If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you combined the rollicking, fantastical aesthetic of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, the subtle homespun creepiness of Roald Dahl, and all the zany characters and bad decisions of a college road trip movie, then you need look no further than Prague Race.
From the delightfully twisted mind of Finnish cartoonist Petra Erika Nordlund, Prague Race is the story of three friends (eccentric slacker Leona, neurotic rich kid Colin, and affable powerhouse Miko) who are unexpectedly thrown into a world of magic, danger, and intrigue when they cross paths with a group of interdimensional smugglers and their ambulatory pet shark (whose name is, I kid you not, Fishsticks).
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, August 3rd, 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 »|
When someone thinks of high fashion and designer dresses, he or she usually isn’t thinking about dirt, water, and volcanoes… unless that someone is Liliya Hudyakova, in which case, that’s all she’s thinking about. On her simply titled blog Photo & L’art, Hudyakova brings together the two worlds of designer couture and the natural elements. While combing Mother Nature with all things materialistic may not seem like an obvious pairing at first, it turns out that these two opposing worlds actually click pretty well with each other.
Made by an artist with an eye full of imagination and a love for all things beautiful, this blog is definitely worth checking out. It may be a simple concept, but the visual quality of the pages are mesmerizing, and the places they allow your mind to wander are just as interesting. Next time you need a quick break, skip the Facebooking and spend some time scrolling down Hudyakova’s pages instead. Who knows? You may even see the world a little bit differently after doing so.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Tuesday, July 21st, 2015||No Comments »|
My love for short film and animation was honed in the late ’90s, back when channels like IFC and Sundance would play them all time. These days short films are just unleashed into the void of the Internet while people run around desperately trying to “curate” what’s there (kind of like what we do).
However, my favorite short film TV show of the early ’00s was SciFi (before it became SyFy)’s Exposure. I think that’s where I saw Shadow Puppets for the first time. Although I can’t remember exactly where I saw it, the film itself has stayed with me ever since. Earlier this week while clicking through a YouTube rabbit hole of rare animated shorts, I stumbled across Shadow Puppets for the first time in years and was immediately consumed with nostalgia. This is just one of those films you don’t forget once you’ve seen it.
Created by Chuck Gamble in 1994 for his thesis in computer animation, Shadow Puppets says a lot about society and our passion to be independent. What happens when society tries to dictate our personal freedom–our freedom to enjoy life, to be creative, to be anything but the norm? It’s a film that speaks to our inner need to break free from life’s constructs while, at the same time, showing the beauty of triumph in the face of adversity. But I think the less I say about this film the better. Just watch it for yourself and I promise you’ll feel a lot better about marching to work this morning.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, July 16th, 2015||No Comments »|
The Urban Flora EP has recently hit my personal top 100 list to the point where it’s one of the only things I listen to. I remember when this EP stumbled into my music library; I was scrolling through my never-ending dashboard on Tumblr and discovered one of the songs on the EP, “Fantasy”, and clicked play. The rest, as they say, is history.
Alina Baraz and Galimatias consists of singer-songwriter Alina Baraz, originally from Cleveland, Ohio but is currently living in LA, and Danish electronicist Matias Saabye Køedt from Denmark. This being the duo’s debut EP I wasn’t expecting much, but it definitely delivered. Alina’s soothing voice matches almost perfectly with Matias’s mellow, downtempo techno style and creative beats. Regardless of the fact that some of her lyrics are a bit difficult to understand, the music itself is very easy to fall into and even easier to get addicted to.
Their music is the type to really push out reality and allow this listener to just relax. It’s also ideal for those aesthetic late night drives, calm days at the beach, or my personal favorite, sleeping. This EP is the perfect way to introduce Alina Baraz and Galimatias’ music to the public ear–the music lovers, haters, and all in between.
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Wednesday, July 15th, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’ve ever heard the term “film essay” and not had a clue what it actually meant, you’re missing out…big time. Film essays are a curious thing. They’re not quite documentaries, but they’re not full-fledged, plot-driven fictions either. So what are they? Well, it’s kind of hard to explain.
Sans Soleil by Chris Marker is one of them. Circling the theme of memory, this film travels the world with a single female narrator reading a long letter throughout the entirety of the movie. That may sound boring, but I can promise you that it’s anything but. Filmmakers are raised on this work that is self-reflexive in its form and poetically deep in its content. You can’t quite put your finger on what’s being told to you, but you most certainly can feel it. If you’re looking for a quick thrill or some action-packed sci-fi, this is not your movie — but if you’re interested in watching something that redeems the values of art-making in the last century, then this is your film.
Check out the first minute of the film in the above video, then go get yourself a copy.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Tuesday, July 14th, 2015||No Comments »|
We stumble across lots of cool, interactive projects designed by coders/animators who are looking for new ways to blend art with the digital experience. VOID, a new project produced by Hi-REs, is another interactive experience to join the fray. The project takes you on an immersive experience through space as you fall through a glittery black void, hence the name. The experience is structured much like a book, with a prologue, chapters, and an epilogue. However, the narrative is nonlinear, telling the tale of various black mirrors and ice that can be clicked to reveal cool effects. But if you approach VOID expecting an actual storytelling experience, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, forget trying to figure out the point of VOID and instead focus on simply enjoying the experience, especially the interactivity. Each chapter has a different, cool effect to play with, making it fun for mindless tinkering. Sit back, and fall into it.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, July 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|