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The Hobbit: Video Technology You Can Do at Home – Businessweek

December 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Gollum from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobb...

Filmmaker Peter Jackson’s new installment from Middle Earth has so much sexy technology you’d think reviewers would swoon: 3D; high def; 48 frames per second. Instead, we’re hearing a big yawn. Where did The Hobbit go wrong?

Welcome to the Q Curve. Consumer technology has gotten so good that the professionals we once paid to produce something startling now have difficulty staying ahead. I call this phenomenon the Quality Curve, where the rising quality of what you can produce with the iPhone (AAPL) or Samsung (005930) in your hand, if drawn as an upward line, now often surpasses the quality of professional producers. If the excellence of what you or I create rivals that of pros, our demand for their wizardry starts to slip.

Bilbo Baggins is a case in point. Jackson, whose brilliant The Lord of the Rings series won 17 Academy Awards, decided to solve one of film’s biggest flaws with this new preinstallment about the One Ring to Rule Them All—the flickering effect we get from a film speed set 90 years ago. When movies were first produced, film stock was expensive, so the standard rate of celluloid rolling through a camera was set at 24 frames per second. This means, for every second of a movie, 24 images flash rapidly on the screen to create the illusion of motion. The pace was set not for visual smoothness, but rather to conserve film—24 frames per second was the minimally viable option that gave users an acceptable moving image while holding down film costs.

via The Hobbit: Video Technology You Can Do at Home – Businessweek.

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Ken Russell, veteran film director, dies at 84

November 28, 2011 2 comments
Cover of "Tommy"

Provocative but rarely boring, Ken Russell‘s films included several biopics of actors (Valentino), sculptors (Henri Gaudier-Brzeska) and more frequently, musicians (Mahler, Liszt, Tchaikovsky). His occasionally eccentric view of Life coincided perfectly with The Who’s rather strange rock opera, Tommy, which gave us this memorable Elton John performance and a very large pair of boots.

Elsewhere, there was Tina Turner, Jack Nicholson, Eric Clapton, what more could you want? And no, I don’t remember exactly what the film was about, but in the cinema it rocked. Seriously.

So enjoy the moment, put it on full screen and turn it up!

Strange Random Ken Russell Quote:

“Reality is a dirty word for me, I know it isn’t for most people, but I am not interested. There’s too much of it about.”

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Broadway Union Takes On ‘Priscilla’ Over Recorded Music – NYTimes.com

Priscilla Queen of the Desert – the Musical

Image via Wikipedia

In a bid to protect jobs, the Broadway musicians’ union is waging an unusually aggressive, political-style campaign against the new musical “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” in hopes of undercutting the use of recorded music during live theatrical performances.

Still bruised over losing some guaranteed seats in orchestra pits during their 2003 contract negotiations with Broadway producers, leaders of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians have chosen to make an example of “Priscilla” by objecting to its employment of only nine musicians and use of some taped music. Union officials and the Broadway League, which represents producers, have chosen an arbitrator to consider the musicians’ complaint and are awaiting a date for the first meeting.

via Broadway Union Takes On ‘Priscilla’ Over Recorded Music – NYTimes.com.

Strange Random Theatre Quote:

From the start it has been the theatre’s business to entertain people … it needs no other passport than fun. – Bertolt Brecht, A Short Organum for the Theatre

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Video & Lyrics – theme from Friends

Cover of "Friends: The Official Trivia Gu...

Cover of Friends: The Official Trivia Guide

Today we have another favourite series of many people from the last decade or so. Apart from being responsible for the making and later breaking of the careers of most of the actors involved (with a couple of exceptions), the series’ catchy theme song did more or less the same for a fine band called The Rembrandts – here they are with the cast having a bit of fun in the studio.

By the way, come back tomorrow for a free album download by the Rembrandts’ lead singer Danny Wilde.

I’ll Be There For You
The Rembrandts

So no one told you life was gonna’ be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year

but..

I’ll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I’ll be there for you
Like I’ve been there before
I’ll be there for you
‘Cause you’re there for me too…

You’re still in bed at ten and work began at eight
You’ve burned your breakfast so far… things are goin’ great

Your mother warned you there’d be days like these
Oh but she didn’t tell you when the world has brought
You down to your knees that…

I’ll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I’ll be there for you
Like I’ve been there before
I’ll be there for you
‘Cause you’re there for me too…

No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me
Seems you’re the only one who knows
What it’s like to be me
Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I’ll always laugh with
Even at my worst I’m best with you, yeah

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year…

I’ll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I’ll be there for you
Like I’ve been there before
I’ll be there for you
‘Cause you’re there for me too…

I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you
‘Cause you’re there for me too…

———————

alternative version by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine

Strange Random Friends(hip) Quote:

“True friends stab you in the front.” Oscar Wilde

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Football “Unfit for Females”

Parr in action for England

Lily Parr in action for England

In the week that saw the celebration of International Women’s Day and an Oscar for the Best Director go to a woman for the first time (although we would have been even happier if Sofia Coppolla had been the first), here’s a short film from the archives showing the “scandalous” behaviour of some young women back in 1921.

The English Football Association decided at that time that women should not be allowed to play football,  given their delicate constitution. They were  banned from playing on Association grounds, a restriction which remained in place for 50 years. During this time, many women continued to play on village greens and other land not associated with the Football Association. The more famous teams, such as Dick, Kerr’s Ladies, with their star Lily Parr, toured several countries, despite the fact that they were not always made welcome.

Notice that the word “fit” can have several meanings in English and that there are some plays on words in the text:

fit, adjective

# Suited, adapted, or acceptable for a given circumstance or purpose: This is not a fit time for humour.

# Appropriate; proper: Do as you see fit.

# Physically sound; healthy: He keeps fit with diet and exercise.

(from Answers.com)

Strange Random Women’s Quote:

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult. – Charlotte Whitton

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Interactive Oscar presentation

Oscar is 82 this Sunday. This year, the field of Best Picture nominees has been expanded to 10 films, although if you follow the press, you could be mistaken for thinking that there are only 2!

To get up to date on the films nominated, watch trailers, read reviews and more, The Guardian newspaper has put together this special interactive feature.

You can also go direct to the source by visiting the official Oscar website, which has plenty of material on all the categories, plus previews of the ceremony itself.

Strange Random Oscar Quote:

“Whoever invented the meeting must have had Hollywood in mind. I think they should consider giving Oscars for meetings: Best Meeting of the Year, Best Supporting Meeting, Best Meeting Based on Material from Another Meeting.” – William Goldman

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