Saturday, November 27, 2010

Alice Dancing Under The Gallows

ALICE IS NOW 107 YEARS OLD. She is the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor. A concert pianist and lifelong musician, she lives everyday to the fullest, imparting her optimism and wisdom on all those around her.
"Alice Dancing Under The Gallows" is a new documentary short that will take you on an emotional and inspirational journey reliving the life of this amazing woman.

For more information about the film, go to:

Directed by Oscar winning director Malcolm Clarke
Produced by Nick Reed, Malcolm Clarke, Chris Branch, Larry Abramson, Jasmine Daghighian

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quote of the day

“When motion pictures were first invented there were a lot of critics saying that it is a novelty act and it would never amount to anything nor will be able to make any real money once the novelty wears off – last time i checked Avatar has grossed 2.7 billion dollars world wide. Most recent example is MTV and Internet but then you know those stories well enough. Virtual Universe is the next logical step in world entertainment and although there are a lot of critics and people shaking heads it is here to stay and take its ranks among the greats.”

Yan Panasjuk, the man who paid a record $335,000 for virtual property

How to train a perfect 10

Working on something I've discovered this amazing video from 1984 Olympic Games. It shows the battle for the Olympic gymnastics title between Ecaterina Szabo and Mary Lou Retton. As you will see it is not about physical and technical abilities, it about mind and heart strength. And the hero of this moment is Béla Károlyi, the unbelievable gymnastics coach who changed the face of this sport starting with Nadia Comaneci and her perfect 10.

And the first perfect 10

Béla Károlyi (born September 13, 1942) is a Romanian gymnastics coach. Born in Cluj, Károlyi and his wife, Márta emigrated to the United States in 1981 and both have dual citizenships for Romania and America. The Károlyis have coached both United States and Romanian Olympic teams to medal-winning success.
Among the gymnasts Béla and Marta Károlyi have trained are Nadia Comăneci (first 10), Mary Lou Retton, Betty Okino, Kerri Strug, Teodora Ungureanu, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips and Dominique Moceanu. In total, Károlyi has coached nine Olympic champions, fifteen world champions, sixteen European medalists and six U.S. national champions.

More about his story in this 1986 documentary.

Two films about the other side of art

The Art of the Steal

Directed by Don Argott
Produced by Sheena M. Joyce
Editing by Demian Fenton

The Art of the Steal is a 2009 documentary film about efforts to break Albert C. Barnes's will and relocate the Barnes art collection from its longtime home in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia.[1] The collection of late-19th- and early-20th-century art includes 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 60 Matisses 44 Picassos and 14 Modiglianis. The 9,000 piece collection is valued at over $25 billion.[2]

In his three-and-a-half star review of the film, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "It is perfectly clear exactly what Barnes specified in his will. It was drawn up by the best legal minds. It is clear that what happened to his collection was against his wishes. It is clear that the city fathers acted in obviation of those wishes, and were upheld in a court of appeals. What is finally clear: It doesn't matter a damn what your will says if you have $25 billion, and politicians and the establishment want it."

In response to the film's release, Bernard C. Watson, chairman of the Barnes Foundation board of trustees and one of the figures targeted in the film, published an editorial letter in the Philadelphia Inquirer claiming the film "lacks objectivity and perspective."

As of June 2010, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 85% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 52 reviews with an average score of 7.2/10. The site's consensus of reviews was:
"Deeply esoteric and unapologetically one-sided, The Art of the Steal proves a documentary doesn't have to make an objective argument as long as it argues well.."
However, according to the film, many of the so called "guilty parties," e.g. Rebecca Rimel (CEO of the Pew Charitable Trust, the group which purportedly benefited financially from the Barnes' move), Raymond G. Perelman (a powerful local billionaire alleged with orchestrating the move), and Bernie Watson (the president of the Barnes foundation who allegedly handed control of the museum to the Philadelphia authorities), declined to be interviewed for the documentary.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film is a film which tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art. It is presented as a documentary, but reviewers have questioned its factuality. The film charts Guetta's constant documenting of his every moment on film, to his chance contact with his cousin, the artist Invader, and his documenting of a host of street artists with focus on Shepard Fairey, and also Banksy though the latter's face is never shown, and his voice is distorted to preserve his anonymity. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 24 January 2010. It is narrated by Rhys Ifans. Music is by Geoff Barrow. It includes Richard Hawley's "Tonight The Streets Are Ours." It has been nominated on the longlist for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar for the 27 February 2011 Oscars.

