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wrapping up life rewind 2013 with a list of must-reads. a combination of articles, essays, poetry & quotes all worth your time. check them out in the links below.
continuing on with life rewind, here’s a look back at my favorite video posts from 2013. while the clips cover a range of different topics and styles, they share a common capacity for stretching perspectives:
“in 1963, jim whittaker became the first american to climb to mt. everest. 50 years later, he linked up with director eric becker to discuss that experience and what it means to have a life well-lived. for whittaker, part of it is an appreciation for nature and living life on the edge:
“Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn and grow the most.”
after watching the video, think about your own idea of a well-lived life. what are some characteristics that define it for you?”
“arsenio hall returned to late-night tv last month after an almost 20-year hiatus. his first run was in many ways groundbreaking, featuring moments like a soon-to-be president clinton playing the sax and in the video above, arsenio taking on members of the gay rights group queer nation. i just saw the latter for the first time recently. it was an interesting (and welcome) departure from the usual late-night show vibe. it also shows how some aspects of the gay rights convo have changed and while others have remained the same.”
“A short dance film, written and performed by David Bolger (choreographer and artistic director of CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Dublin) along with his 76-year-old mother, Madge Bolger. The film was shot in the Marian College swimming pool, where Madge worked as a swimming instructor for many years and where she taught David to swim.”
“a moment of happiness has the power to bring the world closer together
The “Small World Machines” provided a live communications portal linking strangers in two nations divided by more than just borders, with the hope of provoking happiness and promoting cultural understanding around the world. Coke and Leo Burnett used first-of-its-kind 3D touchscreen technology to project a streaming video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the unit to capture a live emotional exchange. People from both countries and various walks of life were encouraged to complete a friendly task together – wave, touch hands, draw a peace sign or dance – before sharing a Coca-Cola.
while cynics might point out that sharing a coke isn’t the same thing as signing a peace treaty, even a symbolic gesture can have a great impact in changing a person’s outlook. also, the technology behind this is just cool on its own.”
“heineken decided to use a different approach to hire its next intern. in the video above called the candidate, the beer company put applicants through a series of tests not found in a normal interview. while some of these tests might seem weird for the setting (and maybe just weird in general), seeing how the potential employees handle unique situations could show more about their true character & abilities than a prescribed q&a would (not to mention, it might be more exciting/fun for both parties involved).”
“marc-antoine locatelli brings us a beautiful blend of art and technology in his video nuance. the film pairs up dancer lucas boirat with lights of various shapes and sizes. the way boirat & the different lights play off of each other’s movements coupled with locatelli’s sharp use of black-white contrast create a dazzling experience for viewers.”
“here’s a modern take on home building, spiced with ingenuity, persistence & brooklyn. background via science friday:
Michele Bertomen and David Boyle bought an empty 20-by-40-foot lot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They planned to build something traditional, but when the bid for the masonary envelope (the building without plumbing, electricity) came back at over $300,000, they re-evaluated. Inspired by Bertomen’s students at New York Institute of Technology, the couple decided to try building their home from shipping containers–which cost them about $50,000 for the building envelope. Bertomen, an architect, and Boyle, the general contractor, designed and oversaw construction of their home. We stopped by for a tour.“
“We’re all capable of a little more — a little faster, a little higher, a little stronger, a little more. And when we look at all of the little things we’ve done, we’ll see the big things we’re doing.
here’s yet another stellar ad from the folks at nike. this one celebrates the 25th anniversary of their iconic slogan “just do it” by showing what people are capable of when they keep pushing forward. the spot features star athletes including lebron james, serena williams, jon “bones” jones, andre ward &pique. bradley cooper narrates while “future starts slow” by the kills plays in the background.”
“the council of brunete in madrid teamed up with mccann to stop negligent pooper scoopers. the results are priceless”
“director célia rivière blends animation with live action in this excellent spot for chérie 25. the clip matches the buoyancy of elvis’ “spring fever” as it shows different parts of city life. it’s cool. it’s sharp. it’s all kinds of impressive. i only wish that the video was longer.”
“Throughout 2012, Richard Mosse and his collaborators Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost travelled in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence. The resulting installation, The Enclave, is the culmination of Mosse’s attempt to rethink war photography. It is a search for more adequate strategies to represent a forgotten African tragedy in which, according to the International Rescue Committee, at least 5.4 million people have died of war-related causes in eastern Congo since 1998.
The Enclave immerses the viewer in a challenging and sinister world, exploring aesthetics in a situation of profound human suffering. At the heart of the project, as Mosse states, is an attempt to bring “two counter-worlds into collision: art’s potential to represent narratives so painful that they exist beyond language, and photography’s capacity to document specific tragedies and communicate them to the world.”
“one of the happiest times in life is storytime. and not just when you read some maggie brown or maurice sendak to your son/niece/granddaughter, but also when the child comes up with a sprawling tale for you. to get lost in imagination and see things like monkeys having a picnic on the moon is great at any age & on either side of the story.
bianca giaever does an excellent job capturing this feeling in her short film “the scared is scared.” in it, she asks a 6-year old boy what her movie should be about and then brings his response, which includes animals at the pool & some wise beyond his years advice, to life.”
“i never got with the odd future wave. love what frank is doing on the r&b front, but most of what i heard/saw from their rappers (tyler, earl, hodgy, etc.) was mostly wack and/or weird. that said, i’m glad i gave tyler’s new video a shot. his song “ifhy” adds some color to the gray areas of love. visually, it reminds me of the imaginative stuff busta rhymes was doing out in the 90s (see here & here for examples & nostalgia). on both fronts, he does a good job negotiating that subjective line between weirdness and creativity.”
