Film Archive

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    The year is 1998, the place is The Lake District, you’re sat at the pub with your mates about to head to the bangingest(!?) rave of your young adult life in a wood somewhere… and at the is point I’d like to pass you over to the polymathic Daniel Brereton and Erol Alkan who will take you by the hand and lead you through the rest of this ultra-euphoric, pill-free upper of a Monday Morning Music Video. Expect beautiful panoramic shots of English countryside and a brilliantly on-point set of subtitles. Perfect.

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    Long before the days of the Nintendo Wii and Hug Me Elmo there was the zoetrope; a very cool old-school gadget which creates the illusion of motion from a series of images which you spin around rapidly on an axis. It may have been sadly shunted to the toy-store sidelines but in December RAMP Ceramics collaborated with Jim Le Fevre to bring the humble zoetrope back into the limelight, stepping it up a notch by creating a ceramic pot which works in the same way.

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    All things considered, I’m not a menacing guy. I once stared quite sternly after a guy who barged into me on his way off a train but that’s about as tough as I get. Of course in the world of action movies; not only do our heroes get to kick the bad guys’ asses, he or she also gets a killer line with to accompany said ass-kicking. The fine folk over at Mewlists have put together this super-cut of the best action movie one liners, from calls-to-arms to corny wisecracks and pretty much everything else in between. All the usual suspects are here (as opposed to all The Usual Suspects) and if this isn’t perfect back-to-work-fodder then I don’t know what is.

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    What a year for music videos! And before you think we’ve just put all of Beyonce’s 14 music videos in one list, think again. We didn’t even include Pharrell’s 24 hour masterpiece (we did put in the Kanye parody though, sorry). This list is a pick of the most graceful, interesting, intricate, watchable moving image pieces that have accompanied songs this year. This’ll kill a good half an hour while you’re bored to tears at home this Christmas. Enjoy!

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    Did you know that if your home lacks a fireplace – and that can be a real problem at this festive time of year – then you can get a realistic-looking film of one courtesy of online video platform Netflix? You didn’t did you? No you’re right it’s a bit weird, but the Netflix chaps have embraced this absurdity with this terrifically tongue-in-cheek trailer for said fireplace. Over-the-top voice-over? Check! Silly quotes that make little sense? Check! An inflated sense of its own importance? Check! Clearly these guys see a lot of trailers, which allows them to lampoon the genre with consummate skill. Well played Netflix, well played indeed.

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    Just over five years ago James Houston graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a project that blew minds across the country, programming a range of analogue gadgets to perform Radiohead’s Nude. Now he’s back with a rewritten christmas carol to warm the cockles of our stone-cold robotic hearts and a video with much higher production values than his debut. It’s still absolutely dumbfounding though. Sing with me! “Hail the machines, sweet old machines, blow off the dust, wipe off the rust…”

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    When you listen to Metronomy do you feel a creeping sensation of loneliness? I do, which is why this video from The Creators Project has struck a particularly raw nerve as it is set in space – the loneliest of all the places. Luckily for the lead, Joseph Mount himself, his cosmic voyage takes him to spots in the cosmos where other beings dwell. Meet smily meteor babe, King Child and sun lady. This is a fantastic video with effects similar to those of early episodes of Red Dwarf, perfect for the song, and directed by the clearly very talented Edouard Salier. Another reason to love Metronomy and space even more than you did five minutes ago.

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    San Diego-based creative Cy Kuckenbake is a man of broad artistic tastes. A glance through the Vimeo page of this innovative filmmaker and photographer reveals that his work swings from Bush League, a multi-award-winning “ character driven ethnographic survey of a tiny village in Northern Malawi” to experiments with editing everyday footage to create extreme visual effects. The latest of these sees him filming the roads round his hometown during the busy midday period, then reordering the footage so that the cars going past become colour-coded. It’s meticulously done and you get more of an insight into how and why Cy did this on the nice Creators Project behind-the-scenes below.

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    Forgive us for two things this afternoon. Firstly for shamelessly nicking this off The Fox is Black and secondly for posting something that was made back in 2008. Yep, that’s right. This utterly perfect promo for Kubrick Season on Channel 4 was created back when the Hollywood writers strike and the sudden death of much-loved actor Heath Ledger was taking effect on the film industry. Nevertheless, popular agency 4Creative took it upon themselves to make a minute-long paean to Kubrick’s infamous The Shining by shooting a fictional, one-take, behind-the-scenes film. Really though, has any promo ever come anywhere near being this good? I doubt it.