The documentary received overwhelmingly positive reviews, holding 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.One consistent theme in the reviews was the authenticity of the film: Was the film just an elaborate ruse on Banksy's part, or did Guetta really evolve into Mr. Brainwash overnight? The Boston Globe movie reviewer Ty Burr found it to be quite entertaining as a farce and awarded it four stars. He dismissed the notion of the film being a "put on" saying "I’m not buying it; for one thing, this story’s too good, too weirdly rich, to be made up. For another, the movie’s gently amused scorn lands on everyone." Roger Ebert gave it 3.5 stars out of 4, starting his review saying that "The widespread speculation that “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a hoax only adds to its fascination." The New York Times movie reviewer, Jeannette Catsoulis, wrote that the film could be a new subgenre, a "prankumentary".



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Floating observatories design was influenced by the sci‐fi computer gaming culture

Floating Observatories is an Innovative New Tower for Taiwan with Zeppelin-like Elevators

Reblogged from

The Floating Observatories proposal by Romanian team Dorin Stefan’s DSBA, Mihai Carciun, and wins the Taiwan Tower Conceptual International Competition

“Starting from the ‘geographical’ visual of Taiwan ‐ which is an island resembling a leaf ‐ we have developed the concept of the technological tree: we have designed 8 spatial leaves (with eight being a propitious number in the local culture) in the form of zeppelin‐like elevators which glide up and down the ‘tree trunk” and which serve the purpose of observation decks / belvedere. I have called these elevators floating observatories because each has a nacelle which can take 50 to 80 people; they are self‐sustained by helium balloons and are built from lightweight materials (borrowed from the spacecraft industry) and are wrapped in a last‐generation type of membrane (PTFE) and they glide vertically on a track positioned vertically in a strong electro‐magnetic field” ‐ Dorin STEFAN, Principal, DSBA

The tower layers underground and ground level spaces as well as in its vertical reach, the functions required by the conceptual theme: information center, museum, office and conference space, restaurants, fixed observation desks. Apart from the fact that we aim to design a tower whose silhouetted out of line echoes the local symbolism and has great impact in terms of visual identity, our solution is at the same time a model of green architecture: minimum footprint at land level; maximum green area surface; all circulations are vertically integrated (main and secondary functions for both services and tourists). The “chimney” effect is used for the natural ventilation of various functional areas. The office and services areas in the tower have a 360° orientation, which offers the possibility to minimize the green‐house effect through the use of cross‐ventilation. The electrical energy is produced by: a system of axial turbines located along the vertical central core, an adjustable photovoltaic panels on the whole height of the tower. The lighting of the basement areas and of the museum spaces under the sandwich slab (structure‐plants earth‐pedestrian traffic) is done through a fiber optics dome system. Heating of the floating observatories are done through an electromagnetic field using the electrical power created by the new generation membrane which wraps the helium tanks and captures through photovoltaic transmission. The rain water is collected from all platforms into a tank situated in the basement.

“Even though the floating observatories design was influenced by the sci‐fi computer gaming culture they are feasible and play a major role for the pathway of the tower’s museum by adding a new vertical dimension. Seen from above, the city itself becomes the key exhibit for the Museum of Taichung City Development. Seen from inside the museum, when they are nested, the floating observatories become themselves exhibits, fascinating proof of the present technological achievements.”‐ Bogdan Chipara, DSBA Architect














Friday, November 19, 2010

BETTER THAN LOVE: Hurts, a love of ballet, Romania, Romanian girls and subtext.

This post is dedicated to a very special friend that I am sure will remember the love romance with my country :)


I am completely fascinated by the concept behind Hurts, this "post-Renaissance" duo from Manchester, UK. They have a kind of visual music with a mix of influences that makes my inner teenager scream out loud of joy: a strange brew of Depeche Mode, a glimpse of Bros, even a sparking Pet Shop Boys energy , fashion , cinema and "heavy, emotional, and atmospheric love songs" ...
Their videos are lessons of cinematography and style. If they will continue in the same direction, soon I will watch an entire Hurts music film.

