‘Wanderers’ – by Erik Wernquist

 

While all the hype about Interstellar and that-film-where-Matthew-McConaughey-is-soaked-into-black-hole thing is dwindling, Swedish artist Erik Wernquist is now making his own space epic, supported by photographs taken by NASA spacecraft traveling across the solar system, ranging from Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, to their revolving moons. Utilizing the images and his own realist concept, supported by scientific theories, Wernquist devised spaceships, human explorers, colonies, as well as human settlement in asteroids, something by which we could expect to observe by the end of this century.

Too poor it lasts for less than 4 minutes. Still, it’s a wholly breathtaking 4-minute moment you will regret not seeing ‘Wanderers’. If it were to last three hours, it could have been ‘Interstellar 2’, or any title else.

Christopher Nolan, you’ve got a rival I should say!

 

Don’t forget to visit Wernquist’s gallery and take a look at all the pictures taken by NASA spacecraft (together with his lengthy, detailed explanation for each).

La Detente – a short animation

 

In a Baz Luhrmann typical story, the opening always commences with a happy-go-merry atmosphere. Couples in love, people around infatuated enough to give support, and life seems as though things were destined to be -needless to say – ‘happier and merrier’ each day. Then things start to not work out well. And it ends with either tragedy, or devastation.

Okay, Baz Luhrmann is an overstatement, or even an imprecise comparison, but looking at this award-winning short film by Pierre Ducos and Francois Bey, which has been well-prepared for over 4 years, and released on the centenary commemoration of World War I, this is surely going beyond the way of that Australian filmmaker, and of course, with more intensity.

It all starts with ‘imagine’. When the world is on its nadir, and desperation looms elsewhere, particularly amid a battlefield, a soldier, whoever he or she is, will eventually find his or her own inner child again. Imagine, a world where humans don’t need to fight a bloody, merciless war. Imagine, a world where only plastic toys go to war, and humans look at the amusement of this scene. Imagine, a world where plastic toys fight not with sharp objects, but with candies and lollipops. It all comes with ‘imagine’, and when reality penetrates like a shockwave, it’s ready to haunt you for a lifetime.

It’s both entertaining (well, plastic toy animation shooting lollipops and candies, isn’t that funny?), but also scary in the end (spoiler alert: some ‘graphic’ sceneries, intense music, and violence).

“Enter Pyongyang”, by JT Singh

 

When it comes to North Korea, our minds never cease associate this isolationist, hermit-state with mostly negative terms. Dictatorship, totalitarian rule, no free Internet, famine, underfed people, state-controlled daily life, and all these things, what have you, will make you feel as though the only thing North Koreans could survive, day by day, were mere inhaling and exhaling. We often think of a Stygian vision, a panopticon-like perspective about this mysterious country we actually haven’t known the bulk out of it.

All these things do still exist, sadly, even in 21st century. Life seems gloomy, and only slightly better in the capital, Pyongyang (whose best hospitals even rely on electric generators to avoid blackouts and suffer from chronic lack of medical devices).

But JT Singh, a professional brand marketer, offers a reversed glimpse of what life seems to be in the capital. Okay, we should forgive ourselves for overlooking the other 90% of North Korea’s population who lives beyond the metropolis (and they certainly fare much worse than their Pyongyang counterparts with famine and all kinds of undernourishment), but thanks to his hard work, his immense creativity, and his deep passion in recording the heartbeats of this city, Pyongyang is actually, despite all its current hardships, more colorful than we now perceive.

If Kim Jong Un were wise enough (and could think rationally like Deng Xiaoping), he should have asked Singh, well-known for his city-branding expertise in numerous major cities across the globe, to promote North Korea, endowed with rich natural resources (but still abysmal human rights record, one we should slightly compromise), as an investment destination. Get real about it.

Food porn, on a literal sense (should it be NSFW?)

 

You assume that tag you always expect from Instagram users? Not necessarily true on the beginning, but let’s just see how San Francisco-based The Bold Italic – the mastermind behind this supposedly un-NSFW idea – creates two possible kinds of porn here: literal porn involving fruits, vegetables, and sauces, and the other one, that Instagram one where you can upgrade it, if you like, into ‘foodgasm’.

Watch it, and think again.

In Havana

 

When it comes to Cuba, what that comes in the mind of most people are no more than ‘Castro’, ‘Guantanamo’, ‘one of the world’s last socialist, and backward, states’, ‘Bay of Pig crisis’, and simply ‘immigrants who ended up moving to Florida’.

It is true the country still lives under the shadows of socialist regime, having hinged on a derelict Soviet-style system that no longer works in most parts of the world. Some reforms took place, but they didn’t completely transform the lives of Cuban people. It is growing slow, with all its outdated paraphernalia, leaving an impression as though the country were slowly left to die.

