Video

Fjord watching

Monday, 18 July, 2016 0 Comments

“These timelapses are all recorded in the western part of Norway, where the mighty fjords Geirangerfjord, Hjörundfjord, and Storfjord sits quietly and waits for anyone who wants to seek something else than watching the latest show on TV.” So says the Norwegian photographer and videographer Jonas Forsberg.

Watching TV these days is not very good for the soul, especially given the news from Nice, Turkey and Baton Rouge. Fjord watching, like whale watching, offers a temporary, healing respite from the woes of our troubled, tele-visual world.

Nerd note: The 4K resolution standard was created for digital cinema and computer graphics. It was so named because it offer 4000-pixel horizontal resolution (4K is technically defined as 4096 x 2160 pixels). 4K provides higher image definition quality, more detailed pictures and larger projection surface visibility.


Facebook predicts the end of text. Fail

Friday, 17 June, 2016 0 Comments

After 2020, Facebook “will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, head of Facebook’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at a conference in London on Tuesday. Mendelsohn even suggested that the written word will be replaced by moving images and sound:

“The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” Mendelsohn said. “It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information.”

Does it? Facebook is said to be hosting eight billion views a day on its platform, but most of that is happening in silence. Millennial news site Mic, which is averaging 150 million monthly Facebook views, said 85 percent of its 30-second views are without sound, while PopSugar says its silent video views range between 50 and 80 percent. Note: Facebook counts a view at three seconds.

The result is that publishers are now creating videos that have the same look and feel and they increasingly feature text that does the talking, as it were. This Facebook video about a futuristic bike features visuals with a text explanation of the content. Prediction: Text will outlive Facebook and cat videos.


“Women should protect their beautiful faces”

Friday, 27 May, 2016 0 Comments

Named after James Brown’s funky saxophone player, Maceo Parker, Maceo Frost grew up in Stockholm with a street-dancing father and skateboarding mother. “He found film-making at 11 and grew up never having to wonder what to do in life. Today he travels the world directing films and loves making people share their deepest secrets with the camera.” Maceo Frost’s portrait of Namibia Flores Rodriguez is superb.

By the way, supporters of socialist ideals should note that not all Cuban boxers are cherished equally — Namibia Flores Rodriguez is the island’s only female boxer.


Nobody does Eurovision like Sweden does Eurovision

Saturday, 14 May, 2016 0 Comments

Vikings, IKEA, Absolut Vodka, ABBA, Stieg Larsson, H&M… The Swedes are good at lots of things. Then, there’s the Melodifestivalen, the national event through which Sweden’s representative for the Eurovision Song Contest is selected. Held every February and March, it unites the country during the long winter nights and offers endless opportunities for small talk during the ritual morning fika at the office.

The Swedes are especially good at hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, so we’re in for a delight from Stockholm tonight. A hint was provided in the interval of the second semi-final on Thursday evening with a show that took the audience through the history of modern dance, but with a very Swedish touch. Three humans were joined by three assembly-line robots in a medley that paid homage to ’70s disco (Bee Gee-style), a Thriller zombie routine, 50 Cent’s In Da Club and a version of Beyonce’s Single Ladies. The hosts described the performance as exploring the “contrasts that divide and the similarities we share with our metallic friends.” The Swedes share the same planet with the rest of us, but they are in a world of their own when it comes to Eurovision.


“Et tu, Brute?”

Saturday, 7 May, 2016 0 Comments

This year, the world marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and the commemorations reflect a language that has become the global lingua franca for a creative economy that knows few geographic boundaries. Pedro Martín-Calero is an example of this globalization. He started his career as a cinematographer in Spain, but switched to directing and he now divides his time between Madrid and London, where he works with Colonel Blimp, a production company that makes a variety of media, including commercials, music videos and Shakespearian snippets.

“Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” is one of the many memorable sayings from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Pedro Martín-Calero includes a pair of fearsome canines in his very modern interpretation of Julius Caesar, Act II Scene I.


The Story of Zero

Tuesday, 19 April, 2016 0 Comments

Now, this is a good example of collaboration. The Royal Institution, founded in 1799 and devoted to scientific education and research, the illustrator Andrew Khosravani, and Dr Hannah Fry, lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London, pool their resources to present the history of zero. There’s nothing like a little animation to make the cornerstone of calculus lively.


Move!

Wednesday, 30 March, 2016 0 Comments

“3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage…. ” Rick Mereki, an independent filmmaker from Melbourne, packs a lot of travel into 60 seconds. For those who feel that it’s all been done before, this is inspirational. All one needs is the ability to view the world with less jaded eyes, two camera, three guys and the will to move.


Coffee cold, chess hot

Saturday, 13 February, 2016 0 Comments

Fact-crammed sentence coming up: In 1968, the Oscar for Best Original Song was awarded to the French composer Michel Legrand for The Windmills of Your Mind, which featured in The Thomas Crown Affair, starring the late Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, who was 75 last month.

The film also included a jazz tune, Coffee Cold, by Galt MacDermot, the Canadian composer who had just written the music for Hair, his greatest commercial success. The 88-year-old MacDermot enjoyed a moment a decade ago when his music became popular in the hip-hop scene: Busta Rhymes sampled Space from MacDermot’s 1969 album Woman Is Sweeter for the chart-topping Woo hah!!, rapper MF Doom sampled the MacDermot song Cathedral for his Pennyroyal, and Oh No released an entire album of MacDermot samples titled Exodus into Unheard Rhythms.

MacDermot’s music here is a perfect complement for two great actors in their prime.


Video of the Year

Friday, 18 December, 2015 1 Comment

The next Rainy Day award — Video of the Year — goes to Lara Marie Schoenhals for “Please welcome to the stage…” Background: Taylor Swift made headlines by inviting celebrity women onstage as part of her 1989 World Tour. The guest list included Julia Roberts, Joan Baez, Gigi Hadid and Lena Dunham. “Please welcome to the stage the first woman ever, Eve from Adam and Eve,” declares Schoenhals mocking Swift’s routine, and then she hits her stride with “the fabulous 51 victims of Bill Cosby,” as well as the “women survivors of ISIS” and the “ashes of the victims of the Salem witch trials.” The list of notorieties includes Tonya Harding, Angelina Jolie and Hillary Clinton.

In a searing essay in the Hollywood Reporter, Camille Paglia took a swipe at “Taylor Swift, Hollywood’s #GirlSquad Culture.” Money quote: “Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video ‘Please Welcome to the Stage.'” So, “Please Welcome to the Stage…”

Tomorrow, here, the Rainy Day Book of the Year award.


Balinese chapters

Saturday, 29 August, 2015 0 Comments

“This is their world through my eyes,” says self-described “global nomad” Brandon Li of his six “chapters” about the people of Bali. The Tooth Filing Ceremony is followed by the Rice Fields and Beyond, then we have Outlanders Libertad, Passing Storm, Quiet Night, Cremation and Exorcism.


Droning For Good above LA

Saturday, 22 August, 2015 0 Comments

“I continue to be awe struck by how much of this vast city I have partially or completely overlooked before undertaking this video,” says videographer Ian Wood about his aerial exploration of downtown Los Angeles. Explaining the “Droning For Good” philosophy, he says: “With all the controversy about drones, it’s important to remember that they can be (and often are) used responsibly. As with many emerging technologies, the laws struggle to keep up and we must employ a common sense approach to their use that is respectful to community, safety and the law.”

By the way, here’s a map of the locations seen in the clip and the music is If You Ain’t Never Had The Blues by Boo Boo Davis.