And being a romanian this is "everything I ever dreamed of, and nothing like I expected." :)

~Enigmatic duo Hurts have shed some mystery by revealing what they call a "pistol crack" of a debut single. Better Than Love is the first release by the duo, who have been called 'Tears For Fears, as shot by Anton Corbijn'. The track has a lush video which singer Theo says was born out of "a love of ballet, Romania, Romanian girls and, most importantly, subtext."
He added that the beautifully shot film was "everything we ever dreamed of, and nothing like we expected."~ BBC

A new video from Hurts, the post-Renaissance duo who look like dapper thugs, a gang based on love, and sound similar, as though they wander the streets despondent, singing aggressive love songs, blaspheming false pop deities. Their words on their elegant new video are below, as they are infinitely better than any attempt of our own

And so,
Here we are.
We travelled from Manchester in England to Bucharest in Romania in 3 Trabants.
We visited sporting outlets, bars and casinos.
We toured the city, stroked dogs and forgot to sleep.
We hired lots of specifically Romanian models and made a video.
We shaved heads, waltzed with mirror images and faced many rhetorical romantic questions.
We didn’t leave Romania for a very long time.
And eventually, we present for you, Better Than Love.
Buna Scumpo!

PS And because eventually everything connects, I've just noticed that in the theatrical trailer is Laura, a beautiful actress that I discovered years ago when I was casting in Bucharest.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wide distribution digital platform is looking for talented writers/filmmakers to create several flagship photo stories to be published in Spring 2011.

Photo stories, my next big passion .

Here is a very cool contest challenging you creativity and imagination.

Call for entries: Photo stories - £1000 + royalties.

Wide distribution digital platform is looking for talented writers/filmmakers to create several flagship photo stories to be published in Spring 2011.

The rules are simple: photo + text that tells a story, either fiction or factual. It can be based on a script, book, short story or even an existing film or short. An episode should be 10 minutes reading time. We are looking for fun, captivating, inspiring material that would be suitable to create a series of 10 episodes (or more).

Final work can be created in a number of programs (InDesign, Photoshop, Comic Life, etc.) and submitted as PDF. Selected artists will receive £100 per episode plus revenues share of any sales proceeds.

Please submit a 100-200 words treatment together with 3-5 photos to illustrate your vision to with your name, a short bio (50 words max, it can include your website if you have one) and the subject line: 10.1 .

You will hear from us with a confirmation or feedback within 3 days of your submission.



And some inspiration :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kevin Spacey on Being Succesful. Pure Inspiration

There is always a chance to be yourself, to discover your talent or to be passionate again. Don't let it go.

Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed

A must see.

You can watch the next episodes on YouTube .

Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed is a documentary about the impact the original 1977 Star Wars film has had upon society and filmmaking, with a focus on the place of the series in the continuum of cultural mythology. The two-hour program debuted on The History Channel on May 28, 2007, coinciding roughly with the 30-year anniversary of Star Wars. It featured interviews with journalists, filmmakers, critics, academic experts, and politicians, including Newt Gingrich, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jackson, Joss Whedon, Dan Rather, and Nancy Pelosi.

It was the #1 highest rated History Channel program among viewers aged 18-49, and #2 among viewers aged 25-54, and has been nominated for three Emmy awards.

Eric Berlow: How complexity leads to simplicity

Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution.

Friday, November 12, 2010

In the future, everybody is going to be a director.

In the future, everybody is going to be a director. Somebody's got to live a real life so we have something to make a movie about.

Cameron Crowe

Happy Birthday , Perfect 10 !

She was my childhood inspiration - Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event.

