy Scrap-Iron Automatons

Bric à Brac: A Tragicomedy of Two Raggedy Scrap-Iron Automatons

I’m strong to the finish,
’Cause I eats me spinach,
I’m Popeye the sailor man!

Bric à Brac is an engaging 4-minute animated short film by the French filmmakers Emeline Degand and Maud Bourotte, who are two students at the EESA (now École Georges Méliès).  The cardboard, stop-motion animation tells the bittersweet story of two little robot-like thingees, who are made out of spare parts (as is everything around them).  The rhythms and poppy facial expression changes are awesome, and the two scrap-metal automatons really seem to enjoy experimenting with the musical capabilities of their bodies.  But very sadly, one ends up turning into an ecstatic Whirling Dervish, tragically getting much too carried away!

Bric à Brac: A Tragicomedy of Two Raggedy Scrap-Iron Automatons

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Obama’s Amazing GOP Question Time: An Astonishing Smackdown!!

President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address

President Obama gave his State of the Union Address on January 27, 2010.  Among the many issues that he addressed, Obama spoke about restoring security for middle-class families after a lost decade of declining wages, eroding retirement security and escalating health care and tuition costs.  President Obama also committed himself to repealing the military’s  “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.

President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address

Obama’s Amazing GOP Question Time: An Astonishing Smackdown!!

President Obama and Congressional Republicans sparred over a range of policy disagreements Friday in a lively Q&A session that highlighted the void between the parties.   A robust debate on policies and politics with the opposition party is a rarity in the scripted world of American politics., but accepting the invitation to speak at the House GOP retreat may have turned out to be the smartest decision the White House has made in many months.  The Republicans learned the hard way that debating a former University of Chicago law professor is pretty darn foolish! Many of the Republicans asked excellent and probing questions, but they sat in astonishment watching their arguments simply be demolished by the President.  It was an amazing Obama slam dunk, another slam dunk, and yet another slam dunk!

Obama’s Amazing GOP Question Time (Full Version)

Obama, GOP Confront Political Gridlock in Rare Q&A (Excerpts)


We Are the Ones: Music Video by will.i.am

The full version of President Obama’s lively Q&A session with the  GOP can be watched in HQ video here.

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Mon Ami Charly: It’s Your Turn to Get Your Brains Blown Out!

Mon Ami Charly: It’s Your Turn to Get Your Brains Blown Out!

Mon Ami Charly is a wickedly wild, award-winning animated short film by four students from the French ESMA School of Arts (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques).  In the film, a little girl gets bored being all alone and asks her mother for permission to go meet her “imaginary friend” Charly.  The mother refuses but the little girl disobeys her, and things rapidly go downhill, completely loony-tunes crazy from that point on!

Mon Ami Charly: It’s Your Turn to Get Your Brains Blown Out!

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Sikumi On the Ice: A Shining Light on Community and Conscience

Sikumi On the Ice: A Shining Light on Community and Conscience

Sikumi is a short film by Writer/Director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, which was the winner of the Jury Prize for Short Filmmaking at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The film tells the story of an Inuit hunter who drives his dog team out onto the frozen Arctic Ocean in search of seals, but instead becomes a witness to murder.  Sikumi serves as a metaphor for larger concepts such as Community, which judges and sets standards of conduct for a people, and Conscience, which, in the absence of witnesses, must live with itself.  A startlingly spare and beautiful update on the Western, Sikumi (On the Ice) takes full advantage of the stark and dramatic setting it employs on the way to becoming one of the best short films of recent memory.

Sikumi On the Ice: A Shining Light on Community and Conscience

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Being Boring: A Lament for Friends Lost

Being Boring: A Lament for Friends Lost

I bolted through a closing door,
All the people I was kissing,
Some are here and some are missing,
In the nineteen nineties.

The Sundance Channel has just launched the first online exhibition from acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Bruce Weber, entitled Gone Fishing: A Little Journey in My BackyardThe exhibition includes more than 70 photographs, videos from many of his films, as well as a wealth of information about Weber himself.  The exhibition also presents the Bruce Weber-directed Pet Shop Boys’ video Being Boring, in its entirety.

Being Boring may well be the most beautiful thing the Pet Shop Boys ever recorded, a song that deals with youth, beauty, sex and the intimation of death in the face of the devastation wrought by the AIDS crisis.  Over a lush musical soundscape of warm basslines and sustained strings, Neil Tennant opens up lyrically, but it’s with the last of the three verses that Being Boring really makes its magic felt, as the tone shifts from one of gentle reminiscence to become a lament for friends lost.  That verse takes on an extra sense of poignancy with the knowledge that Tennant had recently lost a close friend to AIDS, but in spite of  that the song retains an air of positivity: it’s more a celebration of life than a mourning of death.

Being Boring: A Lament for Friends Lost

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Logorama: A Hard-Boiled Heist Flick With An Earth-Shattering Twist!

Logorama: A Hard-Boiled Heist Flick With An Earth-Shattering Twist!

Logorama is an award-winning, provocative and daring animated short film from the French H5 design collective, directed by François Alaux.  The film won the Prix Kodak at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, was an Official Selection at The 2010 Sundance Festival and won the 2010 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

The film takes the viewer on an entertaining, violent, profane, action-packed caper set in a world comprised entirely of well-known corporate logos and iconic mascots.  How familiar are the stars of this film?  Well, an evil Ronald McDonald embarks upon a shooting spree on a street overflowing with 7-Elevens, U-Haul trucks, Wal-Marts and Pizza Huts. The Michelin Men are bumbling, foul-mouthed cops on his trail, and Bob’s Big Boy picks his nose and flings it on an unsuspecting victim.

But make no mistake, Logorama is a cleverly executed critique of our times.  Our world is fueled with the signatures of commerce and consumption, where everyday symbols are imprinted in our collective memories, nagging away on the subconscious, hand in pocket and ready to draw money from our wallets.  It is within this context that H5 go far beyond a simple exercise in artistic defiance.  This is the beauty of their work: they transgress the graphic codes of our everyday experience.  They place them within a completely different context, which sufficiently sparks considerable food for thought.

Logorama: A Hard-Boiled Heist Flick With An Earth-Shattering Twist!

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Mr. Okra: Puts a Warm Fuzzy Deep in Your Heart

Mr. Okra: Puts a Warm Fuzzy Deep in Your Heart

I have oranges and banana . . .
I have apples, I have cantaloupe . . . .
I have pineapples, I have strawberries . . .
I have blueberries . . .
I have the mango and the tango.

Mr. Okra is a warmly touching, award-winning documentary short film by T.G. Herrington, an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival.  Mr. Okra won the Documentary Short Audience Award at the 2009 Austin Film Festival and the Peroni Italy Audience Choice Award at the Third Annual NYC Food Film Festival 2009.  The film is an intimate look at one of New Orleans’ most colorful characters: the charismatic vegetable salesman “Mr. Okra,” who provides a glimpse into the soul of an American city.

Arthur J. Robinson (a.k.a. “Mr. Okra”) is a simple man in a complicated world.  Mr. Okra stands as a stark contrast to the high technology and shiny produce markets of the modern world.  His is a different world, a world steeped in tradition, complicated by its diversity, but simple in its truth.  Beyond the clichés of Bourbon Street, amid the decadence and decay of one of America’s most unique cities, Mr. Okra is a character from another time.  His is an analog world, in a digital age.

Mr. Okra: Puts a Warm Fuzzy Deep in Your Heart

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