Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

Time Piece is the acclaimed 1965 nine-minute experimental short film that was writ­ten, di­rect­ed and pro­duced ​by Jim Hen­son; the film also starred Henson. Beginning in the spring of 1964, nearly ten years after the introduction of the Muppets, Henson filmed the short film on weekends and late nights between his commercial projects and Muppet appearances. Premiered at New York City’s Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in May of 1965, Time Piece en­joyed an eigh­teen-​month run at one Man­hat­tan movie the­ater and in 1966 was nom­i­nat­ed for the Acade­my Award for Out­stand­ing Short Sub­ject.

Time Piece is the story of Everyman, frustrated by the typical tasks of a typical day. With a rhythmic soundtrack and visual clock motif, the film follows follows a nameless man through his mundane daily activities, a montage intercut with surreal fantasy and pop-culture references. The film touches upon themes such as man’s dis­lo­ca­tion in time, time sig­na­tures, time as a philo­soph­i­cal con­cept and slav­ery to time. The film’s only dialog is a repeating cry of “Help!”from Henson, who can’t help but sound like his Kermit the Frog counterpart.

Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

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Back to the Start: Choosing a More Sustainable Future

Back to the Start: Choosing a More Sustainable Future

Back to the Start is a stellar animated short film by the acclaimed animator Johnny Kelly, created at London’s esteemed Nexus Productions. The film very eloquently dramatizes the story of a farmer who slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the errors of his ways. When a crisis of conscience takes hold, the farmer returns to his low-impact ways and opts for a more sustainable future. All the while, Willie Nelson sings a cover of Coldplay’s The Scientist, the one that goes “…I’m going back to the start.” Both the film and the soundtrack were commissioned by Chipotle to emphasize the importance of developing a more sustainable food system.

Back to the Start: Choosing a More Sustainable Future

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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The Art of the Automobile: Speed, Style and Beauty

Mercedes Benz SSK “Count Trossi” 1930

Mercedes Benz SSK “Count Trossi” 1930

Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia 1938

Ferrari 250 GTO 1962

1938 Bugatti

1929 Bentley

Jaguar XKD 1955

The Art of the Automobile: Speed, Style and Beauty

Photography by: Michael Furman, Philadelphia

In 1970, Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, presented a selection of competition cars, Bolides Design. A special jury chose the models with the idea of the car as a design object, a work of art, showing that “art and technique, each at their own level, are the expression of man and his relationship with design.” The Ralph Lauren collection can be seen from the same perspective.

For its first presentation in Europe, the Ralph Lauren Car Collection was recently on exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs. Among the major car collections in the world, that of iconic American fashion designer Ralph Lauren stands out more than any other as synonymous with excellence. A selection of the most prestigious sports cars from the 1930s to present day outlined the main phases of European automobile history. With this collection, Ralph Lauren shows that the automobile is a major art form created by the industry’s biggest names: Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Porsche and of course, Ferrari, the high point of this unique collection.

Speed, Style & Beauty: The Ralph Lauren Car Collection

Speed, Style and Beauty: The Ralph Lauren Car Collection‬ (Full Version: Parts 1-5)

Photo-Gallery: The Art of the Automobile/Speed, Style and Beauty

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Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared: A Terrifying Bloody Mess!

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared: A Terrifying Bloody Mess!

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is a wonderfully bizarre three-min. animated short film created by Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling from the London-based This Is It Collective. The short begins innocently enough, with a small cast of sort-of identifiable characters sitting around a table and sing-talking about being “creative.” Then again, it looks like a rather lame children’s video, telling kids how to do what they do really naturally anyway, use their imaginations. But suddenly, it turns into a extremely disturbing free-association sequence, hinting at some very bleak psychological states, more like Black Swan than Sesame Street.

The filmmakers zero in on adult insecurities about self-expression, then delve into the perils of creativity. Such dangers quickly lead to terrifying glitter-covered animal organs (real, bloody ones, not made from the felt everything else in this video is made of), seizures and death. But just as quickly as the characters are served a gory meat cake, everything goes back to normal. And, just like any other children’s television show, the lesson learned is repeated at the end of the segment. And just what is that lesson? Never, never be creative. Unless you want to die.

Watch this video to the very end and you won’t regret it.  Or will you ?

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared: A Terrifying Bloody Mess!

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“Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius Reaches 400 Meters Semi-Finals At World Championships

“Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius Reaches 400m Semi-Finals At World Championships

“Blade runner” Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter running on carbon-fiber blades, passed his first test with flying colors on his debut at the 13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Pistorius swept past several able-bodied runners, finishing third in his heat to reach the semi-finals of the 400 meters Sunday. The South African, who has had to overcome huge legal and performance obstacles just to be allowed to race in Daegu, South Korea, on his prosthetic legs, delighted the crowd with a strong run of 45.39 seconds from an outside lane.

The crowd rose to the double amputee as he powered down the final straight before a band of his compatriots chanted “Oscar! Oscar!” to confirm the 24-year-old as one of the sentimental favorites of the championships. Describing his landmark race as a great relief, especially after the disruption of a false start by another of the runners, Pistorius said he had fulfilled a long-held ambition.

