The Cultural Gutter

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

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.

A Two-Headed Hydra Of Opinion

Entertainment Weekly is a veritable hydra with one head talking shit about stopmotion and fx master Ray Harryhausen and another defending Ray Harryhausen and handmade special effects.  A hydra of two-heads, that would probably look pretty sick in a Harryhausen movie.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    “I want to tell you about when violent campaigns against harmless bloggers weren’t any halfway decent troll’s idea of a good time—even the then-malicious would’ve found it too easy to be fun. When the punches went up, not down. Before the best players quit or went criminal or were changed by too long a time being angry. When there was cruelty, yes, and palpable strains of sexism and racism and every kind of phobia, sure, but when these things had the character of adolescents pushing the boundaries of cheap shock, disagreeable like that but not criminal. Not because that time was defensible—it wasn’t, not really—but because it was calmer and the rage wasn’t there yet. Because trolling still meant getting a rise for a laugh, not making helpless people fear for their lives because they’re threatening some Redditor’s self-proclaimed monopoly on reason. I want to tell you about it because I want to make sense of how it is now and why it changed.” Emmett Rensin writes more at Vox.

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    At Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Elyse has some things to say about reading Romance. “In the end, it doesn’t matter what I read. It doesn’t even matter that I do read, quite frankly. What matters is that we live in a world where fiction aimed directly at women is perceived as garbage. That doesn’t say anything at all about me, it says a lot about what needs to change.”

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    Brain Pickings looks at the life and work of Tove Jansson and the wisdom of her character, Too-ticky. “Too-ticky, the sage of Moominvalley who solves even the most existential of problems with equal parts practicality and wisdom, was inspired by the love of Jansson’s life — the great Finnish sculptor and graphic arts pioneer Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, Jansson’s spouse. The two women met in art school during their twenties and remained together until Jansson’s death more than six decades later, collaborating on a lifetime of creative projects — all at a time when queer couples were straddling the impossible line between anguishing invisibility and dangerous visibility.” (via Kate Laity)

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    Photographer Kevin Weir uses vintage photographs to create haunting animation in “The Flux Machine.” The Guardian has an interview with Weir and more on his work.

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    At the New Yorker, Jill Lepore considers the intertwining histories of women’s suffrage, feminism, Amazons and Wonder Woman. “It isn’t only that Wonder Woman’s backstory is taken from feminist utopian fiction. It’s that, in creating Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston was profoundly influenced by early-twentieth-century suffragists, feminists, and birth-control advocates and that, shockingly, Wonder Woman was inspired by Margaret Sanger, who, hidden from the world, was a member of Marston’s family.”

     

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    Tim Reis shares ten things he learned from producing his first independent feature The Demon’s Rook. “Making an independent feature film is hard. Making an independent feature film with no money is especially hard. Making an independent feature film with no money, no actors, and a first-time director and crew is almost impossible. It is also the greatest, most liberating thing and you can and should totally do it.” (Thanks, Colin!)

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