Friday, February 28, 2020

"Must Be the Music" vintage gay short with a teen Milo Ventimiglia

Nickolas Perry directs short film “Must Be the Music” where Milo Ventimiglia, in one of his earliest roles, plays a gay teen attending 18+ night disco in Los Angeles.

They talk about pagers, not cell phones.  The video looks dusky. The film was apparently made around 2000.
They deal with the idea that everybody is “bisexual” (but binary).

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

"The Andromeda Strain (1971) Virus Explained" from Film Comics

FilmComicsExplained : “The Andromeda Strain (1971) Virus Explained

This is a detailed review of the 1971 Robert Wise film (20th Century Fox) of the book which Michael Crichton wrote in medical school and became a hit in 1969.  That’s on my legacy doaskdotell site.  I have a review of the TV series remake on my “cf” blog, May 26, 2008.

The virus comes from a spacecraft at high altitude returning, and it destroys a small town in Arizona, by destroying the small blood vessels of its victims (like Ebola).  But in fact it is a radioactive virus that converts matter to energy and vice versa.

The team goes into an underground biocontainment chamber.  With each level the team undergoes more commitment, including depilation by a photoflash and then “body analysis”.  At the end of the film, the entire facility has to self-destruct to save the world.
The video also discusses the “Resident Evil” virus concept briefly as similar.
It seems fitting today.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"Does the Future Exist?" It's different for every person

The Science Asylum presents “Does the Future Exist?

The past, now, and future is separate for everyone, defined by local light cones.  This video seems to present the hidden variable theory, which now seems discredited (the Copenhagen thing).

The presenter also explains the basic idea of calculus, the infinitesimal, the dxdydx thing (and dt).
He also talks about how the light cone shows what or who you can influence in the future – at a distance, by blogging.  Does "Skin in the Game" require you to stay in your light cone? 

SciencePhile has a discussion of this concept, recently shared on Facebook by a friend, here

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Emily Carnichael demonstrates screenwriting from a prompt

Here’s an exercise that reminds me of the 48-hour-film project.

Emily Carmichael (who writes sci-fi action movies) writes a scene in 7 minutes to a prompt.  She has written for “Pacific Rim Uprising” and “Jurassic World III”.

It’s a sci-fi story set in 2048,  It involves a woman, an older man, and object, and a chase scene.

She makes information more specific, like “leaving town” becomes “to the outer ring”.
The object is a small robot.

"You don't need to be perfect at spelling to be a writer".  Just good at protesting?  You are not supposed to tell the director where to put the camera. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

"Bell's Inequality: God Plays Dice" and the EPR Paradox, by Arvin Ash

Arvin Ash : "Bell’s Inequality: God Plays Dice?"  (and the EPR Paradox).   

There are numerous videos about Bell’s Theorem.  But essentially they all come down to the question as to whether Einstein’s idea of reality is consistent with quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics had incorporated the idea of “local hidden variables” determining reality until 1964 when Bell’s theorem proposed an experiment.

Reality is really based on the interaction of probabilistic fields and waves. This leads to paradoxes but that still doesn’t imply that information (such as with quantum entanglement) can travel faster than light.

A particle is indeed changed when you observer – it is what manifests when you observe the wave.  Fields are “real” without matter of energy but they seem to connect to consciousness.  Donald Rumsfeld’s “The Known Unknowns” (actually a 2013 film) gets mentioned.

It’s a little hard to say how this affects consciousness.  Could the same individual be reconstructed from waves at a different place in space time?  Could this account for aliens, or angels?

The controversy would also feed the play by Michael Frayn, “Copenhagen”, about a meeting between shown on PBS in 2004 (Drama reviews, Nov. 11, 2006).

In 1978, Jeffrey Mishlove authored a book called “The Roots of Consciousness” that discussed Bell’s Theorem and was popular with a group called “Understanding” that I was part of (Dan Fry’s group).

Thursday, February 20, 2020

"Reverse Film School": what does a script supervisor do for the finished product?

Reverse Film School:  What Happens When a Movie Has No Script Supervisor?” posted by Vanity Fair.

A lawyer (at his desk) and client (sitting in front of him) have a conversation. A female script supervisor points out all the logic errors in the segment.

At one point, the lawyer seems to have teleported himself in the room.  That makes sense only if he is an alien and a superman (like Clark Kent from Smallville).  Never mind that I once saw a teenager do that.  Maybe (benevolent, angelic) aliens are with us.

The wardrobe discontinuity is interesting.  In some gay male videos, sometimes shirts appear rebuttoned suddenly.  Look at this one.  he guy in the green shirt should have kept the second placket shirt button closed until the intimacy started, to maintain continuity (and body suspense).

Screenplays (especially shooting scripts) have to be checked carefully for logic errors;  that includes the issue as to how a character knows something about another character's experiences. 
There’s another process called script clearance. We'll cover that soon. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"Findians" in northern Minnesota, as Finnish and native American cultures easily mix

Wildwood Vagabond presents “Findians”.

