Monday, December 31, 2018

"Versatil": award winning gay short film from Spain about white-hot young manhood



Carlos Ocho has posted his “Cortometraje” (“gay short film”) “Versatil” (“Versatile”).

In Barcelona (apparently) two strong young cis-gay males work through their initial passion into starting a relartionship, but have to work through their physical expectations first.  The couple is played by Eudald Font and Christian Escudero.
  
Because the film is more explicit than usual, I decided not to embed it.  Here is the link.  It would be likely to be rated "R".  
     
The film runs fourteen minutes.  It strikes me that a film like this could do well if it took more time to build tension among the two lovers, but then it woudn’t be a short film.

The film won awards at the Barcelona Film Festival and many LGBT festivals (esp. Chicago).


I’ll embed something PG-13, “Perks of Being a Gay Couple” (2 minutes, Buzz Feed Video).  Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell makes a cameo.

Wikipedia attribution link for Barcelona picture, by Amadalvarez, under CCSA 3.0.  Reminder, it the European Union’s plans for Articles 11 and 13 go through in 2019, creative commons licenses for many European sources could disappear.  

Sunday, December 30, 2018

"Hollywood Is Now Targeting Black Men": Economic Invincibility talks about equal opportunity emasculation in big studio romantic comedies and heist films




“Economic Invincibility” does a quick rundown of movies where beta males act like cuckolds, now “Hollywood Is Now Targeting Black Men”.


He focuses on romantic comedies with weak men who given in to the demands that women spend money on them, to get, well, you know what.

He discusses “Rumor Has It” and then “Made in Brooklyn”.

He then notices that Hollywood is putting black makes into the same situation in order to remain politically correct. The tone of his remark suggests he is fine with African American men being well portrayed when circumstances justify it.
  
He talks particularly about “Hitch” and “Game Change”. But he notes that the roles for black men in TV in the past were hideous (“Amos “n’ Andy”).

Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Math's Existential Crisis": Even South Park can't undo Godel's Incompleteness Theorem



Undefined Behavior offers us “Math’s Existential Crisis”, an animated presentation of Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem.


We’d rather be incomplete than inconsistent.

Does that mean quaternions really won’t completely describe the Universe?

Or does this explain why Donald Trump gets away with making up relative truths?
  
Or does it explain the radical Left’s infatuation with intersectionality:  the idea that language is invented to express a power structure to oppress captive peoples, but that no ultimate descriptive truth exists. We get back to James Damore’s Google memo. Maybe Fox News will approve of this one.   

By the way, "undefined behavior" has an antonym. Jack Conte's "manifest observable behavior". 

Friday, December 28, 2018

"What's a Tensor"? How to describe every point in the Universe



Dan Fleisch explains “What’s a Tensor?


Well, he says they map to the “facts of the universe”.

He starts with vectors  (or vector spaces) and build a ranking system that corresponds to how blocks in a lego set can be arranged.

Tensors can be related to quaternions, I suspect.

When I went to K.U. in the 1960s for my M.A. in math, tensors was offered as a course.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

"Born Free" in the 1960s was a heartthrobing big cat movie


With all the cat videos around showing these animals’ intelligence and social capacities, I thought I’d resurrect my memory of seeing “Born Free” (1966, Columbia Pictures / Open Road) in my college years (actually, grad school at KU in Lawrence Kansas, I think in the Granada Theater).
  
  
The film is directed by James Hill and Tom McGowan (uncredited) and based on Joy Adamson’s book. 


When George and Joy Adamson have to kill a man-eating lion and lioness in Kenya, they are left with orphaned cubs to raise.  One of them, Elsa, the youngest kitten, becomes very attached to them.  When they try to set her free, she keeps returning.

General experience of ranchers or people living in rural areas is that large cats remember people who have fed them, or return to property where they find water and food.  Bobcats remember people well but are too large to be in homes (and are generally illegal).  In South Africa, sometimes cheetahs are kept as "pets" on ranches but allowed to roam (the 2005 film "Duma").  They seem to return,  
  
The couple is played by Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

"James Damore at Portland State": left-wing protesters challenge math and statistics as "inconvenient truth"



I’ll call this a “movie”: That is, “James Damore at Portland State”.


The remarks by James and others at 15:30 and then earlier at 13:00 he mentions violent threats from coworkers.

