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


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.


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.



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.


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.

Free love


With recession looming over most of the fun parts of life, Londoners are becoming increasinglycreative in finding ways of  having fun that doesn’t cost much or is plain free. I just found a post at the Londonist showing a one-a-day list of events for the coming week. At London Is Free you will find a comprehensive guide to most of the free fun cultural events going on in our expensive capital. From Short&Sweet film screenings to knitting sessions, pretty much anyone will be able to find something up their alley. Among other establishments offering special entry discounts are the Arcola theatre with their Pay-What-You-Can Tuesday nights and Sadler’s Wells with their £5-£10 Sampled ticket scheme. Free love as such is an increasingly popular way of businesses attracting new clientele and creating better relationships with their existing customers. No more excuses for staying home these days!

Image courtesy of Feministing.

This Is Where We Live

This Is Where We Live is a stop-motion animation for 4th Estate Publishers’ 25th Anniversary. It was produced by Apt Studio and Asylum Films.

I think the animation is quite good, but not mind-blowing. The charm for me isn’t in the visuals, but rather in the story that the video is seeking to convey. It’s always been quite amazing to me how people incessantly fill their lives with stories, whether through books, TV, film, gossip or creating them in their own lives. In real life, stories lead to an easier understanding of events, ourselves and others and the dynamics of just about anything from politics to evolution. We start listening to stories when growing up and continue this consumption through most of our lives. We also create our own stories, whether real or fictional to communicate to others who we are and what our experiences are. Stories are present in all cultures and have been communicators of historical events and religious preaching around the world.

According to Reynolds Price,

A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens–second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day’s events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths.

Like Me, Only Better


Like Me, Only Better is a short film animation by Martin Pickles. The main character is a pencil-drawn Clive, who takes the viewer through various aspects of obsessive compulsive disorders, his experiences with Prozac and the painful architecture of his Catholic upbringing. The animation is a curious combination of entertainment and meaningful insights into things so often ignored in societies.


You can watch the video at Drawn or at Martin Pickles’ homepage. I’m really sorry to be sending to differnt sites to watch the video, but I have struggled and repeatedly failed in trying to upload it to WordPress!