Monthly Archive for September, 2010

California/Arizona Time Lapse

More American-Southwest-Time-Lapse-Porn, this time by Dan Eckert who created some amazing shots along Highway 395 in the California desert. And some in Arizona.

(Click to watch on vimeo)

Related: Tom Lowe’s Timelapse Photography

Crustypunk Portraits from NYC

Here’s a captivating blog by Steven Hirsch: Crustypunks. Pictures of and interviews with homeless punks he met at Tompkins Square Park, East Village, New York. Snip from Wikipedia: “Crusties is a term for members of an urban subculture, with roots in punk and grebo. The term pre-dates crust punk and can be used independently. The trend was most widespread in the UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s but there are also international subsets[1]. Crusties are noted for their unkempt appearance and are associated with road protests, squatting, raves and begging.”

Flipping through the blog you’ll hear life stories like this one:

I’m a product of the American foster care system. My mom’s a Czechoslovakian whore and my dad was a sand nigger. His name was Ahmad something or other. I grew up in the foster care system till I was three. So I woke up one day and I was fucking fifteen years old, ran away from the fucking group home. Decided it was in my best interests to become a crack head on the streets. And spent the last two years losing my mind in Oklahoma City. – Ketchup

Or this one:

I’m also a vampire. I was born and raised into vampirism. I was thrown out at a early young age from my family and everything by some wicked church people, satan worshippers or something. All I remember is I’ve been into it since I was born. I speak about eleven or twelve languages when I’m drinking. Not really right now. With the cancer setting in right now because of the heat and everything, just kinda like can’t think right now. Doing my own chemo. And I got a prescription for it, somewhere here in Manhattan. I just gotta go pick it up, if I could remember where the address is. I’m thirty seven. I’m not crazy. I’m not insane. I’m not stupid. – Jeremy

For more of these exciting portraits head on over to Crustypunks…

Tom Lowe’s Timelapse Photography

(Watch directly on vimeo)

Tom Lowe creates timelapse photography. Of rocks. Canyons. Clouds. And Light. And what he creates looks so utterly fantastic that you have to watch it with your own eyes. In his blog he writes up on the strains of shooting and all the technical challenges he has to deal with during production. And I am so not surprised that along the way Tom expresses his sincerest admiration for filmmaker Ron Fricke. I can only and truly underscore his words.

An now, let’s close our eyes for a moment and imagine shots like this on a big screen in a darkened theater. In 3D. Especially in 3D. And we will get a slight idea of the direction where THE AMERICAN BACKROOM (at least in parts) is going to take us… Mark my words ;)

(Watch directly on vimeo)

American Ruins in 3D

American Ruins in 3D! That sounds almost like a scene from THE AMERICAN BACKROOM… or rather like a photo project by Matt Bergstrom. He’s creating three View-Master Sets of abandoned buildings in decay.

“American Ruins” is a three-dimensional, photographic series exploring unusual, abandoned buildings — like a candy factory! — to be viewed on an old-fashioned View-Master. Both an exploration of architectural history and a fun throwback to childhood, backers will receive their very own View-Master viewer and a complete set of reels!

Matt needs a little financial support to get things started so he launched his project on Kickstarter: American Ruins in 3D! How cool is that. Definitely worth our support. Click the image below to check it out:

First art house 3D documentary premieres in Toronto

Here it is, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”, the first documentary film in stereoscopic 3D that is targeted at – let’s put it – more sophisticated art house audiences, and hopefully it paves the way for many more films to come, including our little project here. Directed by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog (whose wonderful documentary “Encounters at the End of the World” already is one of the inspirational sources for THE AMERICAN BACKROOM) “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” leads us into the caves of Chauvent-Pont-d’Arc in France, famous for its extensive cave paintings. Since said cave is not open to the public, I guess you could call it utterly fantastic that Herzog chose stereoscopic 3D to capture images from inside.

The bad news is, so far there are no known theatrical release dates. And considering the numbers of smaller art house movie theaters in Germany that are actually able to screen a digital 3D documentary, I don’t see much hope for it being released in the near future. I’m afraid major theater chains won’t even consider it. It’s a pity. I can only speak for Germany right now, but there is an ongoing (and neverending) discussion about adding and financing digital projection systems to smaller theaters – and right now it seems that the digital revolution on art house screens over here has failed.

Back to “Cave” that premiered last night at the Toronto International Film Festival, and IndieWire got one of the first reviews:

Herzog naturally plays up the enigma at hand with epic grandeur, occasionally overdoing it but usually hitting the mark. Introducing the setting with a majestic crane shot (particularly immersive in 3-D), his camera soars above the cave and surveys the desolate landscape. Unleashing cosmic observations about “the abyss of time” and the like, Herzog ventures into the darkness with his small team, carefully illuminating the 35,000-year-old artwork within. The profoundly magical aura of the footage ranges from charcoal etchings of animals in motion (“almost like a form of proto-cinema”) to hints of attempts at self-portraiture (“as if the human soul was awakened within them”).

Head on over to IndieWire for the full review.

Johnny Knoxville shows us how Detroit lives

The ruins of Detroit and the downfall of what once was America’s fourth largest city are definitely one of the most fascinating aspects of the “other America” – and have been a topic on this blog several times before. In the latest chapter of Detroits videography, a shoe company sent Jackass-frontman Johnny Knoxville to Detroit. Not to mock it Jackass-style, but to visit the local art scene that is flourishing between overgrown façades and abandoned shopping malls – adding just another new aspect to the whole Detroit-story. The end result is the urban explorer-style documentary “Detroit Lives!”. Below you will find a trailer and part 1 of the full-length documentary, hit the jump for parts 2 and 3.

(Watch directly on YouTube)

Detroit Lives! – Part 1:
Continue reading ‘Johnny Knoxville shows us how Detroit lives’