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

    Brain Pickings looks at the life and work of Tove Jansson and the wisdom of her character, Too-ticky. “Too-ticky, the sage of Moominvalley who solves even the most existential of problems with equal parts practicality and wisdom, was inspired by the love of Jansson’s life — the great Finnish sculptor and graphic arts pioneer Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, Jansson’s spouse. The two women met in art school during their twenties and remained together until Jansson’s death more than six decades later, collaborating on a lifetime of creative projects — all at a time when queer couples were straddling the impossible line between anguishing invisibility and dangerous visibility.” (via Kate Laity)

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    Photographer Kevin Weir uses vintage photographs to create haunting animation in “The Flux Machine.” The Guardian has an interview with Weir and more on his work.

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    At the New Yorker, Jill Lepore considers the intertwining histories of women’s suffrage, feminism, Amazons and Wonder Woman. “It isn’t only that Wonder Woman’s backstory is taken from feminist utopian fiction. It’s that, in creating Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston was profoundly influenced by early-twentieth-century suffragists, feminists, and birth-control advocates and that, shockingly, Wonder Woman was inspired by Margaret Sanger, who, hidden from the world, was a member of Marston’s family.”

     

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    Tim Reis shares ten things he learned from producing his first independent feature The Demon’s Rook. “Making an independent feature film is hard. Making an independent feature film with no money is especially hard. Making an independent feature film with no money, no actors, and a first-time director and crew is almost impossible. It is also the greatest, most liberating thing and you can and should totally do it.” (Thanks, Colin!)

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    The Princeton University Digital Library has digitized three Seventeenth Century Japanese illustrated scrolls and you can view them here. Meanwhile, 100,000 images from Getty Research Institute are now available at the Digital Library of America. (via @BibliOdyssey)

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    The Awl’s Rich Bellis writes about Koh Masaki and the importance of Masaki’s visibility as an out gay man working in the Japanese porn industry. “By the time he died from peritonitis after an appendix operation, at just 29, Masaki had established a celebrity persona in a business where such a thing hadn’t existed before. Japanese censorship laws require blurring genitalia, but social stigma leads many performers (regardless of gender) to obscure their faces, too. Dark sunglasses, hats and blacked-out swimming goggles are common accessories in an industry whose overall value has been estimated at around $20 billion.” (Thanks, Earl)

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