Film Archive

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    You may already be sick of hearing about Glastonbury (particularly if you didn’t manage to get a ticket and had to watch other people watching Dolly Parton in a field) but here’s something I never knew about the famous festival; it has its very own newspaper. In 2013 a seven-tonne vintage 1957 Heidelberg printing press was installed at Worthy Farm on which a 15,000 run Glastonbury newspaper was produced. It was back again this year but this lovely little film focuses on its debut appearance, the enduring appeal of printing in this way and a couple of theories about why the printing press proved such a hit with the Glasto-going public.

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    The only thing cooler than a girl gang is a girl gang of six-year-olds who are insanely good at skateboarding. Meet Pink Helmet Posse, a group of three astonishingly talented and cute little girls who are best friends, and love to skate. The New York Times have commissioned this spectacular short film about this curious trio as part of their consistently brilliant Opinion Pages, inviting the viewer to check out something that’s going to blow their minds and also make them think a little too.

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    Say what you like about music videos, for me the most successful have to be two things: simple and cool. Sound easy? It’s not, but when you think of any fantastic music video that’s stuck in your mind for years afterwards, it’s usually both those things combined seamlessly to create something magic (see Michel Gondry’s famous Chemical Brothers video). Back in the present day, this video for Uumellmahaye (gesundheit!) by Lithuanian artist Manfredas ticks the boxes perfectly. Director Ruta Kiskyte assembled some enormous inflatable letters in a disused plaster dump in the middle of Lithuania and got a guy to take his clothes off. The question is, is the naked man going to pop the smoke-filled letters we see before us? Wait, what’s that in his hand? Is he? He’s not…Oh yes, he’s going to bloody pop the letters! Perfect.

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    I love how OK GO just drop a sensational new music video every now and again like it’s no big deal. If you haven’t seen their insane back catalogue of music videos so far (come on, keep up) then go to YouTube and watch so you don’t sound like a total noob when everyone’s talking about this in about there hours time. If you have then check out this brand new video created by Special Guest and directed by Aaron Duffy, Damian Kulash Jr. and Bob Partington.

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    Next week the Royal College of Art’s much anticipated graduate exhibition Show RCA 2014 opens to the public; the culmination of two years’ intense study for the students involved. As media partners we have created a series of video portraits taking us into the studios 9And hopefully the minds!) of some of those taking part and the first one debuts today; a chat with Innovation Design Engineering student Nell Bennett. Look out for more next week as well as some special videos from the private views.

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    Olimpia Zagnoli is an illustrator we’re fond of. Her application of bold shapes and bright colours to elucidate the subtlest of social observations is right up our street, and it turns out to be exactly the kind of work which translates easily to public places, as she proved last year witht his cool project. So what happens then when an illustrator this talented turns her hand to art direction, and applies the same rules to moving picture?

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    Starter for ten: where did James Joyce write Dubliners? Nope that would be far too obvious, in actual fact it was in Italy, and in its most north-eastern corner Friuli Venezia Giulia to be precise. It’s a beguilingly beautiful part of the world that has captured the hearts of a host of towering creative figures: Ernest Hemingway built a house there and the film director Pier Paolo Pasolini spent much of his life in the region. Stretching from the Alps down to the shores of the Adriatic Sea, Friuli boasts incredible landscapes and yet seems overlooked by the hordes of tourists who descend on Italy every year, making it one of the country’s best-kept secrets.

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    If you’re feeling like you’ve heard, read and listened to all the stories there are then check out Jungles in Paris who document unique tales from across the globe. The brainchild of Darrell Hartman and his brother Oliver, the pair have created a fantastic website of short documentaries and photo essays inspired by new discoveries.

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    It’s sad, but the strangely hypnotic How It’s Made has become one of my favourite programmes over the years simply because it champions the most mundane items you can imagine and gives them a starring role.

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    An audio-visual match made in heaven, animator Daniela Scherer got together with musician Tom Rosenthal to create the video for his new music video for As Luck Would Have It, and her Western theme, minimal colour palette and cowgirl-come-mother central character turned out to be the perfect animated accompaniment to Tom’s dulcet tones. The video is simple in approach, following a young pregnant woman as she becomes a mother, interspersed with effortlessly composed images of cowboys laid across train tracks, magic 8-balls which always tell the truth, and one particularly arresting shot of a woman absent-mindedly whistling while singing the ukelele. It’s a wonderful music video, and if you’re anything like me, one that you’ll feel inclined to watch on repeat for a full 15 minutes before you can click away.

