Many fans of George R.R. Martin’s hit fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire are very disappointed with the way Game of Thrones executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss have handled the source material. If you’re sick of seeing the violence against women being used as a shock tactic in Game of Thrones or felt the writing was lagging in the fifth season, then read on to learn why you’re better off sticking with Martin’s original novels.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, July 31st, 2015||1 Comment »|
“A moment of love, a dream, a laugh, a kiss, a cry, our rights, our wrongs…”
These are lyrics from probably one of my favorite songs of all time. I have film fanatics on social media (because this song was featured in the movie 500 Days of Summer, which starred the beautiful pairing of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to thank for leading me to this fine tune. I remember listening to this song religiously every hour of every day and completely disregarding the other songs on my iTunes. I mean, why wouldn’t I? It was beautifully composed and the lyrics were just amazing. The actual meaning of the song took me about a good three years to discover.
Coming from the band themselves, the song is about the innocence of youth and the transition between acting on everything in the spur of the moment and having to rationalize everything and use our heads more, also known as adulthood. In all honesty, I thought it was just one of those songs that had a nice melody to it and absolutely no depth to its lyrics, but once again, I was proven wrong. Curse you, internet.
The Australian group has written many other songs, but they didn’t receive the same amount of hype as this song did, for obvious reasons. This one song gained them multiple awards and a small taste at what all artists dream of: fame in the mainstream. Though their last self-titled album was released in 2012, I still have a little sliver of hope they might release some new projects soon. *crosses fingers*
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Thursday, July 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
Director Jack Starrett’s action/horror/thriller A Race With the Devil is everything you’d expect and more from a 1970s film of its sort—meaning that it’s both ridiculously creepy and strangely hilarious at the same time.
Imagine what would happen if you put two young couples in a top-of-the-line RV and then have them chased by a freaky cult after witnessing a secret ritualistic celebration in the woods. Just about every thing that could go wrong does go wrong. From broken awnings to dead dogs, it’s not a pretty picture.
However, when you combine the terror of the plot with the ridiculously macho actors Peter Fonda and Warren Oates, you’ve got yourself an instantly good time that’s nestled somewhere between hiding behind a pillow to laughing your but off. I’m not sure if it’s the film’s age or its storyline, but something makes A Race With the Devil more entertaining than it’s even trying to be.
They just don’t make movies like they used to.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, July 29th, 2015||No Comments »|
I’m a sucker for digital art, especially the animated kind. Maybe it’s because my art taste still hovers around my childlike love of “shiny” things–things that dazzle the eye instead of the head. And sure, I can see how that might spur criticism from those who question how long our interest in innocuous tech (gifs, etc.) can hold up past the novelty stage in a medium that’s already constantly evolving. But one look at artist Sam Ballardini‘s work proves we don’t have to worry about that just yet.
Ballardini’s work is quintessential for Tumblr and exists in their trademark realm of fan art and high art. Her world celebrates the lightness of popular culture, whether it’s an homage to Terminator or FKA Twigs, while casting everything in a shadowy grey. It’s a world encompassed by ghostly heroines with daggers, black cats, and uncertainty. Her animated sketchbook style brings her work to life, making them feel tangible and real, as if they were living and breathing pieces that could be accessed through a dimensional Tumblr warp hole. It’s the type of work that, once seen, must be shared. Sure digital illustrators are a dime a dozen, but this new generation of artists is proving that “shiny” art can be just as innovative.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, July 28th, 2015||No Comments »|
Stephanie Kallos’ novel Language Arts revolves around a teacher whose life is falling apart and who has to learn how to pick up the broken pieces in order to find healing.
The star of the story is Charles Marlow, a high-school English teacher who is enamored with the subject of language arts (hence the title). Despite his scholarly skills, he is frustrated because his daughter just left for college, his wife left him, and he finds it difficult to connect with his son, who has autism. However, with the help of an Italian-speaking nun and a clever art student, Charles may finally learn how to mend the broken pieces of his life and find peace.
Kallos has a compelling cast of characters that you can’t help but feel sorry for in their vulnerable fragility. There is also an interesting juxtaposition with how Charles struggles to connect with his son Cody and his fascination with a childhood classmate who wore all white and likely shared Cody’s diagnosis.
Language Arts is ultimately a story about the difficulty of communicating without words. From how Charles struggles to connect with his son to his fascination with an old childhood classmate, Charles’ struggles culminate into a beautiful moment that ties art, language arts, and family all together. Although the non-linear format may confuse some readers, Language Arts is a fascinating look into the secrets and pieces that build a life.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, July 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
The first thing that impressed me about Journal was its art style. Not knowing much about it, I picked it up anyway for that reason alone. I didn’t have any high expectations because indie games like this, while innovative in ways, can sometimes slope too far on the amateurish side. Games with two dimensional characters who wrestle around with “deep” plots are a dime a dozen these days, and I find myself appreciating them more than actually enjoying them, like slogging through a well-written but boring book.
I assumed Journal would be like this as it has all those components: a single narrator grappling with issues, a unique art style, text driven, etc. But there’s nothing amateurish about Journal. Most games that give you “good or bad” choices have obvious paths you’re expected to take, but here that’s not the case. In fact, the game hurls tough issues at you that tackle your conscience in ways you’d never imagine. And that’s the true gem of Journal.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, July 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
Even though you might not recognize his name, you’re definitely familiar with Martin Schoeller’s work. All those super high def, close up portraits of celebrities, politicians, and other iconic figures that frequently appear on the cover of TIME, New York, and others? That’s Schoeller. He’s been creating portraits in his signature “close up” style for more than a decade now, getting intimately personal with his subjects in a way most photographers are too afraid to do.
Close Up, presented by Mediastorm, is a series that highlights all of Schoeller’s most iconic portraits (Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt) and splices them together alongside pictures of average people. The juxtaposition of famous faces and nobodies creates an interesting window into how we interpret intimacy. We think we know celebrities. They’re in the news every day and blanket our magazine covers, but as you peer into the eyes of, say, Jack Nicolson or Britney Spears–both their faces raw and imperfect–it reveals how much we little know.
Our tendency to want to know them on a personal level is no different than the people we pass on the street or while riding the bus or drinking coffee at a cafe. Close Up captures our shakey understanding of intimacy and shows how little we truly know.
Editor’s note: We personally find the music in the video annoying. Take our advice and unplug your earphones before you press play.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, July 23rd, 2015||No Comments »|