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Archive for March, 2013

Blade Runner in 60 seconds (and some very bad news for fans…)

March 27, 2013 3 comments

Every Year Empire Magazine hold a competition open to all amateur film makers. The premise is simple; remake an existing film in less than one minute…

This years very worthy winner was Philip Askins, who with this rather fine black and white, animated version of one of my very favorite films, the timeless Bladerunner, beat off 15 other competitors, to take the trophy home…

Out of interest, I’ve just looked online for an update on the Blade Runner prequel that Ridley Scott was supposed to be directing, and I am utterly shocked, disappointed and dismayed to read some of the names now connected to the project : Will Smith, Chris Tucker, Michael Bay (Directing) and the final insult, the name that ruins virtually every film he’s been in, Nicholas F**king Cage…

No, no, no… how can it be anything other than total shite, full of macho posing, pointless explosions, over the top CGI and characters with as much depth as my dining table…  What a shame, I was quite looking forward to that.

Oh well, I’ll just have to make do with watching Philip’s excellent interpretation a couple of times more, knowing full well that it will be infinitely better than anything the bunch of tossers above will ever come up with…

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Chris Haughton… Good at drawing.

March 26, 2013 Leave a comment

oh no georgeI’ve been seeing these wonderful book covers around in shops for a while now and I’ve finally got around to finding out a bit more about whose been making them…

Not being a parent, I have to go and find these things for myself you see, so forgive me if I’m rather behind with discovering George and the little lost owl…..

Chris Haughton is an Irishman by birth but has lived in many countries since. His most famous book, A Bit Lost about a baby owl that falls out of its nest and has all sorts of adventures trying to find its way home to its mum, was written whilst he lived in Seoul and was first published there in 2011.

As well as A Bit Lost, Chris has written a number of other books including Oh No, George, which from the cover alone looks very intriguing, so I shall have to go and have a read next time I’m in Foyles or Waterstones… (sadly two of the few remaining bookshops left on the high street, but PLEASE don’t start me on that one, we’ll be here all day…)

Chris has obviously got the knack for this drawing lark, and there are lots of other rather fine illustrations and paintings on his website here...

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#EddieMairforMayor…

March 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Don’t know if you saw it yesterday morning, but in case you didn’t (and so that I can watch it as often as I like) I’m posting the rather excellent Boris Johnson interview from the Andrew Marr Show in which a masterful and controlled Eddie Mair teases out from under the foppish hair and Public School grin, the bumbling and shambolic buffoon that we all know our esteemed Burgermeister really is…

I’m thinking of starting my very first hashtag on Twitter…  #EddieMairforMayor.

The original on the BBC pages can be found here

For Sale – A Modernist Masterpiece

March 18, 2013 4 comments

We were out with friends last week and somewhat out of the blue, they mentioned that they had recently been tempted to move out of London. After expressing surprise at such a statement (especially from these two who live in the heart of urban London in Golden Lane, near the Barbican) I was directed to these photos from the ever wonderful “House Porn” site The Modern House.net. These pictures illustrate what I can only describe as an almost perfect place to live, and I suddenly understood why they might by contemplating such a big move…

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Designed by the Architect Peter Womersley and completed in 1954 (then extended in ’56), Farnley Hey  has everything you could ever want from a Modernist home: a Grade II listing, strikingly good looks, acres of space, timber and stone finishes throughout, floor to ceiling windows, a double height living room, beautiful built in furniture, clever use of existing site levels, 4 bedrooms and a double garage… It was even awarded an RIBA Bronze medal in 1958. And all for a very reasonable £575,000.00… Yes it’s a lot of money, but when you compare what you would get to some of the other properties for sale on the The Modern House website in and around the Capital, I can see why it all became rather tempting. The thought that such beautiful houses as this are still available to buy and live in, is something I haven’t really considered before, and it got me to thinking how fantastic our own mid century teak furniture and 1960’s ceramics would look occupying these rooms… You see how easy it is to fall in love with a good building, I’m already thinking about gazumping my friends… Not really though. Sadly (for us not the house) it’s all the way up in the The Yorkshire Dales, and the daily commute (3 to 4 hrs via Wakefield apparently) back down to South London would be a real bugger…

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Spot the Diggers Fans…

March 18, 2013 Leave a comment

BEDLDN_RELEASE_1cleanAt the beginning of October last year, me & A went on one of our several annual trips to see John Digweed play repetitive dance  music very loud for long periods of time…

Undoubtedly (in our book anyway) the finest DJ in the world, Diggers has an enviable ability to choose and sequence wonderfully uplifting deep electro house music that in the 20 years or so that I’ve been going to see him play and the 13 years we’ve been going together, I can’t ever remember coming away disappointed… although often these days, we can’t really remember coming away at all…

I digress. And got the Live in London CD for Christmas, and unusually for me I didn’t really take any time to look at the art work, a symptom I suspect of Spotify and downloading, as the music and the artwork become more and more divorced, something that I find rather sad and that I’ve commented on before…

Anyway, we had the CD on quite a lot over the weekend, and finally getting around to picking up the  booklet, I was most surprised to see a largish figure in the centerfold photo, that can only be me… And is a bit more difficult to make out, but is just about visible if you know where to look…

Our first Digweed excursion of the year is coming up shortly (the annual Bedrock Easter bash) with support from two other favorites of ours Jimpster and Tom Middleton, and we fully expect yet another great night out…

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Startrails, Observatories & Carbon Based Lifeforms

March 12, 2013 2 comments

I found these three wonderful things recently…

Firstly this magical video of stairtrails, by Christoph Malin.

As I understand it all the original still shots are from cameras aboard the International Space station (ISS) which have then been “stacked” via a computer programme. The process of stacking is very similar to creating a timelapse image, however as each new image is added, the previous one is retained, hence the continuous trails, lines and general wonderousness that is revealed as the image builds up…

I’m no scientist, but aren’t they the Northern Lights/ Aurora Borealis at about 1 minute in, and isn’t that lighting at about 2.05? I like the heightened sense of movement that these images generate. The ISS is traveling at just short of 28,000km/h – orbiting the planet  about 16 times a day, and the quality of these images is made even more impressive when you consider the very high ISO levels that the cameras have to achieve in order to take account of this phenomenal speed.

Also on the Vimeo site, I also came across this stunning video by Babak Tafreshi

We had the very good fortune to spend an evening in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile watching the stars at the Mamalluca Public Observatory a couple of years ago. The memory of seeing whole constellations of stars and neighbouring galaxies climb up into the night sky, as our planet moved through its bit of space, will stay with me for ever. A truly amazing experience that this video captures pretty much as I remember, although as always through the restricted medium of a monitor/ TV screen, the mind numbing sense of scale will always elude the casual watcher…

And finally the music on the Atacama Starry Nights film. A track called Arecibo by the Swedish producers Carbon Based Lifeforms. No idea how I’ve missed this wonderful, epic space noise, as it’s right up my strasse…. Huge washes of static and infinitely deep chords and pulses that gradually build and mutate into.. well nothing really, just more of the same. Which is seriously what I like…

Their most recent album Twenty Three can be linked below via Spotify, but for now sit back, turn off your phone, click away your email, put your headphones on and pilot your own psyche through the Cosmos for 10 minutes… Nice…

Tarik Barri & Atoms for Peace.

March 9, 2013 7 comments

I saw this Atoms For Peace video for Judge Jury and Executioner for the first time earlier this week, and I was so completely awestruck at it’s rhythmic layering and beauty, I watched it three times. See what you think…

 

This amazing piece of work was made by the audiovisual composer Tarik Barri. Can’t find much biog about him online but his own site here offers some philosophy and insight as to who he is and what he does.

Suffice to say that his main interest appears to be in the interplay of the audio and the visual. He tells us “I try to discover new forms of beauty through the influences that seeing and hearing have on each other. In my work they’ve become inseparable: the viewer hears images and sees sounds”

A bold statement indeed, but I think he’s on to something. If you watch this film with headphones on as I was last night, the experience is intensified and it’s difficult to imagine one without the other.

It’s also difficult to get my aging brain around how this kind of rich visual experience is created. Barri refers to software that he writes himself but whether this coordinates models made in other software or some such is way beyond my knowledge to comment on I’m afraid…

But however it’s made, it looks fantastic. Look for the bit when at about 20 seconds in, what seems to be a figure appears from the background synching perfectly with Flea’s bass noise. But there’s nothing figurative here and we are soon in a Man Ray/ Moholgy-Nagy type sepia Constructivist landscape of shifting layers, shapes and lights. This all subliminally slows down to reflect Thom Yorke’s almost mournful humming, until the bass kicks in again around 1.30 and the choreographed random spinning starts again.. Very nice. I could watch it for hours..

The song’s pretty excellent as well to my ears. Not quite as instant as the previous single Default I thought initially, but its growing on me and I’m certainly looking forward to the album being on Spotify so I can listen to the whole thing…

I’ll write about Stanley Donwood’s ever excellent artwork another time…

Atoms for Peace - Judge Jury Executioner

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