Saturday, June 30, 2007

Graffiti Research Lab

Pioneers of the electronic side of graffiti, these guys from Eyebeam are really pushing the boundaries of what can be done on the streets in our age of technology.

This was what their website had to say on their concept.

"The Graffiti Research Lab is dedicated to outfitting graffiti writers, artists and protesters with open source tools for urban communication. The goal of the G.R.L. is to technologically empower individuals to creatively alter and reclaim their surroundings from commercial and corporate culture. G.R.L. agents are currently working in the lab and in the field to develop and test a range of experimental technologies for the state-of-the-art graffiti writer."

Check out the ingenious design for carrying the equipment:

Ron English dissects a superhero

Artist Ron English has dissected Captain America for his upcoming show at the Opera Gallery this November. He has definitely put alot of work into this piece and if you scroll down to read the Supertouch article on him, you'll see why! What an amazing concept!

"Catching up with Supertouch’s own RON ENGLISH in his Jersey studio, we got a first-hand look at the master’s new huge-scale painting, “Dissect” featuring a very stripped-down Captain America before a background of some of his most patriotic comic strips.

The phenomenal thing about this piece is that the background comic panels are entirely hand-painted and not a collage. Every single panel has been replicated with exacting detail by Ron, right down to the hand-lettered dialogue. While mere mortals would take months to complete such a task, our boy wrapped this monster manga project up inside of a few weeks. See it in person at his forthcoming show at Manhattan’s Opera Gallery in November. (Rumor has it a limited edition print of this painting might appear at this year’s SD ComiCon)…

Many thanks to Supertouch for the images and article.

For those of you who don't know, Captain America, the comic superhero was tragically killed (again) in 2007. Read the Wikipedia article to find out more.

Friday, June 29, 2007

RPG Fishing

When you can't be bothered to fish the proper way, try this Afghan soldier-style out for size.

Thanks to the Look Rare! team.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Written and Directed by Brad Bird

Gusteau: If you focus on what you’ve left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.

Rats are a hard sell. They’re filthy little rodents with fierce, ugly teeth that scurry across your feet when you aren’t expecting anything, dragging their long, scaly tails behind them and sending those they cross into squeals of fear. Rats in a kitchen comedy are arguably an impossible sell. If you don’t like rats to begin with, you certainly don’t want them anywhere near your food. Yet here we are smack in the middle of the premise for the near infallible Pixar’s latest summer crowd pleaser, RATATOUILLE. Separated from his rat colony, Remy (voiced by comedian Patton Oswalt), finds himself accidentally putting his culinary talents to good use in what was once one of Paris’ most prestigious kitchens, earning him rave reviews. Of course a rat can’t take credit for fine food preparation so he forms an unlikely friendship with a gangly, awkward fellow by the name of Linguini (Lou Romano), who serves as his front. Together they bring new life to an aging restaurant and inspire each other to be better than they believe themselves to be. The folks at Pixar might have been sniffing too many expensive cheeses when they concocted this mousecapade but they may also be the only people out there who could have pulled it off. Only, under the writing and direction of Brad Bird (THE INCREDIBLES), they didn’t just pull it off; RATATOUILLE is a masterwork in the field of animated filmmaking, deliciously reaching heights that no rat has ever reached before.

Remy is no ordinary rat. He has a gift, a gift that is being squandered at home. He understands the complicated calibration of cooking. He knows the spice for every occasion yet his overbearing father (Brian Dennehy) uses his heightened senses as a tool to sniff out rat poison amongst the garbage. Like so many of us born into situations that do not lead instantly to fame and fortune, Remy is destined for greatness but has yet to be discovered. Not only does he need to win over the hearts and stomachs of notoriously finicky food critics (like the one voiced so delectably by Peter O’Toole) but he must also win over the potentially lost appetites of modest movie goers who may not want rats with the their popcorn. Bird’s animators studied the bahavior of rats extensively and felt it would be best to have the rats walk about like humans, on two feet, in an effort to appear more likeable. Bird refused. He wanted the rats to act like rats. He wanted their ideals to win us over. When trapped in a jar early on in the film, it is Remy’s charm that gets him set free. There is an earnestness, a yearning, a hope seen deep in his pleading eyes that reminds us just how often we find ourselves trapped in jars by people bent on keeping us down. Besides, aren’t we all just rats in the race?

