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If you ain’t using all the talents God provided you with/ For the betterment of man, understand you ain’t nothing but a waste

talib kweli’s “state of grace” is hip hop at its most beautiful.  the song offers a blend of social commentary & storytelling over a smooth beat.  colorful visuals by dreambear complement the lyrics but also stand out in their own right.  check it out and let me know what you think.  also, to hear more from talib’s latest album gravitasclick here to get it direct from the man himself.

related: talib kweli on religion

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talib kweli “state of grace” f/ abby dobson

05/04/14

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:

a life well lived

“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 responds to gay rights activists

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.”

deep end dance

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.”

happiness without borders

a moment of happiness has the power to bring the world closer together

putting the words above in action, coca-cola placed their ”small world machine” in new delhi, india and lahore, pakistan, hoping to improve relations between the two nations. via coke:

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.”

is this the best or worst job interview ever?

“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).”

let the light be your dance partner

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.”

living inside the box

“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.

possibilities

“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 jamesserena williamsjon “bones” jonesandre ward &pique.  bradley cooper narrates while “future starts slow” by the kills plays in the background.”

special delivery for dog owners

“the council of brunete in madrid teamed up with mccann to stop negligent pooper scoopers.  the results are priceless”

spring fever

“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.”

the impossible image

“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.”

the most splendiferous 7 minutes of your day

“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.”

tyler, the creator “ifhy” f/ pharrell

“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.”

watch a 4-year old complete his bucket list

“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.

you can watch some of nkaitole’s journey in the video above (via corinne bailey rae).  if so moved, click here to donate to water is life.”

life rewind 2013: videos

01/18/14

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.

spring fever

04/24/13 1 Comment

“I’m playing these records. The phone rings and I pick it up: ‘WAHR’. And this lady’s voice–I can still hear her voice–she goes: ‘I want you.'” 

in an interview with esquire mag, larry king shares a funny tale of seduction from his time working late-night radio in miami.  unearthed and animated by the multimedia nonprofit blank on blank (click for the transcript).

related: muhammad ali goes to mars: the lost interview

larry king on getting seduced

04/20/13

this year’s sundance film festival comes to a close today.  if you weren’t able to make it out to park city, utah, you can still see some of the shorts from the event online, thanks to a collabo between sundance & youtube.  i included a few of my favorites below (you can check out the rest here).  let me know what you think:

CATNIP: EGRESS TO OBLIVION?

MARCEL, KING OF TERVUREN

MOVIES MADE FROM HOME #6

THE ROPER

WHAT DO WE HAVE IN OUR POCKETS?

watch short films from 2013 sundance film festival

01/27/13

via open culture:

It happened 40 years ago. A 14-year-old Beatles fan named Jerry Levitan managed to sneak into John Lennon’s Toronto hotel room and asked for an interview. And he got one. Now, there’s a short animated film that brings that encounter back to life. I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short. You’ll know why when you watch it.

respect the youngster for his initiative, lennon for being cool enough to grant the interview and the animators for letting us see the words in action.

lennon

i met the walrus

12/06/12 1 Comment

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