After he crossed the line, Pistorius gave an appreciative bow to the South Korean crowd of about 10,000 for its cheers and support. After the race, Pistorius said, “I have worked extremely hard to be here” “It has been phenomenal to run. It has been a lot of pressure in the race, and there is a lot of work for tomorrow.” “It was a great opportunity for me to have a chance to run, this is a goal I’ve had for many, many years,” he told reporters. “I really don’t feel like a pioneer but I’m very honored to be in the position I am in . I hope to write a few more chapters, I’m still young.”

World Athletics 2011: Pistorius Reaches 400m Semi-Finals

The Blade Runner: South Africa’s Amazing Oscar Pistorius

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Flawed: That’s What Makes Life Interesting!

Flawed: That’s What Makes Life Interesting!

Flawed is an impressive personal 12-min. stop-motion animated story told in gorgeous drawings done in black ink and watercolor by Canadian filmmaker Andrea Dorfman. The film has been acclaimed on the festival circuit for a couple of years, winning at the Palm Springs Film Festival, and playing at HotDocs and SilverDocs. It has been one of the jewels of the National Film Board‘s impressive animation catalog, but only now has become available on the web.

Flawed tells a story that is serious, heart-warming yet also heart-breaking, in which Dorfman examines the conflicted feelings that arise when she strikes up a romance with a plastic surgeon. Through an intensely confessional narrative, she discovers that the secret to getting the man to accept her is to learn how to accept herself. The drawings help to keep the story light and visually compelling, while presenting Dorfman’s philosophical take on self-esteem, growing-up, relationships, personal identity and even cosmetic surgery.

Flawed: That’s What Makes Life Interesting!

(Best Viewed in Full-Screen Mode)

(Unfortunately, film rights are for the USA only and thus presently geo-blocked for International audiences)

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The Hiroshima Photographs: Ground Zero 1945

The Nuclear Weapon “Little Boy” Exploding on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Rooftop View of Atomic Destruction, Hiroshima, October 31, 1945

The Landscape of Hiroshima, Looking Northeast, October 27, 1945

Ruins of the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall , October 24, 1945

Distorted Steel-Frame Structure of Odamasa Store, Hiroshima, November 20, 1945

Ruins of Chugoku Coal Distribution Company or Hiroshima Gas Company, November 8, 1945

The Hiroshima Photographs: Ground Zero 1945

Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945 is a new exhibition of once-classified images of atomic destruction at Hiroshima presently on display at New York City’s International Center of Photography. The collection of photographs both repels and fascinates the viewer, with its powerfully ugly portraits of an unpeopled and obliterated city. The photographs were originally part of a governmental analysis of the atomic bomb’s effect on concrete, wood and steel, and this catalog of devastation was meant to be seen only by postwar architects and engineers tasked with erecting the “bombproof” cities of the future.

The Hiroshima photos have a strange and contorted history. In the mid-1990s, the owner of a diner in Watertown, Massachusetts, was walking his dog when he spotted a beat-up suitcase sitting in a pile of trash. It turned out that the photographs inside had once belonged to Robert L. Corsbie, an engineer and expert on the effects of the bomb. Just how those photos wound up in his possession remains unclear. Corsbie belonged to a cadre of ordnance experts, engineers, photographers and draftsmen who were sent by President Truman to analyze the nuclear devastation.

The Hiroshima photographs are fundamentally different from the more familiar World War II pictures of European cities, such as Cologne, where the stones of the cathedral rise from the debris, and blown-out buildings loom like hollow-eyed zombies. Those ruins have a perverse but palpable grandeur, a gothic desolation that is missing from the scenes of Japan’s ravaged emptiness. In hauntingly stark contrast to the images of European destruction, the Hiroshima photographs are eerily mute. There are no people, only twisted metal, blistered walls and miles of rubble. Except for a few skeletal structures poking out of flattened wreckage, the city simply vanished. Hiroshima didn’t look like a bombed city; it looked instead as though a monstrous steamroller had passed over it and just squashed it out of existence. The Japanese city centers, constructed mostly of wood, simply went up in smoke when bombed.

Wary of the conquered people’s anger and grief, the US government imposed strict censorship in September 1945, confiscating pictures and ordering that no image be printed which might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility. It was not until 1952 that Life Magazine published a handful of photographs taken in the first days after the attack. Even now, such images are rarely displayed. That is why this cache of photographs is so important. Once part of a classified archive, then buried in a basement, thrown away and resurrected, it counteracts the universal tendency to aestheticise violence. There is nothing awe-inspiring here, or even poignant, just plain devastating facts.

Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945

Grave of the Fireflies: A Japanese Anime Masterpiece

Grave of the Fireflies is an acclaimed Japanese anime masterpiece, a dramatic animated film written and directed by Isao Takahata. The film tells the story of two children from Japan’s port city of Kobe, who have been made homeless by the WWII American firebombing of the city. The film is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Nosaka Akiyuki, who was a boy at the time of the firebombs, whose sister died of hunger and whose life has been shadowed by guilt. Roger Ebert considers Grave of the Fireflies to be one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made, describing the film as “the most profoundly human animated film I’ve ever seen.”

Grave of the Fireflies: A Japanese Anime Masterpiece

Photo-Gallery: Hiroshima, Ground Zero 1945

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