MoMA’s upcoming Doco Fortnight 2015

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MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight: International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media is coming up, February 13-27 2015.

A plethora of films will be screening that encompass twenty-one feature films and seven short films! Additionally there will be performance pieces and an installation. One fantastic element is that a lot of the directors will be around for post-film discussions!
The opening night will feature the new film by Stanley Nelson The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. (Still from film shown above). Richly researched, director Nelson draws on all spectrums- from FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and so forth to get a solid detailed historical chronicle.

Tomorrow Is Always Too Long also looks like a ripper. Partially because it is directed by Phil Collins and also because it’s a hybrid of many cinematic elements; documentary, musical, animation, and television. Essentially the film is about Glaswegians navigating “the intersection of public institutions, the digital age, and ordinary life.” Sounds compelling.

Full list of all the interesting films being screened can be viewed here.

Art forecasting Climate Change

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Some of us may have faint imaginings as to what our future world will look like once the more deep set effects of climate change settle in. To many of us however, the consequences of climate change are yet to pummel our severity radar, as visually we are not necessarily seeing drastic effects in everyday life.

Indeed the Earth is set to warm another 2 to 11.5°F this century and artist Evgeny Kazantsev has taken matters under his own artistic wing, to illustrate how some cities and other landmark locations may appear in conditions obscenely regurgitated by the effects of climate change. His surrealist images offer glimpses into alpine regions devoid of snow, a dry Venice canal, boats littering its floor like a cemetery, tourist hotspots obstructed by a dust storms and so forth.

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Kazantsev’s works provide an alternative platform to engage audiences to the realities of what the not too distant future could look like in a truly evocative fashion!

Hand models have their head revealed!

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Have you always wondered what the head is like, behind the hand model? Well the M.G.T Studio has created a book that features head shots of hand models who are some of the elite hired hands of London; members of the Hired Hands Agency.  Their head shots are showcased in the spreads of this book.

Hand models you’d be surprised, have to maintain as much upkeep as runway models. A model Nina, quoted in this article “moisturizes her hands about 30 times a day.” Presumably that would mean a whole bottle of moisturizer per day. And rightly so– hands belonging to hand models are so precious that they are often insured. So there we have it, hand modeling enlightenment.

 

Sundance: Filmmaking Revolution

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Out yonder in Park City, Utah, the Sundance Film Festival is currently taking place.

Plenty of diverse films, animations, shorts and so forth have landed on the screens for anticipating audiences. Making a huge snowy imprint in filmmaking at the festival is the strong presence of perhaps the industry’s future: VR Filmmaking – (Virtual Reality Filmmaking for those of us not yet familiar with shorthand version!).

Chris Milk, a main innovator of VR filmmaking says “we are always seeing moving picture stories through screens, but it’s always through a rectangle- television set/computer screen and so on. However with VR filmmaking, it pierces through this experience, tricking the brain into believing what you’re seeing is truth.” He feels that VR filmmaking can have even a greater emotional response, which is a fundamental a storyteller often strives for.

Journalistic VR filmmaking is one avenue this medium can be used for, allowing the viewer to essentially experience what it’s like to be in the middle of Syria for example, when a bomb suddenly goes off. Or being in the middle of a refugee camp. In other words VR filmmaking could have some amazing benefits for a generation that is growing up less engaged with newspapers and current affairs, to connect with these issues.

Oh smokes, there really is a plethora of unravelling futuristic developments happening right here, right now!

Sundance VR Revolution

Sweet vid on the experiences of VR Filmmaking

Teacher

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A grad student at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Saurabh Datta has created a compelling research design project; a machine that teaches you to draw, endeavoring to understand the experiences of ownership and control when utilizing such technology.

 

The research delves into the idea that by using a force feedback system, muscle memory can be strengthened, enabling skills such as drawing or playing a musical instrument to be consolidated. The machine is suitably named Teacher and is according to Datta “…a simple machine that is embodied with us, learning from us and then teaching us what we intend to learn with technology as aid.

 

Machines such as Teacher raise a sprawling web of questions/issues of philosophy and technology. With time, these types of machines will only become more sophisticated. How will things such as art; drawings, paintings and so forth be affected and shaped? Will these kinds of machines create superhuman artists, or perhaps create works that are less unique, as possibly all humans may be able to acquire the same skill level. By the same token, such machines can provide many benefits, like aiding those who have lost motor skill function from illness or accidents.

 

The presentation of the entire research project can be viewed here. Some compelling stuff!