This is just incredible.  Participant Media should make this into a dramatized movie (but Participant isn’t “conservative” enough, maybe).

Damore (text of his memo) seems only to have criticized quotas by gender.  True, statistically, there are differences by gender.  Then they talk about the difference between “binary” and “bimodal”.

Then they distinguish between “stereotyping” and “talking about population distributions”.

Protesters get up and leaver when a panelist says women gestate and lactate.  Then out in the lobby protesters call the panelists fascists.  I thought this was a staged movie!

But protestors haven’t been taught the relevant statistical concepts and what you use statistics for. They can see only the end headcounts (at about 20:40).

"Inclusion" is presented as a trojan horse term.

Google's idea of diversity wasn't big enough that could not take issue with itself (at 45:00) -- it could not function as meta-speech.

Arstechnica has a good summary of the whole incident and of Dampore's litigation.

There is an important question at 57:00 about how diversity works in Scandanavia, where it seems females are superior in everything maybe.

At 1:02 a "comrade" refuses to identify herself because of the possibility of being "doxed" and she claims her people are being shut down. 
      
An interesting byline is that big league sports don’t actually make gender a requirement to play.  It’s just that normally only men can play most of them.  But I would be that eventually there will be transgender players in Major League baseball, especially relief pitchers.

Wikipedia attribution link for P.D. photo of PSU by pe2moji

There is also an extract short film by Mike Nayna, "James Damore, Helen Pluckrose, and the Second Culture." 

Monday, December 24, 2018

"Marooned", excerpted in "Roma", was followed by better films about being lost in space


Since the film “Roma” offered an excerpt (albeit in black and white) from the 1969 film “Marooned” by John Sturges, for Columbia Pictures, I thought I would dig it out.  I barely recall seeing it while “home” on a weekend when in the Army.


It’s based on a novel by Martin Caidin.  Three astronauts (Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna and David Janssen) get stranded in space when their engines won’t fire.  Bad weather compromises NASA’s rescue plans.


Moreover, the idea that one astronaut needs to be sacrificed to save the other two comes up, and Crenna’s character dies.
  
We’ve seen better films since then, like “Apollo 13” (1995, based on the 1970 mission) and more recently, “Gravity”.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Ironic short "Will Patreon Ban This Film"?": a journalistic experiment with Patreon's sudden purge of some conservative speakers with inconsistent rule enforcement




Rebel Wisdom produces a 27-minute short film with the ironic metatitle: “Will Patreon Ban this Film?

Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin) makes his statement, and the film shows the incident on another platform where Carl used the n-word with respect to irony when speaking of “Nazis”. He is said to have made a homophobic slur, which he denies.

This film is made by another Patreon provider as a “journalistic experiment”. He mentions the “empty chair” in journalism when Patreon was offered the opportunity to comment.

One of the speakers notes the “inclusivity paradox”. Inclusivity cannot be forced.  That is, you can say “you are obliged to love me” but that will only happen if “you want to live me”.  I’ve seen this happen in my own life.


The film also excerpts Tim Cook’s speech “hate speech has no place on our platforms” and yet the speech seems sanctimonious and might imply forced inclusion or equity.

The speakers also note that tech platforms dread being accused of helping Donald Trump get re-elected if that happens.  This leads to “guilt by association”, common with authoritarianism. Could a content provider be banned because “they” had somewhat favorably reviewed the book by Milo Yiannopoulos?

This video should be viewed in conjunction with work by Matt Christiansen and Tim Pool regarding interviews with new Patreon staff where the staff person seems not to be concern that Patreon applies its off-plaform behavior rules (not mention in TOS) capriciously.   

Saturday, December 22, 2018

"Sports!": gay workup basketball





Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell (writer), Cody Callahan, and Zach Graves appear in Kyle Krieger’s short film “Sports!"


Eduardo introduced to two cis men and to take pot luck on whether they are gay when practicing hoops (basketball). They take turns acting cis and then not so much, even in the way they take shots. 
Remember how those phys ed teachers (even Cam in Modern) made you memorize that Naismith invented basketball?   
  
Perhaps there is a tad of humor about left-wing political correctness, that has invaded Internet platforms. 
  
I’d like to see one about baseball. 

