It’s been eight years since The Wire ended and, fortunately, the show has not soured its iconic reputation. In a pop culture climate over-saturated with hype and critical darlings that are forgotten about within months, The Wire has maintained its footing as one of the important TV shows ever made. Illustrator Elliot Lim pays tribute to the show with this animated homage to the movers, shakers, cops, and thieves of Baltimore. Using a clean graphic style, he simplifies the familiar imagery of the show into sleek, recognizable profiles any fan of the show can identify. If this video doesn’t make you want to rewatch the entire series again, nothing will.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016||No Comments »|
A big part of anyone’s life and personality is the hold of what usually remains unseen: the memories, the emotions, the mental prisms that seem to trap us, bind us to some preordained fate. The innate parts that always leave us asking: is there any way to break free?
Perhaps there is, declares Raymond McCarthy Bergeron, a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, if we give them form and life beyond our minds. Such is the premise behind Bergeron’s Re-Belief , a zoetrope animation he created with Autodesk Maya software and 3D-printed and handcrafted pieces. In spite all the new technology used, the animation has an eerily hypnotizing feel, in no small part because it was filmed at 24 frames per second, the speed of the world’s very first animations.
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Thursday, January 21st, 2016||No Comments »|
Quentin Tarantino’s endless bag of cinematic homages that pop up frequently in his films is something film nerds have pointed out for years. But unless you’re a cinephile yourself, the endless hat tips to Lady Snowblood or The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly probably spiral over your head.
This short video, a part of Indiewire’s “Genius Directors in Three Minutes” series takes a scene by scene look at the numerous cinematic references and homages that have appeared in the director’s work. The video uses split screen demonstration to show exactly how carefully he replicates scenes, sometimes as exact as the angle of the shot and the color of the composition.
Of course, many might watch this video and roll their eyes at how much has been “ripped off,” but true artists know no art is ever 100% original. The video proves there’s truth to the famous saying: good artists borrow; great artists steal.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, January 5th, 2016||No Comments »|
Sure it might be the most thankless job, but no one can argue that it’s not the most interesting. A Bartender’s Tale is a series that animates intriguing stories told by Brooklyn bartenders. The eight bartenders featured were selected through a contest where they were asked to describe their most unusual day on the job. The finalists were then paired with animators to bring their stories to life.
Presented by Jack Daniels (just ignore the shameless product placements), the eight animated videos range from tales of lost love to bar-top dancing embarrassments. It was hard for us to choose our favorite, but we eventually went with this story (above) about a fat little chihuahua and his superstitious, sports-loving owner. You can watch the rest of the videos in the playlist above, or here.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, December 8th, 2015||No Comments »|
All animal lovers/activists are aware of “dominant theory” and how pop cultural has shaped today’s dog training methods. Tough Love is a documentary that gives a fascinating look on the progression of dog training from the outdated “alpha” theory to the positive reinforcement methods many trainers use today. Featuring the late Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin, the video explains how the “alpha theory” came about and also goes to great lengths to debunk this theory.
Thanks to television shows like Cesar Milan’s The Dog Whisperer, many dog owners erroneously believe dogs misbehave because they want to be “pack leader” and you need to deliver corrections such as making a “tsss” noise at them or jerking hard on their collar when they do something wrong. Tough Love points out that using modern force-free techniques is far less abusive. It is based on operant conditioning and urges owners to reward the behaviors they want the dog to perform so that way their furry friend will keep repeating said behaviors.
Dr. Yin even recounts a story about a Boxer that she had owned named Max who had behavioral issues. She took a class with a trainer who used corrections and grew frustrated when her dog was still “acting out.” His issues lead her to research a more humane way of training, leading to her becoming an animal behaviorist so she can help others.
The documentary argues that reinforcement dog training methods can lead to a deeper bond between canine and owner, and it also points out that force-free methods also work to address the cause of behavior and over time, helps to curb the issue entirely.
If you love all things canine, Tough Love is a fascinating exploration of how dog training has progressed and persuades owners who may be on the fence about what kind of methods to use to choose wisely, for the safety of their pet.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, December 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
If you follow the animation world you’ve probably already heard of Sarina Nihei’s short Small People With Hats, a 2014 graduation film that won the top prize at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival — a huge honor for a student film. Nihei’s strange short will most likely baffle most, and I understand that not everyone will like it, but her world of shocking weirdness speaks so deeply to me even though it’s both a truth and a lie. And if you’re wondering what that means, that’s the weird allure of Small People With Hats. It’s contradictory in its oddness.
But let me attempt to explain it anyway. Nihei illustrates a world where there are only two types of people: giant “normal” sized people and small people with large hats. The giants constantly mistreat the small people, but the small people have their own mission that delves into sporadic devilishness. “The story is based on ideas of despair and absurdity in a society,” Nihei tells Vice. “People are killed for irrational reasons, which always makes me feel despair. But when it comes to filmmaking, I make much of it entertaining and don’t want to make it too serious. That’s how the story ended up.”
I watched the short about three times and still came away feeling slightly different each time. However, my favorite thing about it is that it doesn’t preach. You know it’s saying something, but at the same time it’s saying nothing at all — that weird juxtaposition of meaning and absurdity is something you don’t see every day. If you have seven minutes to kill today, I highly recommend having your brain punched and stretched to this delightfully weird short film.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, November 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
There are two things kids today will never understand: 1) The Simpsons‘ “glory days,” and 2) VHS tapes. This hilarious nostalgic homage by Yoann Hervo will be a psychedelic trip down memory lane for most of us, but most importantly, it continues the awesome trend of Simpsons fan art, which birthed the brilliant Bartkira earlier this year.
This short video is part of a collaborative art project of artists and animators who planned to create a short story within the Simpsons universe. However, the project never got off, so Hervo released his contribution anyway. “Weird Simpsons VHS” is only a small snippet, but it’s full of weird gags, bizarre reinventions of classic characters, and a split second of a birthing video (?). Yep, that was the ’90s.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, November 17th, 2015||No Comments »|