The Cultural Gutter

building a better robot builder

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Sing, Space Ambassador Magma, Sing!

Black Sun has the awesomeness of a complete album of Magma Taishi / Space Ambassador Magma!  See the art and download it here. (via @AICNAnime)

Most Anticipated Asian Films of 2011

Wildgrounds breaks down their most anticipated films of 2011.

Behemoth in Anime

The Master and Margarita anime? That’s right, Russian animation in Japanese style at Catsuka!

RIP, Yoshinobu Nishizaki

Yoshinobu Nishizaki has died at 75. He was the producer of Space Battleship Yamato, Urotsukidoji as well as co-creator of Odin: Starlight Mutiny. It’s especially sad timing with the release of the new Space Battleship Yamato live action film. Patrick Macias has some thoughts on Nishizaki from Mobile Suit Gundam creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino. Sing the […]

Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned

Comics Alliance’s Chris Sims provides a link to the anime version of Tomb of Dracula and his own running commentary on things like, Dracula’s light up fangs and stealing the Devil’s girlfriend.

Space Battleship Yamato

Live action Space Battleship Yamato trailer!

Samurai Dead Rising

Norio Shioyama worked with Capcom to create a samurai short promoting Dead Rising 2. Very pretty.

48 x 61

48 vs. 61 in Rintaro and Katsushiro Otomo’s excellent bicycle racing short where the racers look kinda like Rintaro and Otomo. Also, damn fine music and possible steampunkery.

Satoshi Kon’s Farewell Message

Makiko Itoh has translated Satoshi Kon’s farewell.

RIP, Satoshi Kon

Creator of Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent and Paprika, Satoshi Kon has died at 46. In memoriam, Midnight Eye’s substantial interview with Kon, here. Updated: Satoshi Kon wrote a farewell.

1:1 Gundam

1:1 Gundam almost done in Shizuoka, Japan.

Technotise

Technotise looks like Japanese anime, but it’s Serbian. And it’s getting a live action remake. Here’s hoping Tecnhotise survives and we all get to see the animated version.

Yokai, Dissected.

In the interest of Science: gallery of anatomical drawings of yokai, Japanese folk monsters. Hopefully, no actual yokai were harmed in making these drawings.

RIP Carl Macek

Carl Macek has died: “Carl had his critics. But one thing is certain: the popularity of anime in the North America would not be where it is today without Macek’s groundbreaking work on Robotech and his efforts on behalf of Streamline Pictures.”  More at Cartoon Brew.

A Short from Studio 4C

“Kigeki/ Comedy”: 10 minutes of Studio 4C.

Secret Identity

Ian’s girlfriend discovers he has a secret in his pants in this animated film by Guillaume Chartier. (thanks, Dr. O!)

A Matter of Evolution: Monkeys vs. Robots

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They’ve been brought together before in James Kolchalka’s Monkey vs. Robot books, by Mecha Kong in King Kong Escapes and Mojo Jojo’s mech-suited machinations in The Powerpuff Girls. Primates and robots each imitate and mock humanity in their own way. When the postapocalyptic future finally overtakes us, will we be replaced by the robots we […]

Streaming Kung Fu

Stream the Fu at Crunchy Roll. (Also, stream anime and “Asian entertainment”).

So Many Fukasaku Kinji Soundtracks!

Don’t have enough soundtracks by Japanese composers? Wild Grounds will help you out with “The 5 Japanese Film Composers You Must Know” and a whole section of downloadable soundtracks and excerpts from Yojimbo to Battle Without Honor or Humanity.

The Complete Tree of Contempt

I’ve always wondered how the Geek Hierarchy shakes out, precisely. Follow it all the way to the bottom, one step at a time, for the full effect.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Actor Richard Kiel has died. Kiel worked in both film and television, including performances in The Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”; Eegah (1962); The Barbary Coast with William Shatner; Happy Gilmore (1996); Pale Rider (1985); as Vlad in Tangled (201); and as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).   The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times and Variety have obituaries. Here he is interviewed with Britt Ekland. And David Letterman interviews Kiel here.

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    Open Culture has a round-up of eight free and complete films by Dziga Vertov, including Man With A Movie Camera (1929) and the first Soviet animated feature, Soviet Toys (1924). (Thanks, Earl!)

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    Matt Zoller Seitz has written a lovely meditation on Robin Williams at RogerEbert.com: “Williams wore the invisible garments of depression. He carried that burden. A lot of the time we didn’t see it, because he was a bright and enthusiastic comic performer and a great actor. But the weight was always there.

    Somehow he lived 63 years.

    What a warrior he was.”

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    At Kaiju Shakedown, Hiroshi Fukazawa interviews director Ringo Lam. “Not as flashy as John Woo, never as hyperkinetic as Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam is one of Hong Kong’s most underappreciated directors. He made his name with sophisticated, downbeat crime dramas that came to define a certain style of urban Hong Kong cinema in the Eighties and early Nineties. After getting his start in television at CTV and TVB, he directed five features before finding his stride with 1987’s City on Fire, the movie that provided the blueprint for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.”

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    “[Grace] Jones — who was famous not just for her music, but also for her acting and modeling — took Lundgren to New York, where they partied at the legendary Studio 54 and Andy Warhol took pictures of Lundgren. Jones introduced Lundgren to the world of show business. Meanwhile, Lundgren was still set to begin his Fulbright scholarship at MIT. ‘I started sort of thinking, “Wow, this is kind of cool,”‘ Lundgren remembers: ‘”I don’t know if I want to go back to engineering after this.”‘ More at NPR.

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    “A mid-20th century collaboration between artists, poets and printers gave rise to a unique book of surrealistic creatures accompanied by complementary typographic art poems.” See more at BibliOdyssey. (Thanks, Andrezo!)

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