Film Archive

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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.

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    When you make songs as beautiful as those of Cass McCombs you don’t want to go messing everything up and getting a dodgy video to accompany it. So when the time comes to put visuals to your melodies, you’d better give Patrick O’Dell a call and employ his youth-bringing lens to bring your song to life. In this case, Patrick has made a dreamy collage of old skateboarding clips from the days of yore, blending into each other in an endearingly home-made, double-exposure kind of way. Something about the combination of Cass’ nap-inducing voice and the footage of those kids swerving down suburban roads is enough to send you off a good old float down daydream river. See you later.

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    Now I’m not usually one to quote press releases, but when a phrase as juicy as “a global party where everyone is dancing along to the end of the world” crops up, it begs to be repeated. The phrase is used to describe We Are Shining’s debut single directed by the Mill+’s fabulously talented Carl Addy and the video really doesn’t disappoint. The three minutes sees a tumblr exploration of hundreds of psychedelic, schizophrenic GIFs spliced together for an overall effect that literally had me on my feet. This single-handedly proves the worth of a stunning music vid to draw attention to new music – I for one cannot wait to hear what’s next for We Are Shining.

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    Trust Devendra Banhart; beautiful melody-maker, artist, lover of Ana Kras and style icon to pop up with a game-changer of a video like this. Expertly shot, the story is of a young, black nun who escapes the confines of her convent and runs away to the big city where she becomes a glitzy, sexy television presenter. In between haunting imagery of her running through a monochrome forest in her habit, we are met with serene shots of her and Devendra dancing slowly side by side in a hypnotic, finger-clicking rhythm, the whites of their eyes boring into our own through our screens. This is how music videos should be: hypnotic, entrancing, stylish and perfectly in time with the music.

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    You’ve probably already clocked that most “spooky” Hallowe’en content isn’t actually that creepy, but this new music video from Glass Animals properly made us shudder. Maybe it’s because it shows beautiful orchids and wild flowers bursting out of the bloody wounds of some men lying in a dark, autumnal forest. The whole video, directed by Rafael Bonilla Jr, has a superb, jerky, stop-motion aesthetic kind of reminiscent of the style you see in that old Radiohead video for There There, but creepier. Watch if you dare!

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    Director and animator Abbie Stephens came to our attention when she directed a spectacularly psychedelic, glam rock-inspired music video for the latest Temples single. She’s also made animations for Primal Scream and some spectacular short, personal films. Trained in design, Abbie has an eye for what looks just right, which perhaps is part of the reason why she’s been able to take some of the coolest photos of her book collection we’ve ever seen on this feature. Without further ado, here she is…

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    David Lunch, I mean Lynch, is not necessarily renowned for being a connoisseur of pulses. These two short films paint a different picture of the man we more commonly associate with such spine-tingling, unique cinematic creations as Twin Peaks or Mulholland Drive. Whether it’s old age turning this man a bit soft, or just his love for “real, real, real tight little grains” getting the better of him, there’s no doubt that this is typically weird Lynch up to the tricks he knows best. How can someone make the process of boiling some water in a pan so downright menacing?

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    This weekend the clocks went back in the UK, meaning the start of a stretch of pitch-black mornings and frosty evenings to keep us company until well into the new year. Usually, this would also mean the death of morning runs and fitness regimes, but the Dirty Projects are here to save us. Instead of rolling over and hitting snooze on that alarm clock, wack the dirty projectors in your ears and pretend you’re running through Yellowstone National Park, like this lucky chap. Breathtaking, impeccably timed stuff from Adam Newport Berra.

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    It’s an uncomfortable but unavoidable fact of life that awkward social situations will arise at some point in your life. Whether an innocent but over-enthusiastic conversationalist sneezes on you mid-sentence or you find yourself alone in the corner at a party looking like a sourpuss, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself in a tight social squeeze. Praise the Lord then that you can prepare yourself for such difficulties, with this series of short and hilarious clips!

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    We’ve all been there, sitting under blankets and screaming at the TV “DON’T GO IN THERE!” at mind-numbing horror films showing busty, sweaty teens walk absent-mindedly into abandoned shacks to meet their early graves. It’s those standard horror film formulas that, although predictable, seem to have us enthralled during each and every film they present themselves in. As antidote to this universal problem that will probably never go away, Director Joe Nicolosi has created this faux trailer to poke fun at the textbook horror movie clichés. In Joe’s version, the teens don’t enter the abandoned shack, they can’t be bothered to play with the Ouija board, and decide against watching the video that kills anyone that sets eyes on its content. Very well done.

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    We introduced you to the work of Portuguese illustrator and designer Braulio Amado earlier in the year and showed off some of his lovely work. Since then he’s hit the big time and had a really expensive film made to showcase his talents. This is as big budget as illustration gets, with no expenses spared; there’s explosions, half-naked ladies and Braulio even manages to shoot bullets from his own human fingers. Who said the creative industries couldn’t be action-packed? Braulio’s like the Stallone of drawing. BANG!

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    What could be better than hopping on to a fast train and travelling through America with a bunch of musicians, artists and free-thinkers all summer? Artist Doug Aitken recruited musicians such as Beck and Cat Power to perform on stops along the way and made sure that the passenger’s journey was packed with creativity as they hurtled towards the end destination of San Francisco. AnOther Magazine managed to hitch a ride on this train and interviewed Doug Aitken about this nomadic crusade. Check out their exclusive film by Matt Black to hear a little bit more about it…

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    First you’ll try and work out how on earth Andrew Huang has managed to make the movement in this video so beguiling; stop frame? CGI? Magic? Then you’ll start forgetting that and become completely enthralled by the beautifully undulating landscapes before finally feeling totally inadequate by the sheer quality of what you’ve just watched. Well, you will do if you’re anything like me. Stunning stuff from a supremely talented director.

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    When the full-length trailer for a new Wes Anderson film comes out, the internet begins to tremor as if the plates beneath it are shifting in time to The Kinks. So here we are, it’s time for a new one, and it looks really, really good. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a story of a young lobby boy who is taken under the wing of a womanising concierge in the form of the inimitable Ralph Fiennes. Once again, the cast list for what will be Wes’s 11th film looks like the queue for the bar, nay the smoking area, at the Oscars. The Grand Budapest Hotel looks to be a tender masterpiece of characters only Wes could dream up, playing out their emotional lives in settings so visually arresting that only the sporadic arrival of Bill Murray’s tired face can save you from becoming complacent. See you at the cinema!

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    We’re not ashamed to say that we’re huge champions of what those shape-spotting, geometry-loving pattern-finders over at Patternity get up to (we even featured them in Printed Pages a while back) so when they came together with COS to collaborate on a short film which combines sartorial excellence with a stop-motion sequence of circles, squares, angles and objects, we knew they couldn’t go far wrong.