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    If you don’t give a toffee about typography, then the fixation on any font probably seems a touch tedious. But this fantastic new film from Steven Qua for The Times newspapers is an engaging and accessible exploration of this famous typeface, which takes in both its history and its current incarnations at the newspaper for whom it was designed. There’s insights from the likes of Andy Altmann, Marina Willer, Neville Brody and Monotype’s Dan Rhatigan so there’s more than enough here for both the initiated and the as-yet-to-be-converted to enjoy.

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    Here’s an exclusive for all you lucky lunchtime lurkers, the premiere of We Were Evergreen’s brand new video Belong is happening right here, right now. Rather than a smörgåsbord of poignant close-ups and intricate instruments, We Were Evergreen has kicked it up a notch by joining forces with the ever brilliant, Kate Moross for the visuals.

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    We featured Madeleine Waller for her photographs of swimmers at London Fields Lido way back in 2010, so you can imagine our delight to find that these very charming images have been published in a book all of their own, entitled East London Swimmers, by Hoxton Mini Press.

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    Basement Jaxx are currently teetering on the cusp of releasing the first new music that they’ve made in absolutely ages, and I’m sure it won’t dampen anybody’s excitement to know that the visual accompaniment to their new song Unicorn does indeed feature a unicorn. It’s one that’s been magicked up by video artist and animator Tomek Ducki, who’s responsible for no small number of mind-bogglingly good animated shorts. This one is a true tribute to the 80s soulful disco culture that Basement Jaxx value so highly, with flashing wormy creatures, dancing under spotlights, and unicorn horns with minds of their own running riot all over the place. I think you have to see it to believe it.

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    CANADA’s recipe is usually a very simple one: take a selection of beautiful, scantily-clad girls, place them in mid-century surroundings and have them act out all manner of strange activities. The rest always seems to work itself out. For their latest reel of film, as part of Nowness’ #DefineBeauty series, they’ve added a magnificent cheeky twist to this winner of a recipe which you’ll have to wait to the end to enjoy – although that little bug-eyed guy below has a lot to do with it.

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    Four years ago designer and photographer Anna Brooks was one of our Graduates class of 2010, wowing us in particular with her twist on the familiar class portrait. It seems apt that just as we launch this year’s graduate scheme we find out there’s a new string to her bow. In this music video for Isabel Broox’ single Sleep we follow a couple through the course of a day – so far so standard.

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    No video could open more perfectly than this one from The Lonely Island, which starts with a brilliant Made in Chelsea-esque parody of a windswept British girl on Waterloo Bridge with the London Eye behind her. She’s saying in a horrific Ab Fab accent “Hi this is Bridget, should I come over later?” to a Brooklyn-based Andy Samberg dressed in his finest American lad gear, not giving two effs about what she has to say.

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    I’m a sucker for a really well-executed spoof, so take a bow New York based artist/copywriter and filmmaker Dan Shapiro. Inspired by “the stereotypical conventions of the faux-introspective, vague creative profiles floating around the internet” Dan decided to lampoon them by creating his own. From the floaty music to the cliched, sun-kissed shots,the subjects’s supremely irritating self-deprecating chuckle to the inane pronouncements (“It’s about being present and aware”) Dan has got it spot on.

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    Remember back in 2012 when that guy Wlodzimierz Umaniec vandalised a Rothko painting in the Tate Modern? He got jailed for two years, and the mixed reaction from the public was an incredibly interesting one. The painting was taken away by Tate and, since the incident happened, not much has been said about it. For 18 months however, Rothko’s vandalised Black on Maroon has been gradually repaired by the world’s finest restoration crew.

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    You know when you stare at the sun for too long and your eyes turn everything dark around you? That’s the feeling that pervades Dawn in Luxor, Kahlil Joseph’s new short for KENZO, which falls alongside their Spring/Summer 2014 collection. The LA-based filmmaker is known for the “fragmentary, paradoxical and beautiful” lens he casts over the world he captures, and all three adjectives are at work here.

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    This awesome new music video for Eugene McGuinness absolutely rocks. In fact, it rocks so hard that it seems to get to the very heart of what it might mean when someone says that they are “rocking out”. We might even go as far as to say that this video for Godvia is the definition of “rocking out”.

