The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

"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). Like this:Like Loading…

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) Like this:Like Loading…

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. Like this:Like Loading…

The Raid in Claymation

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

Stop-Motion Tintin

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

“Dance, Dance, Dance to the Radio”

Playmobil recreation of Joy Division performing “Transmission” on the BBC. Like this:Like Loading…

Making the Valley of Gwangi

In honor of Ray Harryhausen’s birthday, a little documentary on the making of Valley of Gwangi. Like this:Like Loading…

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?!) Like this:Like Loading…

100 Years of Vincent Price, Illustrated

100 Years of Vincent illustrated on post-it’s.  One role per post-it. Like this:Like Loading…

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) Like this:Like Loading…

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.” Like this:Like Loading…

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

The BBC has a nice interview with Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion and SFX Overlord! Like this:Like Loading…

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. Like this:Like Loading…

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. Like this:Like Loading…

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Comics Alliance suggests seven Star Wars comics to read before Disney makes them disappear. (Including a comic by one of Comics Editor Carol’s favorite creative teams–Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman). “Starting in 2015, Disney’s handing the publishing of any and all new Star Wars comics over to Marvel Comics, with an all new, optimized-for-corporate-synergy canon that will spread across all their media platforms. Anything that’s not a movie (especially one of the Original Trilogy movies), or a Clone Wars cartoon, will be unceremoniously Order 66-ed out of existence, giving future filmmakers a clean-ish slate to make movies (and money) on. But what about all those Dark Horse comics? That’s where we come in with 7 Dark Horse Star Wars comics you should track down before they disappear.”

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    At the New York Observer, Ashley Steves writes about Craig Ferguson’s The Late, Late Show. “No one could ever prepare you for watching an episode of Ferguson’s Late Late Show. A friend could not sit you down and explain it (“Well, it’s really meta and deconstructive and there’s a horse”). There was really no good way to recommend it. It was something you discovered and became a part of. You had to stumble upon it on your own, perhaps restless or bored or simply curious while flipping through channels when your eye quickly caught some of the madness. And that’s the best part. It was an unexpected gift. At its worst, it could still send you to bed grinning and comforted. At its best, it was art. It was silly and fun and truly not like any other late night show.”

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    At Comics Alliance, Chris Sims interviews Ed Brubaker about his work on Batman, Gotham Central and Catwoman. “When I look back at [Catwoman], I’m so proud of the first 25 issues of that book, when I felt like everything was firing on all cylinders. I probably should’ve left when Cameron Stewart left instead of sticking around. That’s one of those things I look back at and think “Ah, I had a perfect run up until then!” (Incidentally, Comics Editor Carol’s first piece for the Gutter was about Brubaker’s first 25 issues of Catwoman).

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    At Sequential Art, Greg Carpenter writes a lovely piece about Charles Schulz’ Peanuts. “After only two installments, Schulz had solidified the rules for his comic strip.  Random acts of cruelty would punctuate this irrational world, and Schulz’s trapped little adults would be forced to act out simulations of human behavior, using hollow gestures to try to create meaning in a universe where no other meaning was evident.  If Shakespeare’s Macbeth had been a cartoonist, the results of his daily grind, “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,” might have looked somewhat similar—each character a “poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage” until he or she was heard from no more.”

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    The Smithsonian Magazine has a gallery of US spy satellite launches. “Just as NASA creates specially designed patches for each mission into space, [National Reconnaissance Office] follows that tradition for its spy satellite launches. But while NASA patches tend to feature space ships and American flags, NRO prefers wizards, Vikings, teddy bears and the all-seeing eye. With these outlandish designs, a civilian would be justified in wondering if NRO is trolling.”

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    At The Guardian, Keith Stuart and Steve Boxer look at the history of PlayStation.“Having been part of the late 80s rave and underground-clubbing scene, I recognised how it was influencing the youth market. In the early 90s, club culture started to become more mass market, but the impetus was still coming from the underground, from key individuals and tribes. What it showed me was that you had to identify and build relationships with those opinion-formers – the DJs, the music industry, the fashion industry, the underground media.” (via @timmaughan)

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