everynone: losers.

It’s no secret how much I love Everynone. They have an amazing knack at cutting together visceral, universally human moments into montages that almost everyone can immediately understand and identify with. Their vids are amazingly shareable (the term “viral” should be banned from the internet lexicon, btw…) because they strike a chord that’s direct and true. From the exquisite balances cast in their last vid “Symmetry” to their gorgeous type-based series “Words”, they exemplify the power of a quick, well-shot visual to tell incredibly vibrant tales.

As of this writing, their latest video “Losers” is at 7,000 views on Vimeo in only 5 hours. I guarantee you that it will be all over the internet in the upcoming days…as it should be. With the growing awareness of the true impact of bullying, I think this type of raw, insightful and connected portrayal of the slices that bullying cuts out from all of us is exactly the type of thing we need to see, and continue to see, until we do something tangible and real to stop it. I know what it feels like to be called a “faggot” in my high school highway. I also know what it feels like to call someone else a name because I was weak and want to feel stronger. As with any type of bullying – no matter which side of it you were on – it’s something you get over, but not something you forget.

I particularly love the shift in meaning from the beginning of the video to the end. Humourously unassuming at first, I laughed while not knowing where I was being lead yet. Then I realized I was slowly being shown that the losers are everyone. Each of us has the power both to bully and the responsibility to to learn we must end bullying. The true impact came at the very end when I realized that, only two minutes before at the beginning of the video, I was being the unwitting bully myself. It’s that kind of immediate emotional impact, and psychological realization just afterward, that lets you know you’ve just watched something very special.

everynone: symmetry.

In the middle of watching Everynone’s lovely Symmetry, the thought that overwhelmed me was “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That Newton, he was a smart cookie. I love the philosophy of science; that is, that Newton’s Law of Motion is much more than a scientific truth (though it definitely is that). It’s also karma. It’s kindness. It’s what goes around comes around. It’s how the transference of love and respect is a psychological action that, like ripples in a pond, created a tangible, physical reaction in those who experience it from you.

In a whiplash, purely visual style that reminds me a lot of one of my fave short vids, Chris Milk’s Last Day Dream, the vid starts out light-hearted, but further in I realized that was just part of its elegant ploy. Start with simplicity, entice us to watch, and then the symmetries become harder and more thought-provoking.

Symmetry is filled with a deep ease, a contemplative review of questions asked but not answered. Because each of these truths – the steak-eater or the cow, the light bulb or the sunshine  – will be different for each of us. The power is not in that we agree, but that we recognize and understand what they mean to us. Are you a consumer or a creator? A destroyer or a deliverer? For everything you do, each of your action, what reactions are you sending back into the world?

+ via kateoplis

patrick boivin: at-at day afternoon.

Ah, Star Wars. Though I fear it’s starting to become the Helvetica of retro pop culture design references, just like Helvetica, or anything over-played, when it’s done really well in a new and exciting way allowances can be made. And if the outcome is as totally kick ass as Patrick Boivin‘s “At-At Day Afternoon”, then everything old is new again.

The premise? Gloriously simple. Imagine your dog was an At-At. Film it. Rejoice. Spread its awesomeness to the world. Make everyone feel like children again. Done.

And if you’re not sure what an At-At is, then I’m afraid I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

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Via Motionographer.

ryan mcginley + nowness: entrance romance.

I first started following photographer/artist/wunderkind Ryan McGinley more than 2 years ago, when I posted about his gorgeous (and still my favourite) photo exhibition “I Know Where The Summer Goes.” Since then McGinley has blown up huge and deservedly so. Expanding his visual scope from photography, he moved into film last year with a short for fashion house Pringle of Scotland starring Tilda Swinton.

Last weekend, in collaboration with LVMH-branded website Nowness, McGinley released an incredibly hot looking short film (shot partially by a Phantom Camera at 1500 fps) called “Entrance Romance (It Felt Like A Kiss).” I’m a big proponent of art not necessarily needing to be “about” something, so this is right up my alley. In the short, supermodel Carolyn Murphy shoots hairspray at a lighter, makes out with a wet dog, and has a few glass objects thrown against her head. I fucking loved it. What’s it about? Don’t know, don’t care. It seems so gleefully confident in it’s abject weird nothingness that I fully bought it.

Though the whole concept of filming shit being thrown at people isn’t original (the work of New York City-based photographer Meg Wachter comes to mind) the production value is through the roof and, plus, Murphy is simply incredible to look at. The look of serene intensity she maintains while knowing, somewhere, that a bowl full of goldfish is hurtling towards her is somehow completely fascinating. However, it’s the sly wave of sadomasochistic discovery that spreads across her face after being drilled in the head with a bottle of Heineken that really makes this worth the price of admission. Except that it was free… but you get my point.

Via Towleroad.

efterklang + kristian leth: modern drift.

I first discovered Danish experimental pop collective Efterklang when some of their music was featured in Jeremiah Zagar’s brilliant family autobiographical film “In A Dream.” Both the film and the music were some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

Efterklang’s sound is ethereal and dreamy and huge. Luckily, it leaves itself so open to visual interpretation. Not a blank canvas, but a launching pad, ready to propel the song into whatever video the lucky director gets to imagine.