Like Remy, Bird and his Pixar cohorts know to add a sprinkling of depth to their dishes and that presentation is key. RATATOUILLE raises the Pixar standard of beauty to new levels while seasoning the whole with hints of meaning that are only completely realized once they hit your palette. Pixar’s Paris is a foggy riverside with scattered street lamps at one moment and a string of window lights and fountains the next. While it is romantically distracting, it is nowhere near as chaotic as the view from two inches above the floor. Rats scamper and the camera follows as Remy swerves in and out of kitchen crevasses and sewers (always sure to wash his hands before touching the food). The fluidity of the movement through such luscious colour is hypnotic and magical, simply what one would expect from the city of love. Somewhere tucked away in this city is a tiny one-bedroom apartment the size of a storage space known as not much but still home to Linguini. The friendship formed between the man and his rat is unlikely, yes, but it anchors the film with its humbling mutual appreciation. They learn to rely on each other without forgetting how to contribute the most vital parts of themselves. Theirs is a friendship so powerful and so respectful that it changes the minds and hearts of the naysayers who play witness to it, including those sitting comfortably in front of the screen.

“Anyone can cook.” These are the words of Chef Gousteau, Remy’s inspiration and hero, that run throughout RATATOUILLE. Cooking can be interpreted as anything and therefore anyone can do anything they want. Just look at Remy, a rat with an impossible dream that comes true despite every odd and thanks to hard work (and a dash of fate). Better yet, just look at Pixar. By not simply following the recipe but rather using inspired, unusual ingredients, they have managed to make a mesmerizing masterpiece that is astonishing, endearing and about a rat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Written and Directed by Michael Moore

Tony Benn: If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.

Years ago, Michael Moore set out to produce a documentary about the American health care system and how that affects both those with and without insurance. In 1999 though, the Columbine shootings redirected his focus towards gun control and teenage violence. The health care project was put on hold and BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE was made and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Hollywood had found a new spokesman and Moore rode that wave for as long as he could. He was about to return to the health care project when the war in Iraq began. Again, Moore felt his efforts would be better put to use elsewhere. FARENHEIT 9/11, part expository documentary, part slander campaign to ensure George W. Bush would not be re-elected, became the highest grossing documentary of all time. He may have had notoriety like he had never known but he also had an increasing number of angry detractors. Moore’s success was inflating his ego and that ego was taking up more screen time than the subject matter itself in his films. Well, Mr. Moore has heard your complaints and has redirected his focus once again by removing it from himself and placing it back on the subject. Eight years after its original conception, Moore is finally ready to give us SICKO.

While Moore’s mug does still find its way into the action and his voice guides us along our tour of the world’s hospital waiting rooms, he is less invasive and more sympathetic in SICKO. In fact, we don’t even see him for the first third of the piece. Instead, real people with real horror stories of disappointment and struggle put a face to the bureaucracy. Having no insurance, Rick must make a decision between reattaching his middle finger ($60,000) or his ring finger ($12,000) after the tips are sliced off in a buzz saw accident as he cannot afford both. In her 50’s, Donna is forced to move in to her daughter’s storage room with her husband because their medical bills have far exceeded what their insurance will cover. The American people already know that their health care system does not work for everyone so SICKO ensures that people know the desperate realities of those that are left behind. Moore makes sure to get all his pills in a line by giving historical context to the deterioration of provided health care and establishes profit as the unsurprising devil. There have been so many stories of death and unnecessary suffering by this point in the film that the tears come naturally when you see the livelihood of real people being cast aside for profit expansion.

