May 2015

About time.



Dead Kennedys


Rare vintage photograph of an onna-bugeisha, one of the female warriors of the upper social classes in feudal Japan.


It doesn´t get cooler.

Sky has commissioned a second series of crime thriller Fortitude. Writer Simon Donald and executive producers Patrick Spence and Frith Tiplady, will return for a new 10-part series on Sky Atlantic. The current series, which airs its 11th and final episode on Thursday night, stars Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston and Call the Midwife’s Jessica Raine. None of the cast for the second series have been announced ahead of the final episode, but Sky head of drama Anne Mensah, who is also an executive producer on the show, said she expects those who make it to the end of the series alive to return. “Simon is head down writing and we won’t shoot for a while,” she said. “We love the cast, particularly the ones that survive.”

Fortitude cost Sky £25m and is produced by Tiger Aspect and Fifty Fathoms. The series premiere was watched by 2.7 million within seven days of airing and averaged out at 1.7 million per episode. Sky said half of Fortitude’s viewers were watching Sky Atlantic for the first time. Sky Atlantic channel director Zia Bennett said: “Simon Donald created a unique and unsettling story which, week after week, has captivated our customers. I am absolutely delighted that we will be bringing Fortitude back next year with a story that promises to engage, challenge and enthral us all over again.” Fortitude premiered simultaneously across the five markets in which Sky operates: Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland. Sky said Fortitude was also the most successful show for its Sky Vision distribution arm, selling to more than 100 broadcasters including ABC Australia, Superchannel in Canada and Canal+ in France. Mensah said the success of the big-budget shows around the world with other broadcasters helped justify the outlay. “By making things that are really quality, and feel original in the marketplace, it means there’s a reinvestment back into Sky,” she said. In 2011, Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said he wanted Sky to spend £600m on original British content by 2014, a target the company has met. (via The Guardian)


Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong have joined forces with Pizza Hut Hong Kong to launch a product innovation campaign, ‘Pizza Hut Blockbuster Box’. targeted at bringing in consumers of the young Hong Kong crowd, the project brings together pizza and movies. Seems like a pretty fail-safe marketing plan, and so far its proven to be so. The test, which released the boxes on april 17th of this year, has been successful enough to warrant Pizza Hut to release the concept in other locations. The design introduces two components with four illustrated graphics. First, is a perforated circle located in the front of the box. second, is a plastic lens that’s placed in a void on the mini-support that’s put in the center of the pizza. when the goods arrive at home, simply pop out the hole, push in the friction-fit lens, and use your phone to scan a code and queue up a flick from Pizza Hut’s selection. (via DesignBoom)

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Hawaii-native Sean Yoro, aka Hula, traditionally worked with paint on wood panels, until the day he combined his surfboarding skills and creative character, and took to the seas in search of street art-style canvasses. Instead of applying his paint to walls and surfaces in urban environments, hula made his way to abandoned spaces and untouched building façades only accessible by water. Carefully carrying cans of colored paint on the edge of his board, the now new york-based artist sources seaside locations in the creation of his most recent series of female portraits, half submerged in the surrounding water.

The series of artworks comprises four female portraits, each painted with a distinct hyper-realism. While their faces are painted on the wall, their bodies ‘hide’ under the water’s edge — the perfect placement for them to appear as if they are serenely floating in the surrounding abyss. The pool of water below reflects a semi-transparent image onto the surface, making the faces seem as if they are looking into a mirror. (via DesignBoom)

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In the future all plant life on Earth has become extinct. A few specimens have been preserved in enormous, greenhouse-like geodesic domes attached to a fleet of American Airlines space freighters, currently just outside the orbit of Saturn. Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern), one of four crewmen aboard the Valley Forge, is the resident botanist and ecologist who carefully preserves a variety of plants for their eventual return to Earth and the reforestation of the planet. Lowell spends most of his time in the domes, both cultivating the crops and attending to the animal life. Orders come from Earth to jettison and destroy the domes (with nuclear charges) and return the freighters to commercial service. After four of the six domes are jettisoned and blown up Lowell rebels and opts instead to save the plants and animals on his ship. Lowell kills one of his crew-mates who arrives to plant explosives in his favorite dome, with his right knee seriously injured in the process. He traps the remaining two crewmen in the other dome, just as it is jettisoned and destroyed. Enlisting the aid of the ship’s three service robots, called drones, Lowell stages a fake premature explosion as a ruse and sends the Valley Forge careening towards Saturn in an attempt to hijack the ship and flee with the last forest dome…

“Silent Running” is a 1972 environmentally-themed American science fiction film directed by Douglas Trumbull, who had previously worked as a special effects supervisor on science fiction films, including “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Andromeda Strain” and Michael Cimino was one of the screenwriters. In 2008, “Silent Running” was nominated for AFI’s Top 10 Science Fiction Films list.”Silent Running” has been on my to see list forever and it was a treat to finally see it. With this ecopolitical story it does stand out in the genre and its topic is as current as ever. It´s about isolation, alienation, lost causes, and the inevitable future we have created ourselves. It´s a low key movie compared to what you normally see in this genre and with a lesser budget. I do like the cross between deep space hopelessness and the hope for a future. Bruce Dern is great as Freeman showing his complexity as an actor. And the great take on using multiple-amputee actors (Mark Persons, Steve Brown, Cheryl Sparks, and Larry Whisenhunt) playing/operating the three drone robots Huey, Dewey, and Louie (named after Donald Duck’s nephews) breathes truly life into the story. In 2011, 65daysofstatic, an instrumental post-rock and math rock band, released an alternate soundtrack to the film, which is the version I saw and to be honest that was kind of difficult to cope with at times. (3 and half out of 5)


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