Other videos have presented the history Finnish emigration to northern Minnesota (as well as the UP of Michigan, Ohio, and other places), some of it after Russia took back some Finnish land.

The native American tribes in northern Minnesota also endured “confiscation” by pioneers, which is becoming a guilty political issue on some of the far Left today.
The cultures intermingled and sometimes intermarried. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

"Lasiurus": 2018 short previews today's apocalypse (Omeleto)

Omeleto offers Leonardo Missorion as the young man in “Lasiurus”, directed by Marcus Alquero,

A young man seems unaware that doomsday is happening around him.  He is alone in a grocery store, comes come and finds a note to look at his phone.  His girl friend has locked herself in another room. 

 Then he sees the bats, and runs to one upper study left.
How appropriate now (the film was produced in 2018).  

Sunday, February 16, 2020

WSJ: "How Scientists Are Trying to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine"

I thought I would share a “short” from the Wall Street Journal on a hopeful development regarding possibly a quick vaccine against COVID-19, the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus   Jason Bellini narrates.
The official title is “How Scientists Are Trying to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine.”
Scientists design vaccines on a computer based on uploaded RNA genetic codes.  The great hope is that this time there will be a “rapid response vaccine” where the body’s T-cells are encouraged to make their own test antigens that mimic COVID-19 antigens. 
The second part of the short also described how a nucleic acid vaccine could work.  It also instructs the body’s white cells with messenger RNA.  This work goes on at NIH in Bethesda, MD, 
Of course the patent needs an intact cellular immune system.
The video suggests that a trial vaccine could be available in bout four months.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Quentin Tarantino: How to Write and Direct Movies

Quentin Tarantino: How to Write and Direct Movies”, from The Director’s Chair.

He explains how “Kill Bill” comes from “me”.  He says his movies are little autobiographies stuck in his multiple genre worlds. Remember the bizarre reference to Clark Kent in the second film. 

He says in a novel you can start in the middle of the story. So his movies are structured like novels.  The ultimate film told out of chronological order (in seven movements, like a song cycle) that circles back on itself is "Pulp Fiction".  But Christopher Nolan often employs similar circular structures, and Tyler Mowery's screenwriting lectures use a plot circle diagram (as opposed to Hauge's which is stepwise).  
He says he puts little metaphors and epithets in his writing from his own life that only he knows about. Often the material seems like lucid dreams, barely outside of reality. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

"Coronavirus and Me" -- a young Irishman teaching English in Wuhan "escapes" to quarantine in the UK and tests negative at the end

Coronavirus and Me: Ben Kavanagh’s Journey: From Quarantine in Wuhan to Wirral”. This is quite engaging and shows what has been going on with the pandemic. 
Mr. Kavanagh, from Ireland, had been teaching English.  He was out for New Year’s Eve when he got a text warning him of a few SARS-like cases in Wuhan.
The situation worsened, and most of his film is shot on the deserted streets of Wuhan in late January, as he puts on very elaborate masks and googles to go out for groceries.
He gets a chance for evacuation, rides a bus for four hours to Beijing and is flown to the UK, and place in a well-supported hotel-like quarantine in Wirral, UK.
Finally, he gets out.  There is a second video where he reports testing negative. He mentions the 24-day outlier case, where others complained he should have stayed 10 days longer.  At some point this has to stop. 
Christos Lynteros writes about how in Asia use of face masks, which may not be that effective, show “solidarity”. 
Wikipedia attribution link, CDC diagram of COVINT-19, CCSA 4.0. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"Paper Boy": black and white short film from festival circuit in India charms with its simplicity

Paper Boy”, from Pocket Films, and Idiot Box films, is a 15 minute short film from India, and won a prize in the Kolkata (Calcultta) film festival and various other fesitvals in India.
It is directed by Amilet Matra and stars Raja as the boy, and is filmed in black and white Cinemascope.
A 10 year old boy delivers a small local newspaper in the slums and runs into touching sights that tourists miss (because they never come to the slums), like a ferry, and pigeons.  Finally a customer throws down a bicycle pump with a paper as a present.

Here's JIFF link to a slum picture. 
I was reminded of “The Bicycle Thief”, Italian film in the late 1940s.
By Arun Kumar Jena / Arnabchat -, CC BY 2.5, Link

Monday, February 10, 2020

"Proof We're Living in a Simulation" according to Connor Franta

Proof We’re Living in a Simulation” (2018), by Connor Franta

Connor experiments with dynamic screenwriting (voiceovers), like “Adaptation”, as he ad-libs after finishing a run in Beverly Hills.  He says he barely missed getting hit by a (driverless) car.  Maybe his own simulation saved him.  His gams are in great shape.

He mentions Pride.  It’s been a while since I’ve watched him.
But let’s have some real science.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

"Parasite" is first foreign-language film to ever win Best Picture, as politics covers up the Oscars tonight

This was the night for politics at the Oscars, perhaps, as Kate Cohen predicted in the Washington Post (for the 92nd Academy Awards). 

