Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hurt by Johnny Cash

Okay, so I'm two days late for the anniversary of his birthday, but that's not important.
I was not aware they'd made a video for his cover of NIN's 'Hurt' until this morning, when they played it on a countdown of the 500 best music videos. It placed around 54ish, which is pretty impressive considering that it was on Channel [V], which is watched predominantly by 13-28 year olds.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ron Mueck & Puppetses

 I was informed today that they're having an exhibition of Ron Mueck's giant half-naked people at the NGV in Melbourne. I'm told the only real way to experience his artwork is to see it in person but unfortunately it looks as though I won't get the chance, as the exhibition closes Sunday.

However, while I'm using Ron Mueck as a reference in my art folio (school again. I'll be interesting soon, I promise), it's not his giant naked people that interest me the most, but his other work. Once upon a time Mueck was a prop-maker and puppeteer, and he worked on the Jim Henson's Labyrinth, not only making a certain puppet, but doing the voice.

Now if they had his Ludo puppet in the exhibition I'd be there for sure.
For those who are interested, there's a video of Mueck making one of his giant people here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paper Street Soap Co.


Writing a desgin brief is a pain. Writing a design brief from the point of view of a fictional company from a movie you really like is much more interesting. But still a pain.
As well as studying Art this year, I'm also undertaking Visual Communication & Design, and part of your 'do this to pass' is that you've got to pretend that a company has approached you to do something for them.

Anyone who's seen (or read) Fight Club will know Paper Street Soap Company.
For those who don't, Tyler Durden makes soap from the fat that's dumped from liposuction clinics and sells it to rich people. I believe the remark about it is something along the lines of:
"We're selling rich ladies their own fat asses back to them."
 I'm pretending Paper Street is a proper company that just make fancy soaps, and thus far my teacher seems to not have picked up on it. Shame.

Anyways, in searching for a witty name for their latest collection of soaps, I found the Paper Street Soap Company website, which is full of wonderful in-jokes (hover over those little circles for links). And then I remembered that Last Exit To Nowhere, maker of wonderful movie-nerd shirts, has a PSSC t-shirt.

Available here, which I've been wanting for awhile.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Of Questions On Clays

I appeal to those of you with experience makin' stuffs. I know you're out there.

This year for art I'm required to make at least two artworks for my final folio presentation, and I'm planning on doing some anatomy/human body type sculptures.
I'd like to make one slightly bigger than A4 sized, length and width wise, and the other I'd hope to make about the size of an actual torso. I've used basic terracotta clays before in class, and the results were pretty good, but I've no longer got access to a kiln, wherein my problem lies.

I'm looking for a relatively cheap clay (or clay-like substance) that doesn't require kiln firing, and can be painted and perhaps varnished, something to that effect. Air dry would be a bonus, as well as light-weight, but I'm willing to pass those up for a better alternative.

Your help is much appreciated and willing particpants won't have their brains stolen in the night.
Unless you're into that kind of thing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Not-A-Sci-Fi Sunday: The Wolfman

'Kay, so... The Wolfman is not a sci-fi movie but for once I actually saw a film within a short time of it coming out and I feel the need to share. Also my DVD player is possessed, but more on that at a later date.

The movie begins with a man walking through a dark fog-laden forest, freaking out at every noise, gun in hand. Something is after him and DUN DUN DUN he gets ripped apart by a big bad monster. It's probably the most tension you'll feel throughout the movie, with some nice pacing and good music cues. Expectations are raised. You think, hey, maybe this'll be pretty good after all. Depending on how high your expectations are, you might be right. But probably not.

We discover that the walking in the fog man was Ben Talbot, and his widow Gwen (Emily Blunt) writes a letter to his estranged brother/Shakespearean actor Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) beginning him to come back and help them find him, because at this stage he's merely missing to the good people of Small English Town. 

When Lawrence arrives, he's greeted by the corpse of his dead brother, as well as some small-town politics ("It's the gypsies!"). Lawrence decides to go investigate and visits the gypsy camp just as the angry townspeople arrive to chase the gypsies out of town, bringing with them a nice big full moon. Cue wolfie.
Big beasty circles the camp, taking out villagers one by one before just going nuts, and ripping everything/everyone to shreds. The best moment occurs when after hearing noises coming from a gypsy van, one of the men goes over, all casual-like, to have two wolf claws shoved into the underside of his jaw, with the fingers/claws coming out through his mouth, before he's pulled into the van and cut into tiny pieces. It ellicted an 'ooh' response just for the imaginative use of claws alone.
Lawrence gets chased by wolfie who then bites him but is scared off by Men With Guns. He's taken to the gypsy healer who sews him back up (in real nice detail), while the gypsies argue that she should just let him die. She doesn't, obviously.

This is around about the point where my attention started to wander. The slaughtering scenes are quite entertaining to watch but all the storyline in between is just a bit hollow. There's some great villiany from Talbot Snr (Hannibal Lector Anthony Hopkins), and the awesome Inspector Aberline (Agent Smith Hugo Weaving), who was the highlight, for me, although my mind kept making Matrix references where del Toro was Neo and that was quite distracting. You never really care about the characters' plights though, because well, you just don't. You've got some excellent actors and great scenery, sets and costumes but there's no real emersion in the movie at all. And so when the big dramatic climax arrives, you find yourself wishing they create as much carnage as possible so you can see some more disembowlings.

I saw The Wolfman with two friends - all of us female, between the ages of 17 and 23 - and I'm not sure what it is other than the possibility that we're a bit sick, but... we didn't find it scary, just kinda funny.
And we might have just maybe laughed through a lot of the not-at-all funny moments, such as the attack on the gypsy camp, the human to wolf transformations, the Wolfman vs Wolfman end battle which looks a bit more like wookie vs wookie and that weird wolfboy who looked a hell of a lot like Gollum.
There are a few jump scares that caught out a couple of audience members, but a lot of them are so predictable you can spot them from a mile away. And when the evil doctor-man says that Lawrence turning into a werewolf is as likely as him sprouting wings and flying out the window, you better believe he gets thrown out the window once Lawrence turns.
And then impaled on a fence!

All that said and done, I really enjoyed The Wolfman - just for all the wrong reasons. It was entertaining and funny and the music was pretty good, but the best part about it had to be the sets, scenery and costumes. There's so many great foggy woodland areas and the dilapidated mansion and mausoleum are so well done, that's it's almost worth watching the movie to see those things alone.
A classic, this movie is not, but it's worth renting the DVD or going to the movies if you've got some time to kill to see it, and confirm if my friends and I should go see a therapist or something.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Temple Run

I thought I'd share with you one of the more successful runs from Legends of the Hidden Temple.
Rarely did teams make it out of the temple after completing the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, either running out of time or getting caught by the Temple Guards.
Ideally your team would have both Pendants of Life (won from previous games), so that when captured by a guard, you'd be able to trade it in order to keep going. With three guards hiding throughout the temple, a team with both pendants would be able to survive the guards, who could only attack once (first player exchanges a token for life, but gets caught by the second, then second player exchanges a token for a life with the third), and it would only be a matter of running out of time. 
I probably spent a lot of a time as a kid checking hallways for hidden doors so that I'd be prepared in case of attack by Temple Guard. Which probably explains a lot.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nickelodeon Vs The Winter Olympics

I say bring back Legends of the Hidden Temple.
The final temple maze level always had me in awe as a kid - unfortunately I was too young to watch LOTHT during it's original run (1993-95), seeing as I was born in '92, but I was lucky enough to catch the end of the golden age of Nickelodeon, not to mention plenty of repeats.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Miami Metro & A Cocktail Party

You would think that from all the shirts I've posted and talked about in the past, that I would always be seen in them, but in fact the opposite is true. Rarely am I seen out in the wild wearing a tshirt. Or pants.
Because I'm a more fancy shirts, skirts and dresses type of person lately, rather than a nudist.
However, if I were to wear tshirts, these are the ones I'd be wearing:

From ThinkGeek and Split Reason, respectively, these two shirts both highlight two of my favourite things:
Showtime's Dexter -the serial killer with a conscience- and Valve's Left 4 Dead.
But not L4D2. Because I still don't own it, and most likely won't own it until I can get my hands on a non-censored version. What's the point if you can't dismember zombies, build giant piles of their bodies and set them on fire?