The film quality is a little overexposed and lacking in definition sometimes.  Why does Eudardo wear tights?

Let’s see some serious stuff on climate change.

(first) Picture: Fort Lauderdale Beach, my visit, Nov. 2017;  (second) picture: basketball court in Washington DC, Adams Morgan

Friday, December 21, 2018

"One Point Less in the Sky": in high school, two young men who pretend to be straight have to come to terms with each other




One Point Less in the Sky” (“Un punto menos sobre el cielo”) is a short film by Roberto Carlos that seems to be set in Mexico.

Roberto Carlos and Oscar Calero play two high school teens, developing a bond.  They both pretend to be straight and attempt to date girls.


Now in my high school days, this kind of openness with a chum wasn’t possible although it came close (I’m thinking of a particular night in August 1961).
  
But the film has a very disturbing first shot and final shot, which explains the title.  I don’t know if the script (in Spanish) really justifies it.  The end credits also have warnings.
   
Picture: By Jeff Kramer - Flickr: Cathedral, CC BY 2.0, Link

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Netflix is complicating Hollywood business models, indeed



Brooks Barnes reports in the NYTimes on how Netflix has gone to Hollywood’s “heart” by releasing films, now sometimes online and in limited theatrical runs at the same time, or very shortly thereafter, as with “Roma”.  

Netflix (and to some extent the free offerings on Amazon Prime) tend to be topical – lot’s of documentaries or true story dramas on important subjects that are not that popular with family theater audiences. 


Netflix also has a lot of variations on science fiction and dystopian drama themes.

Netflix is also getting into legal battles with established studios over retaining talent (Hollywood
  
Back in April, Alex Shepard has asked on “New Republic”, “Can Netflix take over Hollywood?” and noted that Netflix’s culture is at odds with festivals and awards even though it encourages independent filmmaking in its own way.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"Oblivion": post apocalyptic short film by Jason Beckett, seems to show what could happen after multiple E1-level EMP blasts






The 29-minute short film “Oblivion”, by Jason Beckett, gives you a clue with the simple subtitle “A Post-Apocalyptic Short Film”.

Jason plays his own lead character, Theo Finnis, an attractive college student on what looks like a Canadian campus.


In the opening scene, he walks into a student cafeteria, in a scene that reminds me of a little incident in Marvin Hall at GWU (in DC) back in October 2010 that has some significance to me. After he sits down, however, there is a blast, and a ball of light, like a thermonuclear blast.

Then three years and two months later, in the winter, he gets up in his little dorm room and begins is adventure for the day.  Power is on, but electronics are fried.  (That sounds like an E1 EMP result from a fission nuclear blast, but not E3, which is from fusion thermonuclear.)

He records a daily dairy on his cell phone, which does not connect to anything, should he be found.
  
He plays a little jazz on a piano, and then he encounters three more people (Hannah Morse, Adam Ladd, Ethan Blake) who engage in a local fight (maybe an eye-gouging) for survival. 

The filmmaker has his own YouTube channel and Instagram, which I’ll look at.

(See my “cf” blog – navigate through Blogger profile – to see Dec 16 film “EMP”, electromagnetic pulse).
  
Picture: Lodge near Lake Tahoe, CA, from my trip in September 2018.  Second picture: student building, at GWU in Washington DC (where I graduated 1966). 

Monday, December 17, 2018

"Man on Fire": documentary about a pastor who immolated himself to atone for the town's past racism




On Monday, December 17, 2014 some PBS stations aired the 1 hour documentary “Man on Fire”, directed by James Fendleman and produced by James Chase Sanchez, for PBS Independent Lens. 

The film accounts for the self-immolation of pastor Charles Moore, 79, in the parking lot of a Dollar General store in Grand Saline, TX, in the eastern part of the state.


His motive was to atone for the town’s generational history of racism.

Many people interviewed believe that race is no longer an issue for most people today. The film does account for a history of lynching in the past, which is also covered in the late Gode Davis’s unfinished film, “American Lynching” (the estate has apparently secured the materials and a PBS station in Boston is working on it, I believe). 

Moore had considered ending his life on the SMU campus in University Park, Dallas.

The Texas Observer covers the film in this article, “The Truth about racism in East Texas”.   There is an earlier article by Michael Hall in the Texas Monthly.
  