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    It’s no secret that we’re longtime admirers of Sarah Maycock. One of our Graduates crop of 2011 when we were blown away by her confident, soulful image-making it’s been an honour and a privilege to see her career go from strength to strength in the intervening years. And now – by way of this excellent film produced by her agents Handsome Frank – I find out that Sarah lives in Hastings, my absolute favourite place in the UK bar none. It’s a beautiful little short, giving us an insight into both Sarah’s practice and personality with some lovely studio shots to boot. We’re confident 2014 holds even more great things for her!

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    Usually at Christmas I get a bit nostalgic with this slot; historically I’ve posted Wham!, Bing Crosby and David Bowie, so you’d be forgiven for thinking another Christmas classic was due. This year however, calls for a more serious bit of nostalgia, in the shape of one of the most memorable sets of music I’ve ever heard.

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    Can you hear that ringing noise? That’s the collective squeals of the millions of Beyonce fans who this morning had their minds BLOWN apart by the special lady releasing an entire album plus 17, yes 17 video previews. One minute she’s putting us off the scent by instagramming another vegan meal and the next minute she blows every single other pop star out the water with this unveiling. Genius. What are you still doing reading this? Watch all of the 30 second videos immediately so you can start joining in the imminent conversation around it. From now on, Friday will be renamed BEYDAY.

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    By all accounts Tigersushi Furs is one heck of a cool boutique store in Paris hawking the finest patterned clothing money can buy and an eclectic mix of other curated products (they’re also a small record label). For their Winter 2013 range they enlisted the help of fellow Parisians L’Etiquette to help them create a campaign for their patterned finery that makes all wearers of their clothing look like they’re having THE BEST time. The premise is simple: man and woman battle furiously over a pile of lovely clothes, cavorting around a plush modernist building complete with grand piano, mid-century furniture and brutalist stairways while a quizzical ginger cat looks on in confusion. Works for me. I’m off to buy a cardigan.

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    Few things get us as excited in the studio as the prospect of a new animated film of Michel Gondry in conversation with legendary activist Noam Chomsky, not to mention the fact that it has been animated by Michel himself – so you can imagine the way coffee cups flew across the room when we came across his “making of” Is the Man Who is Tall Happy. Fortunately for us Michel talks to himself almost incessantly while working, so this short film gives an unbelievable insight into his painstaking animation process, plus the measures he went to to connect with Noam even writing words down when they found themselves lost in translation.

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    Back in January 2012 we hosted a series of talks at London’s Selfridges store which explored the idea of words through an eclectic set of speakers. One of those was neuroscientist Dr Jenny Crinion whom we invited to discuss aphasia, the inability to form words which often follows a stroke (the video of which is below). She brought with her Lotje Sodderland, whose life changed forever when she suffered a stroke aged just 34. Filmmaker Sophie Robinson became fascinated by Lotje’s story, and has followed her on her difficult journey towards recovery.

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    Linda Brownlee calls this short film “A portrait of a lady who loves to dance,” and that is 100% what we have here. In this touching episode in Linda’s Limber Notes series, we are invited into the home of Isabelle Matthews whose husband Douglas narrates this tender little short, talking about his wife’s incurable love for dancing.

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    I’ve mentioned liminal spaces recently on It’s Nice That, but this short documentary by Matan Rochlitz and Ivo Gormley is the perfect example of just how powerful they can be. The Runners follows the two filmmakers as they travel around London’s Victoria park, interviewing seasoned joggers as they pace their routes.

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    We’re very pleased to present part two of our interview with the legend that is Paul Smith. In the second part of the film (the first half of which you can find over here on First Broadcast) by James Aiken and Rob Alderson, Paul lets us in on the secrets of running his business which he has done with gusto since 1970.

