Lock and Load: A Video Essay About Guns in Films

Lock and Load: A Video Essay About Guns in Films

Lock and Load is a video essay about violent aggression and Hollywood’s weapon of choice, the gun, in all of it’s many, many forms.  The video compilation is from cinema critics/editing whizzes Matt Zoller Seitz, Aaron Aradillas and Steven Santos.

The clips range from Evil Dead 2 to Full Metal Jacket to Taxi Driver to Raising Arizona to Pulp Fiction and are smartly chosen, but it’s really the editing that’s the star in this short film.  The 16-minute mini-movie builds a compelling rhythm, generating genuine tension, then letting it out in a burst of gunfire.  Oh, and the very end references a very well-known moment from a very well-known movie, but replaces the clip in that film with the one that inspired it.  That’s nothing short of brilliant.

Lock and Load: A Video Essay About Guns in Films

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New York’s Blizzard of 2010

New York’s Blizzard of 2010

Here’s the moody, brilliantly-shot meditation on a buried city that’s being called Oscar-worthy by Roger Ebert.  The video was shot by filmmaker Jamie Stuart in Queens, New York, during the snowstorm on the night of the 26th.  Like the video itself, the title, Idiot with a Tripod, is an homage to the 1929 silent film Man With a Movie Camera.

New York’s Blizzard of 2010

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Photos of the Day: The Sad Ghosts of Christmas Just Past

Photos of the Day: The Sad Ghosts of Christmas Just Past

Photography by:  J. Geoffrey Badner, Park Slope, Brooklyn

The Sad Ghosts of Christmas Just Past is a collection of photographs of our Christmas just past by the photographer J. Geoffrey Badner.  The tinsel, twinkling lights and Santas have come and gone in the city, but still we are haunted by Christmas: the tossed-out trees that just never seem to go away.  Here’s a photo-gallery of some of those sad, abandoned coniferous Christmas trees.

Slide Show: The Sad Ghosts of Christmas Just Past

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Madagascar: A Journey Diary

Madagascar: A Journey Diary

Madagascar: A Journey Diary is an extraordinary animated short film by the French animator Bastien Dubois. The film is completing quite an impressive festival run, which has included playing at Sundance, winning at Ottawa and winning at Annecy. Madagascar has just been short-listed for the 2011 Academy Awards in the Animated Short Film category.

Madagascar unfolds in the form of a travel notebook, where the pages turn and drawings come to life for us to discover the extraordinary customs and rituals of the Red Island, in particular the cult of the reversal of the dead. The film is deeply appealing for the same reason travel documentaries succeed, our intrinsic captivation with other places and other people. Along the way, the style of the piece, the jumble of half-finished looking sketches and images across multiple styles, recreates that often overwhelming sense of being fully present and stimulated that one gets when placed in such a rich, yet foreign environment.

Madagascar: A Journey Diary

(Please Click Image to View Film)

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Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius

Adam, The Creation of Man (1511-12)

Study of an Inclined Head and Detailed Eye Study (1529/30)

The Risen Christ (ca. 1532)

Madonna and Child (1520-1525)

Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius

Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius presents a selection of pictures from a major exhibition of around one hundred of the most beautiful drawings by Michelangelo currently at the Albertina in Vienna, Austria.  This is the first major Michelangelo exhibition in more than twenty years, with a focus on the figural drawings by Michelangelo, who is introduced here as the genius of a period of change.

Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius

Slide Show: Michelangelo/The Drawings of a Genius

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Wisdom Teeth: A Pain of Unreasonable Proportions

Wisdom Teeth: A Pain of Unreasonable Proportions

Wisdom Teeth is a wickedly funny animated short film by the sick genius Don Hertzfeldt.  It has just been named as one of the thirty-three films that have fulfilled the qualifications necessary to be considered in the category of Best Animated Short for 2010 Academy Awards.  The film has already made quite a splash at a number of film festivals.

Wisdom Teeth was first spotted as a surprise conclusion to the last three Evening with Don Hertzfeldt touring programs in Ottawa and Montreal in October 2009.  According to Hertzfeldt, in January 2010 the film drunkenly revealed itself at the Sundance Film Festival, punched a woman in the mouth and ran off into the snow without pants.  It next showed up at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where it stumbled into the room cursing God with vodka on its breath.  The short allegedly made a lewd gesture before disappearing again in a cloud of biting ants.

Wisdom Teeth is about Nigel, who’s just had his wisdom teeth removed.  A friend asks to pull out one of his stitches, and Nigel reluctantly gives in to his friend’s seemingly innocent request.  From that point on, things go painfully downhill for poor Nigel, and his agonizing ordeal ends up becoming very surreal.

Wisdom Teeth: A Pain of Unreasonable Proportions

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Miracle on 22nd Street: A New York Modern-Day Christmas Miracle

Miracle on 22nd Street: A New York Modern-Day Christmas Miracle

Miracle on 22nd Street is a heart-warming seven-minute documentary short film by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason  at Redglass Pictures.  The film tells the story of a couple living in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, who mysteriously started receiving hundreds of letters from children that were addressed to Santa Claus.  Everything about this film, from the couple’s struggle with making good on an unexpected obligation to hundreds of children, to their generosity of spirit, to their festively decorated brownstone, could not have been better cast as an inspirational, only-in–New York modern-day Christmas miracle.

Miracle on 22nd Street: A New York Modern-Day Christmas Miracle

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