The official link is here. The film beings with a reenactment of the event.
  
Picture: from Balch Springs, TX

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Beloved Sam": a challenged young man in Germany recalls his relationship with a charismatic American young man, in letters, as his brother overlooks




Beloved Sam”, (“Gebliebter Sam”) from Queerblick (a short film video distributor in Germany), directed by Jugentreffs, from Think Big.


David (Johannes Adam) A somewhat portly man in Germany writes to a past American companion Sam (Noah Hutchins) who says he had come out as a tween and seems very mature and articulate indeed a few years later, having moved from the US back to Germany.  In writing the letter, David recalls his meetings with Sam, and also his troubled relationship with his own brother.

This film is very short (4 min); in German with titles but with the flashback encounters in English.

I was most recently in Germany in 1999 (Berlin, Dresden); also 1972 (Frankfurt, Hamburg, saw the Wall from the train in the countryside.)

Image: Wikipedia: By VollwertBIT - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Saturday, December 15, 2018

"Stockholm Daybreak": two straight young men have an encounter at summer arctic dawn on a pedestrian bridge in the city



Stockholm Daybreak” (“Gryning”), by Elin Overgaard, presents two attractive straight young men (Tom Ljungman, Aavid Arnesen) at daybreak on a summer morning (around 3 AM) after being in a disco and not picking up women.


Nevertheless, they gradually decide they can become curious and affectionate about one another. Oh, but they’re not gay.
  
The film is shot on a bridge over a canal in the city. Sometimes the rising Sun overexposes the shot. I was there in 1972 (as far north as Kiruna).  The encounter is intimate, but gentle and not too explicit. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

"Your New Social Credit Score": fictitious now (except in China), but could it happen in the UK, or even the US?




Tom Scott has published a YouTube dystopian animated short, “Your New Social Credit Score”.


The film refers to a fictitious social credit system for England and Wales, after Brexit and even Scotland’s and Northern Ireland’s separation.

It’s an obvious extension of China’s social credit score system now going into effect now.

I like (I’m kidding) the “certificate of disassociation” where you tell the government you have no connection with a person who is being blackballed.  The number of “disassociations” you get would lower your score.

I supposed voluntarism could be highly recommended to raise your score.
   
Maybe this is what we mean by personal “rightsizing”.  It sounds so very Marxist.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

"The Choice": animated film show how a young adult male executive can stay thin, or get fat



“Project Better Self” offers this animated short microfilm, “The Choice”.


A young junior exec who works in “good clothes” makes his little choices about snacks, naps, walking, driving.  His workplace doesn’t have Varidesk yet.

I’m reminded of those Macy’s store ads of men with “slim” and “very slim” waists.  This guy remains slim with only one future.

I have to say, in gay bars, for men,  tall and thin is definitely in, whatever the openness to fluidity. A cat would jump onto the shoulders of the tallest guy on the dance floor to watch the action of everybody. That would make another idea for a short film.
  
Maybe the hapless guy in this short film has never read Stephen King’s “Thinner”.

Monday, December 10, 2018

"Tetration": when algebra gives more clues as to what generates consciousness





Tetration” sounds like a horror film for DC Shorts.  Actually, it’s another entertaining math tutorial from “The Taylor Series”.


This little film explains why addition and multiplication work so well as operations in group theory when applied to real numbers (and complex).  It gets iffier when you get to quaternions, which generate the behavior of elementary sub-particles of baryonic matter and of the forces in nature.

It gets iffier, too, as operations get more complex (exponentiation and then tetration)   The commutative (and maybe associate) laws on your middle school algebra tests stop working. That’s troubling for consciousness. (Tetration is not the same thing as titration, like in chemistry quantitative analysis.)  

But his building new operations is important, because it could contribute even more to physics, like string theory.  You go from math to physics, to chemistry, to life (biology) to generating and recycling individual consciousness.   We don’t know once a new occurrence of a consciousness is instantiated and attached to a body (yours, or the bobcat who visits your house for food) whether it exists in some form once you’re gone.  If you know you’re dead, you’re immortal.  Math doesn’t tell us yet.   Nor does math explain group v. individual consciousness.  But it may tell us how easily life would arise on alien worlds. 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

How to unwrap the Earth into a gigantic O'Neill Cylinder




“3Blue1Brown”explains “But Why Is a Sphere’s Surface Area 4 Times Its Projection?


