31
Mar 10

Crazy Ones

One of my all time favorite commercials is titled Crazy One’s created for Apple in 1997. I can’t believe it’s already more than a decade since this first aired. Crazy Ones was a part of the bigger Think Different campaign created by TBWA\Chiat\Day.  To this day it resonates because of the simple idea that rejection of the status-quo is what pushes the human race forward.  I embedded the Crazy Ones ad below along with some of the Think Different print ads featuring historic figures.  The last image featuring President Obama was a mock up based on this campaign that I found amusing but appropriate.

TrevzNewPop



30
Mar 10

Devendra’s Ass Party Baby

My friends at LP Fashion Philosophy blogged about this new video from Devendra Banhart for his new song Baby.  It is directed by Ron Winter and takes an unexpected psychedelic turn that is very reminiscent of the classic Beatles film Yellow Submarine, except this one takes place in what looks like an ass.  Either way it’s a great video and a great track. Check out the cameos from MGMT and GZA. Also check out the Yellow Submarine clip below that.

TrevzNewPop


29
Mar 10

We Were Once a Fairytale

My recent Robot postings have led me to this video from Spike Jonze for Kanye West titled We Were Once a Fairytale.  Various versions of this video have been leaked and pulled from different video sites.  In this version a drunken Kanye stumbles through a club trashed out of his mind belligerently hitting on girls.  What starts off as a believable plot-line turns into a weird little scene involving hari-kari and an encounter with a rodent like creature.   It will leave many viewers scratching their heads as to it’s meaning.

The first half is easier to dissect as it draws more from a documentary style than conventional fiction. I found the first half far more intriguing than the dreamlike second half.  They say truth is stranger than fiction or in this case scripted truth. In those first 5 minutes Jonze gives us a realistic and gritty glimpse into the isolated life a megastar crashing.  Jonze combines impromptu scripted material with a pseudo music performance.  In the second half Jonze retreated back to his conventional style of integrating animation and real life, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. It is what he does best. However I wish Jonze would have resisted the urge to fall back into his conventional style and stuck with this scripted portrayal of a stars cry for help. Either way it’s worth a look.

TrevzNewPop


26
Mar 10

Digitilisms


25
Mar 10

Akira

Continuing my anime/robot theme of the past two weeks I want to talk about the 1988 landmark film Akira. Akira ushered in the second wave of anime fandom to the states. As a die-hard fan of the anime series G-Force, Star Blazers, Robotech, Raydeen and several others, I was a part of that first wave of anime geeks. As entertaining and well crafted as those films were, they could not hold a candle to Akira. Akira’s budget at the time was unprecedented for anime and it was evident on the screen. According to Wikipedia:  “Most anime [At the time] is notorious for cutting production corners with limited motion, such as having only the characters’ mouths move while their faces remained static. Akira broke from this trend with detailed scenes, lip-synched dialogue – a first for an anime production – and super-fluid motion as realized in the film’s more than 160,000 animation cels.”

I saw Akira on the big screen in the early 90′s when they were showing it for free at The Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College which I was attending at the time. The theatre is huge seating about 2500 people.  I bring this up because when they screened Akira here I thought it would be tough to get tickets. I was surprised to find only a couple dozen folks in the audience. Contrast that with the free screening of New Jack City which filled the theatre and had students scalping tickets. But I digress. Akira was a revolution in anime and has achieved cult status today. You should rent it on Netflix.

There is a live action film in the works by Warner Bros and the Hughes brothers are in negotiations to Direct. Check out the trailer posted below and then the Akira inspired video Stronger by Kanye West. Daft Punk who Kanye samples on Stronger and appear in the video are also huge anime fans. They did an amime film for their Discovery album titled Interstella 5555.


24
Mar 10

More Robot Love

Yesterday’s post for the Spike Jonze short film “I’m Here” got me thinking about how much his characters resembled the Daft Punk robots.  The quirky and endearing qualities may be more than just coincidence.  In the late 90′s Spike Jonze directed a music video for Daft Punk called Da Funk that featured a character with a Dog Head that exhibits many of the same human traits found in his later robot characters.  Makes you wonder who influenced who.  This 2001 Gap ad directed by Paul Hunter featuring Daft Punk and Juliette Louis highlight the same quirky and endearing human qualities that make Spike’s characters so damn lovable.  Here’s to Robot Love.

TrevzNewPop


23
Mar 10

Metal Men & Robots

Spike Jonze just released his much anticipated short film “I’m Here” sponsored by Absolut Vodka. It is an amazing piece of work about a robot who dares to dream and love. This got me thinking about a couple of other short films that dealt with Robots or Robot-like entities.

