Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Well-Respected Beards, No. 008: Jim Henson

jim-henson-auto.jpg

Come on, you know you love him. How many smiles has this dude been responsible for over the last 40 years? How many people can recite that “Number 12” song without even blinking? How hard is it to be green, really? Why does some silly rainbow video have half a million hits? I mean, seriously, it’s a sack made of green felt with some guy’s fist up in it not playing a miniature banjo.

Mr. Henson, if you’re out there, I just want to say thanks for that whole Dark Crystal thing, because the swamp scene totally blew my mind. Sorry I missed you in Leland.

Photo via this here frog fanatic.

Well-Respected Beards, Nos. 032 and 033: Muybridge and Marey

muybridge-2sm.jpgmarey.jpg

Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey, chronophotographers of the late 1800s. If you like movies, thank these dudes, their beards, and their tricked-out cameras.

Well-Respected Beards, No. 092: Ken Burns

kenburns.jpg

Hey, guys — he’s a witness and storyteller, not a historian. Come back and let’s talk about it once you’ve figured out the difference. Until then, he’s really damn good at what he does, and enough about the Ken Burns effect already.

Get your copybooks ready

howmanynuts.jpg

Seriously, people, Look Around You.

To the vector belong the spoils

It’s a beautiful book, to be sure, but how fortunate we are that Chuck Jones met up with Norton Juster and made this mathy gem, which might actually surpass the bound version. Enjoy a famous love story, animated, entitled The Dot and The Line.

(Thanks, Centrepital Notion.)

Give us this day Our Daily Bread

unser-taglich-brot-flieger.jpg

Dear theatres, especially Austin theatres: Please play this movie. It isn’t going to be easy, we are going to have to drag ourselves into the seats and we may walk out with numb faces and tortured souls, but we need to watch, learn, and be reminded of what it is like to be a human animal in the 21st century.

First, let me tell you an anecdote from RadioLab: American zoos very rarely feed whole animals to their big cats, and they almost never feed them live animals. In one segment, Nell Boyce attends a new event at the Toledo Zoo wherein a cow carcass is fed to some tigers. She was struck, as was I, with the number of children having the exact same conversation with their parents:

“What is the big kitty eating?”
“That’s a cow, honey.”
“Why is it eating a cow?”
“Because that’s what it eats. You eat cows too, you know.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do, sweetie, your hamburger is made of cow.”
“Oh.”

This disconnection from the food we eat and the processes by which we obtain it is a relatively new phenomenon in human history, and a documentary film which is (hopefully) on its way to a screen near you is trying to rebuild this connection, complete with all of the modernized horror we’ve been missing.

Continue reading

Well-Respected Beards, Nos. 044 and 031: Speilberg and Connery

connery_speilberg.jpg

Technically, George Lucas should be in this post too, but we’ll get to him later.

These are some household-name beards right here. These dudes just sit around in their castles or whatever and have courtesans carefully groom their facial hair between sets of gold-plated bocce. Then they either come up with an idea (Speilberg) or somebody hands them one (Connery) and they go and make a movie, and 6-18 months later, they’ve got another 100 million bucks to spend on exotic beardcare products made by leper colony residents in Myanmar out of the saliva glands of jungle tapirs. Yes, I respect their work greatly, but they might as well be Osiris and Khonsu when it comes to the “What would it be like to have a beer with these guys?” metric. If they strolled into the U.N., all the heads of state would line up to get autographs and get all jealous and catty because Steven drew a picture of E.T. on the Secretary of State’s copy of the authorized biography. Ridiculous.