Ray Harryhausen passed away last week. This has been noted by people more qualified than I to discuss the master of stop-motion magic—Rick Baker, Adam Savage, Todd Masters, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and more. The superhuman talent and perseverance evident in a Harryhausen effects sequence can easily be seen in countless visual effects artists since he first brought his creations to frame-by-frame life on the big screen. That makes sense. So how can I really say anything of worth when I say that I was also profoundly influenced by the artistry of Ray Harryhausen? With modesty, and a story about Clash of the Titans. Continue reading…
Retronaut has a gallery of Soviet Era children’s board games. (via @wfmu)
Imprint Magazine puts Jack Kirby’s collage in an art history context.
Abebooks has a gorgeous gallery of Russian Avant Garde book cover illustration from the end of the Czarist era through the 1930s.
A thorough and well-illustrated look at Soviet science fiction, from the 1920s through the 1980s. (via SF Signal)
Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott defend the slow and the boring film, giving as examples, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Dargis sees them giving space for thought. Scott sees “protests against the deep…[as] mask[ing] another agenda, which is a defense of the corporate status quo.” And [...]
Mario is a hero of the Proletariat.
The Master and Margarita anime? That’s right, Russian animation in Japanese style at Catsuka!
Kathryn Bigelow won a best directing Oscar for The Hurt Locker. Time for a retrospective. Here’s the trailer for Near Dark and some clips. Point Break (i.e. Keeanu Reeves best movie). Jamie Lee Curtis in the cop thriller, Blue Steel. The premillennial tension of Strange Days. The Pirelli ad, Mission Zero. And her sub movie, [...]
It’s like the 1980s are a black hole and the event horizon reaches forever: The A-Team, The Karate Kid, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Tron, Ghostbusters, Conan The Barbarian, Red Dawn, Short Circuit and Wall Street.
Step right up for your glimpse of Slate Magazine’s slideshow collection of cartographic curiosities!
Is there anything sadder than Laika? (Art by Nick Abadzis, music by Luca Tozzi).
The title alone makes this story about the first primates in space worthwhile: “After 50 Years, Space Monkeys Not Forgotten.”
John Plotz re-watches Red Dawn and sees a different movie: “Red Dawn did not conjure up the chest-swelling patriotism I felt as a 14-year-old. Instead, it turned out to be disturbing in an entirely unexpected way.”
Get the skinny on spying with the International Spy Museum’s SpyCast. The Background Briefings about East Germany’s “Romeo agents” and “Spies of the Kaiser” are pretty neat, too.
In 1970s Sweden a bullied boy falls for a girl who’s been 12 for a long time. Enjoy elegant effects and nice winter shots in Let The Right One In.
“Giant Intelligent Commie Apes!” Just what it says.
The “best of” list is a tricky seasonal form and I’m no master. I might not know what’s best, but I do know what I like. So here’s ten good comics I read in 2007.
Yevgeny Zamiatin was an enthusiastic supporter of the Russian Revolution in 1917 but by 1924 and the publication of a book ironically entitled We, he was worried that the revolution had brought not freedom but repression and conformity. After being persecuted for many years, he wrote an angry letter to Stalin himself, demanding the right [...]