Yet through the tears, there is laughter to be had in SICKO and most of it is directed at Moore himself, as an American representative. Moore leaves the USA to explore whether socialized health care is as poor and pathetic as the American media and American Medical Association would have you believe. In Canada, he meets a hockey player who sliced several fingers off while playing and didn’t have to choose between having any one in particular reattached nor did he have to pay a cent for the operation. In England, he meets with a doctor who still earns a strong six-figure salary that affords him an Audi and a million-dollar home despite the government signing his checks. In France, he meets with a group of Americans who have relocated to France and are now enjoying social health benefits like 24-hour medical service that comes to your door. Moore seems as if in a constant state of shock and awe as he asks patients leaving hospitals what their bills cost. The response is always nothing but not before they have a good laugh at how ridiculous his question is.

When the initial urge to laugh has run its route, SICKO reminds us that we are laughing at how dire this situation has become. How else can one describe it when homeless patients, clearly without insurance, are dumped in front of shelters after being forced out of a hospital and forced into a cab? Moore still can’t resist a cheeky, sarcastic turn but his filmmaking is maturing. While past efforts struggled to maintain their objectivity, feeling at times like one man’s personal vendetta against the powers that be, SICKO is more like a rallying of the people, exposing many Americans’ selfish motivations to look out for themselves above all else as their ugliest problem. Instead of yelling incessantly at the Bush administration and the corporations that pull the strings, all Moore seems to be concerned with is how the American population is still allowing for a world where the weakest among them is left to die in the streets.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

10/10 Exhibition TV Commercial

The guys at IDn have created this great TV ad for the 10/10 show this July 1st....If you are in HKG around this time, please go see the show, it will be worth it!

Shadow Sculptures

Incredibly detailed shadow sculptures created by Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

Thanks to Ektopia for the heads up.

Monday, June 25, 2007

MiQ Willmott Customs

Beautiful Customs by MiQ Willmott. Details galore!

The Galloping Shrimp

The title says it all.....

Thanks to Dilly at Look Rare! blog.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blu the street artist extraordinaire

One of the best Street Artists out there at the moment.......The large scale murals are just incredible. Actually the same goes for the whole Blu website which has loads of short animations as well.

The Real Total Recall

Elizabeth Brainerd from Brown University have just developed CTX Imaging, a technique that combines computed-tomography, x-ray video and computing post-processing to let you see bones in rapid motion. Eat your heart out Arnie, the future is now here.

First, they do a complete tomography scan on the subject, which gets stored in the computer to get combined with "high-speed fluoroscopy" footage of the animal in motion. That generates a highly detailed 3D computer animated model that can be seen from any angle. So detailed that it can capture 1,000 frames per second with a precision of a tenth of a millimeter.

Watch a pig eating VIDEO at Gizmodo...... It's well worth it!

Image credits: D.B. Baier for the Alligator

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Written by John Orloff
Directed by Michael Winterbottom

Mariane Pearl: This film is for our son so he knows his father was an ordinary man, an ordinary hero.

Telling the truth is generally considered to be the first step on the path to righteousness. It brings redemption to some and relieves the guilt of others. Many people have a hard time accepting the truth when faced with it. That difficulty in dealing is perhaps the main reason some run far away from the truth altogether. Given how troubling facing the truth can be in everyday reality, being subjected to it in celluloid on the big screen is a very hard sell. This is even more relevant when the film in question is based on an event that was played out to the point of emotional exhaustion in the media. (Just ask the producers of UNITED 93.) This is the plight of A MIGHTY HEART, an adaptation of Mariane Pearl’s novel of the same name, about her experiences during the search for her kidnapped husband, Daniel Pearl, in the winter of 2002. For director Michael Winterbottom, this is only the beginning though. Assuming he manages to get people to see the film, (casting Angelina Jolie in the role or Marian Pearl certainly doesn‘t hurt the film’s chances), Winterbottom must then get people to forget that they know how it’s all going to end.

