This is a fascinating and touching glimpse into the ongoing art installation of Austin, Texas resident Vince Hannemann (aka the Junk King) who since 1989 has been collecting thousands of discarded objects and turning them into a giant cathedral of junk. In 2010 the city closed the structure claiming it was unsafe and demanded Hannemann obtain proper building permits for his “auxiliary structure”. He was then forced to remove nearly 60 tons of materials before finally obtaining the approval from an engineer. Over seven months hundreds of volunteers stopped by to lend a hand and the cathedral has begun expanding once again. Shot and edited by Evan Burns. Last photo by Blake Gordon. (via vimeo)
I honestly have no idea where or when I first saw this film, but it’s stuck with me for over a year, and unable to find it again after searching the past few days I turned to Jason Sondi over at Vimeo. Armed with my vague description, and despite never having seen it himself, he found it in about 10 seconds.
Everything is Incredible is a short documentary by Tyler Bastian, Trevor Hill and Tim Skousen about a man named Agustín from Siguatepeque, Honduras who was struck with polio at a young age. His body ravaged from disease, he was left unable to walk and spent most of his life working as a shoemaker in what is described as near-poverty. Possibly plagued by childhood dreams of flight, in 1958 he embarked on his life’s work: the construction of a crude, custom-designed helicopter made completely from trash with the exception of a few pieces of rebar purchased from a hardware store. Even the chains he uses to power the propeller were forged by hand. The filmmakers do a wonderful job interviewing local residents and family for their reactions that vary from hope to despair. I find this video to be both very beautiful and very sad as it discusses what is gained and what is sacrificed through the act of devotion and creation, yet I’m left feeling a profound sense of love for Agustín, which is perhaps why it’s stuck with me for so long. Definitely worth 10 minutes of your time. Thanks Jason.
Update: In response to recent attention the filmmakers have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise enough funds help Agustín with living expenses by purchasing the helicopter and his home. He will of course retain both through the end of his life, but with the funds raised from the campaign the helicopter itself would be preserved in his memory. Go donate, I did.
Photographer Noah Kalina has been taking a self-portrait each day for the last 12.5 years as part of his aptly titled Everyday project. Six years ago a video chronicling six years of portraits set to music by Carly Commando took the internet by storm spawning legions of people to embark on similar self-portrait projects. This morning Kalina released an updated video containing some 4,500 photographs shot from January 11, 2000 through June 30, 2012. Here they are all at once.
A Latvian group that goes by the name Kut who describes themselves as “a creative collective consisting of filmmakers, musicians, artists, politicians and cats,” recently undertook an action on the streets of Riga called “Oh Joy!” where the group brought nature to the city and made the weather change unexpectedly. Aside from the few “Oh dear god what is this stuff all over me” moments, it looks like most people enjoyed it quite a bit. Love the editing. (via vimeo)
Michigan-based author and illustrator Mark Crilley has been working on a series of “realism challenges” on his YouTube channel. In his third installment he tackled the realistic drawing of a torn playing card. Pretty incredible. (via boing boing, thnx brian!)
I’ve seen several different videos of Curiosity’s descent down to the Mars, and while incredible because of what they depict, none approached the frame-rate we might normally expect from an actual film. Using footage provided by NASA, Reddit user Godd2 just spent the last four days on behalf of all humankind creating a stunning interpolated HD version of the descent. In layman’s terms interpolation involves taking a choppy video, in this case NASA’s 4 frames-per-second video, and rendering the “missing” frames in between resulting in an incredibly smooth 25 frames-per-second video. This is, I believe, the closest approximation ever of what it might feel like to land on another planet in real time using actual footage. Amazing. Here it is on YouTube.
Taking the first bite of a watermelon. Cracking an egg. Floating in the ocean on a sunny day. These are brief, seemingly inconsequential moments that almost immediately slip from memory as they pass, neither life-altering or particularly remarkable, and yet taken together they become a sort of texture of our lives. Filmmaker Vitùc recognized the importance of these small moments and collected several dozen of them in his new video short called The Pleasure Of that was shot in part with an iPhone 4s. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet did something similar in Amélie as he introduces a number of quirky pleasures enjoyed by Audrey Tautou’s character and I find this film by Vitùc to be just as charming.