Tag Archives | popular culture

Rock N’ Roll Samizdat: Soviet Era Bootleg Records Pressed From X-Ray Film

xrayLaughing Squid shares several remarkable examples of Soviet era audio samizdat. Neat stuff. Kind of spooky looking, too. Click through the link below to see the rest.

With vinyl scare and various western music genres like rock and roll and jazz banned in 1950s Soviet Russia, enterprising music fans would create records using X-ray film discarded by doctors and hospitals. The records were cut with scissors — often unevenly — with a cigarette hole burned through the middle of the platter and the music itself pressed onto the film using a special recording device. The result is a “multimedia” record that, when held up to light, reveals the skeletal structure left over from the film’s original use.

via A Series of Banned Rock and Jazz Records Pressed Onto Discarded X-Rays in 1950s Soviet Russia.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

YouTuber Raps About the Illusion of Free Will As Commentary to Call of Duty Video Game

YouTuber CamperKillerCommentary has released a video in which he raps about scientific experiments that cast doubt on the existence of free will over footage of him – I assume it’s him – playing the popular first-person shooter Call of Duty. And no, I haven’t the foggiest clue how all of this fits together. Apparently it’s the 26th in a series.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

On The Horror and Allure of Hannibal Lecter

mads_mikkelsen

Pic: Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter (C) NBC publicity.

I’ll never forget when my older sister came home distraught and shaken.  My parents asked her what was wrong and she broke down into tears and admitted she was horrified from having just seen The Silence of the Lambs.  Since then I always wanted to see it.  I was 4 at the time.  It wouldn’t be until years later that I saw the film.  It became my favorite movie at the time and Hannibal my favorite character in fiction.  He was just so classy and in charge.  Since then the Hannibal Lecter franchise has seen plenty more literary and cinematic incarnations, most of them lame, with Silence arguably standing as the unmatched artistic achievement.  That was the status quo of the Lecterverse until NBC released the television show Hannibal last year.

Over the last few months I watched and re-watched Hannibal.  I don’t watch TV, but being a sometimes very disappointed fan of the Hannibal franchise, I gave it a shot.  I remembered seeing adverts on New York City buses of a non-Hopkins mouth posing as a posh Lecter and thought that it couldn’t possibly be worth anyone’s time.  Just another money grab.  I consider myself a very jaded viewer of entertainment media.  This is likely because I’m a filmmaker, actor, editor, writer, and composer who was raised with the media-bashing antics of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew.  This means I’m not easy to please when it comes to entertainment media (I always see the strings, the plot chasms, the ham-fisted expositional dialog) and I’m far more likely to amuse myself by riffing a show or movie to death than I am to sink into the world that it’s trying to make me care about.  This is not my fault.  If you can’t rope in someone then your work needs work.  The bar is set even higher given we’re all more-or-less filmmakers, producers, and celebrities now.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Apparently Some People Still Can’t Differentiate Between Actors and the Characters They Play

TV-Breaking Bad-GunnHow is it that I figured out that Mark Hamill wasn’t Luke Skywalker as a little boy, yet what I’m guessing are full-grown adults are still struggling with the “actor does not equal character” lesson is beyond me. Apparently actress Anna Gunn is catching a lot of heat from deranged “Breaking Bad” fans who hate her character Skyler White. It’s not as simple as all that, though. Apparently some people just really, really hate what Gunn describes as “strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women” I wasn’t aware of this hatred for the character until I did a simple Google Image Search for “Skyler White” and had trouble finding one that didn’t have “cunt” or “bitch” written on it.

Via Rolling Stone:

But Gunn admits being shocked by the degree of some fans’ hatred, expressed on the show’s message boards, as well as personal websites and popular Facebook pages devoted to taking down Skyler.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Is the Portrayal of Torture on TV Changing?

24-TV-Series-LogoAlyssa Rosenberg writes at ThinkProgress:

When Fox announced that it was bringing back 24, its serialized drama about counterterrorist federal agent Jack Bauer that finished its initial run in 2010, as a limited-episode special event in 2014, much of the commentary about the news focused on questions of structure, rather than content. Time Magazine television critic James Poniewozik argued that 24′s resurrection was part of an exciting move by Fox to make more limited series and more special events, a strategy that includes a shorter run for its serial killer hit The Following, a move that both was meant to accomodate star Kevin Bacon’s schedule and to ape the success of dark cable dramas with shorter runs, and an order of limited-run series Wayward Pines. Others saw it as part of Fox’s decision to walk away from a focus on female-focused comedies and return to an old, reliable—and male-centered—hit from its past.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Nothing Happens Unless White Folks Say So

redhook summerJames Mcbride, co-writer of Spike Lee’s ‘Red Hook Summer,’ has penned a pull-no-punches open letter to Hollywood, detailing some serious issues on race and representation in cinema, and what it means to be a storyteller in an overtly commercial studio system. Via Colorlines.

The reviews for Spike Lee’s film “Red Hook Summer” that premiered at Sundance earlier this week have not been good. His comments made after the premiere about Hollywood studios knowing “nothing about black people” made more headlines than the actual film.

An open letter published yesterday by “Red Hook” co-writer, James McBride, is sure to make even more headlines because he takes the film community to task and says “nothing in this world happens unless white folks says it happens.”

Below is an excerpt from McBride’s open letter on the 40 Acres and a Mule website:

Three days ago, at the premiere of “Red Hook Summer” at The Sundance Film Festival, Spike, usually a cool and widely accepting soul whose professional life is as racially diverse as any American I know- lost his cool for 30 seconds.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

23,000 Defendants Sued In Biggest Illegal Downloading Case In History

stalloneMovie makers are suing thousands of individuals who downloaded and watched Sylvester Stallone’s latest film? Shouldn’t that read vice versa? Via Wired:

At least 23,000 file sharers soon will likely get notified they are being sued for downloading The Expendables in what has become the single largest illegal-BitTorrent-downloading case in U.S. history.

A federal judge in the case has agreed to allow the U.S. Copyright Group to subpoena internet service providers to find out the identity of everybody who had illegally downloaded the 2010 Sylvester Stallone flick — meaning the number of defendants is likely to dramatically increase as new purloiners are discovered.

All told, more than 140,000 BitTorrent downloaders are being targeted in dozens of lawsuits across the country, many of them for downloading B-rated movies and porn.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Inflatable Crowds For Rent

In need of a massive crowd of people, but don’t have thousands of adoring followers at your disposal? Why not go with Inflatable Crowd? The company rents out blow-up versions of giant masses of humanity, for use in films, political rallies, or other needs. When decked out in clothing, wigs, and masks and viewed from a distance, the blow-up denizens are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, and are far cheaper than paying large numbers of extras. Their Flickr is pretty disturbing.

The Inflatable Crowd Company was created for SEABISCUIT in 2002. Since then, our Inflatable Crowds have been seen (but not noticed) in over 80 feature films & many TV shows & commercials.


148621963_407c09708a148626820_6372b7498d

Read the rest

Continue Reading