Winterbottom is too smart to go against the grain. Instead, he uses the audience’s prior knowledge of the story to incite an even deeper emotional reaction. He begins by establishing his style. A MIGHTY HEART is not a documentary but rather a fictionalized reenactment of actual events that is shot and edited like a documentary. There are no talking heads but the camera is an active participant in the drama that unfolds. Hand-held movement, jump cuts and an omnipresent observer’s point of view lend realism to the film’s already tense premise. For those who aren’t aware, Jewish-American journalist, Daniel Pearl (played here by CAPOTE scribe, Dan Futterman) was kidnapped in Pakistan in January of 2002. The violent act became an international scandal as the group that claimed responsibility for the crime demanded the liberation of prisoners from American detainee prison, Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba. The American government does not give in to the terrorists’ demands. It doesn’t end well. The film focuses on the efforts made by Mariane, the Pakistani police, the C.I.A. and the journalistic community throughout the search for Daniel. Knowing Daniel doesn’t live through the ordeal and that this search is fruitless may leave the audience without hope but the dedication and fervor with which the case is attacked carries enough hope to inspire an overwhelming sympathy that sinks our hearts when what we know is coming actually comes.

A blustering soundscape and tightly framed street and crowd shots elevate stress levels to unimagined heights. Mariane is alone in a foreign country, searching for the most important person in her life. Knowing the odds are against her, holding on to hope becomes all the more complicated when she is surrounded by strangers, traffic and the sounds of incessant honking, cell phones and random farm animals. The chaos is absolutely inescapable. Yet still, Mariane must remain calm. After all, she is the heart of this operation. If her heart fails, all hope is lost and all efforts will fall apart. Jolie exhibits both outer strength and inner fragility at the same time as Mariane. She is direct and focused in face of this horrific reality, holding it together for Daniel, herself and her unborn child but Jolie’s distant eyes and suddenly fidgeted demeanor suggest just how difficult maintaining all this composure truly is. Being a journalist herself, Mariane’s most endearing quality is perhaps her ability to remain hopeful in spite of all the horror she has known in her own career without coming across as naïve. Jolie’s balancing act upon such a tightly wound rope is truly genuine in both its intention and execution.

Any movie entitled A MIGHTY HEART cannot spend all its time entrenched in fact. After all, there is a delicate, growing love between Daniel and Mariane that is also being held prisoner. This love though cannot be held captive and gives life to hope. Their love comes back to Mariane in flashes throughout her suffering. Insignificant moments like the last time they saw each other take on new meanings, making the loss feel larger while still reminding her what she is fighting to find. The truth behind A MIGHTY HEART is that it takes one to live through something like this and, more importantly, live past it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Written by Lisa Addario, Christian Darren, Don Rhymner and Joe Syracuse
Directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Filmmaker: Do you have any other talents?
Cody Maverick: What? You mean like singing and dancing? Nah, man, I just surf.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love me some penguin. Of course, I am referring to the line of clothing and not the waddling bird. Regardless, I too fell in love with the emperor penguins along with the rest of the world a couple of years back when THE MARCH OF THE PENGUINS swept the summer documentary box office. That was the same summer the mischievous animated penguins of MADAGASCAR had people begging for more (which they were unfortunately given months later with the dreadfully drab short, A CHRISTMAS CAPER). Penguins were all the rage. After winning the Best Documentary OSCAR, the penguin love only continued to grow with the holiday hit, HAPPY FEET. The premise there, after essentially crafting an animated reenactment of the mating ritual outlined in the aforementioned documentary, penguins sing to express themselves while one dances instead (see above quote for cheeky acknowledgement). HAPPY FEET was a big success and went on to a surprising win for Best Animated Feature at last year’s Academy Awards. And so the trend continues with another animated feature about penguins, SURF’S UP. Only now it may seem the public is growing weary of these tuxed-up birds. Perhaps there is only so much penguin love to go around. It’s a shame really because SURF’S UP may be the best of the (animated) bunch.

