The Little Boat: A Bittersweet Tale of Persistence and Adversity

The Little Boat: A Bittersweet Tale of Persistence and Adversity

The Little Boat is a bittersweet, sometimes heartbreaking minimalist five-minute animated short film by CalArts student Nelson Boles. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in September 2005, Boles enrolled in the Teen Program at The Animation Academy in Burbank. He was a 16 year-old young man from New Orleans, a refugee from the storm. Later, when things got back to semi-normal in New Orleans, he returned home.

The Little Boat imbues life into an obstinately mundane object, as the little red the dinghy steadfastly pushes forward through storms, floods and wars. One shot, at the 2:10 mark in the film, shows the little boat resolutely thrusting forward upon the stormy seas, only to have its mast shattered in half; it’s as heartbreaking a moment as anything that could happen to a more conventional animated character with eyes, hands and legs.

The Little Boat: A Bittersweet Tale of Persistence and Adversity

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Visions: Tim Hetherington’s Theater of War

Visions: Tim Hetherington’s Theater of War

Visions: Images of Libya from a Fallen Photographer

Last week, an upcoming gallery show of work by the late photographer Tim Hetherington was announced, the inaugural exhibition of The Bronx Documentary Center that was founded earlier this year. The exhibition, titled Visions, is a collection of never-before-seen photos by Hetherington, a British-American photographer who lived in Brooklyn. He was a longtime Vanity Fair contributor who died in April while covering the conflict in Libya, along with fellow conflict photographer and Brooklyn resident Chris Hondros.

It is amazingly ironic that the announcement of the exhibition of Tim Hetherington’s work coincided precisely with published reports that Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the erratic, provocative dictator who ruled Libya for 42 years, had finally met a violent and vengeful death in the hands of the Libyan forces that drove him from power.

Hetherington was most famous for his Academy Award-nominated 2010 documentary Restrepo, which he filmed with Sebastian Junger in 2007. The film follows the Army platoon assigned to what was then the most dangerous posting in Afghanistan, The Korengal Valley, to clear it of insurgents and gain the trust of the local populace. In the course of the film, the platoon builds a new outpost they name after Juan Sebastian Restrepo, a comrade who was killed during the early days of the 15-month assignment.

On April 20, Hetherington was trailing rebels in the besieged coastal city of Misurata in Libya, when he and Hondros were killed in an explosion from a rocket-propelled grenade. He left behind 40 rolls of undeveloped 220mm film. The negatives revealed a fascinating mix of what Tim called “the theater of war,” men strutting with their guns, as well as landscapes, graffiti, and men firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades in battle. And a vase of plastic flowers in a bullet-marked room. Seventeen of the prints will be on display in the Bronx Documentary Center show as 36- by 30-inch prints hanging from the ceiling on two large wood panels, beginning October 22nd.

Tim Hetherington: Always a Few Steps Ahead

Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold

Award-Winning Photographer and Film Director Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya

The Death of Award-Winning Photographer Tim Hetherington

Oscar-nominated documentary-maker Tim Hetherington, co-creator of the Sundance-winning documentary Restrepo, was killed in the besieged city of Misurata covering fighting between Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and the opposition. A British citizen who lived in New York, Hetherington had covered conflicts with sensitivity in Liberia, Afghanistan, Darfur and, in recent weeks, Libya. Hetherington was in Libya to continue his multimedia project highlighting humanitarian issues during times of war and conflict.

Photo-journalist Chris Hondros, a US Pulitzer finalist who worked for Getty Images, was also killed. Hetherington and Hondros were among eight to 10 journalists reporting from Tripoli Street in Misrata. When shooting broke out, they took shelter against a wall, which was hit by fire. Hetherington died soon after arriving at hospital. Hetherington wrote in his last post on Twitter on Tuesday: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Gaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

Restrepo won the 2010 Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance, and was a 2011 Oscar Nominee for Best Documentary, Features. The movie is a stunning chronicle of one U.S. platoon, which was posted in one of the most dangerous valleys in Afghanistan. The film was made as part of Hetherington’s ongoing mission to bring the hardships of war into the public eye.

Diary is one of Hetherington’s most recent works, a documentary short film that presents a dreamlike composition of insightful juxtapositions about his war experiences, composed of carefully conceived montages and almost inchoate sounds. It is similar in spirit to his impressionistic documentary short Sleeping Soldiers of 2009.

Viewers can read more about Tim Hetherington in The New York Times here.

Restropo: 2011 Nominated Oscar Best Documentary, Features (Trailer)

Tim Hetherington’s Disquieting ‘Diary

Tim Hetherington: Sleeping Soldiers

Photo-Gallery: Visions/Tim Hetherington’s Theater of War

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A Celebration of Steve’s Life

A Celebration of Steve’s Life

Apple has posted this video of the tribute to Steven P. Jobs, which took place last week at the Apple campus in Cupertino, California. The event, A Celebration of Steve’s Life, was held to commemorate Mr. Jobs, who died this month after battling pancreatic cancer.

The video begins with Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, introducing Mr. Jobs’s wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. Mr. Cook shared thoughts of Mr. Jobs’s work at Apple over the years and noted that no one in attendance would be working at Apple if it wasn’t for Mr. Jobs. “There is one more thing he leaves us; he leaves us with each other,” Mr. Cook said. “Other than his family, Apple would be his finest creation.” Mr. Cook also said the last piece of advice Mr. Jobs gave him was “to never ask what he would do; just do what’s right.

Following Mr. Cook’s speech, Al Gore, the former Vice President and an Apple board member, spoke. Some of Mr. Jobs’s favorite musicians played at the event. Norah Jones sang the Bob Dylan song Forever Young. The British band Coldplay performed Fix You and Yellow, while thousands of Apple employees listened and helped celebrate the co-founder’s life.

A Celebration of Steve’s Life

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Beware The Gawper: A Horribly Terrifying Halloween Experience!

Beware The Gawper: A Horribly Terrifying Halloween Experience!

The Gawper is a terrifying, comedic horror-themed two-minute animated short film directed by the talented Seth Watkins at A Large Evil Corporation. With the most evil time of the year approaching, this new CG animated short is reminiscent of the early horror flicks, paying homage to films like Frankenstein and Dracula. The little film is part A Nightmare Before Christmas, part Looney Tunes and part 1950s B-movie goodness.

In the midnight darkness of night, what horrible terror awaits? Well, let’s just say that it doesn’t pay to be a grave robber, especially when terrifying skeletons belonging to the dead you are attempting to rob are going to try to stop you. Now, play the video below if you dare!

Beware The Gawper: A Horribly Terrifying Halloween Experience!

(Best Viewed in Terrifying HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Rihanna’s We Found Love: A Tragic Love-Affair

Rihanna’s We Found Love: A Tragic Love-Affair

We Found Love is the world premier of Rihanna’s sexually charged, clubby smash music video, the apparently autobiographical single from her upcoming sixth album Talk That Talk (to be released on November 21st). The video appears to be an artful, poignant reminiscence about her previous tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown. Shot in Belfast, Ireland, the nearly five-minute music video features Rihanna in a passionate relationship with a muscular young man, played by the British model/boxer Dudley O’Shaughnessy.

We Found Love tells the story of a tragic love-affair, exploring the dark underworld of substance abuse, as she and her lover are seen partying, doing drugs, attending raves, swilling booze and ultimately engaging in devastating acts of serious domestic violence. Enjoy the video now, since there’s no way it will be shown on television without extensive censoring.

Rihanna’s We Found Love: A Tragic Love-Affair

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Spike Jonze: To Die By Your Side

Spike Jonze: To Die By Your Side

To Die By Your Side (Mourir Auprès de Toi) is a tragicomic stop-motion animated short film co-created by the celebrated filmmaker Spike Jonze and designer Olympia Le-Tan. After spending five years adapting Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, Jonze’s more recent short films include last year’s robot love story, I’m Here, and this year’s Arcade Fire collaboration, Scenes From the Suburbs. To Die By Your Side is his latest short film, which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week and was first presented online yesterday at NOWNESS.com.

A tale to pierce the heart, the star-crossed love story is set on the shelves of Paris’s storied Shakespeare and Co. bookstore. When night falls, an old Parisian bookseller closes the small shop, and a klutzy skeleton springs off the cover of Macbeth and falls for Mina, the flame-haired damsel from Dracula. Enlisting French filmmaker Simon Cahn to co-direct, the team wrote the script between Los Angeles and Paris over a six-month period of time, before working night and day animating the 3,000 pieces of felt that Le-Tan had cut by hand.

To Die By Your Side is a delightfully whimsical, humorous and poignant animated felt short film: be sure to watch it to the end!

Spike Jonze: To Die By Your Side

(Best Watched in Full-Screen Mode)

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The Photography of Herb Ritts: Distinctive Portraits with Monumental Sensuality

Herb Ritts, Richard Gere, San Bernardino, 1977

Herb Ritts, Antonio Rossi in Tag Heuer’s Form, 1997

Herb Ritts, Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989

Herb Ritts, Fred with Tires II, Hollywood, 1984

Herb Ritts, Paul, Torso, Los Angeles, 1990

Herb Ritts, Carlos Moyá in Tag Heuer’s Form, 1997

The Photography of Herb Ritts: Distinctive Portraits with Monumental Sensuality

Herb Ritts (1952-2002) occupies photography’s Mount Olympus, along with the most important fashion and glamour photographers of the late 20th Century, including Horst, Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber and Helmut Newton. His photographs are a pivotal reference in our collective cultural memory; the classical poses of celebrities and models with their clean lines and distinct forms are easily recognizable as his style.

Herb Ritts was self-taught and he took his cues from the desert landscape surrounding his home and his close proximity to Hollywood culture, evident in the graphic quality and visual simplicity of his photographs and the heightened glamour of their subjects. He inserts a sense of rigorous formalism that seems to be inspired by modernist photographers like Edward Weston, August Sander or Man Ray.

The Edwynn Houk Gallery in Zurich recently presented an exhibition of photographs drawn from the collection of the Herb Ritts Foundation. In addition, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, has recently acquired 69 black-and-white images by the late L.A. fashion photographer valued at close to $1 million, given by his foundation in a single transaction that was part gift and part purchase. A Ritts exhibition is being planned at the Getty, drawing in part from the new acquisition, for April 2012.

A Montage of Herb Ritts’ Videos and Still Images

Gallery: Photography of Herb Ritts/Distinctive Portraits with Monumental Sensuality

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