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Archive For: Pop Culture

Superheroes & their Secret Lives

Toy Superheroes come to life thanks to Edy Hardjo

Superheroes exposed: Hrjoe Photography’s playful and expertly-executed photos prove that superhero action figures are not just for kids. Filled with hilarious set-ups of action figures, including many iconic Marvel and DC superheroes, these images capture the world’s most adored superheroes in both humorous and often human-like scenarios. Edy Hardjo, the photographer behind the project, uses detailed, high-quality action figures to put some of our favourite superheroes into hilarious and sometimes compromising positions. After putting the Superheroes into their picture-perfect poses, he removes the stands he uses to prop them and some of the more obvious joints with Photoshop to make them seem more life-like. Hardjo was was born in Medan, Indonesia in 1973 and graduated college with a Chemical Engineering degree. He was married in 2004 and has two sons and a daughter. He currently lives with his family in Jakarta, Indonesia. All of which is a long way from the world of superheroes but that hasn’t stopped Hardjo from capturing his out-of-this-world images. For someone who picked up photography as a hobby, he certainly does an exceptional job! In an interview, Hardjo explained ‘Photography is a hobby for me. It all started when I wanted to take better pictures for items that I sell in my online store. I bought an entry-level camera and started to shoot with confidence, but the results were no better than the images shot with my mobile phone’s camera. This made me curious and feeling challenged so later I bought a better camera and took a course in the Canon School of Photography. After that I also took several photo tours—for practice—and learned from the expert in the group. Today, I have a small personal photo studio at home and I sometimes take commission photo shoots as a side job…I use my daily experience as source of ideas… All I do is replace the ‘usual’ thing with the ‘unusual’.’

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Walt Disney & the MultiPlane Camera

Walt Disney was inventing the future of animation

Walt Disney: We have seen different techniques imagined by Walt Disney to help his animators create masterpieces, like the rotoscoping technique or the use of simple mirrors. But to invent the future of animation, Walt Disney was often at the forefront, as shown in this video filmed in 1957 explaining the principle of the MultiPlane Camera which allowed animators to create depth effects never seen before at the time. Walt Disney (1901-1966) was an American business magnate, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer. As a prominent figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, he is regarded as a cultural icon, known for his influence and contributions to entertainment during the twentieth century. As a Hollywood business mogul, he and his brother Roy O. Disney co-founded The Walt Disney Company. As an animator and entrepreneur, Walt Disney was particularly noted as a filmmaker and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created numerous fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Walt Disney himself was the original voice for Mickey. During his lifetime, he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record of four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. Walt Disney also won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the U.S., as well as the international resorts, Tokyo Disney ResortDisneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, from lung cancer in Burbank, California. He left behind a vast legacy, including numerous animated shorts and feature films produced during his lifetime; the company, parks, an animation studio that bear his name; and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). You can jump directly to 3:23 for the MultiPlane Camera demonstration. Enjoy!

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Ghostbusters – The making of The ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters: In a new episode of Art of the Scene by CineFix, they go behind the scenes of the original Ghostbusters film and find out how the gooey movie monster ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man was created. Ghostbusters is a 1984 Supernatural-Comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. It stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as three eccentric parapsychologists in New York City who start a ghost-catching business. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis co-star as a client and her neighbour. The Ghostbusters business booms after initial skepticism, eventually requiring a fourth Ghostbuster, played by Ernie Hudson; but, when an uptown high-rise apartment building becomes the focal point of spirit activity linked to the ancient god Gozer, it threatens to overwhelm the team and the entire world. Ghostbusters was released in the United States on June 8, 1984. It was a critical and commercial success, receiving a positive response from critics and audiences and grossing US$242 million in the United States and more than $295 million worldwide. The ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man stomping through New York is one of the most memorable scenes in Ghostbusters and movie history. When the destructor (Gozer) arrives in the form of a giant ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man and begins attacking New York City, to defeat it, the Ghostbusters decide to cross the energy streams of their proton packs (which they never do) and fire them against Gozer’s portal. The resulting explosion defeats Gozer/The ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man, and frees Dana (Weaver) and Louis (Moranis) from their possessor demons. As hundreds of New Yorkers wipe themselves of marshmallow goo, the Ghostbusters are welcomed on the street as heroes. It is simply one of the best endings to a film ever! Go behind the scenes of Ghostbusters, and see how the gooiest movie got on the road to its rampage.

