Brave New Old: Isolation, Loneliness and Change in the Modern City

Brave New Old: Isolation, Loneliness and Change in the Modern City

Brave New Old is an experimental 3-D animated short film created by the London-based motion-graphics designer Adam Wells. Despite its deceptively simplistic style, this little film is a clever piece of experimental filmmaking.

The film appears to take off from Aldous Huxley’s dystopian visions in his 1931 Brave New World, a frightening picture of the future with subjects like corporate tyranny and behavioral conditioning. Brave New Old is a contribution to the new body of experimental animated works that explores isolation, loneliness and change in the modern city. From chance meetings to poetic musings on lost loves, and from meditations on the decay and decline of industry, to the disorientating nature of modern urban living, this is a chance to explore the city experience through truly unusual animated cinema.

Brave New Old: Isolation, Loneliness and Change in the Modern City

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A Visionary Litany of Affirmation: A Short Commercial For Your Mind

A Visionary Litany of Affirmation: A Short Commercial For Your Mind

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn,
looking for an angry fix,
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection,
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.

-Allen Ginsberg

A Short Commercial for Your Mind is a tumbling, hallucinatory one-minute experimental/art short film by Daniel Mancina. A visionary litany of affirmation, the film presents a graphically cinematic rendering of something between art and life. “I’m talking to myself again, while my consciousness explodes. My mind is made up: There’s going to be trouble.”

A Short Commercial For Your Mind

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LGFUAD: A Grotesque Rampage of Jaded Sex, Drugs and Violence

LGFUAD: A Grotesque Rampage of Jaded Sex, Drugs and Violence

LGFUAD (an acronym for Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die) is an award-winning four-minute experimental animated short film created by Kelsey Stark. The short mixes a variety of animation styles, primarily focusing on an unwieldy hypnotic medium that looks like an organic crayon drawing. In the film, a young woman eats pizza and relates a series of surreal, richly psychosexual and violent stream-of-consciousness stories about how cool it is to be a ghost.

LGFUAD characterizes a jaded, dissatisfied personality type, exacerbated by a hipster-emphasis on cool and from growing up in media-drenched suburban environment where one is taunted constantly by what one doesn’t have, or hasn’t experienced. This is a controversial, love-it or hate-it film; LGFUAD is fresh, personal and conceptual, but edgy, uncomfortable and uncompromising all the same.

LGFUAD: A Grotesque Rampage of Jaded Sex, Drugs and Violence

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The Decadently Delirious Art of Jack Smith: A Feast for Open Eyes

Jack Smith, Untitled, c.1978

Jack Smith, Untitled, c.1958-1962/2011

Jack Smith, Untitled, c.1958-1962/2011

Jack Smith, Untitled, c.1958-1962/2011

Jack Smith, Untitled, c.1958-1962/2011

Jack Smith, Untitled, c.1958-1962/2011

Jack Smith, Untitled, c.1958-1962/2011

The Decadently Delirious Art of Jack Smith: A Feast for Open Eyes

Jack Smith: A Feast for Open Eyes

Jack Smith: A Feast for Open Eyes is a retrospective celebration of the underground films, performance art, photography and experimental theatre created by legendary American artist, filmmaker and actor Jack Smith (1932-1989), an exhibition that recently was presented at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). Smith was described by Andy Warhol as the only person he would ever copy and by film director John Waters as “the only true underground filmmaker.”

Working in New York from the 1950s until his death in 1989, Jack Smith resolutely resisted and upturned accepted conventions, whether artistic, moral or legal. Irreverent in tone and delirious in effect, Smith’s films are both wildly camp and subtly polemical. Just before Andy Warhol’s Factory, and well before the full flowering of New York City’s gay community, Smith made Flaming Creatures (1963), a trippy, decadently surreal tableau of cross-dressing men and women sexually molesting one another.

Flaming Creatures defined underground cinema for a generation and ended up being banned almost everywhere it was shown. The film was even banned in Europe, and Jonas Mekas ended up having to schedule a private screening in a hotel room for such luminaries as Jean-Luc Godard, Agnes Varda and Roman Polanski after a film festival in Belgium refused to show it. In 1968, Sen. Strom Thurman vehemently denounced it on the floor of the U.S. Senate. People were arrested for showing it. To this day, Smith’s works are still rarely shown; his films aren’t available from Blockbuster or NetFlix. Wagging weenies, female crotches, bare breasts and all manner of simulated sexual activities are shown in Flaming Creatures, as well as memorable lines such as a male voice asking: “Is there a lipstick that doesn’t come off when you suck cock?

