Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

John Oliver’s weekly tv show is great. The news stor­ies Oliver and his team cover are per­tin­ent and incis­ive and are por­trayed with a great blend of humour. Also, the visual iden­tity of the show is taste­ful and eleg­ant (nice typo­graphy choices). And I love the “And now… this” phrase for the title of one of the shows’s section.

HBO has a YouTube chan­nel of the show with some of the best stor­ies and some web exclus­ives.  I recom­mend watch­ing FIFA and the World Cup (a clas­sic by now, I’m sure) and last night’s Native Advertising (in the News busi­nesss). There are many more inter­est­ing ones.

Posted in comedy, Curious stuff, media, motion design, press, tv, Typography, video, World | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Understanding Minecraft

Minecraft as a phe­nomenon is a bit of a mys­tery for me. Not just for me. Robin Sloan’s art­icle sheds some light on the secret world of Minecraft:

It’s almost inev­it­able: I encounter Minecraft some­where online—it’s easy to do, because there’s a lot of Minecraft out there—and I end up con­vinced I’m doing the wrong thing with my life.

”Game” doesn’t even do it justice. What we’re really talk­ing about here is a gen­er­at­ive, net­worked sys­tem laced through­out with secrets.

It is amaz­ing how the Minecraft uni­verse (I think “world” is a bit too short a word to describe it) has expan­ded and how it motiv­ates the mind of chil­dren and some grown-ups alike in a cre­at­ive and col­lab­or­at­ive way.
My 6-year-old nephew is crazy about it since he was 4.
It is a phenomenon.

Posted in blog coverage, Curious stuff, game design, games, iOS games, media, software, World, YouTUbe | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Andy Warhol’s Computer Art

Andy and an Amiga 1000 in video. Humorous, digital archae­ology. 

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24 Hours of Happy


Interactive 24 hour music video (the first in the world) for Pharrell Williams’ Happy ().

The high-spirited catchy song Pharrell cre­ated for the “Despicable Me 2″ movie is also avail­able on a shorter, more tra­di­tional, ver­sion ().  Cameo appear­ances from Magic Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Odd Future and Steve Carell.

« Clap along if you feel like hap­pi­ness is the truth. »

Posted in animation, film, interactive, media, music, music video, Uncategorized, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Like a Rolling Stone


Bob Dylan’s 48-year-old clas­sic on a new music video craf­ted as an inter­act­ive multi-channel tele­vi­sion 

From a Rolling Stone art­icle, by Gavin Edwards:

While many of the chan­nels are peopled by act­ors, the lineup is peppered with numer­ous celebrity per­formers such as comedian Marc Maron, rap­per Danny Brown, the hosts of Pawn Stars, and Drew Carey (on the set of The Price Is Right). The over­all effect is head-spinning but incred­ibly com­pel­ling: the more you surf through the “Like a Rolling Stone” video, the more the song’s con­tempt seems to be addressed to all of west­ern civil­iz­a­tion. By the time you land on a vin­tage live per­form­ance of the actual Bob Dylan, he feels like the only real per­son in existence.

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Kennedy and Oswald

RendezVous with Death - Kennedy And Oswald

The National Geographic Channel cre­ated an inter­act­ive one-page web exper­i­ence for the movie “Killing Kennedy”, based on the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

The inter­act­ive long webpage titled “Rendezvous with Death” tells the story of Kennedy and Oswald side-by-side. A nicely craf­ted doc­u­ment with a very rich present­a­tion full of html 5 anim­a­tions, soundtrack and videos. It play as its own form of film trailer and works as a par­al­lel layer provid­ing info on the sub­ject. You’ll find it here.

Posted in design, film, HTML5, interface design, media, motion design, trailer/teaser, tv, video, Web tech, webdesign | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Reading is Pleasure

Hysterical Literature - Session One: Stoya

Stoya reads an excerpt from “Necrophilia Variations” by Supervert. A poetic struggle of focus, full of intens­ity, between con­cen­tra­tion and let­ting go. The end res­ult: a beau­ti­ful smile.

(You’ll want to be on head­phones for this one. And full screen.)


This video is part of Hysterical Literature:

a video art series by NYC-based pho­to­grapher and film­maker Clayton Cubitt. It explores fem­in­ism, mind/body dual­ism, dis­trac­tion por­trait­ure, and the con­trast between cul­ture and sexu­al­ity. (It’s also just really fun to watch.)

This Cubitt’s film is some sort of divine per­form­ance that embraces writ­ing as an art form and the act of read­ing as an obsess­ive gen­er­ator of more art.

I share many Supervert’s thoughts on Stoya’s Session. It is worth read­ing. A few excerpts:

«(…) Cubitt chan­nels that there-but-not-there sexu­al­ity into the things which he does per­mit you to per­ceive: the cres­cendo of sen­sa­tion build­ing on Stoya’s face; the move­ment of her hands, which are imbued with an erot­i­cism they would be denied if the frame included the divert­ing sight of gen­italia; the trans­form­a­tion of her voice, which begins in nar­ra­tion and ends in gasping.»

