A Simpler Time: World’s Best Ever’s 80s girl roundup tragically leaves off a young Jennifer Connelly. [WBE]
From All-Stars to Rod Lavers: An illustrated history of the sneaker, detailed enough to let you pass freely among sneakerheads. [The Shoe Buff]
It was a Very Good Year: An edited compilation of the year’s best viral videos. Fair warning: There are a lot of cats. [Videogum]
Around the Horn: Ornette Coleman’s What I Have Learned might be the best one we’ve ever read. On the sex/love divide: “Well, you're not always sure you're in love. But when you're having sex, there's really no mistaking it.” [Esquire]
Anyone curious about the recently released sci-fi flick District 9 might be even more curious about a few recently unearthed short films dug up from his archive. They’re an interesting look at what you can expect from a more or less unknown filmmaker and, unlike the feature, they’re all on YouTube.
XBox fans may already know about the shorts Blomkamp made with Peter Jackson to promote Halo 3, but we were more intrigued by a short called “Alive in Joburg,” an effective dry run for his current project. Like District 9, it concerns an alien population kept in Apartheid-like conditions, and uses documentary style shooting to give it more realism than rubber suits usually allow for. Of course, if he was able to do this on a shoestring, it should be interesting to see what he can do with $30 million.
Eclectic Method—the same folks who brought you the Tarantino mixtape—have turned their attention to the auteur of 80s angst, and the result is five minutes of iconic clips chopped and pulverized into a danceable nostalgia salad. It focusses mostly on The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (yes, including “Twist and Shout”), but that leaves them with enough whistles, screams and off-key clarinet for a full-scale multimedia symphony.
These days, David Lynch mostly known for directing feature-length anxiety trips, but as anyone who’s seen The Straight Story will tell you, he’s got a hokey, latter-day Capra side as well. And it may have just found the perfect forum.
The Interview Project is Lynch’s WPA-style web project and, starting today, it will be posting a brief interview every three days for the next year. The first interview is with Jess, a Vietnam vet living on the road (they caught up with him in Needles, California) who makes for a surprisingly dissolute subject. He drops gems like “I ain’t proud of anything except just being alive” and “I’m six foot tall, so what?” at well-edited intervals, and offers a generally sobering look at life off the grid.
As far as web documentary goes, it’s among the better projects out there. And we can always use another James Agee.
One of the wonderful things about web culture is how well it accommodates the idiosyncratic and the strange. With a low budget and a dedicated audience, there’s no telling how far out you’ll go. And we'd say the sex lives of limpets is pretty far out.
The series started by detailing the mating habits of house flies and honey bees, but now they’re onto sea creatures like limpets, starfish and whales. There are still plenty of hermaphroditic invertebrates, but the sets are a whole lot more involved, and the new mood is more mournful than scientific.
In other words, it’s pretty offbeat stuff—even for the geeked-out world of nature documentary. Even with the help of the Sundance Channel, it’s hard to imagine this kind of project making it to television without a long string of miracles.
Branding firms are still figuring out how to make a web video people will actually want to see, but the formula isn’t so complicated. Just find something worth watching and figure out some way to fit your product in—preferably something other than an opening title card.
Ito Partners gets it right with this series of Vimeo spots for Morgans Hotel Group. Ito lined up a series of relatively unknown acts to play sets in Morgans Hotel rooms, giving viewers an impromptu concert and a look at the soothing surroundings at the same time. And, in case you were wondering, the acoustics at the Royalton are surprisingly good.