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
The Dark Knight
Tragic events in Colorado notwithstanding, this is the week of the Caped Crusader. And since there's just so much jamming the net on everything from Batsuit debates (with nipples vs. without) to Christopher Nolan's Luddite leanings, I've decided to cull some of the more esoteric pieces and share them with what I can only assume is an extremely discerning crowd:
An article from The Guardian analyzing how Christopher Nolan is really the most politically subversive filmmaker there is and how The Dark Knight series is our Godfather.
A visual history of the Batcave from The Atlantic, going right back to when it was the Bat Barn! The most impressive: Dick Sprang's 1995 lithograph with collected memorabilia over the ages.
Gamma Squad's suggestions for story lines that can be tapped for the next ( and inevitable) Batman trilogy/reboot/pre-sequel.
The standard 46 Things You Didn't Know About the Batman Films, of which there are many variations on almost every site I'm sure.
New York Theme Park
Remember Inception Park? That deceptively simple tribute to Nolan's mind-bending masterpiece that transformed the streets of Buenos Aires into a theme park? If you haven't seen this viral video yet, please do yourself a favor and check it out toot sweet. And now the creator - Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films - is back. But this time he's decided to theme-parkify an even more iconic city: New York! This is how visual effects should be used. And all without blowing up a single car.
Subvertising by Brandalism
Subvertising: the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements (courtesy: Wikipedia). I did not know this word. But now, thanks to the Brandalism project and their 5-day campaign in the UK, it's a word that I am happy to be familiar with and fully support. The campaign involved over 25 guerrilla artists putting up their works all over the country as a way of reclaiming the visual landscape that's been wallpapered by advertising. Case in point: take a drive down the Western Express Highway in Bombay any day. And now, on to the 2nd word of the day: portmanteau.
Photoshop is one of those brand names that have become a part of the English language, like Xerox. Unfortunately, the context in which it's used is usually negative, often resulting in ad campaigns decrying its use. Which is why when somebody uses the software to give celebrities 'Make-Unders' so that they look like ordinary (and fairly unglamorous) people, it's really funny. Disclaimer: all women that have a tendency to swoon halfway through someone saying 'Johnny Depp', you may want to steer clear of this one.
Vertical Video Syndrome
Another favorite rant: the proliferation of amateur 'filmmakers' thanks to the multi-megapixel and very ubiquitous cellphones. True filmmakers don't need iPhones (please refer to Nolan post above). And the biggest reason for passing a law banning people from attempting to become the next living-room Coppolas: Vertical Video Syndrome. A.T. Faust from AppAdvice has created this video to warn us of this virulent plague that is infesting the world. Pay heed.
198 Minutes Of Terror
As a race, we're fairly blasé now about people picking up guns and going on killing sprees every other month. And that sentence speaks volumes about why we deserve to have another large asteroid crash right into us and bring the dinosaurs back again. But GQ's chilling recounting of the 2011 Anders Behring shooting in Norway managed to jolt me out of my indifference. This blow-by-blow account of the deadliest attack on Norwegian soil since WW2 is not light reading. But must be read.
An excellent award-winning short film from Swiss directors Ramon & Pedro that is not just a seamless VFX piece but also a poignant elegy on mortality and life. At least that's what sounded good in my head right now. Either way, it's definitely worth a watch. And don't forget to check out how they made it in the second video too.
Apple is a brand presence in so many ways that I've lost count (yes, I'm a fanboy). Not least of which is the signature style that pervades their ads, much like their products: simplicity. I don't think the seamless white background has ever been used as effectively as it is in all Apple product launches and quite a few of their print ads. And this new blog extrapolates that idea to all advertising with some interesting and some funny results.
The Best Headphones Money Can Buy
This is fairly self-explanatory. Audiophiles, knock yourselves out. The only prerequisite: bucket loads of cash. Just to give you an example: the cheapest pair of cans on the list will set you back by a cool USD 699, which is roughly INR 38,500. Definitely NOT available at your local Croma.
The Lion King Blooper Reel
And to wrap it up, the blooper reel that the good people at Disney decided to animate and release with the recent 3D version of the movie. James Earl Jones cracks me up every time.
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