Thursday, December 31, 2020

"Do You Love Me?" if I'm a robot


model railroad 2018 

Do You Love Me?  Here is the wildly popular video from Boston Dynamics.

It is written by Berry Gordy and performed by The Contours.

Do you feel they really have personalities?

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

"A Date in 2025": AI advances are not that far off


Grandfather Mtn NC bridge

A Date in 2025”, on the DUST channel by Ryan Turner, presents an appealing young man Daniel (Sasha Feldman), who is goaded by his AI assistant, which is a little more persistent than Alexa, into dating the young lady in his mundane online school (like the pandemic never ended).

The assistant tells him he is like a cell in a siphonophore, a colony whose individual animals die if they don’t connect to others.  Without romantic suicide, cold logic will force him into suicide.

The AI even pesters him about his masturbation habits.

The final date seems like a bit of a proof of concept.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

"Section 230, Explained": why you need it to be able to post your own content online for the rest of the world to see


Facebook, 2018

Section 230, Explained” by Jennifer Huddleston, of the American Action Forum.

The eight-minute documentary contrasts the reasons why both Trump and Biden want to get rid of Section 230 (of the 1996 Telecommunications Decency Act, with its “26 Words that Created the Internet”. That parallels the differences between conservatives (who see Big Tech censoring their speech, currently about the 2020 election) and liberals (who want do control hate speech and radicalization, which has become a real problem since Charlottesville).

Huddleston make a real point that a platform (or web host, which has a very different paradigm from a social media company) does not “own” your content.  Imagine what would happen if it did.

She does not get into detail as to what would happen if Section 230 were abolished altogether, but for that go to Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Elliot Harmon and his Oct 2020 NYTimes op-ed.  Many people would eventually be stopped from having their own personal presence online at all.

There is a good question as to whether earlier court rulings from the 1990s would provide some downstream immunity protection, or whether a common carrier law for hosts would be a good idea as a partial replacement.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

"Whiteout": film shot in a single take as a couple driving in a blizzard confronts a homeless man in the road


Feb 2010 blizzard in DC area

Whiteout” by Lance Edmands, presents a young couple driving a deserted road at night in a snowstorm, when they come upon an apparent drunk man (Patrick Tihany) in the way.

There is a philosophical conflict between the man and woman  (David Call and Sarah Tihany) as to their duty to help, and they call 911.

They sacrifice the coat that the man and try to help him.

They get back into the car, and the man charges.  They have to drive off. The cops are coming.

The film (from Washington Square Films) was shot in a single take and was released on another channel in late 2019. It was placed on the Alter channel a few days ago.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

"Haunted Holiday: Gay Ghost Haunting", erotic adventure from India; why did YouTube channel "Gay Awesome" get axed on Christmas Day?


St park in Maryland

Haunted Holiday: Gay Ghost Hauntings”, from Rudra Productions, is an extended fantasy-mystery road trip gay film (33 minutes), directed by Amit and Mohit Singh, apparently from India.

Two young men and a young woman go away for a holiday.  At night they have car trouble, and are led to a haunted hotel.

In the hotel there are some odd people (one who walks on all fours), and an enigmatic young man who seems to be gay.   So the two young men (Ashkit and Mohay, I think) are drawn to him, and then discover each other, just as Khushi is trying to get them checked out the next morning.

Then there is a flash of light and seemingly a medical catastrophe.  Maybe that’s a spoiler.

The film (apparently in Hindi) did not provide subtitles.

As another note, a channel of gay soft core videos of men in suits was suddenly taken down Christmas Day by YouTube, called “Gay Awesome”, also calling itself “The Office”.  Indeed bizarre.

Friday, December 25, 2020

"Timelapse of Future Technology 2022-4000", and yes AI will become self-aware


Bronx Botanical Museum, 2014 

Venture City presents “Timelapse of Future Technology 2022-4000”.

Elon Mush will launch a vehicle to Mars in 2022?

Humans will get tattoos and dermal implants to control devices and even communicate telepathically. Bioengineering will reduce or reverse aging.

