Tag Archives | Television

The Return of Cosmos – Tonight

The legendary TV series Cosmos is being rebooted with Neil deGrasse Tyson taking the reins from his famous predecessor Carl Sagan. The first episode in the new series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” debuts in the United States tonight, March 9 at 9 PM (8 Central) on Fox.

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Many disinfonauts grew up with the original and will want to check out the new series. You might also want to check out a similar PBS special, Journey of the Universe, co-directed by David Kenner, a director of the original Cosmos series.

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On The Horror and Allure of Hannibal Lecter

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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

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Bret Easton Ellis, Rob Zombie Team on Manson Murders Project

Charles-mansonbookingphotoThe author of “American Psycho” writing a Manson Murders TV series directed by Rob Zombie? You can’t make this stuff up. Unless you work for Fox. Variety has the details:

Writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie have teamed with Alcon Television to develop a project for Fox that will revisit the people and events connected to the Manson Family murder spree in August 1969.

The project is envisioned as a limited series, but it is in the very early stages of development with Fox. Ellis is set to write the script and some additional materials. Zombie is on board to direct.

Zombie has long been fascinated by the Manson Family slayings, which left seven people dead in the Los Angeles area. Among the victims were actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time with the child of director Roman Polanski, and prominent Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring.

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Bjork Explains Television

Wondering about the mechanical intricacies of how televisions function? It likely will never be better explained than in this mysterious clip that looks to have been filmed circa-1990, in which everyone's favorite Icelander deconstructs a TV set to reveal what is really occurring inside:
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Are You A Transhuman? Larry King Interviews Futurist FM-2030

Want a glimpse of someone truly born far before their time? Circa 1989, the future-obsessed professor and consultant named FM-2030 (born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary) interviewed by Larry King, with befuddled call-ins from middle Americans. Author of a book titled Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World, FM-2030 told the public that they should be prepared and eager to evolve to "transhumans." However, he emphasized a brand of super-optimistic futurism that was at its core not about technological advancement so much as becoming increasingly "humanity rich" – more open, empathetic, and compassionate. He died in 2000 and is currently cryogenically preserved, awaiting reanimation:
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Mindshift!

mindshiftWe all know that you don’t have to be a broadcaster to make great television anymore – just think of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on Netflix. But have any of you checked out Mindshift yet? It’s a new internet TV series hosted by Daniel Pinchbeck on Gaiam TV. We were lucky enough to be involved in the formative stages where the series was being planned and all the brainstorming has really paid off.

The current episode features Daniel with Alex Grey and Michael Muhammad Knight. Here’s the official show description:

Many religions have used various mind altering substances to connect with a creative mind, far beyond the limits of our five senses. In modern times, the use of these substances has become illegal. However, something is about to change. Daniel Pinchbeck talks with two luminaries to discuss the historical and future role of psychedelics and religion.

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Alien Cult Takes Over British TV Station

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 10.00.48 AMNo, it’s not an episode of V, it was a 1970s real-life hijacking of Southern Television in England by the “alien” Vrillon, as reported by The Kernel:

26 November 1977 was a deeply cold night in England. The regional station Southern Television was just beginning its evening news bulletin and families across South-East England gathered together in their living rooms to watch the news. Children waited impatiently for Looney Tunes, which they knew would be shown directly after the news programme.

As Andrew Gardner read out news of the conflict in Rhodesia, a hissing, shuffling sound drowned out his voice. Suddenly, a booming voice addressed the startled viewers, as the screen still showed the oblivious newsreader reading through the day’s headlines.

This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you.

It was now ten past five in the evening. With the news report still continuing on the screen, the deep, oscillating voice continued with his message.

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The Time An Alien Cult Hacked the BBC

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Totally not Legolas.

The Kernel recalls a particularly strange episode in British broadcasting history: An evening when an “alien” named “Vrillon” took over the airwaves:

Via The Kernel:

As Andrew Gardner read out news of the conflict in Rhodesia, a hissing, shuffling sound drowned out his voice. Suddenly, a booming voice addressed the startled viewers, as the screen still showed the oblivious newsreader reading through the day’s headlines.

This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you.

It was now ten past five in the evening. With the news report still continuing on the screen, the deep, oscillating voice continued with his message.

For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies.

None of the evening staff at Southern Television were aware of the intrusion to their signal. International Broadcasting Authority engineers in Croydon, Surrey did not hear the rogue signal, nor was it detected at the main transmitter site in Southampton.

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Australia’s Television Networks Ban Ad Criticizing Rupert Murdoch

Some things just can't be said on TV. The Age writes:
Australia's commercial TV networks have banned an advertisement that criticises the anti-Labor coverage of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers. Channels Seven and Ten refused to air the ad commissioned by GetUp, while Nine screened it over four days in Brisbane – then cancelled it after blaming a "coding error". GetUp says it will report all three networks to the competition watchdog for alleged "misuse of market power". The group has accused the broadcasters of censorship to avoid displeasing Murdoch and his company, News Corp. It intends to lodge a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, claiming the networks have breached rules by refusing to supply their services.
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