“(famous)”

Open AI and Director Jordan Clarke tell a story about an AI who wanted to be famous:

On the video’s Vimeo page, Clarke writes:

A story about an A.I. that wanted to be famous, also written and performed by an A.I. (paraphrased and edited with liberties from a human). Visualized by a human (me), flipping the norm of what we see in the AI-driven art world today. Special thanks to Amie Bennett for letting me bounce off all my ideas, Adam Kirschner for his nft bro performance, and Des Hume for his awesome music as well as featuring a track from the Midnight.

“Shi-Bu-Ki-“

If you’ve never seen this before (and at about 4 million views, how have you not?) then you’ve missed some incredible drumming with accompaniment: two amazing physical performances that, to my uneducated ear, demanded sounds from their instruments that were implausible at least. I did say the performance was incredible, did I not?

Collaboration between master of Japanese drums (Ei-tetsu Hayashi) and master of Shamisen (Shinn-ichi Kino-shita)

The title of the song “SHI-BU-KI” is the Japanese pronunciation of “飛沫(しぶき)” which is the Japanese splash of the sea wave.

From the National Theater, Chiyoda, Tokyo · Folk Performing Performance in 1997

I’m not a big enthusiast for live music, figuring that my own lack of musical chops makes me a less than ideal member of the audience which, let’s face it, is part the performance of any live performance art.

On the other hand, it also means that some of my most vivid memories of performances have only somewhat to do with the art: like one hot, humid late June sunset concert in Grant Park, a piano concerto that demanded a very physical performance from the pianist who came to play fully suited. Would he survive the performance?

This video was twice that…

“PARALYZED”

PARALYZED is another student video, this one being from Adél Palotás:

As the filmmaker puts it: “A short animation film about sleep paralysis. From my second year of Metropolitan University Budapest (2021). Animation, sound design, music and live action scenes made by Adél Palotás.”

For me, it’s hard to avoid being distracted by memories of the people I knew who were students at IIT’s Institute of Design. They would spend long days making stuff, “long” meaning at least one full night. Some of it was end-of-semester panic but it wasn’t atypical at any time during the academic year. One year we had an endless supply of cardboard reclining chairs as one fellow struggled with its elements of design and construction. Eventually the chairs became quite sturdy.

And I guess that’s my reaction to this video: sturdy. And if that seems that seems a bit… trivializing, perhaps… …Well, that’s mostly because you have no way of knowing how much pleasure a well-constructed reclining cardboard chair brings.

“Six Guys”

When I encountered this video from animator Ripley Howarth, I was convinced that I had seen it before yet if so it could not have been the entire video as this left me happily fulfilled. Who could imagine this effect from something firmly within the horror genre? But Howarth squared my circle.

The other thing Six Guys reminded me of was the 1965 film by Polish Director Wojciech Has, The Saragossa Manuscript. Well… they do have in common a magically surreal journey as a central part of the storytelling, but Six Guys is very much a horror movie.

Smoke Break

This from director Alan Sahin’s Vimeo channel: “Before changing a tyre, between a starter and a main course, after admitting a patient: seven places where people are on a cigarette break.”

For a while before smoking was banned altogether on METRA commuter trains, smokers were segregated into designated smoking areas, usually half a passenger car. The cars were divided in the middle by an entrance / exit foyer so the halves were separate.

On late evening trips returning from the suburbs, I generally sat in the non-smoking half. Most of us were bound for the Chicago terminus so there was always a queue to exit the car. And as the train pulled onto the arrival track, the doors between the sections would open. My non-smoking side would shuffle forward in silence but from the smoking section a wall of smoke, conversation and laughter rolled forth. The contrast was amazing.

Whatever else it is, nicotine addiction is convivial.

“Men in Blues”

The pacing may have been off a bit, but that comes with the territory when just about every alien in the Hollywood movie universe is (are?) after the Blues Brothers. Because I think it is important that we smile in the rising gloom, may I present to you another video mash-up by Fabrice Mathieu.

I remember Blues Brothers being filmed in Chicago. On one of the filming dates, I was on my bike to Chicago’s south side to get a haircut. It was the last haircut I ever got.

“Catisfaction”

From Andre de Almeida: this wonderful, psychedelic, existential, and surreal story of a man and his cat. It’s also a really nice mix of animation techniques. Full screen and headphones recommended, though this is strange enough that any altered state is strictly optional.

It’s a love story, you know…

Incidentally, according to Google “catisfaction” is a French grunge band, a cat clinic in Alabama, and a brand of cat treats. It was a new one for me, but the word (a portmanteau, actually) has been around for a while.

I can’t get no…