In this weekly column, filmmaker Danish Aslam will be your purveyor of the finest quality random facts, useless trivia and other esoterica from the world wide web. He lives mostly behind a keyboard and may or may not be a wizened old green man who speaks in grammatically incorrect aphorisms. You can find more on his home page http://pictually.me/dontpanic
Before we start this week's blog, there's one small comment I would like to make about the biggest argument for a Luddite revival since the invention of reality TV: have any of you actually seen this 'Innocence of Muslims' trailer that's causing warships to be deployed to the Middle East? Apart from the obviously colossal stupidity involved in making this in the first place, I take great offence at the designation of this thing as a 'film'. I think my sentiments are best encapsulated by Joe Neumaier from the Daily News: "Even if you believe that art can be blasphemous, you’d have to consider this thing art first. And that is impossible to imagine." Seriously guys, even for a soft-core porn director, this has to be a new career low. Anyway, enough said.
Life Under A Fatwa
But in keeping with the religious persecution theme, here's an excellent piece by The New Yorker written by Salman Rushdie in an interesting third-person narrative describing the genesis of The Satanic Verses and how being the recipient of a fatwa can seriously crimp your social life. There's a little bit about the history of Islam and what the real 'Satanic Verses' were that was quite a revelation for me.
Superhuman Reflexes That Saved Lives
One of the reasons why YouTube should be allowed to live, on the other hand, is because of videos like these. Cracked has compiled five videos of superhuman reflexes that saved lives. The title pretty much says it all and the videos are quite the watch. And it's much better than wasting time on some of the other shit that's allowed to be beamed to the world.
The Wonderful World Of The Wachowskis
The New Yorker seems to be on a roll this week. So this one is a profile of one of the most enigmatic duos in film today, the Wachowski (formerly brothers) siblings. Focusing on the shoot of their latest, and very ambitious project - the screen adaptation of Cloud Atlas - this article traces their life from an early childhood spent watching unto triple features with their parents right through the phenomenon known as The Matrix and includes the story of Larry's transformation into Lana. Even if you're not a fan, this is still a story worth reading.
Arrested Development Is Back!
American TV shows can be quite awesome, but every once in a while the networks reinforce our belief that globally, corporates in a creative field are the spawn of Satan by cancelling a show that is almost universally acknowledged as brilliant (*cough* Studio 60 *cough*). But thankfully Mitch Hurwitz, the fine gentleman behind Arrested Development, has managed to fight back. After six long years, the new season and the movie are both underway and one of the funniest comedies on TV is going to be back! Now, this may be slightly niche, but Splitsider has a great piece on 53 Arrested Development jokes you probably missed, which seems to me the perfect way to recap and celebrate the victory of good over sheer stupidity.
Literary Wall Art
I love good wall art. And if you add some smart one-liners from the greatest literary giants in the world mixed with inventive graphical interpretations, you've got posters which would look great in any living room in the world. That, and they make you look smart. Evan Robertson from New York gets my vote. Check them out.
Yet Another Google Glass Post
Yet another Google Glass plug. And no, they're not paying me. I wish they were. Diane von Furstenberg, a designer at the New York Fashion Week, decided to outfit the models with Google Glasses in order to capture a fashion show from a perspective never seen before, resulting in this video. Models-eye-view can be fun too!
How To Be A TV Fan
And finally, a little bit of fun courtesy of pleated-jeans.com about the traits that one needs to adopt in order to be classified as a real TV fan. "You've never seen Breaking Bad?" is one that I can say I've witnessed (and been guilty of) on more occasions than I care to remember.
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