The Cultural Gutter

we've seen things you people wouldn't believe

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

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

    In  Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, “Women As Background Decoration: Part 2,” Anita Sarkeesian discusses “how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.” It is quite graphic in terms of violence and sexual violence.

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    Here are the films playing the Vanguard program at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival: Spring; Luna; Hyena; Goodnight, Mommy / Ich Seh, Ich Seh; Alleluia; The Duke Of Burgundy; Over Your Dead Body; Shrew’s Nest; They Have Escaped; Waste Land; The World of Kanako; and The Voices. (Trailers added as they become available).

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    Here are the films playing the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program: Tokyo Tribe; Big Game; Tusk; It Follows; Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; [REC]4: Apocalypse; Cub; The Editor; and, What We Do In The Shadows and The Guest. (More trailers as they become available).

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    The Guardian has collected some responses Haruki Murakami gave to reader questions at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. “I don’t have any idea at all, when I start writing, of what is to come. For instance, for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the first thing I had was the call of the bird, because I heard a bird in my back yard (it was the first time I heard that kind of sound and I never have since then. I felt like it was predicting something. So I wanted to write about it). The next thing was cooking spaghetti – these are things that happen to me! I was cooking spaghetti, and somebody call. So I had just these two things at the start. Two years I kept on writing. It’s fun! I don’t know what’s going to happen next, every day. I get up, go to the desk, switch on the computer, etc. and say to myself: ‘so what’s going to happen today?’ It’s fun!”

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    Patrick Lung Kong and Tsui Hark discuss their work together and Lung’s influential film, The Story Of A Discharged Prisoner (1967), during a retrospective of Lung’s work. ‘Protesters called “and said ‘Burn that film, burn it!’” Lung Kong said. The timing was off, with Hong Kong embroiled in riots, and demonstrators targeted a government official Lung Kong had invited to the premiere. “The audience just stepped over the bombs,” Lung Kong said, lifting his foot gingerly to demonstrate. “Thank god, it broke all the records. That’s why I had a third film to make.”’

     

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    Animator, writer, director and producer Liz Holzman has died. Holzman worked on Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, DuckTales, Smurfs, Muppet Babies and Darkwing Duck among other television series and films. The Hollywood Reporter, Animation Magazine and The Los Angeles Times have obituaries. Animation Insider has an interview with Holzman. Here is a gallery of Holzman’s paintings.

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