At the end, “Parasite” , Boon Joong Ho’s satire in Korean, became the first foreign language film to ever win Best Picture.   While the rich family was away, the caretaking family found the gangsters in the bomb shelters set up anticipated Kim Kong Un.
The link for the Oscar winners was here on ABC Go

Joaquin Phoneix, after winning best actor for “Joker”, gave an impassioned speech about not only intersectionality, but about our not being the only species (yes, orcas are people and should have the rights of humans) and even did a guilt trip about putting milk in his coffee.

Brad Pitt ranted about the impeachment "trial", as reported in many rags.
The Kodak Theater in LA is really big, like an opera house. They had rainstorms earlier this evening, and now the parties start.  WJLA Good Morning Washington will cover it at 4:25 AM Monday. 

Saturday, February 08, 2020

"Why I Left Social Media" according to Dominick Whelton, but "leaving" is a matter of degree and perspective!

“What I Left Social Media”, by Dominick Whelton.

Well, this one doesn’t seem to be the radical step of closing your social media accounts and leaving it forever.  People have threatened to do that (like David Pakman) and not followed through.

He says he gave up posting on Instagram for a few weeks after some family issues distracted him, and feels better about it now. 

I have a more complicated potential situation.  My own online presence is very old (since 1996) and supports my three books and supports a “brand”, a lot of it with hosted content rather than social media itself.  This does not make money now and that is OK with me in retirement as I am OK because of other assets, but that may not be OK forever with social media platforms or even hosting companies because social polarization and cultural changes, especially since Charlottesville.  It could make a lot of sense to discontinue a lot of my activity (including these blogs, as Blogger is somewhat a social media platform as opposed to just publishing even now) and focus narrowly only on a few things (including finally finishing some music composition that has been out there since 1962).  In that kind of environment, it might make sense to discontinue discussing social and political issues on FB and Twitter too, and mention only narrow interests, and not be taken for granted.  I don’t generally participate in raising money for causes or candidates – but Facebook tries to prod me to do that whenever I make a news story linking post.  I like my work to be mine, and not be someone else’s mouthpiece or let them be mine. 
So right now Whelton’s video seems to be the tip of a very deep iceberg – and we do have climate change.

Friday, February 07, 2020

"The 50s" according to "Andrew Goes Places" in black and white

Cory Ewing and Andrew Neighbors (of “Andrew Goes Places”) present the 5-minute short viginette in black and white, “The 50s”.

A young man, whose shirt flaps open and shits again, plays with a beach ball and his girl friend while staring at a nearby hunk.  They’re “on the beach” waiting for a waltzing matilda.

At the end, a little bit of Mike Wallace’s 1967 report on CBS “The Homosexuals” plays.  Not capable of a lasting relationship like a heterosexual make?


Neighbors is an optometrist by profession and could well make a video about transmitting coronavirus through the iris.  That happens. 
Neighbors sometimes appears with Eduardo Sanchez Ubanell.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

"A City of 13,000,000 Is Now a Ghost Town: Shenzhen, China", from an (Australian) visitor's perspective

A City of 13,000,000 Is Now a Ghost Town: Shenzhen, China”:  Ollie, from the Barrett Channel (is this from Australia?) walks around three areas of Shenzhen, across from Hong Kong, including the tech avenue, and then Coco Park.

The channel seems to have many presenters.  This was a young white man in his early 20s who stands out when he walks around.

Everyone wears a mask, even outside, as the streets and shops are deserted.  Occasionally a cop stops him to take his temperature from a distance.  It’s not accurate.  You have to go through security to get on the Metro.
The city looks lie a science-fiction metropolis.  There is plenty of fresh food in the grocery stores, and no one in them.

By WiNG - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

"If You Never Answered X": an iPhone has some found footage of a kidnapping (for Dateline?)

Daniel McKee offers a 6-minute short from the UK, “If You Never Answered X”, on the Omeleto channel. 

A young man’s iPhone is found in the country, and his messages can be traced, including unpaid bills.

He seems to have been last seen at a party. How do you get kidnapped at a party in front of other people? 

Monday, February 03, 2020

"Why Did China Invent the Social Credit System?"

Why Did China Invent the Social Credit System?”, by Serpentza.

It was published Jan. 17, 2020, just as the coronavirus crisis was starting.
He explains the underground economy, where until recently you could “do what you want”.  So the Chinese needed some additional system to control deliberately anti-social behavior.  (Singapore has the same determination to stop sloppy personal habits in public.)
But the video does not describe the actual staged implementation of the scoring, and that some people now are denied the right to fly.
A broader idea of social credit could include voluntarism and community engagement to address systemic inequality on a personal level.
Serpentza notes that Chinese society doesn't like the idea of personal "hobbies" which it sees as a self-centered diversion from common goals. 

Saturday, February 01, 2020

"Stop": a short film about police profiling (Sundance)

Reinaldo Marcus Green has a short film for Sundance workship called “Stop”.
A young black man and student baseball player is stopped while walking home from practice by police.

It is a simple case of police profiling. When the copy sees the baseball in his backpack he lets him go.
This seems to be a Sundance workshop exercise.