The short “Death To The Tinman” which I first saw while documenting the Crowne Point Festival a couple of years ago is a tale about a man in love who losses his soul to a tinman but not his ability to love.  The other short is actually an ad titled “Metal Man” or “Why.”  I first saw this ad during the dotcom bubble about ten years ago.  It was made for the then revolutionary, and now notoriously defunct company Enron. At the time I never heard of Enron and this ad made me take notice of their brand. It documents another tinman who is rigid and sluggish. It was a shot at the stogy corporate culture that was out of vogue at the time.  I was a small player in that dotcom revolution so this ad resonated with me not only for its message, but for it’s concept.  And finally directly below we have Spike Jonze’s “I’m Here.”  What I love most about Spike Jonze is how he integrates imaginative concepts with real world beauty.  To see these robots go about everyday challenges and enjoy subtle beauty is true visual poetry.  Anyway enjoy all three.

TrevzNewPop

Footnote: Spike Jonze and Ray Tintori are working together on a new project.

I’m Here by Spike Jonze

Why for Enron Energy

Death to the Tinman by Ray Tintori


22
Mar 10

What Change Looks Like

The day I decided to support Back Obama in his run for the Oval Office it was not because he was African American as I am.  It was because he was the best candidate and smartest man in the room. When he decided to make health-care reform his number one domestic issue I was sold.  I believed if anyone could reform Health-care it would be him.

During the course of my life there have been many important issues that have come and gone with the changing social and political landscape, but for me and many Americans there is one constant… health-care.  The late Ted Kennedy called it “that great unfinished business of our society.” Like many of my artist and entrepreneurial friends I never held a 9 – 5 job and can’t afford health-care. In addition as a kid I had severe asthma and often had to be rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night barely able to breath. This pre-existing condition makes it all the more complicated for me to find anyone willing to cover me.  So I go on hoping that nothing happens to me.  And I am one of the Lucky ones.  Every day people lose everything they have or worse lose their lives because of this broken health-care system.   For the past year Obama has taken up this unpopular and highly polarizing cause to do what is right.  Yesterday it paid off as House members put their seats at risk to do the right thing and pass this historic and landmark bill.  There were times when it seemed like this day would never come.  When we lost the Super Majority in the Senate to Scott Brown it would have been easy for Obama to pack things up and say he gave it his best shot.  After all for over 100 years every President who has tried to pass major health-care reform has failed.  It is a testament to his character that he, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of his party went on to implement this historic bill instead of taking the politically safe route.  As Obama stated in his speech last night “This is what change looks like.”  I couldn’t agree more.

I attached a snapshot of the historic moment.

PS:  As I mentioned because of this decision many mid-term Democratic seats are in jeopardy.  If we want to continue seeing progressive legislation enacted we will need to rally support for these seats the way we rallied for Obama in his run for Presidency.  Moveon.org is a good place to start.  Join their mailing list for very informative updates and ways to donate money.  Money and votes are the best way to support any candidate.

TrevzNewPop


19
Mar 10

Digitilisms


18
Mar 10

Raideen: The Original Transformer

The very first mecha anime series I ever saw was Raideen in the mid 70′s.  It aired on the old UHF channels that had horrible reception and no subtitles.  My brother and I and I were hooked on Raideen.  The fact that we had no idea what they were saying made no difference to us, it was cool.  Raideen was the first mecha anime hero with the ability to transform.  A precursor to anime shows like G-Force, Transformers, Voltron, and the more popular Gundam Wing.  Gundam Wing’s creator Yoshiyuki Tomino also created Raideen and wrote the screenplay and storyboards for the series that started anime Tetsuwan Atomu, better known to American audiences as Astro Boy. Raideen was a part of a series of imported Japanese robots called Shogun Warriors, all based on then-popular giant robot anime shows. At the time the only other person I knew that watched this show other than my brother was my cousin. He also had the toy (pictured below on the far left) and we would go over to his apartment and play with it.  I remember his fist could shoot out.

There was also a Shogun Warriors comic which I had until Mom’s threw out my comic collection about 7 years later.  This collection would be worth thousands today.  The humanity!!!

Raideen was my introduction to the fabulous world of anime and I will never forget tuning into that UHF channel every Saturday night anxiously awaiting the start of Raideen.  There aren’t any movies planned nor is there a DVD easily available. I was able to pull up the opening credits on youtube in Japanese just the way I remember it (minus the watermarks).

Enjoy

TrevzNewPop