For “Modern Drift”, that director is Danish multi-media artist Kristian Leth. The song is gorgeous, and for it Leth has sewn together a stunning and simple vision of nature and life that is achingly lovely.

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zoltán lányi: i’ll have the waldorf salad.

Not only did Zoltán Lányi create this futuristic, fragmented, jolting experimental work to a track by Amon Tobin featuring Bonobo, but he did it while still in school at the Eszterházy Károly College in Eger, Hungary.

To me, the twitching, glitchy POV reminds me of a sort of post-apocalyptic, burned world being studied and leading to the discovery of a whole new level of mechanical life underneath the ruin.

Plus, it’s just really fucking cool.

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Via Ventilate

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david shrigley for pringle of scotland.

David Shrigley is an animation and illustration icon. One of the few animators whose work is so individual that you can usually immediately recognize it’s Shrigley from a single still, his sparsely drawn, seemingly haphazard illustration work is  legendary.

I was a little surprised and worried when I came across a video by Shrigley for luxury knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland. In January I’d seen on one of my favourite blogs, Kitsune Noir, that Pringle had commissioned one of my favourite photographers, Ryan McGinley, to make a film showcasing the Spring/Summer 2010 line that featured the terrifyingly austere Tilda Swinton wandering the misty Scottish highlands in various knits. To me, it was dull and, while beautiful, a waste of McGinley’s phenomenal talents. I was nervous that Shrigley’s work wouldn’t shine either.

I didn’t need to worry. Not only is the video quintessential Shrigley, but it’s totally entertaining; I laughed out loud more than once. Turns out Pringle of Scotland has a refreshing sense of humour, not only about itself but about the entire fashion industry, and they’re not afraid to show it.

Via Motionographer

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spike jonze + method: i’m here.

So, facts are facts and Spike Jonze is a genius. Along with Michel Gondry, he’s one of my long-time favourite directors (ever since his legendary vid for Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” all the way up to last year’s “Where The Wild Things Are”).

His work is filled with explosions of colour, reality mixed with fantasy, waking from daydreams, the importance of memory, sunlit yearning and moments of loss and explorations of our never-ending searches to find ourselves. Jonze is the shit and that’s all there is to it. I’ve felt more full and more empty and more loved and more alone watching his films than any other director.

And now he’s about to explore the humanity of being a robot…

His latest half-hour short film “I’m Here”, screens tonight at Sundance and is scheduled for a release in March. Commissioned in collab with Absolut (and say what you want about corporate sponsorship, Absolut has a long history of supporting the arts and working with up-and-coming designers and artists through various campaigns) it’s the story of  two robots meeting up and falling in love in LA.

The CG character work, from bi-coastal shop Method, is clearly outstanding. The trailer is only 30 seconds and I basically died when I saw it. Once again, Jonze is taking the concept of our most cherished entities – love, beauty, connection – and turning them onto their heads and into something we’d never imagined before.

Via Feed

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david o’reilly + jon klassen: black lake.

There are times when you fall in love faster than you thought you were capable of. All your old signals fade and your plans re-arrange without a word. Your stars align in brand new ways and all the nights you had designed become a dream for your days. Your heart expands and for a time your reality is married to the possibility of everything you can envision. Like a message in a bottle, gently nudged from your shore, this vision travels and, if you’re lucky, the person you love picks it up and carries it with you.

Sweetly, without warning, you construct your potential and in this moment your future and your present melt together. Into an instant eventual, an immediate inevitable. A second where  the possibility of love stretches before you like an ocean and you travel through your imagination; vast and epic and filled with hope, the way each wave yearns to curl up and crash back into the same waters it was first pulled away from.

This is that feeling.

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Following their work together on the video for U2’s “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”, the heart-achingly exquisite “Black Lake” is a collaboration between one of my favourite directors, David O’Reilly, and Jon Klassen and it’s beautiful.

Via Motionographer

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hydra: homunculus.

“Homunculus” is a bizarrely absurd twist on two concepts; one ancient and one psychological. The first of an annual series of experimental shorts from HumbleTV’s in-house team Hydra, “Homunculus” begins as a study of things too small to be seen and too slow to be known. Air and gas and bacteria that slowly rot, pulling at the molecules and fibres of the natural world until they decay. Time, slowly pulling away at the insides of everything alive.

After that, things get really nasty.

Described by Hydra as “…taking its title from the Latin word for “Little Human”, the piece is an associative mashup between the two concepts behind the word: The first being middle-age alchemical beliefs that “little men” could be spontaneous generated from dead or decaying matter.  The second being Carl Jung’s usage as a personification of pure id.  These ideas, combined with our love of Dutch still life’s “beautiful decay,” sowed the seeds for this unique little monster of a film.”

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They began be sealing off an entire still life inside a plexiglass box and used multiple DSLRs shot a frame every 5 minutes for 11 days to document the slow (and noble!) rot. After that the entire Hydra team spent 4 months, from character conception to scoring, to complete the final HD short.

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