But it’s not a completely sad-ending story, somehow. As Ezaram Vambe recorded, through slow-motion pictures and time lapses across Havana, the capital, he sought to break our common misconceptions about how we should perceive the city, the people, and overall, the entire nation. It may be backwards, as you see from derelict buildings, but one thing you can hardly miss, in the end, is the people, their attitude, and their restless energy in making their lives advance forward.

May that spirit endure.

A Tribute to Discomfort

 

Dropping out of school, and living the life of the homeless, the young Cory Richards had never expected what he would become in the future. Nonetheless, in a twist of fates, and through gradual transformation in phases of life experiences, he gained a new school to learn better, take and tackle challenges, and even grab control of his own destiny; the school later he called it ‘the world’. The world outside there, with numerous natural features and its particular challenges, ranging from the tallest mountains, avalanches, oceans, peoples, faces, all of which taught him different stories and lessons, and all of which would reshape and enlighten his life forever.

Now, the new Cory Richards is born: no longer lingering in the cycles of desperation, he is now a well-dedicated National Geographic photographer and explorer, all the time committed to bringing us, and the whole world, a new perspective on life, and how it should be well-lived while we are still here.

Here’s the video, and this is where we should pay our tribute to all the breakthroughs and horizon-expanding experiences he had gained, with struggle, with blood, and with tears. Enjoy.

“Left”, by Eamonn O’Neill

 

A brilliant Irish animation about friendship, conflict, teenage life, and different paths of life that eventually separate lives that were one close – with one going upwards, and the other spiraling downwards.

Hope this short film bring us to reflect back our lives, and how unexpected occurrences can alter the direction of each of our lives forever.

Jakarta, a new perspective

 

Jakarta now emerges not only as Indonesia’s largest city, but also one of the world’s fastest growing megacities, now containing a population approximately 10 million strong in an area barely larger than Singapore (the latter by which has ‘merely’ 5.4 million). As the epicenter of the emerging market, with strong economic boom and vibrant dynamism, this metropolis is currently being faced with numerous challenges, ranging from yearly flooding seasons, en masse traffic breakdown in nearly all important highways stretching across the city, overpopulation, and a lackadaisical of sanitary and hygiene management, the main cause of many infectious, but easily curable, diseases. Worse, it is now being faced with threats resulting from global warming, with its surface level gradually decreasing, placing more areas around the capital at higher stakes.

Nevertheless, last year, Jakarta’s authorities, led by Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, had eventually stricken a massive long-term joint investment deal with Dutch government, and some of the country’s major corporations, in order to build a series of megaprojects intended to support its so-called ‘Coastal Defense Strategy’, ranging from giant sea walls, new bridges and highways, and lastly, a wholly new planned city intended to house hundred thousands of people. These series of massive-scale public work projects are expected to significantly reduce the problems the capital is being faced at this moment.

Okay, despite Indonesia’s reputation as one of the world’s highly corrupt countries, let us put some assurance, at least, that this program will be implemented with complete transparency and public accountability.

Watch it, and support it in a new perspective.

Why Hong Kong never sleeps

July 2011

 

 

Before you watch the time-lapse videos below, let me ask you one question: do you thoroughly realize the ultimate hustle and bustle that never ceases preoccupying this city? Either you see it from its light-coruscated skyline, its seemingly endless flow of passers-by, vehicles, buses, and trucks going back and forth, or the slam-bang noises you hear in almost any restaurant, or even simply moving boats, ships, and passenger jets, this is undeniably true of the real spirit of Hong Kong.

Whatever people have said that situation in Hong Kong is generally deteriorating after its handover to China in 1997, or whatever they quoth that the British administration did much better, the Hong Kong spirit is still maintained to this date. But, in the long run, though, nobody can lucidly predict the long-term future afterwards.

Whatever the discomfiture, soothe down your mind awhile and watch the videos below!

 

 

The most recent one:

 

The sound of ‘Gravity’

gravity-movie-poster

 

 

They say this film is gonna bring everyone else completely mad and totally disconnected from reality, nah? (Hint: do not trust what the Onion’s film critic says in the video shown below).

Meanwhile, Alfonso Cuarón, the mastermind behind the zero-gravity dark-space thriller, explains in full details about the secret recipes that makes Gravity so deeply intense and – not completely insane – completely heart-stopping.

Anybody unbeknownst about this film can check the excerpt here:

Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”) star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed by Oscar® nominee Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”).

Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) in command. But on a seemingly routine mission, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left.

But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

 

 

And watch how The Onion’s film critic, Peter K. Rosenthal (he’s fictitious, for sure!), having been utterly depressed and critically insane, reviews this: