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

“Death And The Robot”

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Robot  is the only one who really understand Death. Death is the only one who really understands Robot. (Thanks, Molly!)

RIP, Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Animator, director and producer Arthur Rankin, Jr. has died. Rankin is probably best known for his Rankin/Bass studio’s holiday television specials such as Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Mad Monster Party. He also produced and directed The Last Unicorn, The Hobbit (1977), The Return Of The King (1980), The […]

Maybe we’ll buy a boat

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In the house I grew up in, at the front of the garage, there was a pair of boat supports on the wall. No boat, just the two long arms sticking out at roughly skull level so you had to manoeuver awkwardly underneath them to reach the cars. My father built them out of 2x4s […]

“Rankin / Bass’s The Thing”

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Trailer for Rankin / Bass’s The Thing. (Also, please enjoy The Thing re-enacted with G.I. Joe action figures).

The Tiniest of Sweaters

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Althea Crome makes amazing and tiny, tiny knit art. Check out her website for galleries of her work and to watch her knit clothing for the puppets in the animated film, Coraline. Indiana Public media profiles Crome here. and see her brain cozy and all the other brains in Bloomington, Indiana’s 2012 Brain Extravaganza! (Thanks, […]

“The Cameraman’s Revenge”

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A 1912 silent short film of infidelity and insects by Władysław Starewicz. (via @NitrateDiva)

RIP, Ray Harryhausen

Special effects master, Ray Harryhausen has died. Ray Bradbury pays tribute to Harryhausen.  All of Harryhausen’s creatures in 4 and a half minutes. Harryhausen talks about King Kong, Willis O’Brien, George Pal and his own career in 1991. John Landis interviews Harryhausen for the Bradford Animation Festival 2010. TCM remembers Harryhausen. And Leslie Hardcastle interviews […]

RIP, Carlo Rambaldi

Special effects master Carlo Rambaldi has died. Rambaldi is probably most famous for his work in ET, The Extraterrestrial; Alien; and Dune, but Rambaldi also worked extensively for Mario Bava. The New York Times has an obituary. Here are a video homage, another by Il Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma and a clip of […]

Interview with the Quay Brothers

“Depth, light, sound, music: Stephen and Timothy Quay speak on the many dimensions of film,” both animated and live-action, at Keyframe.

The Raid in Claymation

Enjoy full-on awesomeness as The Raid is recreated in stop-motion animation. (Thanks, Colin!)

Stop-Motion Tintin

Le Crabe aux Pinces d’Or is a 1947 Tintin film directed by Claude Misson. It is in French. (via @beatonna)

“Dance, Dance, Dance to the Radio”

Playmobil recreation of Joy Division performing “Transmission” on the BBC.

Making the Valley of Gwangi

In honor of Ray Harryhausen’s birthday, a little documentary on the making of Valley of Gwangi.

Manga Eiga: Old Japanese Animation

The Japan Society had a program featuring Japanese animation from the 1910s-1940s.  Even if you missed it, you can still see some shorts —a beautiful 1929 silent featuring Tengu; sing along with a 1930 papercut animation village festival; an unfortunate butterfly from 1931; tricks between a fox spirit and a pair of tanuki in 1933; […]

The 25 Best Horror Games of All Time

Gameranx dares name the Top 25 Best Horror Games of All Time! (via Denis at The Horror?!)

100 Years of Vincent Price, Illustrated

100 Years of Vincent illustrated on post-it’s.  One role per post-it.

Deep Animation

Sometimes something, in itself, is just perfect. Pes’ “The Deep” is. It’s an animated short of abyssal life using tools, keys and an ammunition belt. (via The Accidental Optimist)

RIP, Kihachiro Kawamoto

It’s a sad week for animation with the passing of Satoshi Kon and now Kihachiro Kawamoto. A student of Jiri Trnka, Kawamoto created beautiful stop motion puppet animation grounded in Japanese bunraku and Noh theater. Here’s his short, “Oni / The Demon.”

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

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

Ray Harryhausen, April 2010

Stopmotion and special effects master, Ray Harryhausen is interviewed at The Telegraph and discusses the Science Fiction League meetings he attended with Ray Bradbury, special effects now and Avatar.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Graveyard Shift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell considers love in Ganja & Hess. ” It is up to the viewer to map a path that suits their understanding. What writer/director Bill Gunn (who plays Dr. Hess’ assistant) wanted was a disruption of mainstream fare. Gunn didn’t seem too interested in what Hollywood desired, and like many writers, wrote a screenplay that felt personal and needed to be written. It tackles so many themes, it’s almost difficult to begin. While most rely on it being vampiric and about addiction, it’s important to note the journey that Hess and Ganja embark on together. Their romantic entanglement may by one of the most fascinating aspects of the film that is commonly overlooked because it is challenging to simplify.”

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    Friend of the Gutter Less Lee Moore interviews friend of the Gutter Colin Geddes about his work on the new horror streaming service, Shudder.

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    The Bowery Boys Podcast dedicates an episode to New York City in the history of comic books. “In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer helped bring about the birth of the comic strip and, a few decades later, the comic book.  Today, comic book superheroes are bigger than ever — in blockbuster summer movies and television shows — and most of them still have an inseparable bond with New York City.”

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    Pornokitsch’s One Comic Podcast looks at Red Sonja #10: “To everyone’s surprise, despite some of the covers and the character’s reputation, this isn’t the exploitative boobs’n’swordplay production it could have been. How did it achieve that? Listen and find out.”

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    Los Angeles Magazine has a gallery of self-portraits of Bunny Yeager and a bit about the career of a model and photographer most famous for her pin-up photographs of Bettie Page. “Having dedicated her life to photography and modeling, not to mention publishing 30 books on the subject (one of which shares a name with the Gavlak exhibition), Yeager had an influence on a generation of artist-photographers including Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman. Arbus even went as far to call her ‘The world’s greatest pin-up photographer.'” (Thanks, Stephanie!)

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    Arch Daily has a gallery of images of remarkable sandcastles built by Calvin Seibert. Smithsonian Magazine has more, including a 2012 interview with Seibert about his work. (via @lordwoolamaloo)

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