«(…) what is hap­pen­ing to her body deprives the book of its abil­ity to deliver whatever answers it may have. The words are reduced to emotive groans and, when Stoya’s face lights up, it is an indic­a­tion that her mind has gone dark.»

«(…) Cubitt’s aes­thetic and Stoya’s per­form­ance are what make “Hysterical Literature” stand on its own as video art, but what thrills the silent part­ner in the mén­age is to see how their exper­i­ment extends the spirit of the book. They take an impulse from the text, trans­late it into another medium, and beam it into the world anew. Bravo.»

Stoya’s thoughts on the exper­i­ence here.

Stoya’s is Session One. Watch more ses­sions here.

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YouTube Music Awards

I don’t know who came up with the idea for “live music videos” or “live short film”, but YouTube bet on it and  it is quite a match. Merging the work of music/film pro­fes­sion­als and the concept of “real­ity videos” (that are the bread and but­ter of  the inter­net giant) makes per­fect sense for a live YouTube music show.

It works quite well in the Spike Jonze live-directed Arcade Fire per­form­ance of “Afterlife” with act­ress Greta Gerwig dan­cing her socks off.

The Avicii per­form­ance got the Lena Dunham’s treat­ment with her comedic live short film played by an ensemble cast (Dree Hemingway, Nick Lashaway, Michael Shannon, Jason Schwartzman, Vanessa Hudgens, Joel Marsh Garland) and dir­ec­ted by Spike Jonze & Chris Milk.

There’s some­thing dif­fer­ent in these “live videos” that bring some fresh­ness to the live music awards scene. Other per­form­ances, like Eminem’s or Lady Gaga’s, while less star-filled also got their unique approach with dif­fer­ent chro­matic styles and film look (dir­ec­ted by live show dir­ector John Gonzalez). An inter­est­ing start, YouTube.

Posted in event, film, media, music, music video, video, YouTUbe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

The Grandmaster, Trailer

New trailer for The Grandmaster, Wong Kar Wai’s latest film. The fea­ture, presen­ted by Martin Scorsese, is inspired by the life of the legendary kung fu mas­ter, Ip Man, teacher of Bruce Lee. Rooted in the repub­lican era that fol­lowed the fall of China’s last dyn­asty, seems like an inter­est­ing and tumul­tu­ous time for an inter­est­ing story in the golden age of Chinese mar­tial arts.

Tony Leung  por­trays the main char­ac­ter. Everytime I see the name of Leung writ­ten, it always comes to mind his char­ac­ter in Kar Wai’s “In the Mood for Love” (2000) with cigar­ette in mouth and his own “cool” tempo, just like the film he was in.  I guess, in The Grandmaster, cool Tony just gets more badass.

More trail­ers of the film, here.

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WWDC 2013 Tea Leaves

For the past months, the inter­net played the rumor/guessing game on Apple’s next moves. Today some will be revealed dur­ing the WWDC 2013 Keynote. Last year’s man­age­ment changes put Jonathan Ive in charge of human inter­face design for iOS and (Mac) OS X, as well as being at the helm of the company’s indus­trial design. This move couldn’t help but bring great spec­u­la­tion of what iOS and other products could look and feel like. Rumors grown around the notion of a “flat” UI design for the next iter­a­tion of iOS, depart­ing from the pre­vi­ous look. Poor dis­cus­sions ensued redu­cing the con­ver­sa­tion to the “flat­ness” and “style” of the iOS, oblivi­at­ing the import­ance of the exper­i­ence as a whole.

Apple has proved sev­eral times that it under­stands design as the means for the all-encompassing fine exper­i­ence of a product. So, in that regard, the col­ours, the depth, the fluid­ity, the way the app ele­ments work as we inter­act with it, are all inter­linked units con­cur­ring for the optimal exper­i­ence. When you releg­ate the con­ver­sa­tion to “style” as an empty shell covered with new excit­ing graph­ics, you’re miss­ing the point. So, later today, instead of hop­ing to see the holy grail of visual design (which is a chi­mera in itself), I’d like to see (and later in the year, exper­i­ence) a well fun­da­men­ted and imple­men­ted work rooted in thought­ful human inter­face strategy.

Now for play­ing the tea leaves game for a bit (take it with a grain of salt). One can’t read too much in it or any for that mat­ter, although Apple has placed a few hints on what’s to come in pre­vi­ous event invit­a­tions. Considering Apple’s WWDC 2013 invit­a­tion graph­ics as well as the bill­boards Apple put-up in Moscone West, one could say there’s a good chance of Helevtica Neue Ultra Light being in iOS 7 (OS X, too?). But as import­ant seems the idea of col­our or, bet­ter put, the idea of “con­tam­in­a­tion” of col­ours as being a core visual cen­ter of the new iOS interface.




Posted in Apple, design, interface design, iOS, Mac OS X, Media Event, Typography, WWDC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed