Date Archives June 2011

Brand New Trailer for Pixar’s ‘Brave’

Brand New Trailer for Pixar's 'Brave'

Brand New Trailer for Pixar's 'Brave'

Brand New Trailer for Pixar's 'Brave'

Pixar released the first teaser trailer for their next big film called Brave, and it looks pretty good, even if it’s only 1:15 long. Here’s the synopsis:

Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In Brave, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts. Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

It’s worth mentioning that this is the first female protagonist that Pixar’s ever had, something long overdue. The character looks amazing, I love her shock of red hair that stands out against the dark greens of her environment. I also read that the story is supposed to be a bit darker and more mature, like something from Grimm’s fairy tales, which is a great move. Adults love these movies just as much as children do, so it’ll be interesting if they market it to be more adult-centric. I also have a feeling they released this trailer online so that people have something to talk about instead of bagging on Cars 2, which as of today has a Metacritic score of 58.

What do you think of the trailer?

Bobby

Packing A Soundtrack To A Holiday

Constitution Beach from The U.S. National Archives

[Photo: The U.S. National Archives]

There was a time when packing for holidays was easy. Just grab a few changes of clothes, a couple of roles of film, squeeze them all into a suitcase and throw it in the hold. Now things are a little trickier. The money-pinching tactics of the budget airline has turned us into misers too. We now squeeze everything and anything into our carry-on luggage for the sake of a few extra quid. We stand in line at the check-in queue worrying that the airline attendant might notice the excessive size of our portable wheelie-bags or how our rucksacks look just a little over-weight. We worry too that all our liquids might not be in order. Are they held in the right kind of plastic bags and did I decant my shampoo into a small enough container? Even our bottled water is gulped down in a hurry, knowing for sure the kind of rumpus that would ensue if security found us drinking it.

These are the standard banalities in the world of the luggage packer. They are the jaded complaints of any dinner party that has ever had someone recite their travel travesties, and they’re the regrettable trivialities that I presume we all know too well. But there’s another type of packing which I find even more loathsome – it’s the packing of a music collection. There was a time when all my music could fit in one place, now I like to travel light. I select a few choice albums and aim for them to soundtrack my week away. Yet the choosing of these albums is too important a choice to leave to the gods of randomness and luck and instead I’ve devised some basic steps to make the most of selecting the musical accompaniment to your light-weight trip away.

Last week I took my holidays to Portugal’s beautiful city of Lisbon and in four simple albums I had the perfect travel companion. Below I’ve outlined the steps I took and my reactions to packing the soundtrack to a holiday:

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Afterzine No. 2 Launch Party – Friday, July 8 / Co-hosted by The Fox Is Black

Afterzine No. 2 Launch Party - Friday, July 8 / Co-hosted by The Fox Is Black

In two weeks I’ll be co-hosting the launch of the second issue of Aftezine, and everyone is invited. It takes place at Skylight Books, hands down my favorite bookstore in Los Angeles, on July 8th from 7 to 9 PM. There will also be free goodies thanks to BabyCakesNYC.

The next issue centers around the theme of Los Angeles, and the list of contributors is pretty amazing:

Andrew Andrew, Ashley Avignone, Zooey Deschanel, Diane Birch, Kyle Fitzpatrick, Jody Godoy, Christina Gregory, EA Hanks, Christy Harrison, Laura Havlin, Emily Hopgood, Catherine Ireton, Ben Jones, Miranda July, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Thessaly La Force, Peter Mendelsund, Mike Mills, Maud Newton, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Pamela Ribon, Hamish Robertson, Sophia Rossi, Mordechai Rubinstein, Bobby Solomon, Sadie Stein, Emma Straub, Natalia Stuyk, Andi Teran, Tamio Teshima, Phillip Toledano, Tina Tyrell and Wolfe von Lenkiewicz.

If you’re in Los Angeles on July 8 please come and hang out, it should be a great time.

Bobby

Timayui Kindergarten by Giancarlo Mazzanti

Timayui Kindergarten by Giancarlo Mazzanti

Timayui Kindergarten by Giancarlo Mazzanti

Timayui Kindergarten by Giancarlo Mazzanti

Photographs by Jorge Gamboa

The kids in Santa Marta, Colombia are lucky little five year olds. This is their kindergarten: a cluster of shotcrete classrooms both open and sprawling designed by Giancarlo Mazzanti. Was your kindergarten this cool? Mine wasn’t. The interior quality of the classrooms is probably more distracting to me than to the kids that actually go there, who are undoubtedly aching to get outside and play. It’s easy to be lured outside of structures this open to the exterior, especially when you’re in kindergarten and you have no desire to nap, learn months of the year, or count.

But they will learn. Maybe one day the kids will be able to count high enough to enumerate the good qualities of their school. Sadly, it’s not likely to happen before they graduate into double-loaded corridors disconnected from exterior and shut off from the daylight they will remember from kindergarten.

Alex

Terraria: Don’t Mess With Cthulu

Terraria: Don't Mess With Cthulu

Terraria: Don't Mess With Cthulu

Terraria: Don't Mess With Cthulu

In a world where DIY is more than just an ethos, the success of Terraria is both unprecedented and remarkable. With no press, no promotions team, and a team of four developers, Terraria has sold close to 500,000 copies in the past month, 50,000 of those on the first day. Their only press? Minecraft developer Notch mentioned the game several times on Twitter. Since then, Terraria’s popularity has been skyrocketing day by day, becoming one of the great software hits of 2011.

