Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine (or just Melvin the Machine) is a wild four-minute short film created by members of the design studio HEYHEYHEY. Art space MU asked HEYHEYHEY to design their show for the Dutch Design Week, Holland’s major design event. Mu gave them complete freedom on one condition: the show wasn’t to be a show of new products, but it should rather be a moment. Since they like a challenge, they decided to build a massive chain reaction with an identity.

Melvin is best described as a Rube Goldberg machine with a twist. Besides doing what Rube Goldbergs do best, performing a simple task as inefficiently as possible, often in the form of a chain reaction, Melvin has an identity. Actually, the only purpose of this machine is to promote its own identity. Melvin takes pictures and makes videos of his audience, which he instantly uploads to his blog, Facebook and Twitter account. Besides that he makes his own merchandise. All of this within 4-minutes of craziness, which you just have to witness yourself.

Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

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The Hushed Melancholy of New York’s Empty Restaurants

21 Club, 21 West 52nd Street, 2009

Cafe des Artistes, 1 West 67th Street, 2009

Delmonico’s, 56 Beaver Street, 2009

Arturo’s, 106 West Houston Street, 2009

De Robertis, 176 First Avenue, NYC, 2009

The Hushed Melancholy of New York’s Empty Restaurants

Photography by: Wijnanda Deroo, Treadwell, New York

The Empty Restaurants of New York is an emotionally moving collection of photographs by the Dutch photographer Wijnanda Deroo.  Deroo’s work depicts the hushed melancholy of vacant interiors found in the cafes and restaurants from four of New York City’s five boroughs.  Instead of actual people, there is the presence of people who have been there before and who might be there again.  Despite the lack of people present in Deroo’s work, there exists a tangible presence of human experience and activity, manifested in the subtle clues left behind from a once vibrant history.  Her alluring use of color and composition invites the viewer into these hauntingly empty spaces with emotive power, reinforcing the perspective that beauty can be found in the least likely of places.

An Emotional Meditation: Alone in New York

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Slide Show: The Hushed Melancholy of New York’s Empty Restaurants

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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In Almost Every Picture: The Shooting Gallery

In Almost Every Picture: The Shooting Gallery

In Almost Every Picture: Shooting Gallery is a chronological series of photographs that began in 1936, when a 16 year-old Dutch girl picked up a gun and shot at the target in a fairground shooting gallery.  When she hit the target, it triggered the shutter of a camera, and a portrait of the girl in the firing pose was taken and given as a prize.  Ria van Dijk has continued to shoot her own portrait for the past seventy years.  She has used a rifle rigged to a camera at the various fairs she’s attended, getting a photograph every time she hit the bull’s-eye.  This series documents almost every year of the woman’s life up until present times, and at the age of 88 she still makes her pilgrimages to the Shooting Gallery.

In Almost Every Picture: The Shooting Gallery

Slide Show: In Almost Every Picture/The Shooting Gallery

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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The Illusionary Rockaz Crew: Dance Movement

The Illusionary Rockaz Crew: Dance Movement

Movement never lies,
It is a barometer telling the state of the soul,
Weather to all who can read it
.”
-Martha Graham

IRC Dance Movement is a beautifully shot and choreographed three-minute music/dance short film by Seb. from Shueti, for the rocking Dutch breakdance, hip/hop crew Illusionary RockAz.

The Illusionary Rockaz Crew: Dance Movement

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The American Dollar: A Cinematic Musical Dreamscape

The American Dollar: A Cinematic Musical Dreamscape

Anything You Synthesize is an entrancing cinematic music video, directed by Kasper Verweij at the Dutch studio Onesize for the Queens (NY) post-rock duo, The American Dollar.  The video turns the experimental ambient sonic music into an enveloping sensory experience, traversing a solemn landscape decaying from a beautiful fresh mountain-view-landscape into a dead, flat desert.  During the journey one views both night and day, as well as the passing of the year’s four seasons.  The concluding scenes convey a seemingly happy ending, but you know what’s actually going to happen.

After you start the video, please click to view it in Full Screen.  Also, if you have your headphones within reach, I recommend that you use them.

The American Dollar: A Cinematic Musical Dreamscape

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Pivot: A High-Tension, Frantic Murder Chase

Pivot: A High-Tension, Frantic Murder Chase

Pivot is a highly stylized, stunningly original five-minute animated short film by Dutch filmmakers Kevin Megens, Floris Vos, Arno de Grijs and André Bergs.  The film was an Official Nominee for Best Short Film at the Dutch Film Festival.  Pivot treats the viewer to a mood and atmosphere similar to film-noir, while at the same time engaging its audience with the high tension and frantic pace of a horror movie.

In its essence, Pivot is a cat and mouse story, about a hunter versus his prey, but it’s a short film made with such panache and vigor that it must be one of the best of its type.  In the film, a photographer witnesses a murder and takes pictures of the killer, but then he’s forced to run for his life.  During the chase he’s finally able to turn the tables on the murderer, and the prey becomes the hunter.  But it all culminates in an unfortunate ending.

Pivot: A High-Tension, Frantic Murder Chase

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Zombeer: Shocking Drunken Bloodsucking Zombies from Beyond the Vat

Zombeer: Shocking Drunken Bloodsucking Zombies from Beyond the Vat

Zombeer is a dark and shocking horror short film by the Dutch director Rob van der Velden, whose previous short horror film won a Dutch Quentin Tarantino Competition.  A drunken brew master has embarrassed the town brewery for the last time and has been exiled to the lonely late-night shift.  But he hasn’t let this setback interrupt his drinking, and he ends up falling head-first into a boiling vat of churning hops.  Now we all know that this would turn any drunk into a raging zombie, right?  And that the now-tainted beer will turn everyone else who drinks this hops-with-a-bite into bloodthirsty zombies also, right?  So now we have an entire town of drunken, bloody-minded zombies.  That’s the plot.  Done.

Zombeer: Shocking Drunken Bloodsucking Zombies from Beyond the Vat

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