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    It’s always great when a creative for whom we’ve long banged the drum turns their talents to something slightly new and wows us all over again. So it is with Dutch creative Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, who has just created this great promo short for young accessory brand A Scarf Called June, to mark his own addition to its range. There’s soaring choral music, some nudity and a riotous culmination of colour in Jordy’s signature style. Believe us; this is well worth one minute of your time.

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    I didn’t know anything about Iris Apfel until I started working at It’s Nice That, and now what I know about her can be reduced to a few words; she’s really bloody cool! In fact she’s so cool that Tate Modern invited her to offer some thoughts on their blockbuster 2014 show Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs in a short film. In it Iris chooses a series of unsurprisingly glamorous outfits that have been inspired by her favourite pieces in the exhibition. There’s a Dior cape that’s, “as heavy as a horse blanket,” some early Gianni Versace, “that kind of just goes doesn’t it?” and other garments that Iris declares are, “so Matisse-y!” In conclusion; “I guess everybody who worked with colour was influenced by our friend. Mr Matisse certainly knows how to carve through colour!”

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    Metronomy frequently astound us when it comes to producing videos and album artwork – it was only a heartbeat ago that they had Michel Gondry direct this absolute stonker of an audio-visual offering – so we probably shouldn’t be surprised that their latest one is so good, but we are anyway. Directed by Daniel Brereton and animated by Matt Lloyd, the video for Reservoir uses felt-tip animation in what might be the best way we’ve ever seen. Watch out for the band’s voiceover towards the end and just see if you aren’t utterly won over. Can’t wait to watch this one in all its analogue, homemade glory on an actual TV screen, speakers blaring.

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    It’s always a joy to hear from filmmaker, photographer and long-time friend of the site Thomas Brown, especially when he comes bearing glad tidings of a new project. This time he’s created the video for Alex Banks’ new single All You Could Do, alongside set designers Lightning and Kinglyface, and their visual treatment fits the urgent, slightly unnerving music perfectly. There’s lots of imagery that sears itself onto the brain and Thomas has the confidence to disorientate the viewer from start to finish. Typically he wears his talents lightly; so while on the one hand he describes the work as “an embodiment and exploration of energy and light,” in the same breath he admits it’s “bonkers…It involves a Burroughs-esque dream machine, truly trippy visuals and Brighton going apeshit.” He’s not wrong.

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    It’s always nice when two of your favourite artists are brought together in some way, when one kind of art form inspires another. Great collaborators often produce great work: I’m thinking of Michael Gondry’s music video for Björk, or Dali’s dream sequence for Hitchcock, or Keith Haring painting Grace Jones. So I was very excited to see Markus Hofko, a.k.a the Bow, a.k.a Rainbowmonkey, a New Zealand based graphic designer and digital artist, making a video for Flying Lotus’ shimmering track Phantasm (feat. Laura Darlington).

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    A very professional beyond-his-years film here from Kingston University student Scott Carthy. For two days he followed some very fast-moving street performers around New York and discovered their talent and the jeopardy they have recently found themselves in. “Manhattan, since mid March, has seen an urgent reform, with arrests of performers using the cars as their stage trebling in a New York minute,” Scott told us. “Section 1050.6© of the New York city Transit Rules of Conduct states that performers are ‘free to use the subway stations, but can not operate within the cars themselves.’ Understandably this crack down has come as a result of complaints, but a bias becomes apparent as attitudes towards these dancers seem to be split right down the middle.”

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    There’s a reason why everyone stopped watching Pimp My Ride and that’s because the before-and-after process isn’t as effective when you’re making something look fundamentally worse. In this much more appealing makeover tale, director Laurie Lynch has taken a vehicle and transformed it into something inexplicably better, and used it the new video for I Wanna Feel by Second City.

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    We’re unapologetic Wes Anderson fans here at It’s Nice That. We’re also very partial to an insight into the astonishing world of visual effects, particularly where big blockbusters are concerned – previously we’ve scraped our jaws off the floor after behind-the-scenes- glimpses at The Wolf of Wall Street and The Great Gatsby. So we knew from the off that this reel from Look FX showing their work on The Grand Budapest Hotel was going to be similar, but it’s still tremendously enjoyable.