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‘Mad Men’ welcomes the Groovy 70s

'Mad Men' is back 5th April - First look pics

Mad Men isn’t sharing any details yet, but check out these exclusive pics by Frank Ockenfels and try to spot all the clues embedded in the new set of promotional pictures released this week. Little Sally is growing up and her hemlines are rising, Betty‘s taking it to the max(i), Megan‘s ruffled mid-drift is back and Don can always rock a jacket and slacks, whatever the decade. The pictures aren’t taken from actual episodes, so they don’t directly foreshadow any of the final season’s storylines but there are insights to be gleamed. From the looks of things, Don (Jon Hamm) and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) seem to be in good spirits after working out the kinks in their mentor-mentee relationship at Sterling Cooper & Partners, Sally (Kiernan Shipka) and Betty (January Jones) are physically close to each other in each photograph without looking particularly touchy-feely, so don’t expect their mother-daughter relationship to get wrapped up with a bow. And Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Roger (John Slattery) seem to have found a shared taste in plaid blazers, so maybe the bitter and entitled Pete has finally found some common ground with his coworkers after all. Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner and premiered on 19th July 2007. The seventh and final season consists of 14 episodes that have been split into two seven-episode instalments, airing in 2014 and 2015. Mad Men is set in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at the newly created firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (later Sterling Cooper & Partners), located nearby in the Time-Life Building, at 1271 Sixth Avenue. According to the show’s pilot, the phrase “Mad men” was a slang term coined in the 1950s by advertisers working on Madison Avenue to refer to themselves, a claim that has since been disputed. The focal point of the series is Don Draper (Jon Hamm), initially the talented creative director at Sterling Cooper and later a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and the people in his personal and professional lives. The plot focuses on the business of the agencies as well as the personal lives of the characters, regularly depicting the changing moods and social mores of the United States across the 1960s, starting Season 1 in March 1960 and moving through to 1969 by Season 7. Since its premiere, Mad Men has received widespread critical acclaim for its historical authenticity, visual style, costume design, acting, writing, and directing, and has won many awards. Mad Men will air its final episodes starting 5th April. Here’s a tip – If you have never seen a single episode, we suggest you start binge watching now!

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Björk’s MoMA Retrospective

Björk’s first look teaser from her MoMA Retrospective

Björk’s Retrospective: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) have released the first trailer for Björk’s Retrospective which highlights a museum commissioned sound and video installation, featuring Björk’s song Black Lake from her new album Vulnicura. The exciting exhibit will reference from more than twenty years of the artist’s projects and eight albums with Björk’s career chronicled through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, and costumes. Björk is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and occasional actress. She initially became known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single “Birthday” was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favourite among music critics. Björk began her career as a solo artist in 1993. Her first album, Debut, was rooted in electronic dance music, house, jazz and trip-hop, and is widely credited as one of the first albums to introduce electronic dance music into mainstream pop. Now in the third decade of her solo career, Björk has developed an eclectic musical style that incorporates aspects of dance, rock, trip hop, jazz, electronic, classical, experimental and avant-garde music. Björk has had 30 singles reach the Top 40 on pop charts around the world, with 22 Top 40 hits in the UK including the Top 10 hits It’s Oh So Quiet, Army of Me and Hyperballad, 11 in Ireland, eight in Italy, four in France, and two in Australia. Additionally, Big Time Sensuality, Hyperballad, and I Miss You were number one dance hits in the US. Music critics have consistently championed Björk’s body of work, praising her innovative approach to singing and composition, her pioneering use of electronic beats, her groundbreaking music videos, and, above all, her singular voice, describing her as “the most important and forward-looking musician of her generation”. The Björk Retrospective will be on display at MoMA from 8th March until 7th June 2015. For more info, click here.

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Florence + The Machine – Video of the Day

Florence + The Machine's new video ‘What Kind Of Man’

Florence + The Machine are back: Dropping on 12th February 2015, we were so happy to watch Florence + The Machine’s new video What Kind Of Man which is taken from their forthcoming album How Big How Blue How Beautiful which will be officially released on 1st June 2015. Earlier this week, the band unveiled the album’s title track (and music video). On What Kind of Man, the group opt for a more classic rock firepower with searing guitar riffs weaved between Florence Welch’s high-flying vocals. We always knew the front woman had bite, but this track just might be her fiercest one yet. The video for What Kind of Man was directed by Vincent Haycock and choreographed by Ryan Heffington. How Big How Blue How Beautiful serves as the follow-up to Florence + The Machine’s 2011 smash Ceremonials. It was written over the course of two years in London and Los Angeles and recorded alongside producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Björk). It also features contributions from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, Paul Epworth, Kid Harpoon, and John Hill. Regarding the LP, Welch commented ‘I guess although I’ve always dealt in fantasy and metaphor when I came to writing, that meant the songs this time were dealing much more in reality. Ceremonials was so fixated on death and water, and the idea of escape or transcendence through death, but the new album became about trying to learn how live, and how to love in the world rather than trying to escape from it. Which is frightening because I’m not hiding behind anything but it felt like something I had to do.’ Can’t wait for this album to drop!
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R.I.P. Steve Strange

Steve Strange passes: We are very sad to learn that legendary Blitz club kid and the frontman of 80s band Visage, Steve Strange has passed away aged 55. His record label confirmed that he had died of a heart attack. His record label said in a statement: “We are extremely saddened to announce that Steve Strange died at 11.15 local time on Thursday, February 12 in Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital, Egypt. Steve Strange died in his sleep of heart failure – his family, band members and friends are all distraught at this sudden news of his untimely death. Steve’s family request privacy at this extremely difficult time.” Steve Strange, best known for his work with New Romantic band Visage had one of the biggest hits was the single “Fade to Grey” in 1980. However, Strange was also a leading style pioneer in his own right. He was at the forefront of London club culture in the 1970s and 80s, beginning with the Blitz – a Soho night which helped launch the careers of countless British musicians, including Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Boy George. With his outrageous dress sense and out-there DIY costumes, Strange embodied the spirit of the New Romantic scene. As the doorman at Blitz, he was infamous for his ultra-discerning eye; he reportedly allowed David Bowie in, but not Mick Jagger. As news of his passing spread, former New Romantics lined up to pay tribute to the quintessential London club kid.

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Banana Art by Stephan Brusche

And then there was ‘Banana Art’: So it would seem many artists are inspired by fruit these days including Dutch artist Stephan Brusche who continues to find creative ways of turning bananas into works of art via his new series of banana art entitled Banana Doodles. The artist first began by doodling directly onto the banana’s surface a few years back as a way of showcasing his creativity on Instagram. Since then, Brusche has incorporated the fruit’s shape and skin (through carving and peeling), continuing to find new ways to reimagine the same space over and over again. The 37-year-old graphic designer turns humble bananas into iconic characters such as Marilyn Monroe and Homer Simpson as well as animals and famous artworks and although the Dutch artist hadn’t expected his banana art to be so popular, positive feedback has lead him to release his very first book, Fruitdoodles, which documents his initial 50 banana art creations. He also has his own Fruitdoodle calendar with a different creation for each month of the year. Although Stephan has now found his banana art to be rather lucrative, the designer says that his famous fruit had very humble beginnings. ‘I took a ballpoint pen and just started drawing. I was pretty amazed how pleasant a banana peel is to draw on.’ Ba nah nah na indeed.

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Retro 90s Video Games Online For Free!

Retro 90s Video Games Online For Free!

90s Video Games Online

After releasing almost 900 classic, coin-operated arcade games late last year, the Internet Archive have released nearly 2,400 MS-DOS 90s video games online, free and playable in-browser… there goes the afternoon!

We’ve reached back into our teen brains and picked out a handful of our favourites.

Street Fighter II (1992)

Hadouken!!! Need we say more? Street Fighter & Super Street Fighter II are also there.

Play Street Fighter II

Disney’s Aladdin (1994)

If you have to play one Disney game it would have be Aladdin, but The Lion King is also worth a run.

Play Disney’s Aladdin

Lemmings 2: The Tribes (1993)

After countless hours watching (sometimes pushing) the original Lemmings fall to their death, we couldn’t wait for Lemmings 2 to come out.

Play Lemmings 2: The Tribes

Prince of Persia (1989)

Long before Jake Gyllenhaal pranced about in the sands of time, and before parkour was a thing, we bounced off walls and were leaping over pits in stunning 2D.

Play Prince of Persia.

 Bust-A-Move (1997)

Nothing to do with Young MC, Bust-A-Move featured Bub & Bob of Bubble Bobble fame in a proto-Bubble Witch Saga if you will.

Play Bust-A-Move.

Sim City (1989)

What can you say, Sim City, the game that launched an entire universe of pointless never-ending titles that continue to spawn to this day.

Play Sim City

The emulator is still in beta, we hit a few snags but for the most part they were all playable, you can view the entire collection of 90s video games online at the Internet Archive

Good Golly, Miss Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton gets snapped by Terry Richardson

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Terry Richardson posted these pics of Dolly Parton on his site that I assume he took for some kind of magazine, and they are in, what is now, the standard ‘Terry Richardson’ format. The photos were also being auctioned off for charity and people could bid on the prints, with all proceeds going to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which promotes early childhood literacy. Dolly Parton is an iconic singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music and is the most honoured female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, Dolly Parton has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist, 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. Terry Richardson is an iconic American fashion and portrait photographer who has shot advertising campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Aldo, Supreme, Sisley, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent among others. He has also done work for magazines such as Rolling StoneGQVogueVanity FairHarper’s Bazaari-D, and Vice and is renown for his portraits of a wide variety of models, fashionista’s, movie stars, celebrities and politicians.