This 17 minute video offers two visual proofs of Area – 4 times pi times radius squared. The visual methods correspond to differentiation and integration in calculus. 

The unrapping of the sphere as a cylinder offers what – well, an O’Neill cylinder.

The projection of a shadow onto a flat plane also offers some possible sci-fi concepts if you want to make a movie about life in space.

This little video reminds me of my substitute teaching days.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

"Why Social Justice Is Cancer": that is, the ideology of it, not the resultant



Lauren Chen explains “Why Social Justice Is Cancer: Identity Politics, Equality, and Marxism


She doesn’t object to social justice as a natural result in a well-functioning society, but on it as an ideology.

She is right on in noting that the “social justice warrior” movement is about focusing on one’s identity as a part of a group and not as the self.  Along with this is the ideology of “intersectionality”.

Everything in this ideology comes from the karma of belonging to an oppressor or oppressed groups.

In intersectional theory, people pay for the sins of others in their groups.

She recommends people educate themselves about what’s in the Communist Manifesto.

People are calling “social justice combat” a new “religion”.
  
She also mentions the controversy over people (perhaps particularly on the “Right”) being taken off Patreon recently.

Friday, December 07, 2018

"A Tour Through Our Solar System": back to grade school, but some great art work



A Tour Through Our Solar System” just gives us the basics.


Running 14 minutes, it comes from “Blogunknownmysteries” but has the narrative style of a 50s little Golden Book, maybe.

But there are pretty good illustrations of what places like Europa and Titan look like.
   
The Kuiper Belt probably extends about a light-year out, a quarter of the way to Alpha Centauri.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

"Foodfellas": short film from USC Film School, where the mob takes over the fast food business




Foodfellas”, a satire short film by Reuben Guberek , from Film School Shorts (USC), 13 min, is inspired by “Goodfellas”.
  
  
A young man makes a deal with a clown figure in the mob to dominate the fast food business. Pretty soon he has to endure the consumer lawsuits for Type 2 diabetes. And then he hunts down his boss. 
  
The shootout at the end is both terminal and funny. 
   
I wouldn't want to own a franchise bad enough that it would be a mob target.  And chicken nuggets don't look like bitcoins to me. 
    
The guy in “Pretty Privilege” (Oct 23) is credited here. 

Picture: My trip, Sept. 2018, near San Francisco Civic Center. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

"Infection Control Film" for UK hospitals: with pacman doctors there are no risks



BrandAnonymous has an “Infection Control Film” for Cambridge Hospital of the UK’s National Health Service.


It’s animated with pac-man like characters and a rhyming poem (imagine having been hired to write this script). But it manages to mention norovirus (“vomiting”).

The handwashing requires scrubbing and polishing nails (they would have been trimmed, as for piano). They involved scrubbing wrists.

I have a reason for looking at this in my own fiction writing, and I’ll come back to it.

Should we wonder about restaurants and fast food next?  
   
This is one of the shortest “short film” ever, at 1:13.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

CNN Films: "Remembering George H. W. Bush"


Saturday night, December 1, CNN Films is airing “Remembering George H. W. Bush” (link ).
   
This may be the quickest feature film every assembled.  Bush died late Friday November 30 after many bouts with pneumonia.  His wife Barbara had passed away in April 2018.


Of course, what I remember best is how the world changed with the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War. It would help set up the political climate in which Bill Clinton could propose lifting the ban on gays in the military.  I even remember Gen. Schwarzkopf’s radio briefings as I drove to work early in 1991.

And Bush was president when the Berlin Wall fell, and when the Soviet Union collapsed suddenly at the end of 1991.

Here is a story on GHWBush’s last words. 

His mother said, when you win, don't gloat.  Talk about the team, not yourself. 

The funeral will be at the Washington Cathedral on Wednesday December 5, 2018.
  
I remember when Barbara spoke about family values in the GOP convention in 1992.  She said “You don’t have to be married, but if you have children, they have to be the number one priority in your life.” 

His "Thousand Points of Light" is said to be the largest volunteer organization in the world.  I can't say I volunteer for people's everyday needs.  I hasn't been very personal recently.