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    Bankers have been the butt of a number of jokes over the past few years. They’re easy prey for satirists, what with their wholesale destruction of the global economy and flagrant disregard for fiscal responsibility. But Ninian Doff’s latest video for Peace’s Money adds a whole new level of surrealism to banking satire. In it we see an upwardly mobile yuppy climb the city ladder by unusual means. You see it’s not through tidy hedge fund management that he gains the respect of his bosses, it’s his badass dancing skills, and they gain him entry into a weird and wonderful finale that I really don’t want to spoil for you. See for yourselves…

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    Carlos Jimenez is a Spanish photographer and filmmaker living and working in London who caught our attention last year for his work on Nobrow’s promotional film for ELCAF 2013. It provided a slick overview of a massive, messy event and displayed some extremely nice editing flourishes. But Carlos’ most recent project is an altogether more refined proposition. Commissioned by the V&A to produce a film about the renovation of their plaster courts, Carlos has produced a slow, sweeping piece of cinema that glorifies some extraordinary works of Renaissance art including some rare close-ups of Michelangelo’s David. There’s also interviews with a few key players in the V&A’s conservation and curatorial teams who give a real sense of the important work they’re involved in.

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    Like inhaling helium or unexpectedly getting a free meal, there’s definitely something magic about messing around with slow motion or playback on film. It’s an easy and very pleasurable art form, and has been taken advantage of a lot in the world of film, possibly most impressively in Spike Jonze’s video for the Pharcdyde’s Drop. In this case, filmmakers Simon Bouisson have wandered the streets of Tokyo backwards and then played it backwards to make it look as if the star of the film is making his way through a city of backwards-walking people. Get your head around that? Never mind, just watch it.

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    I was lucky enough to be at Dublin’s OFFSET festival this year to hear photographer Richard Mosse talk about his extraordinary work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Infra is a series shot on film first developed by the US military to spot camouflaged figures in the landscape. But Richard found the effect it had on capturing both the people and places of the conflict – which has seen more than five million people die since 1998 – was striking.

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    One of my top three afternoons here at It’s Nice That was spent interviewing Nadav Kander. At the end of a long day he was nevertheless the most engaged, generous and interesting interviewee imaginable (the piece was published in the summer issue of Printed Pages). So whenever he produces something new I am helplessly predisposed to like it, which is essentially fine because Nadav is a creative talent from the very top drawer.

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    Beautiful video here from the mystic Brooklyn siren that is Sharon van Etten. It was directed by Michael Palmieri whose impressive back-catalogue of music videos includes the likes of The Strokes, Belle and Sebastian, Foo Fighters and Beck. In this video for Sharon he’s taken her song title Taking Chances quite literally, setting her in a spiritual environment surrounded by smoking cups, plants, and classical, illustrated tarot cards. “When I first heard the song the lyrics immediately made me think about the opening sequence to the great Agnes Varda film Cleo from 5 to 7, one of my favorites,” Michael says of the video.

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    They may look like scenes from an animated kids’ film based underwater, but these stills are in fact all taken from PhD student Daniel Stoupin’s mind-blowing time-lapse film, Slow Life. The film combines over 150,000 photographs taken of some of the world’s most stunning coral reefs over excruciatingly long periods of time, allowing us land-based viewers to watch the otherwise imperceptible changes on the the ocean beds, which actually happen incredibly slowly.

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    Is there anything better than when pair of cool, creative individuals who also happen to be romantically involved collaborate to make something glorious together? No, I answer myself, there is not, which is why this new offering from super-couple Lena Dunham and her musician boyfriend Jack Antonoff, lead singer of Bleachers, is so fantastic.

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    It’s fair to say my dancing “style” is very much of the embarrassed-dad-at-a-late-1990s-wedding school. You know the type; he knows the Macarena but he’s not sure how. Luckily though i-D and Diesel have ridden to my rescue with this brilliant new video taking us through the A-Z of dance. It’s fair to say that it’s modern dance, so twerking and East Coast Swing are in, but anyone waiting for the waltz will be disappointed. Nonetheless it’s a super-fun celebration of some of society’s rhythmic foibles.

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    Krishna Shenoi is a 20-year-old filmmaker, writer and illustrator based in India. He is also a bit of a scamp as evidenced by his latest project which is pinging around the blogosphere today with good reason. Krishna has created an alternate scene for multi award-winning space and special effects bonanza Gravity, one which if included would have made it a very different film. The core idea is simple and funny, but as we so often say it’s the care with which he’s executed it that raises it above so many fleeting online parodies. Good work sir!

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    In case we haven’t told you a billion times already – oh wait, we have – Tavi Gevinson and Minna Gilligan very kindly had a conversation on the theme of Doing it Differently for our Spring issue of Printed Pages. They covered some of life’s most important topics including Madonna, hoarding, being the CEO of your own life, felt tips, and not giving a shit about people hating stuff you create.