Improperly characterized as a 2D Minecraft clone, Terraria has the dungeon style of Castlevania, Minecraft’s house building, and exploration of Metroid. Worlds are randomly generated with complex cave systems, underground lairs to explore and the characters resemble Final Fantasy 3 sprites. With no storyline and little instruction, you can start out building basic gear and a house. After mining and killing ridiculous monsters, you can build such awesome swag as jetpacks, lightsabers, and ray guns. Hours can be spent building the ultimate mansion. Days can be spent digging your way to Underworld and finding its untold treasures. And just when you think you are the king of your castle, Lovecraftian monsters (Eyes of Cthulu, to name one nightmarish horror) will invade you mercilessly until you beat back their invasion. And after that, it’s back to digging, exploring, and crafting your way to the top.

So grab a few friends and a pickaxe, Terraria can be purchased on Steam for $10 USD. What are you waiting for?

Alec

Jeremy Dower

Jeremy Dower

Jeremy Dower

Jeremy Dower

Jeremy Dower

Click images to enlarge

Jeremy Dower is a Melbourne based artist who’s making work like nothing I’ve seen before. His paintings remind me of the vibe I got when I was watching Enter The Void, very bright and graphic, lots of shine and gloss but a bit chaotic and fucked up. He calls these pieces paintings, though I’m taking that to mean digital paintings, though I could be, and hopefully I am, wrong. The way he’s able to create pieces that look like holograms or fuzzed out TVs is remarkable, I can’t imagine how long it would take to create one of these. I’m also curious about the scale of these pieces, I’m guessing they’d have be pretty gigantic because there’s so much detail in all the distorted looking areas.

His rep has a little interview with him if you’re interested in hiring him (or wondering if he enjoys tea or coffe more), and I highly suggest you visit his portfolio site and drool over his work.

Bobby

Giant Comb Bike Rack from Knowhow Shop LA

Giant Comb Bike Rack from Knowhow Shop LA

Giant Comb Bike Rack from Knowhow Shop LA

Giant Comb Bike Rack from Knowhow Shop LA

A few days ago I saw this post over on GOOD about Knowhow Shop LA (written by Carren Jao, who will soon be contributing to TFIB) and the image of the GIANT comb totally got me excited. The Knowhow Shop is a co-op space where you can learn to build things, paying only for the time you’re there. The comb was created for the city of Roanoke as a piece of public art, and I think it looks fantastic. The comb weights over 400 pounds, and “is handcrafted out of Mangaris using full mortise and tenon construction, while the hair is made from powder coated steel.” The details in this are amazing, the subtle rounding of the corners, and I love the idea of one big, wiry hair weaving through the teeth. The shop is right around the corner from me in Highland Park, I think I’m going to have to take a trip out there and try and build my own 400 pound comb.

Bbobby

Space Suit of the Week

OrbitalFleets by Nate Utesch

OrbitalFleets by Nate Utesch

OrbitalFleets by Nate Utesch

This is nice. To coincide with the end of NASA’s shuttle missions, artist/designer/independent publisher Nate Utesch launched a year-long project called OrbitalFleets. The project is, in his words, “screen-printed posters that have a bunch of nerdy data and icons for all 5 of the shuttles’ lifespans. One for each shuttle.” Nate is also “making 5 art prints that are illustrations of an astronaut from one of those shuttles.” And the posters are educational! For instance: did you know that the shuttle Discovery participated in a classified mission for the Department of Defense?  Both of Nate’s series (the shuttle series of first-edition screenprints and the crew series) are stellar and affordable. The dollars he rakes in from this project will fund another excellent project of his: Ferocious Quarterly which binds together fresh illustrators, writers and artists.

Alex

The Digest: Sang Yoon’s Lukshon

Lukshon
Photo by Betty Hallock

Lukshon
Photo by Lesley Balla

Lukshon
Photo by The Minty

One of the perks of living in Los Angeles – besides all the stereotypes like great weather, beautiful people and Californian beauty – is that variety is really garden-variety. More specifically, the city draws on so many cultures and influences that amalgamations of taste, style and culture are not a surefire way to be recognized or noticed. Variety is almost commonplace. Hardwork and talent rise to the top. People even work hard to be weird here. And in this hyper competitive culinary city, restauranteurs of all types will pull out any stop necessary, weird or otherwise.

Culver City, a section of West Los Angeles, has undergone a thirty year revitalization. The area surrounding the long-defunct Helms Bakery has been renovated into a hotbed of shopping and eating for the current batch of young professionals. Twenty Gauge, a vintage steel furniture store, is pressed next to the now iconic Fathers Office. The Fathers Office remains the paradigm of the American gastro-pub. Owner Sang Yoon made fresh, Californian-influenced versions of classic pub dishes and coupled them with the best local craft beers. It seems so obvious, but before this millenium… well, it wasn’t. Now in two locations, it is safe to call the Father’s Office a Los Angeles institution with a following in all corners of the city.

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