"...Romania, 1976.In a communist country where our very few happy moments where the Saturdays "Dallas" episodes or-for the children-the Sundays 20 minutes (only) of "real cartoons" from Disney, Nadia helped us to dream again about what you can do if you have the determination needed.
During the nights of Montreal Olympics (there is 7 hours deference between the East Coast and Bucharest), we use to stay late in the nights to see Nadia competing. Next days, most of us were felling asleep at school or work. My older family members said they didn't have so much emotions and excitement (and late nigh TV broadcast) since the first landing on the Moon back in 60's. I think these both events are somehow connected because they show how much the human being can progress and do for the benefit of the whole world."
Nadia Comaneci- the very first "Perfect 10" World Citizen



"The world's first perfect gymnast"
from "Top 100 Sport Stories of the Century"

"The silence was broken only by the sounds of clicking -- hundreds of cameras capturing the moment.
What they caught was perfection. Nadia Comaneci, the 14-year-old Romanian, arched in midair for an instant on her dismount from the uneven parallel bars, then the feet supporting her 4-foot-11, 86-pound body landed softly on the mat.

The silence was shattered by an explosion of cheering and applause that, after a few seconds, turned to consternation. Flashing on the electronic scoreboard was 1.00. It took a moment for the 18,000 spectators at the Forum to realize that Comaneci had, in effect, outperformed modern technology."
Read full original story here.



Monday, November 8, 2010

To Claire; From Sonny - a review

"You can’t make great movies if the world doesn’t amaze you."
A quote that stays in my mind from the moment when I've read a review about The Fall in 2008. After two years I had the chance to meet the author, James Tatham, the name behind Movie Waffle, one of the best written film review blogs from Wales, UK. James is also an english teacher at a college in Cardiff.

Here is the result of our first collaboration, probably the first film review for an youtube short film created by a teenager.

To Claire; From Sonny – A Review
by James Tatham for MovieWaffle and IO.1

Young love is like dying: a total, blissful, elegiac sense of the world. Youth itself is a finite state; unlike adulthood, which drones on and on. Youth – like pop music – is emphatically present. It crackles: “Now”. And that boldness of feeling floods young love. To be in love at sixteen is to be awash with feeling: filling up and up and up. Again, it makes for that death connection: the tsunami-life, where living surges so fast that death seems like the only possible corollary. Shakespeare didn’t kill off Romeo and Juliet because he set out to write a tragedy; he killed them because young love can only die…or else it cools… or else you grow up. Josh Beattie’s short, To Claire; From Sonny, is a small masterpiece on the subject.

“Dear Claire,” he writes. And then we see her. She’s posing at the back of a ferry, in Brisbane, Australia. The city is behind her. She’s young and beautiful. Sonny’s narration takes the form of a letter to Claire, telling her of his life since their break-up. He writes in a reverie. Claire was his first love. Like all first loves, she gave him the sense that all life’s questions had been answered. But they broke-up, or else… something happened. So now Sonny rides the train, and thinks of his new girlfriend (who, to his bemusement, “voluntarily eats celery”), and Claire is dearer to him than ever, now that she’s gone. He writes to evoke her. He wants her memory to crash over him. The hurt she brings is a powerful love.

Unabashed feeling is valid here, because, to render young love accurately, you can’t dodge feeling with cynicism. In some respects, To Claire; From Sonny is reminiscent of the kind of heartfelt movies Alejandro González Iñárritu makes, where the shimmering beauty of life is constant, and death is like a complimentary space. There’s always death in an Iñárritu movie, because, without it, life wouldn’t glisten. Iñárritu makes elegies, and To Claire; From Sonny shares that wistful sentiment. Director Josh Beattie is remarkably deft at avoiding maudlin overtones, or the threat of despondency settling over the short. Again, like Iñárritu, he’s able to make you feel transported rather than entombed. Half the pleasure of watching the movie comes from the life it catches: from Claire’s eyelashes brushing Sonny’s chest, to the way the world flows past a train window, silently unmooring passengers’ thoughts.

The young actor who plays Sonny looks a little like Nicholas Hoult, the young actor who played the embodiment of youth in Tom Ford’s A Single Man. The actress who plays Claire looks a little like Gossip Girl’s Michelle Trachtenberg. Neither is required to speak in To Claire; From Sonny. But they do look like they could be a real couple; you believe in their romance. This isn’t meant to be an actor’s showcase, after all; it’s a director’s calling card. What stands out most, watching the short, isn’t the brilliant quality of the acting; it’s the prodigious skill with which the film is made. A graveyard sequence is shot in panoramic miniature, as if it were a diorama, illustrating grief. Time-lapse photography depicts Brisbane as aloof.