Anyway. Go buy shirts. Better yet, go buy me shirts.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy "I didn't get a Valentine" Day

Now, before we start, it'd be supercool if everyone actually watched the video I linked to in the For Future Reference post, but if you haven't, then this will (most likely) make no sense to you at all. 

If you can't be bothered watching the whole thing but still want to know what's going on, then this is the link again, and watch from around the 4 minute 20 mark.


 Valentine's Day is a holiday I appreciate more in theory than I do in practise. If you're in a couple, there's too much pressure to choose the right gift and to make everything perfect. If you're single it can be incredibly depressing to be surrounded by other people's flowers, chocolates and happiness.
A quick chat to my friends revealed that even those in a relationship were hating on the holiday - something which, despite my distaste for it, I found rather disheartening. 
So, drawing on a shared love for a certain crazy drunken Irish man who owns a bookstore (Bernard Black), I decided I'd make an Black Books referencing anti-Valentine card.
Also I really wanted a use for the accordion sketches I've been doing lately.


 The front of the cards read (in case you can't read my awful handwriting):
I've come to serenade you.
I can't play guitar.
I can't play this either, 
but I thought it would be less obvious.

While the inside reads:
Happy "I didn't get a Valentine" Day

Friday, February 12, 2010

More Brian Ewing

Hi-res here and here

Hanging on my wall I have the 'red girl' poster. I've had it for awhile now, and only yesterday did I notice the in the bottom right hand corner. If you recall, I talked about the Brian Ewing/Crankbunny card two days ago, but I didn't actually take the time to search through his entire gallery.
In fact, I didn't even wait for the page to load fully, you'll notice there's another version of the umbrella girl on the bottom half of the page. 
Anyway, I've just discovered that you actually get the posters in a pair. 'Red girl' was given to me by a friend, and as far as I'm aware, they don't have the 'blue girl' twin, so... what happened to the other umbrella girl?
And more importantly, why don't I have it?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Rib Cage Card

If you've been playing along, you'll remember this picture of a valentines day card I posted.
When you open it up, you get this:

These cards were the result of a collaboration between awesome artist Brian Ewing and pretty paper thing makers Crankbunny.
The red foil heart has to be scratched away to reveal the message beneath, and while this message may be a bit too soppy for most of you, then you'll be happy to know that there's a choice of one of five pre-made phrases, or you can write your own in 25 characters or less.
Despite their limited editioness, they appear to still be in stock from the Crankbunny website.

Monday, February 8, 2010

For Future Reference

Quick everyone, go watch this video so that later on I can make a reference to it and you'll all find it witty rather than just really weird because you've never seen a single episode of Black Books.
Of course, if you've never seen an episode of Black Books, you should go educate yourself immediately anyways.
So either way you're doing yourself a favour here. 
No, really. Don't look at me like that.

If you truly would like to educate yourself in the ways of Black Books, I suggest you start at the beginning, and then when you get to the end, stop.

Now, to stop you from never visiting the blog again, look, pretty thing!
Which I'll tell you more about next post.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Letters to Dead People


Some are funny, while other are lovely and nerdy, and sometimes they're a bit sad.
Letters to Dead People writes open letters to, you guessed it, dead people.
  You can send in a suggestion (of a dead person to write to), or you can write your own and hope you're lucky enough to get yours made into a 'Dead Letter'.

P.S. How childish is it's been two, three days since I saw it but I'm still laughing at the Freud one?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black and WTF

I've talked before about how old black and white photos are awesome.
I'm saying it again because 1: I've got an incredibly limited vocabulary, so I just repeat the same phrases ad nauseam, sometimes word for word.
and 2: it's true.

Black and WTF collects people's weird old black and white photos, from freaky long haired horses to freaky long haired men, and many other pictures sans freaky looking long haired stuff.
And you thought your old family photos were bad.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Horror Science

From a series of ads for Science World.

As part of the 'fight or flight' response, pupils dilate (amongst a myriad of other reactions) to allow you better sight.
Because science is awesome.

Via Superpunch
More about the Fight or Flight response at Wikipedia.