Saturday, October 24, 2020

"2020 (A 1917 Parody)" : Two young men roam suburban Los Angeles foraging for toilet paper, out and about to protect everybody else from the pandemic and wildfires


Stephen Ford’s satire “2020 (A 1917 Parody), 18 min, from Ascender Channel”, gives us Colton Eschief Mastro and Michael Liberman as two roommates not allowed to work from home and tasked to run errands for everybody else.

This schmalzy music score was adapted by Jim Grimwalde from the score to the “1917” movie by Thomas Newman.

In a Los Angeles suburb, the young men dodge wildfire sparks and drones sent by police enforcing lockdowns.  They’re on a mission for toilet paper.  But they wind up making to a protest, which is still assembling despite the cops.

A real lockdown that was absolute probably would close a lot of Internet sites, too.  That’s something nobody has thought about.

There is a minor car wreck and one of the guys gets spat at with mask off, and presumably infected. 

The film is supposed to be in the continuous shot style of “1917” and was difficult to make, took three months.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Yahoo! on "Why Movie Theaters Might Not Survive the Coronavirus" (two weeks ago)


Yahoo! Finance expounds on “Why Movie Theaters Might Not Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic”, two weeks ago.  As we know, Regal has closed indefinitely.

I made a field trip to an AMC in exurban Loudoun County today to see “The Empty Man”, which I will review on Wordpress soon. 

This particular theater, brand new, is open only Friday through Sunday.

I went to the first afternoon show of this horror film, and there was only one other person in the auditorium, so for a daytime showing social distancing was easy.

The theater is hard to find, in an artificial new urban section of Ashburn, VA, on a side street.  It’s hardly appropriate to carry the rewards card around. But they did have a plexiglass screen and a sanitary contactless way to buy tickets.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

"Seedling": what it means if the power goes out, electronics fail, and alien blobs appear


On the Dust channel on YouTube, Stevie Russell has an interesting short film “Seedling”.

On the English coast, a young married couple with a pregnant wife endure a severe storm with lenticular clouds.  Cell service goes out, and she can’t start her car, which suggests possibly an EMP attack or maybe a very severe geomagnetic storm from a coronal mass ejection.

The next morning the couple is on the beach (like in the Nevil Shute novel). She sees an air-floating alien, looking like a shape-shifting mollusk pass by.  Then, the TV and radio come back on inside, and her car fub will start the car. 

Then they learn that the aliens appeared only to pregnant women. Is this a variation of "Rosemary's Baby"?  There is a problem that short films like this really seem like incidental gimmicks, that don't get to probe into the consequences of these dilemmas. 

Picture: Ocean City, MD pier (mine, 2014) 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

"Mr. Clinton, the Cat": who dearly loves his owner, IT YouTuber Louis Rossmann


I’ll do an easy one today, “Mr. Clinton the Cat”.

Louis Rossmann, his human owner, has a computer repair shop in NYC and has a channel of pointed videos about IT.  Usually, Mr. Clinton is at his side, sometimes in his lap.

When Louis goes to work in his repair shop, Clinton will try to tear food containers open.  He is quite adept at opening doors and drawers and getting into things.

He is also very vocal, with constant meows.  Cats generally develop a “language” with their meows which is specific to the owner.

When I was in my first apartment in Dallas 1979-1980 in Oak Lawn, an unaltered male named Timmy adopted me.  He recognized the sound of my car (at the time, a Chevette, which broke down a lot) and would run to the second story (on a landing) apartment door when he heard my car return home.  At night, if he needed to go outside, he would come into the bedroom, meow and scratch the pillow.

He would also try to hide my car keys.

Monday, October 19, 2020

"I'm Going on a Date" (with myself): Connor Franta shows how to make a movie with one character


Connor Franta shows how to film thyself, in a witty monologue, “I’m Going on a Date”.

That’s in West Hollywood, with himself.

So this is how to make a monologue into a screenplay, with all kinds of unusual shots and diversions, while cooking lunch, a vegan pasta, from ingredients.  (What would Tyler Mowery think of the writing?) 

It is also a spot for Target’s “Good & Gather”.  I don’t recall seeing that trademark in northern Virginia Targets.

 If you want to learn to make high production quality video from a monologue, this video provides a pretty good example of the ideas.

The coffeepot picture above comes from the Angelino Hotel on the 405 when I visited LA in 2012.  There's another video (by Reisinger) that urges switching from coffee to tea (and John Fish likes tea, too). 

There was a book in 2000 by Katherine Kersten from the Center for the American Experiment in Minneapolis, “Close to Home: Celebrations and Critiques of America’s Experiment in Freedom” where the author was critical of “self-dating”, where individuals were overrunning family formation, which was becoming an afterthought. But that was years before Obergefell. And a pandemic like COVID had never been imagined.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

"A Very Realistic Day of Online School": just how effective is virtual college?

 A Very Realistic Day of Online School”, by Max Reisinger.

He appears to be attending freshman college in North Carolina from home in Carrboro (UNC?)

In a neat but very full upstairs bedroom with a fridge, the wifi keeps going out as he tries to do the art history lecture.

He then takes a break to cook lunch (from ingredients), before a podcast.

The visual effects and accelerations resemble those in John Fish’s videos. 

And he appears to own an online clothing store  Perspectopia.  It appears he is still 17. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

"Life Beyond" from Melodysheep, with its "Museum of Alien Life"

ALH84001 structures

Protocol Labs, with Will Crowley narrating, provide “Life Beyond” (67 min),in two parts, from the Melodysheep channel.

Part 1 (30 min) is called “Alien Life, Deep Time, and Outer Space”.

Part 2 (37 min) is called “The Museum of Alien Life”.

The series starts with the duality that both the idea of our being alone in the universe, and the universe having “life” everywhere, are frightening.

The second film is more engaging. It gives as an animated look at what life could look like on a small tidally locked planet (more common), or on a large planet.  The gravity on large water worlds is irrelevant because water would have about the same density as tissue. Cold worlds without oxygen might be able to support silicon-based life (Titan).

The film proposes the idea that self-replicating structures conveying information could exist in the upper atmospheres of brown dwarfs, in space (plasma crystals) or inside neutron stars.  Other papers have suggested quantum life with plasma inside regular stars (Michelle Starr from Science Alert).  

Picture: electron micrograph of 1996 Martian meteorite thought to have fossilized bacteria. (Wikipedia embed, p.d., NASA, click for info).