The humble pixel, millions of which we see everyday and take for granted, finally gets it’s due in the form of a fascinating short documentary, by Australian animator and pixel artist, Simon Cottee.
Cottee film explores the pixel’s place in our culture, from it’s humble beginnings in videogames to the present day. Where collective nostalgia for the simplicity of things bygone, has found the pixel increasingly represented in contemporary mainstream art and animation. Going so far as to even spawn a musical sub-genre, in the form of the increasingly popular chiptune.
The Talking Heads song “This Must Be The Place” has always been a favorite for fans. It has a catchy beat that you can dance to and great moments of inflection that you can sing along with. The lyrics have a kind of weird intensity to them, “I guess that this must be the place” is not the typical gushing praise you’d expect in a pop love song. By the second verse, “If someone asks this is where I’ll be” and “You’ll love me till my heart stops” are shouted to emphasize how much time develops a situation. The slow acceptance of a relationship that feels awkward but grows familiar and loving is something that resonates with all of us.
Which is what makes Miles Fisher’s debut music video a particularly stand-out effort. Fisher is an amazing stand-in for Christian Bale and if you follow the Vimeo link you can see some other spoofs showing his talent at capturing the Hollywood ‘White Guy’ character. The song itself is a solid cover of “This Must Be the Place”, minimalizing certain areas and fleshing out others to make it into a more modern dance tune. But the video itself, which parodies various scenes from the cult classic American Psycho, takes the sense of discomfort and longing in the song’s lyrics in disturbing directions. The opening lyrics of loneliness are sung by Fisher as he dances around the apartment alone with his axe standing for air guitar. A limo pulls up and he extends a folded bill to a prostitute while mouthing, “never for money, always for love”. In the window’s reflection she mouths, “I love the passage of time.” Little moments like this are scattered throughout the video, poking at the song’s conception of love when embraced by a modern day Jack the Ripper. As the film pointed out and the music video continues to examine, even monsters enjoy pop music.
The audition process can be a harrowing and embarrassing experience for any young actor, but at least young unknowns don’t have to worry about some botched tryouts leaking to the web. And then there’s poor Chris Klein. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, Klein is usually a supporting player in hit movies like the American Pie movies and… I’m sure there’s another one somewhere, but he’s never really caught the public eye in a big way. He’s just famous enough for this terrible audition for Mama Mia to make serious rounds in the meme-verse (has that been used before? Can I coin it? Probably shouldn’t? OK). It really is a must watch. Klein’s usual affable oafishness is put to the test when he tries to “emote”, for the lack of a better word. And those eyes, my god, those eyes.
But like any good sport, Klein took the opportunity to get in on the joke. He recently appeared in this Funny Or Die video showing more of his leaked “auditions”. That’s some redemption right there.
Rachel McAdams stars as a young woman whose new job in New York could be the chance of a lifetime. The new gig quickly becomes more taxing than she anticipated, though, as it wreaks havoc on her personal life. Will she make it? Who knows, but chances are she’ll encounter some entertaining big shot New York-types along the way. If this sounds like familiar turf that’s already been traversed by Anne Hathaway, it should. Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna has takes us away from Runway magazine to Day Break, a morning news show. McAdams stars as the hopeful producer trying to keep control over the star hosts (played by Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford), while juggling a personal life. It might be tempting to write Morning Glory off, but its slew of co-stars is nothing to shake a stick at (Ty Burrell, 50 Cent, and Jeff Goldblum, to name a few).
Directed by the fantastically named Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Known to the rest of the film industry merely as Joe (to get around the challenge of pronouncing his name), Weerasethakul’s films have already taken home prizes from Cannes in the past. This is, however, the first time he or any Thai director has won the coveted main prize.
Set amongst the otherworldly landscape of the Thai jungle and using elements of oneiric cinema, Weerasethakul expamines the themes of life, death and, ultimately, reincarnation in a culture where the existence of supernatural apparitions such as ghosts and demons are accepted as part of daily life. The perfectly executed trailer displays a breathtaking yet eerie backdrop, where something ominous and mysterious seems to be lurking below the surface.