Late in this century, quantum computers will be able to create conscious beings that live 5000 years and can even have their own funerals.

By about 2300 we will be a Type 1 civilization  and soon after be able to build a Dyson Sphere and become more like a Type 2 (Kardashev scale).  It will take until 4000 to become a type 3 and control the galaxy and manipulate space-time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

"SOG": Outdoors, in a German forest, a gay and a straight man


trail in Maryland

The short film “SOG” , by Jannik Gensler (Dec. 18, 2020), in German, plays on bisexuality.

Two young men are camping in the woods.  That is Linus (Daniel Dietrich) and Jonas (Vincent Lang).  They sleep in a tent. Next day, Jonas, who is supposed to be straight and is conspicuously male, twists his ankle.  That provides the trigger for intimacy.

Monday, December 21, 2020

"How to Be an Ally" (Patrise Cullors from BLM)

BLM sign in Arlington VA

Patrise Cullors (a founder of Black Lives Matter) talks about “How to Be an Ally”.  This is a recent video, today, Dec. 21, and would go along with a recent YouTubeOriginal series of videos called “Resist”. "Allyship" has become a trendy word, of what is expected now. 

She talks about the concepts of ally, accomplice, and co-conspirator.

Sometimes an “ally” only shows up when it is convenient.

She also says that privilege is a matter of what you have not been forced to deal with as well as what you have been given.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

"Straight Friends vs. Gay Friends", from Eduardo in San Francisco

San Francisco Market St 2018

Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell treats us with another short, “Straight Friends vs. Gay Friends” (6 min).

The music (an upward scale) is certainly coy, and sets up a lighthearted mood in a troubled time. 

It’s filmed in his pod perch in San Francisco, and is pretty much a display of “manliness”. 

I can remember a time when, in the 1980s, teachers would play "don't tell" by saying "I have gay friends". 

I wish gay YouTubers would tell us what is going on in LA and San Francisco.  Everyone I know is staying healthy.  Yet the media reports a mass death event, especially in Los Angeles.  What is going on? 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

"The First Contact", micro sci-fi and a warning



The First Contact”, from Yangon in Action, June 14, 2020, is a 2-minute microfilm showing the first two minutes of an alien invasion over what may be Lima, Peru.

There is a huge spherical ship looking like a Christmas Tree ornament, and then some other daughter puff balls.  The mother ship spews out lightning, probably zapping electronics was with a microwave flux or EMP attack.

So the film is a bit of a warning. It does remind me of "Independence Day" (1996), but without Bill Pullman as president and without a hive-mind alien. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

George Clooney wants the fibbies to bail out movie theaters with the stimulus bill (what about AMC again? What about Warner Brothers and streaming?)


Minneapolis Nicollet Mall 2019

 George Clooney wants a bailout for movie theaters, as KARE11 reports (Minneapolis-St Paul affiliate). .

Clooney became ill with pancreatitis recently after losing twenty pounds to be in a film “Midnight Sky”, about a scientist (in Iceland) trying to contact a space crew after a global catastrophe, as explained in Eton Online.

Timcast IRL discusses and has fun with Clooney’s “demands” from the Congressional stimulus hearings.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"Line 21", microshort about a very bifurcated world in 2184


Christmas show, VA

Rafael Dufour presents the micro sort film “Line 21” for Artfx, May 2020.

In 2184, the rich people live above the clouds (in separate high rises, reachable by a super elevator) and the poor people live in barrios on the ground.  It sounds like “Elysium” (Aug 10, 2013).

Actually, middle class people don’t live well either.  When a young woman attempts to get on a tram to take her to the sky, a robot stops her.

Then we learn that the robot, driven by AI, has emotions and is aware of itself.

The last minute of the 4-1/2 minute film is taken up by snazzy credits.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

"Truth of Dare": game with a male couple offers a "tribunal"


Wren building 

Truth or Dare” with male couple R. J. King and Charlie Knepper.

