The Cultural Gutter

unashamed geekery

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

“Lunar Mountains & Divine Spheres: 1,000 Years of Illustrating Outer Space”

Hyperallergic has a gallery of astronomical and cosmological illustrations from photographer Michael Benson’s books, Cosmographics: Picturing Space Through Time. (Thanks, Stephanie!)

Prithviraj Kapoor Is Alexander The Great

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At Beth Loves Bollywood, Beth watches Sikandar, a 1941 Hindi-language, sword and sandals movie in which Alexander the Great’s army sings these words as they march on Hindustan: “Life exists because of love, so let it be spent in love.”

“This Land Is Mine”

Animator of Sita Sings The Blues, Nina Paley, has a new short, “This Land Is Mine,” concerning, “a brief history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant” set to, “This Land Is Mine” sung by Andy Williams. (Via Cartoon Brew)

Jack Kirby’s Collage

Imprint Magazine puts Jack Kirby’s collage in an art history context.

Timely Post: Frank Miller’s Hot Gates

In 2007, Comics Editor Carol wrote a piece about Frank Miller’s 300. As part of experimenting with ways to make timely content from our archives more available, we’re linking to “Frank Miller’s Hot Gates” here in the Notes.

Disney Princesses in Period Dress

Illustrator Claire Hummel reinterprets Disney princess costumes to make them more historically accurate. (via The Bookshelves of Lesser Doom)

The Cat and the Coup

In The Cat and the Coup you are a cat, specifically Mohammed Mossadegh’s cat.  Who was he?  The first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran who was overthrown in a CIA-funded coup .  The game looks like Persian miniatures. It has music by Nine Inch Nails.  And it’s free.  See the trailer here.  (Via PC […]

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

The BBC has a nice interview with Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion and SFX Overlord!

First Second’s Prince of Persia

Jog writes a meditation about time, movement and water in Prince of Persia, the game and graphic novel. It’s nice. You might like it.

Space To Move

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The same week that I walked over to the rep theater to see Persepolis. I watched the straight-to-DVD Justice League: The New Frontier. And, yes, it’s probably wrong to write about The New Frontier within pixels of Persepolis, even if they’re both comics that became animated movies with very different results.

Harryhausen Creatures

Do you miss the days of dynamation? Stopmotion skeletons and Selenites? Mighty Joe Young and the Minoton? Chinese Jet Pilots has a Ray Harryhausen Creature List with clips of nearly every creature Harryhausen made. There’s also a link to some nice stopmotion footage. Check out the beetlemen by the lesser known but still swell, Pete […]

Frank Miller’s Hot Gates

Only the hard. Only the strong.

A feeling’s been gnawing deep inside me for a while. A feeling that maybe Frank Miller’s hypermasculine antiheros and faceless, breast-thrusting women are exactly what they seem, not just sketchy parody. After reading 300, Miller’s 1998 account of the Spartans at Thermopylae, I don’t have any doubt: Miller means it. His aesthetic is fascist.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Los Angeles Times has an interview with Margaret Sixel, editor of Mad Max: Fury Road. “I wanted every single shot to progress the story. I don’t like repetition. And I think we applied that rule religiously throughout the film….I watched a film last night and they kept cutting back again and again and the expression on the actor’s face was exactly the same. I felt like, ‘You’ve used the shot three times already!’ That’s what I don’t like. There’d better be some progress.”

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    “During the 1970’s Black filmmakers found their voices by making films that spoke to urban audiences in a way that had never been done before. Films like Sugar Hill, Abby, The Zebra Killers and so many more packed theaters with audiences hungry for Horror Movies where the Black Guy didn’t die first. 40 years later, Black horror films have made a lasting impact within the Black community. These films are national treasures and should be a part of any film collection. The Museum of UnCut Funk pays homage to the Blaxpolitation Horror films of 1974.” Click through for more. (via @GrveyardShiftSisters)

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    Mubi has a collection of film posters designed by Eva Švankmajerová, Surrealist painter, writer and filmmaker. Learn more about Eva Švankmajerová with an posthumous interview with Gwendolyn Albert, the translator of her novel, Baradla Cave.

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    At The Toast, Mo Moulton watches Downton Abbey and discusses its portrayal of Neville Chamberlain. “Here, then, is Neville Chamberlain in 1925. He is fulfilling the expectations set by an extraordinary political family. His father, Joseph Chamberlain, ran a screw factory in Birmingham, where he became passionate about urban improvement as a method for bettering the lives of his workers. As Liberal mayor of Birmingham, he was an early, passionate proponent of what became known as “gas and water socialism”: he wanted to put those services within reach of every resident by putting them under the management of local government. So far, it’s hard to imagine the Earl of Grantham having much in common with this energetic, egalitarian entrepreneur.”

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    In honor of Black History and Women In Horror Month, Graveyard Shift Sisters take a look at Audre’s Revenge Film collective, which was founded by Monika Estrella Negra:  “Audre’s Revenge Film was created in order to promote visibility of womyn, queer, trans and intersex folks of color in the sci fi and horror universe.

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    Please enjoy an hour of rare Bollywood synth funk (and an interview with DJ Fitz who put the mix together). (via @BethLovesBolly)

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