While Smith is best known for his contributions to underground cinema, his influence extends across performance art, photography and experimental theater. Smith has been referenced by avant-garde artists such as Laurie Anderson, Cindy Sherman and Mike Kelley, filmmakers David Lynch and Matthew Barney, photographer Nan Goldin, musicians John Zorn, Lou Reed and David Byrne, and theater director Robert Wilson.

Jack Smith: A Feast for Open Eyes

Jack Smith: Flaming Creatures (Full Movie)

Jack Smith and the Destruction Of Atlantis

Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis is a documentary film directed by Mary Jordan that premiered in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary presents a collection of interviews and clips by and about the revolutionary artist Jack Smith. The film covers some of the difficult exhibition history of Flaming Creatures (1963) and difficult collaborations with Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol and others. Voice-overs from Smith, culled from some 14 hours of interviews with various critics and friends, supplemented the archival visual materials, footage and extensive interviews with filmmaker John Waters, Smith’s sister Mary Sue Slater, playwright Richard Foreman, Smith and Warhol star Mario Montez, writer Gary Indiana, and musician John Zorn, among others.

Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis

Photo-Gallery: The Decadently Delirious Art of Jack Smith: A Feast for Open Eyes

(Please Click Image to View Photo-Gallery)

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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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Loom: A Visual Metaphor for Nature’s Cruel Cycle of Life and Death

Loom: A Visual Metaphor for Nature’s Cruel Cycle of Life and Death

Loom is a brilliant, award-winning five-minute CGI short film, made by students at the German design and storytelling collective Polynoid. Blending a variety of aesthetic and cultural influences, Polynoid’s multifaceted creative vision is nourished by interests in graffiti, nature, graphic novels, science and philosophy. With a rich observational eye for detail, Polynoid has established a strong visual language all of its own. Polynoid’s narrative technique combines new forms of storytelling with a shared interest in progressive sound design to create a minimalist, photo-real and abstract sensory experience.

Loom won The Best In Show at Siggraph, 2010, and just recently won the Best Animated Movie Award at Sehsüchte 2011 in Potsdam, Germany. Loom explores natural causal cycles through the visual metaphor of a moth caught in a spider’s web. The story of the moth’s drowning reveals a larger range of thematic concerns  about life and death from a tale told on a micro scale. The full-version of the film is presented below:

Loom: A Visual Metaphor for Nature’s Cruel Cycle of Life and Death

(Please View in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Opsin: An Inspiring, Simple and Powerful Piece of Urban Visual Poetry

Opsin: An Inspiring, Simple and Powerful Piece of Urban Visual Poetry

Opsin is the new beautifully shot, pristine monotone short film/music video by Ivan Villafuerte, an inspiring and powerful piece of urban visual poetry. It can be viewed as a follow-up to Villafuerte’s Destello, a magnificent tribute to the city of Chicago that allowed us to rediscover the beauty of images that we have before us in everyday life.

Villafuerte is a Chicago-based videographer, who has been creating some great atmospheric, running visuals over the past few months. An important element in these projects has been the inclusion of progressive imaginative audio, which really precisely sets the tone of each piece. The music is combined with contrasting focus and a selective eye that captures some very unique viewpoints. Villafuerte seems to be making this imaginative and evocative style his own right now, and it’s vividly shown in an earlier short work that is also presented here, olololololololxl_l_l_l.

Opsins are trans-membrane proteins essential for the conversion of photons to biochemical processes; they can be viewed as the essential points of contact between outside reality and our interior world of visual perception and experience.  So I recommend putting them to work with the wonderful frames of these videos. And try to make sure you aren’t doing anything else when you watch them, so that you can just sit back and really enjoy the views.

Opsin: An Inspiring and Powerful Piece of Urban Visual Poetry

olololololololxl_l_l_l: An Imaginative and Evocative Visual Art Piece

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