Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Known Universe by AMNH

TThe magic of this film, though, happens as the inky black expands. Pulling farther and farther from Earth, you see the deep blue of the Pacific give way to night as the Sun comes into focus, the orbits of the solar system shrink smaller and smaller, the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpio stretch and distort, and, as the Milky Way receeds, the spidery structure of millions of other galaxies come into view. Then, you reach the limit of the observable universe, the afterglow of the Big Bang. This light has taken more than 13.7 billion years to reach our planet, and you return, back to Earth, to two lakes that are nestled between Mount Kailash and Mount Gurla Mandhata in the Himalayas.

The structure of The Known Universe is based on precise, scientifically-accurate observations and research. The Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History maintains the Digital Universe Atlas, the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe. The Digital Universe started nearly a decade ago. It is continually updated and is the primary resource for production of the Museum’s Space Shows such as the current Journey to the Stars, and is used in live, real-time renderings for Virtual Tours of the Universe, a public program held on the first Tuesday of every month. Last year, some 30,000 people downloaded the Digital Universe to their personal computers, and the Digital Universe will soon be updated with a more accurate and user-friendly software interface. Digital Universe is licensed to many other planetariums and theaters world-wide.

“I liken the Digital Universe to the invention of the globe,” says Curator Ben R. Oppenheimer, an astrophysicist at the Museum. “When Mercator invented the globe, everyone wanted one. He had back orders for years. It gave everyone a new perspective on where they live in relation to others, and we hope that the Digital Universe does the same on a grander, cosmic scale.”

The new film was produced by Michael Hoffman, and directed by Carter Emmart. Brian Abbott manages and Ben R. Oppenheimer curates the Digital Universe Atlas. The exhibition at the Rubin, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, opened on December 11 and continues through May 10.

Data: Digital Universe, American Museum of Natural History

For more information visit

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Taste of Contemporary Swedish Pop

While I slave away at the thesis construction I have been keeping myself from the pit of desperation by listening to music. One genre that is totally suitable to the writing of a PhD thesis is the pop that is coming out of the West Coast of Sweden at the moment. Here is a taste of it.

Little Dragon - A New (From their Album "Machine Dreams")

José González 'Crosses'

Anna von Hausswolff "Track of Time"

Wildbirds and Peacedrums "My Heart"

As well, while not West Coast, the sound of Fever Ray is worth including in this small collection as it resonates with many of the same so-Sweden sounds I think.

Fever Ray: When I Grow Up

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Toshio Matsumoto - Atman - 1975

Toshio Matsumoto (松本 俊夫, Matsumoto Toshio?) (born March 25, 1932) is a Japanese film director and video artist. He was born in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan and graduated from Tokyo University in 1955.

His first short was Ginrin, which he made in 1955, however his most famous film is Funeral Parade of Roses (aka Bara no soretsu). Funeral Parade of Roses influenced Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange heavily. The film was a retelling of Oedipus Rex, featuring a transsexual (portrayed by Peter) trying to move up in the world of the Japanese gay bars.

Matsumoto has published many books of photography and is currently a professor and dean of Arts at the Kyoto University of Art and Design. He was also the President of the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences.

(This film is intense and could give sensitive people a headache or a fit)

Hare Ram Hare Krishna : Dum Maro Dum Mit Jaaye Gum

Bollywood director Dev Anand explores a subject that was new to Hindi cinema in 1971’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna: hippies and drug culture. Despite being somewhat critical of the stoners in the film, director Anand depicts the “straights” in an even worse light: conventional, uptight and cruel.

Hare Rama Hare Krishna is the story of a young woman, portrayed by actress Zeenat Aman, who runs off to Katmandu to join a hippie commune. In this groovy clip, Zeenat lipsynchs “Dum Maro Dum” (take another puff) as a group of hippies follow her directions and start toking on some industrial-sized chillums.

From Dangerous Minds

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Rolling Stones in Hyde Park 1969

The Rolling Stones played a free concert in Hyde Park London on 5th July 1969. This is the film of it. Here are the security detail, made up of members of the Kent chapter of the Hell's Angels (by today's standards they look eccentric).
After a couple of drug-bust-heavy years off the road, the Rolling Stones were at a few turning points as of July 5, 1969. Their back-to-basics Beggars Banquet album signaled the end of the rainbow dream of Their Satanic Majesties Request, and a return to a therapeutic blues mode that would last them long into the ‘70s. Most importantly, guitarist Mick Taylor of John Mayall’s Blues Breakers had replaced a drug-soaked Brian Jones, and Jones had been found drowned in the pool of his Sussex home two days before their previously booked free performance in Hyde Park. The Stones decide to go on with the show. As shown below, Britain’s leading independent Granada Television was there. Granada put the biggest rock concert in England’s history to that point (250,000 people, with Woodstock planned for a month later) into context by chatting with the band, the fans and members of the amazingly efficient Kent chapter of the Hells Angels. Unfortunately, the Stones’ next huge concert would demonstrate that the Kent Angels neglected to exchange notes with their West Coast brothers about how to best secure a large crowd.

Rolling Stones - The Second Wave
Rolling Stones - The Second Wave is a documentary film which looks exclusively at a period of unrelenting activity as the Stones celebrity reached fever pitch on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world. From 1967-1969 it features rare performance footage, seldom seen band interviews, and the music of the era throughout

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Nirvana: Live Tonight Sold Out

Nirvana: Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! is a video album released by the grunge band Nirvana on laserdisc and VHS on November 15, 1994. The DVD version was released November 7, 2006. Kurt Cobain compiled much of the video himself, but did not complete it prior to his death. Surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic worked with director Kevin Kerslake to complete the video, attempting to remain as close to Cobain's vision as possible.

Most of the live footage is from 1991 and 1992. The latest footage is from January 23, 1993 at the Hollywood Rock Festival in Brazil. A message appears at the beginning of the film to say that due to the circumstances of Cobain's death it was never completed.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


"Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?"