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    I just read on Twitter than “craftsmanship is about doing that one thing perfectly a thousand times.” In the case of David Rees, the number two pencil sharpener in the world, it seems this quote was almost written with him in mind. This short film directed by Kenneth Price and written by David himself scooped up five prestigious awards this year at numerous film festivals and has shone a light on an otherwise overlooked craft. I won’t go on, it may spoil it, but next time you think of a pencil I urge you to channel the magic of David and do it with pride, dexterity and

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    Illustrators who can create enormous stream-of-consciousness fuelled drawings never fail to amaze me, especially when they work with the fervour that Shantell Martin exudes at every opportunity. This short interview, produced by Sky Dylan-Robbins and posted by the New Yorker is entitled Follow the Pen, a notion which demonstrates exactly the infallible trust which powers her work. Illustrating everything from shoes, airplanes and walls to shirts and motorcycle helmets, Shantell’s studio resembles exactly what I imagine the inside of her brain to look like. Strictly monochrome, and covered from floor to ceiling in the thick black outlines she has made her own. It’s quite something to behold.

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    Anyone who’s read It’s Nice That for a while knows I’ve got a real soft spot for lo-fi videos of people dancing. I don’t know why I love them so much, but there’s something about the complete joy of seeing someone dancing without overly-produced choreography that really appeals. Anyway, the latest one to seduce me is this from Blood Orange, directed by the fantastic (and expertly-named) Alan Del Rio Ortiz. Stay warm!

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    Whether we admit or not, jealousy plays a not insignificant role in the creative industries. In fact D&AD is honest enough to address this head on; when it comes to choosing pencil-winning work judges are asked to consider whether the entry stokes their creative envy and make them wish they’d done that piece.

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    As one of the UK’s foremost fashion designers, Sir Paul Smith is a major figure in the cultural landscape. As a new show at the Design Museum celebrates this singular talent and restlessly creative personality, we went to spend some time with him in his office to get behind some of the headlines.

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    The peerless Adam Buxton has long proved that there’s comedy gold to be mined from the strange and sometimes terrifying world of YouTube comments. Kudos though to the Dead Parrot comedy collective who’ve taken this idea and run with it in the shape of the tremendous short film YouTube Comment Reconstruction #1: One Direction, That’s What Makes You Beautiful.

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    This music video made me cry. Then my friend Greg watched it, and he cried as well. We don’t know how Emily Kai Bock does it, but everything she shoots seems to have this weird, emotional energy running through it – even the strip lighting in her films makes me feel giddy, romantic and lost.

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    In one very funny and undoubtedly charming re-enactment of those children’s programs which loved to create characters for inanimate objects, multi-disciplinary artist Jin Angdoo has made a series of four short films which create secret temperaments for everyday stuff.

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    The lyric video is a bit of a new phenomenon, but has given creatives confident with typography the opportunity to really strut their stuff. U2’s latest is beautifully penned and filmed by New York based creatives Oliver Jeffers (yes you probably recognise his handwriting) and filmmaker Mac Premo. Aptly shot, seductive type and some handy location scouting make this a beauty. Check it out here on Facebook.

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    If someone was to come swooping back into the limelight after a brief hiatus with a 24 hour music video, it was always gonna be Pharrell. 24 Hours of Happy is a music video that fills your browser window with scenes of Pharrell dancing around America, looking effortlessly cool and singing what could be the catchiest and genuinely happiest song of the year. Move the elegant, yellow clock around to see Pharrell doing his thing at different times of the day. Why make one music video when you can make 24? Silly people.

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    Health-food store manager Ashrita Furman from Queens, New York, is no ordinary man. Since 1979 he has set 350 world records, ranging from the ridiculous to the downright brilliant, and now after 34 years of ardently testing his limits filmmaker Brian McGinn has recognised Ashrita for the jewel of humanity that he is and decided to make a short film about him.

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    Seeing as music videos really started in MTV’s golden era of the early 80s, the great songs that were created before then sometimes get forgotten about by directors. But now with chart music at its very, very lowest, uninspired directors everywhere are turning to the musical heroes of yore and creating videos to accompany them.

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    When it comes to music, I think it’s fair to say that my taste is not hugely respected among my It’s Nice That colleagues. It’s probably jealously that I am not in slavish thrall to whatever manufactured hipster counterculture they’re being fed by tastemaking types with beards as full as their bank accounts. Or it’s because I quite like Les Miserables. Anyway with normal Monday Morning Music Video aficionado Alex Bec away this week, here I am delivering you a cracking musical-based start to your week.