I’ve seen this kind of thing before, on Eduardo’s channel, and on Fear Pong.

King doesn’t get to keep all of his leg hair, as there is a tribunal in the middle.

But later there are some bad table manners with bananas, and we all know what they resemble. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

"Magico": a gay magician auditioning for a regular job finds an interesting partner, maybe


knick knacks

Juan Sebastian Valencia presents “Magico”, which seems like a compressed gay version of “The Prestige’, perhaps, posted in November 2020.

Luke (Aaron Evans) is going to audition for a troupe in a magic show.  A bisexual swaggler Carl (Sam Street) enters the picture, ambivalent about what their relationship may be.

But the tension stirs Luke to develop his skills, which do become supernatural.

There is a somewhat intimate scene in the middle section.  They take off their own shirts (why not let them do it to each other) and the total count of chest hairs is zero.

The film has won awards in numerous LGBT film festivals.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

"How to Get Your Film on Netflix" with Brett Culp

flying over Utah, 2018

 “The Art of Photography” offers a video  How to Get Your Film on Netflix”, with filmmaker Brett Culp.

He started out working in wedding photography (like a film I remember from 2002, “Married at the Mall” in Minneapolis), and came up on the idea of kids (often with medical issues) overcoming adversity with a “#WeAreBatman” idea.

He went on to make a film “Legends of the Night” (2013), based on the idea of storytelling on hero characters to lift people up.  Later he made “Look to the Sky” (2017).

He talks about the “passion in your heart” with “what the world needs”.    We get selfish, “I will do it for me.”  (Like finish Bruckner’s Ninth?).

 This question could apply to how to sell to Amazon Prime or to YouTube Original.  YouTube seems to want to be a little more like Netflix, with all its censorship. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

"Out": an appealing teenager has to come out to his dad (LGBT), and then there is a need for "radical hospitality"


condos near the 405 in Los Angeles, 2012

Out”, directed by Greg Michael Blanchard.

Christopher Breitinger plays a teen with an appealing boyfriend played by Steven Brogan. He tells (implicitly) his mom (Lauren Henning) that he is gay, and his dad(Doug Mears) insists “you don’t make decisions like this at your age”.

But then the boyfriend is gaybashed near the home and shows up at the front door.

Seems to be filmed around Los Angeles.

This is a well paced short with a basic philosophical conflict – deciding v. being.

The film is an “Aldo I. Gallinar” production.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

"The Truman Show", it tried to "warn" us (in 1995)


Key West FL 2017

A channel called “The Take” has several videos on the 1994 movie “The Truman Show”, directed by Peter Weir, written by Andre Nicol, from Paramount Pictures (mini review here).  This video (July 30, 2020), is called “The Truman Show Tried to Warn Us.”

Truman Burbank is an insurance salesman living in what looks like Florida.  But his whole life is contrived for him to be the center of, for one long reality television show.  The entire southeastern United States is placed under a bubble just for Truman.

Truman is a kind of “protagonist” who gets out-of-proportion attention drawn to him by the whole world, as if it care about nothing else.

Carrey manages to make himself likeable enough.

I wonder if that’s what the protagonist ‘Bill” accomplishes on the spaceship and O’Neill cylinder world, in having three backstories shown just for him, with a dedicated cadre and cast of “actors” ready to become other people to survive a plague on Earth.  Such it is with my script “Epiphany”.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

"Road Rage", and it is not what you think it is

Bishop's Palace, Llandaff 2011 5


James Button acts and directs in “Road Rage”, a new short film from Dust.

A young man, driving a sedan in Wales, asks Alexa to time travel with a common idiom, and the software starts duplicating him at different points in time, and even his car, and putting them on the road at one.

Picture: Bishop's Palace in Cardiff, wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Sunday, December 06, 2020

"Alone", from Dust channel; a woman in a space pod doomed by a black hole learns she can become holographic help for others stranded in the future


spire, DC Wharf

The Dust channel presents “Alone”, directed by William Hellmuth.