To differentiate itself from all the previous penguin fare, SURF’S UP, is constructed as a mockumentary. To capture an on-the-cuff style, a special motion capture camera system was mounted to an old Sony video camera to give the illusion that the movie was shot with a hand-held camera. Factor in jump cuts and film scratches from different stocks and you have a style that is both authentic and dynamic. A film crew (voiced by the actual directors, Ash Brannon and Chris Buck) has decided to follow an aspiring surfer by the name of Cody Maverick (voiced by Shia LaBeouf) on his journey that begins at his humble home in Shiverpool to the Penguin World Surfing Championship. With blizzards gusting in the background at home and forestry looking lush and wet at the championship, SURF’S UP uses nature to not only establish its fish-out-of-water story but to wow its audience. The beauty of the animation itself is enough to make SURF’S UP a serious contender come award season when the waves of praise come crashing ashore.

Set amidst these beautiful backdrops is a bevy of lovable, genuinely hilarious characters. What is perhaps the film’s strongest achievement is the spontaneity it creates in a style that is so meticulously designed and planned. The penguins sincerely seem as if they are on camera. They are both uncomfortable and candid. At home, Cody is surrounded by his doting, doubtful mother (Dana Belben) and oversized, pesky brother (Brian Posehn). The tension in this family is palpable and unnervingly funny. En route to the competition, Cody comes into contact with talent scout, Mikey Abromowitz (Mario Cantone), whose neurosis run through his head almost as fast as his little bird legs run on land and an oddball surfer/rooster named Chicken Joe (Jon Heder), who is as laid back (read potentially stoned) as one would expect a surfer to be. Cody is taken under wing by a former surfer named Geek (Jeff Bridges) once at the competition and their playful interactions keep your gliding through to the finals. SURF’S UP packs in more unexpected laughs than one would expect and the fact that they are unexpected is what makes it so incredible.

SURF’S UP also makes sure to bang home an important lesson for the kids. After all, this is a summer family film and there needs to be a lesson learned. Cody learns a number of things along his way but they all amount to understanding a thing or two about patience. “Winning isn’t everything” and “There are more important things to life than winning” make appearances but what is most important is the philosophy that will help Cody win out overall. Stop fighting and learn to ride the wave. It is a lesson that even the filmmakers should have heeded as there are times when the imposing hand of the powers that be can be felt in the film’s construction to ensure it is as marketable as possible. Oddly placed soundtrack choices and shots that could not have been caught by documentary filmmakers undermine the credibility of the mockumentary but hardly take away from the fun to be had. SURF’S UP will surprise you, crack you up and leave you wanting to catch the wave again and again.

The only question left to answer is whether polar bears will be over saturating the marketplace after the people who brought you THE MARCH OF THE PENGUINS bring you AN ARCTIC TALE later this summer.

Wireless POWER

Although the idea has been around since the 19th century courtousey of Nikola Tesla, recent efforts in wireless energy transmission have yielded some exciting results. Science researchers in the States have successfully transmitted electrical power to a 60W bulb, without it being plugged into a power source. The phenomena of resonance and the use of low frequency electromagnectic wave transmission has potential to charge our laptops without them being plugged in.
Maybe electric bicycles powered by street side 'Power Transmitters' is the way forward. Standby for papers on the physiological effect of intense low frequecy electromagnectic radiation exposure...


Written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Turk Malloy: Is it in yet?
Virgil Malloy: I hate that question.

