Father and Daughter: An Oscar-Winning Animated Short Film

Dear Daniel B.,

Thank you for bring­ing the 2000 Michaël Dudok De Wit short, Father and Daugh­ter, to our atten­tion. We always appre­ci­ate read­er sug­ges­tions.

We must take issue, how­ev­er, with your warn­ing: “Be advised, it will indeed break your heart.” At Open Cul­ture we  approach the arts with a dis­cern­ing, engaged and unsen­ti­men­tal eye — our heart does not break, it blogs.

It will there­fore take much more than an 8‑minute car­toon, no mat­ter how art­ful­ly ren­dered, under­stat­ed, crit­i­cal­ly laud­ed, or Dutch, to move us. Please keep this in mind for the future.

All best,

Open Cul­ture.

P.S. OK, fine you win. This post was typed from the floor, drown­ing in the pud­dle we’d been reduced to by the 6 minute mark. And yes, bawl­ing like babies.

P.P.S. Per your sug­ges­tion, we’ve added it to our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More. Thanks again.

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

Japan’s Earthquake & Tsunami: How They Happened

On March 11th, Japan suf­fered a 9.0 earth­quake, fol­lowed by a mas­sive tsuna­mi. Just weeks lat­er, NOVA has pro­duced a 47 minute doc­u­men­tary that does an impres­sive job of explain­ing the sci­ence behind these twin geo­log­ic cat­a­stro­phes. The pro­gram fol­lows Roger Bil­ham, a seis­mol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado, who arrived in Japan two days after the quake. And what you get is a blow-by-blow account of the unfold­ing events, cou­pled with some sound analy­sis and stun­ning footage (like the ground split­ting open and push­ing water to the sur­face.) This is by far the most sub­stan­tive treat­ment of Japan’s quake/tsunami that we’ve encoun­tered to date…

via Sci­ence Dump

by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 4 ) |

Do Look Back: Pennebaker and Marcus Talk Bob Dylan

D.A. Pen­nebak­er’s clas­sic 1967 doc­u­men­tary Don’t Look Back will be re-released on Blu-Ray on April 24. As a fea­tured extra, it will include this ter­rif­ic rem­i­nis­cence between Pen­nebak­er and music journalist/cultural crit­ic Greil Mar­cus, who wrote two of our favorite Dylan books:  The Old, Weird Amer­i­ca: Bob Dylan’s Base­ment Tapes and Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Cross­roads.

Our oth­er favorite is of course lit­er­ary crit­ic Christo­pher Ricks’ nut­ty and won­der­ful Dylan’s Vision of Sin. Ricks and Mar­cus approach the artist through very dif­fer­ent prisms — for a fun chance to com­pare and con­trast, check out their recent joint lec­ture at the Hey­man School for the Human­i­ties. (The video clocks in at over an hour and forty min­utes, too long for some, not near­ly long enough for the Dylan-obsessed.)

via Fla­vor­wire

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

The Billion-Bug Highway You Can’t See

When you look up in the sky, what do you see besides the blue sky, clouds, the occa­sion­al bird and plane, the Sun, and the Moon? In this whim­si­cal ani­mat­ed video from NPR, we learn about the var­i­ous insects – the wasps, aphids, bee­tles, etc. – that inhab­it the upper lev­els of the tro­pos­phere. What’s incred­i­ble is that in the peak sum­mer months, there are bil­lions of these insects high in the sky, with some cruis­ing at an alti­tude of 19,000 feet, equiv­a­lent to the height of Mount McKin­ley!

For the botanists out there: the title of the video is a lit­tle mis­lead­ing, as the word bug actu­al­ly refers to an insect of the order Hemiptera; to be pre­cise, we have to call it the bil­lion-insect high­way…

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed: the accom­pa­ny­ing NPR sto­ry from Robert Krul­wich.

Eugene Buchko is a blog­ger and pho­tog­ra­ph­er liv­ing in Atlanta, GA. He main­tains a pho­to­blog, Eru­dite Expres­sions, and writes about what he reads on his read­ing blog.

Kinetic Strandbeests on the Beach: Alchemy of Art & Engineering

Since 1990, Dutch artist Theo Jansen has giv­en life to Strand­beests. They’re made of noth­ing more than a mass of yel­low plas­tic tubes. But these kinet­ic sculp­tures feed off of the wind. They roam the beach­es on their own. And they evolve. Soon enough, Jansen says, you will see Strand­beests liv­ing in herds, and who knows what the alche­my of art and engi­neer­ing will bring next.

This clip comes from a BBC pro­duc­tion, Nature Knows Best, that aired late last year. You can also catch Jansen intro­duc­ing his self-pro­pelling beach ani­mals at TED.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Dementia 13: Coppola’s First Full-Length Feature

Would the 1963 hor­ror film Demen­tia 13 be remem­bered today with­out the sub­se­quent achieve­ments of its young direc­tor, Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la? It’s hard to say. Con­tem­po­raries seem to have thought oth­er­wise: The New York Times review­er described the film’s direc­tion as “stol­id” and its cast as “unlucky,” and the pro­duc­er, B‑Movie king Roger Cor­man, furi­ous­ly took the reins from his pro­tege the minute he saw the first cut.

But Demen­tia 13 was still the first full-length fea­ture of a man who would go on to direct three of the great­est films ever made, and so it’s tempt­ing (and fun) to scour Demen­tia 13 for ear­ly man­i­fes­ta­tions of genius. Watch it and judge for your­self — and look out for the dolls.

Cop­po­la’s film appears in the Noir, Thriller and Hor­ror sec­tion of our col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online, along with oth­er Roger Cor­man movies. The Inter­net Archive hosts an alter­nate ver­sion of the film as well.

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

Scifoo: How Would You Spend a Billion Dollars?

Sci­foo is an annu­al “uncon­fer­ence” c0-host­ed in Moun­tain View, Cal­i­for­nia by Google, O’Reil­ly Media and Nature pub­lish­ing. It’s par­tic­i­pant-dri­ven, cross-pol­li­nat­ing, and high­ly unstruc­tured, rely­ing more on brain­storms and erasable white boards than Pow­er­Point pre­sen­ta­tions and lec­ture halls. Accord­ing to Nature’s page for Sci­foo 2011:

200 lead­ing sci­en­tists, tech­nol­o­gists, writ­ers and oth­er thought-lead­ers will gath­er once more at the Google­plex for a week­end of unbri­dled dis­cus­sion, demon­stra­tion and debate.

The event is invi­ta­tion-only, but if your own posi­tion as glob­al thought-leader has not yet been rec­og­nized, you can take com­fort in these engag­ing short videos from past Sci­foo con­fer­ences. In addi­tion to film­ing the oblig­a­tory gen­er­al overview, Nature also asked some of the atten­dees – includ­ing a cli­mate sci­en­tist, an astro­bi­ol­o­gist, and a Nobel lau­re­ate in physics – for short answers on spe­cif­ic top­ics, like fears for the futurepre­dic­tions for the next decade and our per­son­al favorite ques­tion: “If you had $1 bil­lion to spend on just one project, what would it be?

Some­thing that should inspire teach­ers: A good chunk of these experts’ dream projects involved push­es for wide­spread edu­ca­tion reform and dis­sem­i­na­tion of exist­ing knowl­edge, rather than financ­ing for advances in their par­tic­u­lar spe­cial­ties. We par­tic­u­lar­ly liked skep­tic Michael Sher­mer’s vision of world­wide crit­i­cal think­ing pro­grams that would teach stu­dents “not what to think, but how to think.” (2:34)

For more infor­ma­tion on Sci­foo Camp, click here.

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

James Earl Jones Reads Othello at White House Poetry Jam

Not long after tak­ing office, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma host­ed the first White House poet­ry jam – an evening ded­i­cat­ed to the spo­ken word and bring­ing vers­es to life. Esper­an­za Spald­ing’s per­for­mance was a high point. And lat­er came James Earl Jones, arguably the best spe­cial effect in Star Wars, who recit­ed lines from Shake­speare instead of Dr. Seuss (since Jesse Jack­son already cov­ered that lit­er­ary ter­ri­to­ry back in 1991). The read­ing comes from Oth­el­lo. Specif­i­cal­ly, we’re wit­ness­ing Othello’s address to the Venet­ian sen­a­tors.

You can read Oth­el­lo, along with the rest of Shake­speare’s com­plete works, at MIT’s web­site for free. Or you can down­load the works as a free ebook via iTune­sU. We have more on that here

via DIY Schol­ar

by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 1 ) |

More in this category... »
Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.