A woman, Kaya Torres, alone in a space pod, finds herself circling a black hole, getting closer to the Schwarzchild radius.

She finds a male companion “online”, and he may be a hologram. But she finds her way to a doomed planet, where she may have a chance to become that “hologram” for a while to guide other lost or doomed travelers.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

"Dominant Chord": a gay country music singer is put on the spot by his record label


Nevada, 2012, my trip

Dominant Chord” is a new gay short film by Jeremy Leroux (website).

Adam Charles (Clayton Chitty) is married to Brian (Sean Proague), and is a country-music star. When gay-bashed in the streets, his record label gets concerned about him and his “brand” (a kind of perversion of the idea of trademark). The company (Jolene, Caitlyn Stryker) wants to send him on a paid trip to Mexico pretending to be straight with women in sexual situations.

Obviously, his husband feels this is an invitation to cowardice.

In these days of woke politics, I doubt any major record label would really find it good business to behave this way.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Andrew Neighbors directs short film "Wetstone"; Warner Brothers lowballs the theaters during pandemic


Andrew Neighbors has directed his first short film, “Wetstone” (11 min), based on a short story by Sean Campbell (Dead I Productions)

Theo (played by Andrew, of “Andrew Goes Places”) finds an unusual rock when hiking with a boyfriend, and maybe others in his pod. (They all seem to be doing well personally during the pandemic, according to various other videos from California. It helps to behave smart.) 

He brings it home, and finds if he squeezes it, all the plumbing in his condo starts to leak.  (And can repair people come during a pandemic?)

Then, yes, somebody wants it back.   Eve (Julia Black) is the intermediary to an ancient curse.

In another matter, Warner Brothers has announced that in 2022 it will stream all its movies the same day of theatrical release (even of the size of “Tenet”), on HBO Max (which you can get on cable if you pay for it explicitly, or which you can join on the site itself). Hollywood Reporter discusses the “criticism” from struggling AMC Theaters. 

Thursday, December 03, 2020

"Life in Germany-Occupied France" from 1940-1944, from the Armchair Historian

Invalides aerial view


The Armchair Historian presents “Life in German-Occupied France”, which seems to have a game manufacturer as a sponsor.

The channels seems to have several animated films showing the effect of war on civilians.

The video explains the split between Vichy France and Occupied France, and then (after a brief introduction showing a family scurrying in Paris backstreets) and then shows the impact on civilians.  There was rationing of food, which caused some starvation.  The French laborers were conscripted as slaves in order to return political prisoners from Germany to France.

The history of the effect of war on civilians is always important, and the moral questions are sometimes parallel to those of the pandemic.

Wikipedia embed of Invalides defense museum, Paris, click for attribution 

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

"Six Minutes of War", a forest infiltration during WWII from the German side


ParaLight Worx presents “Six Minutes of War”, a German film by Adrian Martin, Hans Holt, and Ludwig Bachman, presenting a typical insurgence in a forest during World War II from the German side.

The music score is taken from the game “Day of Infamy”.

It’s not exactly light night infiltration in Basic Combat Training.

One soldier finds an Allied soldier down and gives him water.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

“Why The Ancient Greeks Couldn’t See Blue”, science and anthropology lesson

Blue Jay Ash RWD5

 AaapScience explains “Why The Ancient Greeks Couldn’t See Blue”, posted Nov. 24. 2020. 

Very few objects in nature are blue (bird with blue feathers are so because of reflective subtraction, not pigment).  So ancient minds tended to perceive blue as without color, a kind of gray.

Our brains learn to see color because we give them connation.  Crayon boxes present brown as a separate color, and we don’t perceive it as a dark orange. Likewise, our brains perceive pink as a separate color from red.

Our actual experience of color is socially constructed.

Facebook uses the color blue because its founder is partially color-blind.

Imagine making a movie called “Color” in black and white.  Only a nitwit would do that.

On Oct 15, 2008 here there is discussion of the three colors trilogy by Kiewslowski.

Wikipedia Blue Jay picture, embed, click for attribution.