“foundations like make-a-wish do a great job making the dreams of terminally ill youth come true. in the case of nkaitole, a 4-year old boy from kenya, the urgency to accomplish his goals isn’t because of any specific life-threatening disease. instead, it’s due to water.
according to water is life, 20% of children won’t reach the age of 5 in part due to unsafe drinking water. with this in mind, the group helped nkaitole complete his bucket list. it’s cute to see him do things like play soccer at the national stadium & get his first kiss. however, this doesn’t come without a degree of sadness knowing that people’s lives are at risk for something that many of us take for granted every day.
above is a playlist of some of my favorite music from 2013. whether it was lyrics, pacing, production, content, etc., each song had something that kept in heavy rotation throughout the year.
as you listen, click on the pics below for the track list + a 7-words-or-less explanation for why i liked each song.
australian prime minister julia gillard delivers a point-by-point breakdown of opposing party leader tony abbott’s hypocrisy that was public in viewing yet still very intimate in its attack. it’s some of the strongest political ether you’ll ever hear (as the video goes on, you can really see abbott’s soul burn slow). click here for more background on the speech.
“This 19 minute film exposes the lives of 3 undocumented students, living in the US without legal status. Never having touched a camera, the 3 students were gifted with a small handycam and trained for half a day by Lukas Korver and Matt B. Taylor. They were asked to film everyday for 3 months. Through their lens, this is their story.”
former nfl player chris draft lost his wife to lung cancer just five weeks after their wedding. it’s a touching story of love and cherishing every moment with your special someone.
nietzsche and kelly clarkson both said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” their words are personified in 18-year old latipha cross. life has tested this girl from detroit, michigan with some of worst things it has to offer. still, latipha hasn’t quit. instead, she continues to press forward, making the most out of any situation she’s faced. check out her story above as narrated by espn’s jeremy schaap.
director jesse roston mocks some widespread notions of beauty in an ad for a real-life version of adobe’s photoshop. the new cosmetics from “adobé” would let you skip the makeup, injections, surgeries, etc. and still reach the false sense of true beauty that you always wanted. would you use it?
i posted this to celebrate prince rogers nelson’s birthday. performing the beatles’ hit “while my guitar gently weeps” with the likes of tom petty and dhani harrison (george harrison’s son), prince stole the show with a ridiculously good (and just ridiculous) solo that included a guitar toss and a george jefferson strut off the stage. he starts around the 3 min mark but watch the whole clip for the full effect.
in “the hunted and the hated,” director russ tuttle gives viewers a multi-layered look at stop-and-frisk from the perspective of citizens and police officers. even with the statistics and testimonials that you’ll see and hear in the film, maybe the most damning aspect of it is the recorded audio of a police stop and one between two officers.
how do you measure love? for the 1st annual love competition, the stanford center for cognitive and neurobiological imaging skipped words, actions and feelings in favor of a fmri. 7 contestants (a mix of men and women, ages 10-75) were given 5 minutes in the machine to love someone/something as hard as they can. meanwhile, researchers tracked activity along the dopamine, seratonin & oxytocin/vasopressin pathways in their brains, which is believed to be a prime indicator of love. the person with the most activity was the winner. one of the best things about this doc (directed by brent hoff) is hearing the different kinds of love that the contestants were thinking about. if you were competing, what love would you focus on?
celebrating the 40th anniversary of title ix, nike put out a cool commercial supporting young female athletes. it features 4 us olympians: lisa leslie (basketball), diana taurasi (basketball), marlen esparza (boxing) and joan benoit samuelson (marathon). samuelson had one of my quotes in the piece: “i’m 55 years old and i run close to 70 miles a week.” yo.
wasp is an oscar-winning short film written and directed by andrea arnold. centered around a poor british family, it tugs at the threads of your essence in the most subtle way possible.
the wrecking crew orchestra is an 8-man dance group based out of japan. in the video above, they do a tron-inspired set using iluminate technology. their great timing and manipulation of light make it an entertaining show. (aside: listen for the little kid screaming for his mom).
in better-late-than-never news (sorry), here are 12 posts that you can’t go into 2013 without reading (click on the titles to access the full post):
next up…life rewind 2012: videos…christmas eve
in the past, life rewind was about recapping my favorite songs of the year. this time, i’m expanding it to a fuller blog review. more to come in the next few weeks.
in the meantime, we’ll start with my top 12 songs from twenty-twelve (not ranked) with a full playlist at the end. if some of your favorite songs aren’t on the list, let me know what i missed in the comments.
Fun. “We Are Young” f/ Janelle Monáe
first heard this on a super bowl commercial and was hooked ever since.
since we’re about to hit 2011, i wanted to look back at some of the music that wore out my iphone/itunes in twenty-ten. only included songs that dropped this year and i put them in chronological order.
lupe fiasco – i’m beamin
they said my future is dark…see me now?
just look around…i’m beamin’ – wasalu
nas and damian marley – strong will continue
one of the tracks that leaked early from distant relatives. served as a prelude to the great things to come.
usher – there goes my baby
wasn’t feeling raymond v raymond as a whole, but he deserves to win the grammy for this. best r&b track of the year.
erykah badu – window seat
the video and her booty got most of the buzz, but the song is pretty good in its own right.