The Cultural Gutter

beyond good and bad, there is awesome

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

The History of the Eye Close-Up

At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

D&D Module Walkthroughs

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Artist Jason Thompson creates illustrated walkthroughs of a Dungeons & Dragons game modules. And for more retro gaming fun, Retroist has a 1993 video TSR produced as a tutorial for the boardgame, Dragon Strike, and here is a trailer for TSR’s Wild Space. (via SharpCrye and Gravediggers Local)

“Glamorous Insect Ladies”

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Boing Boing has a gallery of photographer Laurent Seroussi’s images of women melded with insects. (Thanks, Chuck!)

Google Streetview Camera’s Museum Self-Portraits

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Quartz writes about “Camera In The Mirror,” an Mario Santamaría’s Tumblr art project collecting the Google Streetview camera’s photographs of itself in museums. “Collected together, the Google-camera selfies are at turns unsettling, revealing, and absurd—unintentionally upstaging the art they’re meant to quietly document.”

“Revealing the Secrets of the Modern Movie Poster”

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Former graphic designer for Intralink Film Graphic Design and current Google graphic designer Alex Griendling talks about designing film posters and campaigns at The Art House.

RIP, Anthony Goldschmidt

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Graphic designer Anthony Goldschmidt has died. Goldschmidt’s company Intralink Film Graphic Design was the first to offer poster design as well as titles and trailers. Intralink created posters for countless films and Goldschmidt himself designed the titles for films including Young Frankenstein (1974), Blazing Saddles (1974) and Stargate (1994). The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap and […]

“The World of Kamandi”

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Comic Book Cartography has Jack Kirby’s map of “The World of Kamandi.” (Thanks, Lt. Wilkes!)

Sixties and Seventies Asian Pop Record Covers

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A gallery of Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian,  Hong Kong and Japanese pop album covers.

RIP, H.R. Giger

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Artist H. R. Giger has died. Rolling Stone, Swiss Info and The Guardian have obituaries. The Verge has a gallery of Giger’s paintings and sculpture. Factmag has a gallery of twenty Giger-designed album covers. Giger and Alejandro Jodorowsky discuss designs for Dune. Here’s an interview with Giger and Debbie Harry from British television. Friend of […]

Recognizing Colorists

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AV Club’s Big Issues focuses on giving comics’ colorists their due. And Jordie Bellaire is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore.

Heart of Darkness, A Drawing For Every Page

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Tin House has published an edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness illustrated by Matt Kish, an interesting follow-up to Kish’s project, Moby-Dick In Pictures; One Drawing For Every Page. See more of Kish’s work here.

Irony, Art and Writing

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At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city […]

A House Based on Biogenetic Forms

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Behold the creepily organic splendor of Gonzalo Vaíllo Martínez’ design for a house.  “Organic louvred panels incorporated into the building’s skin open and close like gills, while other openings stretch and widen to adjust the amount of light entering the interior.”

“Feeding Hannibal

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The food stylist for Hannibal, Janice Poon, has a blog and it has recipes, photos, drawings and stories about food and about doings on the television show’s set.

RIP, Harry Novak

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Producer and exploitation pioneer Harry Novak has died. Daily Grindhouse remembers Novak with a collection of trailers from his films. Dougsploitation has an overview of Novak’s career well-illustrated with film posters. The Los Angeles Times has a brief obituary.

“On The Trail Of The Golem”

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The Gutter’s own Keith tracks the story of Rabbi Loew and the Golem–with some dips into alchemy and art–through Prague.  “So how did Rabbi Loew’s name become associated with the legend of the golem? Well, it’s no surprise, really, given how much weird, wizardy stuff is already attributed to him. It seems more or less […]

“Indian Comics Beyond Balloons and Panels”

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Alok Sharma spent five years finding creators of Indian comics for his documentary, Chitrakatha: Indian Comics Beyond Balloons and Panels. Check out all the resources at the film’s website and this ten minutes of footage from the film.  There’s also an older news story about the film at The New Indian Express. (Thanks, Aseem Chandaver) […]

“Momentum: Large Format Photos of Chalkboards from Quantum Mechanics Institutions”

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Behold the glory of this gallery of Alejandro Guijarro’s  large format photographs of chalkboards from quantum mechanics institutions. Science!

Haphead and Artist-In-Residence, Jim Munroe

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Peruse the trailer for Gutter Co-Founder Jim Munroe’s latest video project, Hapheads.”Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing.They’re called hapheads.” And, while you’re at it, visit Jim’s exhibit as Artist-in-Residence at The Art Gallery Of Ontario.

The Desire For Certainty In Film

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“In the world of online film discourse, there’s a veritable cottage industry devoted to bringing certainty to ambiguity.” The Dissolve has more. Meanwhile, Film Critic Hulk writes about film logic, plot holes and “THE ONLY ANSWER THAT ACTUALLY MATTERS.”

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Jon Peterson discusses how Gary Gygax lost control of Dungeons & Dragons. “What did Gygax see, in that moment? He saw enough shares in play that he stood to lose control of TSR, a company he had founded and transformed into a global brand. But he surely also saw something even more dear at stake: that he might lose control of Dungeons & Dragons.”

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    At Paleofuture, Matt Novak writes about Idiocracy‘s unpleasant implications: “Sure. As an over-the-top comedic dystopia, the movie is actually enjoyable. But the movie’s introduction makes it an unnerving reference to toss around as our go-to insult….Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951′s Ace in the Hole), Idiocracy lays the blame at the feet of an undeserved target (the poor) while implicitly advocating a terrible solution (eugenics). The movie’s underlying premise is a fundamentally dangerous and backwards way to understand the world.” (via The Projection Booth)

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    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley looks at “The 1979 Rockford Files Episode That Inspired The Sopranos.” “A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets. Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.”

    And McKinley defends classic television with, “In Praise of Vintage Television.”

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    Journalist Margot Adler has died. She is best known for her work as a journalist on NPR, but she also created the speculative fiction radio program, “The Hour Of The Wolf” and was the writer of Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979) and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014). The New York Times, NPR and  Suvudu have obituaries.  Here Adler discusses Vampires Are Us. And here is an excerpt from Adler’s memoir, Heretic’s Heart (1997).

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    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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