I am a member of minority group. This group is made up of a small number of people who actually enjoyed OCEAN’S 12. Sure it was somewhat unbelievable and occasionally ridiculous but it kept a good groove on while filling the screen with some slick style. The boys all looked like they were having a good time, perhaps too good a time. Maybe audiences felt like they had taken it all too far; that the Ocean gang was having fun without them. And so, a director and a cast who generally don’t seem to pay much heed to appeasing the masses, have returned to the original scene of the crime, Las Vegas, for their third and final caper in OCEAN’S 13. The main goal for this reunion is to make up for their supposed misfire last time out and every possible effort to do so is made diligently. With the exception of Julia Roberts, the original players have all returned. From Clooney to Pitt to Damon to Affleck (no, not that one, the younger one), the stars are all out. Even Al Pacino has come on board to lend more weight to this already heavy load. And with Mr. Style himself, Steven Soderbergh, at the helm, the dream is kept alive. So why then, with every element so perfectly placed, has the fun disappeared almost entirely?

Perhaps perfection is part of the problem. The Ocean gang is a smart bunch, crafty fellas. They are also often prone to making mistakes. The situations they find themselves in stem from their own decisions and almost always lead them to the brink of unraveling. The cracks they need to squeeze through get tighter and tighter, creating both intrigue and urgency for the viewer. OCEAN’S 13 finds Danny Ocean et al plotting sweet revenge against Willie Bank (Pacino) for putting Ocean member, Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), in the hospital after screwing him out of a huge hotel/casino deal. The plan is to ruin his prestigious grand opening and milk him for hundreds of thousands of dollars all in one night. The execution is vast, ranging from rigging the dice at the source of manufacturing in Mexico to orchestrating an earthquake to disarm the stronghold security system that stands between them and the prize. Clearly, the good guys are going to win but never does it feel that there is a chance this might not happen. The urgency and intrigue were bet and lost.

Pacino is a welcome addition to the mix. His portrayal of hotel mogul, Willie Banks, is so sinister and egotistical that you can’t wait for the Ocean boys to bring him down. However, while Pacino is stepping it up, Clooney and Pitt might as well have had their stand-ins play their parts. The camaraderie that brought such joy and laughs to the Ocean film experience in the past has grown tired. When the boys laugh now, it almost seems like the joke is on us; that getting us into the theatre with their pretty faces was all they were obliged to do. Once there, entertaining us was not part of their contract. These two haven’t left it to just showing up for work in a while and the effect weighs you down. Luckily, Damon, Affleck, Scott Caan and Don Cheadle are still working for their paychecks, bringing wit, charm and humility to an often-lifeless script. Sadly, the sporadic laughs are not enough to call this film funny, or even fun for that matter.

So if OCEAN’S 13 isn’t fun, what is it? Well, it’s neatly packaged and pristinely presented. Soderbergh has a fantastic eye. He has a knack for crafting colorful films that are visual worlds unto themselves, which draw the viewer in to a point where the real world can look somewhat drab in comparison once you leave them. Only this time out, he spent too much time setting everything up that no room was left for error or chance. It’s like a perfectly dealt hand that just isn’t played with any finesse. It’s ironic really how a film set against the gambling capital of the world takes so few risks. Soderbergh sets out to distract the audience with OCEAN’S 13, like any good casino would. With all the flashing lights, pretty colours and fireworks, you might not realize that you’ve been playing the slots for longer than you should.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Light "Acid" Saber!

Great performance by Chris Cunningham @electraglide 2005 in Japan

Ray Charles ~VS~ Thriftshop XL

My favorite mush-up artist Thriftshop XL mixed a Ray Charls song with DnB.
Interview with Thriftshop XL

Friday, June 8, 2007

Milk Scanner

The Milkscanner is a tool that allows the scanning of objects and creates a Displacement map for use with Moviesandbox or any other 3D App that would allow for displacement mapping.
It uses Lego pieces, milk, webcam and a tupperware cool is that?!

Report in Instructables.

Rotating Wall

The city of Liverpool is playing host to a rather kooky artwork for the next 18 months. Called Turning The Place Over by Richard Wilson, it consists of a rotating wall that turns 360º. Cut in the wall of an old Yates's Wine Lodge, the installation sits opposite one of the city's train stations and is costing almost 450,000 quid!

Thanks to Gizmodo for the report.