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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.”

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life rewind 2013: videos

01/18/14

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?

a life well lived

07/18/13 2 Comments

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.  via joseph gordon-levitt.

what was your favorite story as a child?  do you think it would make a good live-action film?

the most splendiferous 7 minutes of your day

02/21/13 5 Comments

door-short-film-02122013-160723

last year, ava duvernay became the 1st black american woman to win the best director award at sundance for her film middle of nowhere.  check out her latest work the door, which stars gabrielle union, adepero oduyeemayatzy corinealdi, goapele, & alfre woodard.  background via miu miu:

The Door, by Ava DuVernay, the fifth Miu Miu Women’s Tale, is a celebration of the transformative power of feminine bonds, and a symbolic story of life change.

The symbolic centre of The Door is the front entrance of the protagonist’s home. As she opens it to greet a friend in the powerfully framed opening scenes, she is shrouded in an oblique sadness. “In the film, characters arrive at the door of a friend in need, bringing something of themselves,” explains director DuVernay. “Eventually, we witness our heroine ready to walk through the door on her own. The door in the film represents a pathway to who we are.”

Clothing is also a symbol of renewal, each change of costume charting our heroine’s emergence from a chrysalis of sadness. In the final scenes, she takes off her ring, pulls on long, black leather gloves, and walks, transformed by the emotive power of the clothing, through the door.

“the door” by ava duvernay

02/13/13

heard about this crazy story on cnn the other day (this via the film’s website):

In 2004, Benjaman Kyle woke up outside of a Burger King in Georgia without any clothes, any ID, or any memories. Benjaman was diagnosed with Retrograde Amnesia, also known as the “Hollywood Amnesia”: where you wake up remembering nothing (Think the Bourne Identity, 50 First Dates, etc). Benjaman couldn’t remember who he was, and with no ID, couldn’t find out. The trouble was, authorities couldn’t identify him either. Local and state police tried their hardest, but Benjaman remained a mystery.

check out the documentary above and think about how you might handle his situation (homeless, no family, no memories, etc.).  also, you can find more out about benjaman at this website and try to help him get a social security card here.

BK_DoYouKnowMe01

finding benjaman

12/14/12

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

director patrick boivin makes action flicks featuring his toddlers.  a few years ago, his daughter marguerite starred in an iron man remake.  here, boivin’s son romeo channels his inner bruce lee in dragon baby.  the videos are cool enough on their own, but when the kids grow up, they’ll have the best home movies ever.

check out dragon baby above and see how boivin made it after the jump.

(more…)

dragon baby

11/23/12 2 Comments

we’re not still holding on to the “men shouldn’t cry” thing, right?  seems as archaic as women not being allowed to control their own bodies (ha).  i understand the need for defining some gender roles/traits.  however in doing so, we have to be careful not to step what should be universal human rights.

the man in the short film above never cries but in this case, it’s not because of any cultural stereotypes.  synopsis via director bradley jackson:

Ralph Winston has never cried; not when he was a baby, not when his heart was crushed by his high school sweetheart, not even when he first saw Steven Spielberg’s E.T. So when his father dies, Ralph – age 32 – decides to embark upon a true emotional journey with hopes to shed his first tear before the funeral – and before it’s not too late.

previously: i love you, will smith

the man who never cried

09/12/12

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.  let me know what you think/feel about it.

wasp

08/15/12 2 Comments

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