RSSCategory: Films and Videos

The urban gardens of Havana

February 7, 2012 | By | Reply More
The urban gardens of Havana

Cubans were forced to think outside of the box after the Soviet Union cut off subsidies to Cuba. This video features the many urban gardens of Havana.

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Walk off the Earth plays a guitar

February 7, 2012 | By | 4 Replies More
Walk off the Earth plays a guitar

Innovate video here –

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A Last Picture Show

February 3, 2012 | By | Reply More
A Last Picture Show

The last motion picture theater of my youth is gone.

For several years, The Avalon, sitting on Kingshighway in St. Louis, across the street from a mortuary that has now become a church, has been shuttered and slowly decaying and finally has met its inevitable fate.

In a way, good. It has been an eyesore for some time, a constant reminder of neglect and a ruin of a bygone era.

Hyperbole? Indeed, yes, but true nonetheless. As you can tell by what remained, it was an elegant, simple building, with a lovely facade. A symbol of an age thoroughly gone—the single-screen, stand-alone movie theater.

The last film I saw there was back in 1986 or ’87—The Last Temptation of Christ. The theater had passed into the hands of a single owner who was a bit of an eccentric, and he tried everything to keep it going. He had a bit of a windfall with that film because of the timidity of every other movie theater in the city and county. They all refused to show Scorcese’s flawed depiction of Jesus’ final days. The Avalon announced it would screen it and it was no doubt the last time it had sell-out audiences for several days.

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Ten minute movie for your enjoyment

February 2, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More
Ten minute movie for your enjoyment

Today, at my daughter’s school, I saw the following ten minute move called “The Lunch Date.” I won’t say anything more, other than I highly recommend it. Enjoy.

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What happened on July 24, 2010?

January 28, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More
What happened on July 24, 2010?

I recently watched “Life in a Day,” a montage consisting of video clips submitted by people from all over the world through YouTube.   It’s a unique and fascinating video that you can view here:

Here’s a brief description from Wikipedia:

Life in a Day is a crowdsourced documentary film comprising an arranged series of video clips selected from 80,000 clips submitted to the YouTube video sharing website, the clips showing respective occurrences from around the world on a single day, July 24, 2010. The film is 94 minutes 57 seconds long and includes scenes selected from 4,500 hours of footage in 80,000 submissions from 192 nations.

As I watched the many clips featuring so many people, it first occurred to me how “different” we are from each other.  As the video continued, though, what became overwhelming is, despite the superficial differences, we are all substantially and deeply similar, regardless of where we live and regardless how we dress and what we eat.

In other words, the powerful undercurrent of “Life in a Day” is the lesson taught by Donald Brown, that human animals are incredibly similar to each other. And see here. Brown once asked, “The world’s cultures may be diverse, but diverse compared to what?”

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3 Idiots: “Aal Izz Well”

January 26, 2012 | By | Reply More

This may not be the perfect forum for a review, but the film “3 Idiots” is about education versus training, science versus engineering, fear versus hubris (and the happy medium), life and death, love and despair, laughter and tears. And it has colorful Bollywood dance numbers, too!

I rented it on a whim, as it was billed as a movie about too-smart engineering students versus the educational system. I was puzzled when it began with English subtitles during the (Indian accented) English dialog. I remembered a 1990’s PBS/BBC series on the English language, when some of the impenetrable-to-me accents of the U.K. had no subtitles, but the perfectly intelligible-to-me Cajun and Ebonic dialects did. But as the blend of Hindi and English became apparent, I saw the need.

I loved this movie. Once one gets into the esthetic swing of Bollywood productions, it makes perfect sense when serious issues become silly dance numbers, and all characters are played as borderline caricatures. One can observe the essential cultural differences between our familiar American dilute-Christian one-life-to-live and anyone-can-become-president attitude and the Indian institutionalized attitude that reincarnation is the only way to improve your lot except through extraordinary means.

Why I think this is appropriate to this forum is the take on education. The protagonist has a scientific mindset that is often at odds with engineering philosophy and even more with institutionalized education. The system of teaching to the test is questioned, as is the principle of square pegs hammered into round holes. Vocation versus avocation is central to this, and expounded toward the end.

The 3 Idiots – Official Trailer has embedding disabled, but preview is fun even without subtitles. You get the idea of how English and Hindi have merged in their culture.

I defy you to watch it and not have the songs “All izz well” and/or “Zoobi Doobi” stuck in your heads.

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Why you shouldn’t dance in front of a speeding bus

December 19, 2011 | By | Reply More
Why you shouldn’t dance in front of a speeding bus

This is clearly a fake, but I say that because the bus behavior was bizarre. Many of those commenting at YouTube claim that they can see the fakery in the video itself. I thought it looked real.

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Purported cure for restless legs makes use of domino run

October 17, 2011 | By | Reply More
Purported cure for restless legs makes use of domino run

I enjoy well-constructed imaginative domino runs, and this is a good one.

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Court rules that politicians may not seize citizens’ cameras at town hall meetings

August 28, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More
Court rules that politicians may not seize citizens’ cameras at town hall meetings

PoliticusUSA has the report:

According to a recent Federal Appeals court ruling, Republican members of Congress who confiscate citizens’ cell phones or cameras and do not allow filming at town halls are violating their constituents First Amendment rights.

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