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    It’s Friday, which means we’re starting to get a little delirious here in the It’s Nice That bunker. The heating’s turned up to an anaesthetising 30 degrees and we’ve got some nondescript house music blasting from the stereo. The only thing we need to complete the picture and really get this Friday party pumping is some kind of memey-cat-themed brilliance to keep us entertained until it’s time to crack open some cheap Dutch lager and greet the weekend with open arms. What’s that Hungry Castle, you’re putting together a project that combines cats and lasers and art and explosions and is set to premier at next year’s ADC Miami Beach Festival? Well yeah, of course we’d like to see it. “Meow, meow, peow, peow. Boom!”

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    While you’re waiting for The Grand Budapest Hotel to hurry up and get itself into the bloody cinemas, keep yourself entertained and Wes-ed up with Mr. Anderson and Roman Coppola’s latest work for Prada. Following on from their March collaboration with the fashion brand on a series of films for their new fragrance they’re back with old pal Jason Schwartzman as a fast-talking 1950s racing driver who crashes in his ancestral village in Italy, loud-mouthing around with the locals and stuffing his face with spaghetti. Obviously it’s visually stunning as well as hilarious, so get watching – this is vintage Anderson!

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    Just so we’re clear, the woman in this video – which may or may not be Cate Le Bon herself – is living nothing short of a dream life. By day she sits making hand-thrown mugs on a potter’s wheel and smoking. She occasionally eats the odd pastry. By night this mysterious, boiler suit-clad woman takes off into woodland to observe bonfires with small children and later teach them the skills of the ceramics studio. Meanwhile, the mugs created by these wonderful people have come to life and are sparkling and fizzing away on the shelves like happy spirits. Now that’s what we call a music video. If I’m not mistaken, the little blonde girl making the mugs is the same girl as in Cate Le Bon’s last video.

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    Last year D&AD broke new ground by releasing this behind-the-scenes video of the judges’ discussion around which work should be awarded the coveted Black Pencils. This year they’ve done it again and it remains an interesting insight into one of the industry’s most respected prizes.

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    The young woman is visibly jumpy when asked by the journalist if she’s ever seen aliens. She can’t really say now, because there are some in the immediate vicinity…So begins Steven Brahms’ fabulous short documentary The Event which tells the story of the small French town of Bugarach, to where the eyes of the world turned last year.

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    Keiichi Matsuda is one of the most engaging creative minds exploring the ways in which technology will define our futures. We were lucky enough to have him speak at our In Progress conference last year when he examined how so-called hyperreality and interconnected devices may come to shape our worlds, both within the home and without. He has previously produced two excellent films looking at these issues (below), but now he needs our help for his most ambitious project to-date. Keiichi is planning “a series of interconnected shorts” set in Medellín, Colombia, which he hopes will, more than ever before, “express my love and enthusiasm for technology while finding out about its dark side and thinking about the potential problems it could cause.”

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    It must be a privilege to have the excellent Roel Wouters come to your university to run workshops that push you outside of your comfort zone, and one that the students of ECAL’s Media and Interaction Design and Industrial Design courses don’t take lightly. Challenged by Roel to build an apparatus that produces videos the world has never seen before these small groups of students set about doing extraordinary things with drills, miniature aircraft and little hamster balls, developing weird and wonderful gadgets to amplify their cameras and produce incredible footage in the process. For a week-long project this is extraordinary stuff.

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    If only all emotional break-ups culminated in you dancing through Narnia to a live Arcade Fire show complete with a group of children’s violinists and Win Butler serenading you out of your misery. Unfortunately we live in the real world and we can’t all have Spike Jonze directing the more important moments of our lives in front of a live audience like he did last week for the YouTube Music Awards. Spike recruited everyone’s favourite kooky-kookster and darling of the indie movie scene Greta Gerwig to dance her way through a set in one of the coolest ideas for a live show we’ve seen in ages. What better way to honour the infinity pool of crap that YouTube can sometimes be than with a real performance from a group of truly talented people.

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    Looks like Christmas has come early in the form of a new Michel Gondry film which features the director in conversation with legendary activist, philosopher and world-renowned genius Noam Chomsky. Their deep chats exploring aspects of life you hadn’t even considered before are all illustrated and animated by Gondry himself, making this film almost a hundred percent the cultural highlight of the year. All we can do now is hold hands and wait until we can actually watch the full version and sit in front of it being showered by the fountain of knowledge and creativity it’s going to pour all over us like maple syrup. Hurry up, time.