A 10-minute film based on Flannery O’Connor’s story “Good Country People”, shot in the 1960s. [via maud newton]
King Corn is a documentary about 2 guys that move to Iowa to grow an acre of corn. With today’s agro-tech, the actual farming takes just a few minutes. The bulk of it is their interviews and exploration of the food chain from seed to cobs to cattle to what we get in stores and restaurants. Highlights include some fun stop-motion animated interludes, their really funny interview with a PR flack at a high fructose corn syrup factory (and their attempts to make HFCS at home), and the generally straight-shooting commentary from the local Iowans.
Here’s the trailer for King Corn, and an Boing Boing interview with Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, the filmmakers.
Bed?ôich Smetana in an commercial for a Czech beer which inspires The Moldau.
Haven’t seen the movie and don’t plan to, but I like Roger Ebert’s assessment here: “Some superheroes speak in a kind of heightened, semi-formal prose, as if dictating to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations… ‘Iron Man’ doesn’t seem to know how seriously most superhero movies take themselves.“
Nothing happened today. Sometimes I wish news were like that every day.
A video of Bob Becker playing some novelty xylophone tunes with a college group. I saw Becker playing with Nexus a few years back. He’s insanely skilled.
Audio and video from the New York Public Library is now on iTunes.
Eddie Murphy riffs on wanting McDonald’s food when you were a kid. “I had one of those mothers, no matter what you want, she has the ingredients at home.” It’s Eddie Murphy so, nsfw.
Really enjoyed the Frontline feature Bush’s War. Well worth a few hours.
As I continue the Frans Masereel Appreciation
Week Festival, here’s an animated film adaptation of L’Idee. Berthold Bartosch had Frans Masereel’s help on the film for some of the two years he spent working on it. The end result is almost a half-hour long, and though it starts a bit slowly, there are some legitimately cool effects considering the crude tools available in 1930.
A couple other bonus points: the movie was scored by Arthur Honegger (who’s best known for Pacific 231), and the soundtrack features an ondes martenot—possibly the first-ever use of an electronic instrument in film.
According to that first link, Bright Lights After Dark, Masereel’s work in Die Stadt (my brief review of Die Stadt) was also a big influence on Walter Ruttmann‘s hour-long silent film Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Gro?üstadt. More about Die Sinfonie at Wikipedia and shorter clips available on YouTube.
Some behind-the-scenes video journalism from North Korea.
There Will Be Vader made my morning today.
I watched Koyaanisqatsi this weekend. It’s got a lot of cool footage and overall it was worth watching. But part of the problem with the message (that we live a “crazy life,” a “life out of balance”) is that it’s so dependent on the soundtrack.
A lot of it made me think of those time-lapse videos I saw on kids TV when I was little. Seeing a factory in fast motion was cool, not cause for worry. I was glad I found this Koyaanisqatsi: Redux which matches a portion of the film to a goofy, upbeat soundtrack, and contrasts it with a more dramatic string arrangement in the middle (musical transitions are around the 2-minute and 4-minute marks). I like parts of Philip Glass‘ original soundtrack for the film, and I think it’s kind of spooky-cool how the soundtrack can direct your response to what you’re seeing. But it’s too much of an emotional shortcut.
There are a lot of excerpts from the film on YouTube, like the original trailer, the demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing in St. Louis, scenes from New York, and the famous closing scene that reprises the opening.