Tag Archives: film

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, one of the best examples of using social media collectively to change things in the world for the better. Expect a lot of blogs today to encourage you to take action on energy issues and climate change. The event has so far had 8,071 blogs from 143 countries register to take part.

I still think that watching the film Home by the French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand is possibly the best brain kicker to change your behaviour as far as treating the Earth in a better way goes. As the director says, it’s just too late to be a pessimist.

Green Pink Caviar

For some I’m sure a boundary pusher,  Maylin Minter produced a curious video called Green Pink Caviar that can be described as anything from gooey to erotic and sensual.

I was shooting stills of models with long tongues swirling and sucking bakery products from under a pane of glass. I wanted to make enamel paintings along the idea of ‘painting with my tongue’. My makeup artist shot some short videos during the shoot just to see how it would look. The low definition videos looked so good that we made plans to do a professional high definition video. This made sense to me as I have made both billboards and produced a commercial advertising a painting show in 1989.

[Via shape + colour]

Shaun Tan

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Shuan Tan is an outstanding multi-award winning artist and writer from Australia. His works are remarkable for their dream-like surreal character and the sharp style of his illustration. The stories operate on multiple levels of meaning and although they are directed at a variety of ages, I’d say they’re closer to adult fables than to children’s stories. Through the characters in his stories and the symbolism of his drawings, Shaun Tan pursues questions of meaning of life and creates airs of both depression and happiness.

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The Rabbits, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrivalare his major works, but Tan also engages projects dealing with theatre and animation; his most recently published book is Tales from Outer Suburbia. He worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E and is currently directing a short film animation. Drawn has published both a video and a written interview with Tan, which are both worth checking out.

Sweet dreams

I just discovered Kirsten Lepore, a maker of unbelievably charming stop-motion animation, drawn animation and some live-action shorts you can find on her webpage.  Above you’ll find a good intro into Kirsten’s work, a comical conversation about being vegan between two forms of sealife called ‘Craig and Walter’.

‘Sweet Dreams’ is a 10 minute story of a cupcake who dreams of travels and adventure away from home. The video is quite long, but has real charm and a calming dream-like quality.

The final video is the ‘Story from North America’, a song-conversation between a young boy thoubled by a spider under his bed and the boy’s father.

Popuptology

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The past couple of years have brought just about everything that can be popped-up, from hotels and nightclubs to hair salons and spas. A curious re-mix of the pop-up idea is the inflatable movie screen range developed by the Open Air Cinema Humanitarian Program. NGOs and humanitarian agencies have used the technology to both entertain and educate small and large communities across Africa and beyond. One of the largest organisations using the inflatable screens is the FilmAid International.

FilmAid is a Global Implementing Partner of the UNHCR and currently operates in two refugee camps in Kenya, where it assists refugees from  Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its signature “Outdoor Evening Screenings” take place several nights per week and have reached up to 30,000 people in one evening. FilmAid’s “Daytime Screenings” are followed by group discussions enabling a deeper discussion about topics of concern. Topics addressed in these videos include conflict resolution and peace building, health education (e.g., HIV/AIDS, cholera, malaria prevention), landmine awareness, prevention of sexual abuse and gender-based violence among women and girls, repatriation information and more.

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The Open Air Cinema program has also been used by the  Shine Global and Fine Films organisation to screen the Oscar-nominated documentary War/Dance to thousands of refugees living in northern Uganda’s . They are also currently working with the Rwanda Cinema Center to bring films into remote corners of Rwanda.

The power of visual media is demonstrated both through the use of photography in mass media and the making of documentaries about socio-economic and political issues around the world. Apart from their more tangible impact on audiences, visual media such as film have a crucial role in educating societies that largely aren’t literate.

Image courtesy of the Open Air Cinema.