At seventeen, director Josh Beattie displays the kind of instinct a twenty-year professional should envy. Like all natural film-makers, he knows intuitively when to cut and how long a scene should play. He frames his actors wonderfully: one shot in particular, of Claire walking down a suburban road, has her centre-frame – insistently pacing toward us – moving closer and closer to the camera, until she’s so close… we lose sight. When Sonny thinks back on his favourite moments with Claire, intimacy is conveyed through close-ups of her feet, eyes, hands. The film isn’t a moment too long or too short. It takes up only the space of a letter, saying the one thing every letter says: Now, I’m thinking of you.

Young love isn’t about marriage, or having children. It’s a two-man show, where every night you both split your heart open, and every morning you both treasure the pain. Nothing competes with love when you’re sixteen. Homework doesn’t hold a candle to the heart-stricken wait for his-or-her next call. When you grow-up, love is clouded by other love affairs: the heart gets paunchy, balconies are rarely scaled. Jobs come to pummel love. Routines set in. Years chip at certainties. For a spark to be a spark, it can only last a short while. To Claire; From Sonny is about the tumult of love, the part that’s most exciting, and the shortest lived. We all cherish our first love. We all mourn the loss of our heart-quaking youth.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In Loving Memory of Andy Irons

Philip Andrew Irons (July 24,1978 – November 2, 2010) was a professional surfer. Irons learned to surf on the dangerous and shallow reefs of the North Shore in Kauai, Hawaii. Over the course of his professional career, he won three world titles (2002, 2003, 2004), three Quiksilver Pro France titles (2003, 2004, 2005), two Rip Curl Pro Search titles (2006 and 2007) and 20 elite tour victories including the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing four times from 2002-2006. On September 3, 2010 he won the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.
He and his family hosted the Annual Irons Brothers Pinetrees Classic, a contest for youngsters. The governor of Hawaii declared February 13 forever 'Andy Irons Day'.
His younger brother, Bruce Irons, is a former competitor on the World Championship Tour of Surfing (WCT). During his childhood Andy regularly lost to Bruce in contests, but that changed once he entered the World Championship Tour.
Billabong produced an "Andy Irons" line of board shorts.
Irons married Lyndie Dupuis on November 25, 2007 in Princeville, Kauai. She was seven months pregnant with their first child at the time of his death.
He was inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, California in 2008.[3]
He is the only surfer to have won a title at every venue on the ASP calendar.


The 2004 movie Blue Horizon (directed by surfing filmmaker Jack McCoy), paralleled his life on the WCT tour with that of free surfer, David Rastovich. The film also touched on his long-time rivalry with ten-time world champion Kelly Slater. Although the film was created in a documentary-like style, there has been some debate over whether or not the film offered an accurate and fair portrayal of Irons' surfing lifestyle. In addition to "Blue Horizon", Irons was also a subject of many other surf films, including his last screen appearance in Trilogy, which starred himself, Joel Parkinson, and Taj Burrow.

Surfing king Kelly Slater found the perfect way to highlight his incredible career and then dedicated it to rival and friend Andy Irons who died last week. Slater marked his unprecedented 10th world title victory with a 10 out 10 wave score to also win the Rip Curl Pro Search event in Puerto Rico on Saturday.

The ASP World Tour paid its respect to Andy Irons with a massive memorial paddle-out in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, 3 November 2010.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Dream Flower Machine created by Angelo Vermeulen

Angelo Vermeulen is a visual artist, filmmaker, biologist, author, activist, and DJ.
How you can name him in a single word ? Probably the language has to adapt itself for the complex human beings of the future.
I name Angleo a IO . IO (10) is my tag for all the 2.0 Renaissance people.

And the "Ultimate Flower Machine" is the dream computer for my film.

Watch Angelo Vermeulen's presentation on his project, Biomodd – a computer that coexists with a living ecosystem.

Discover more ! You will be fascinated.

Many thanks to WILDCAT2030