— THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE

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I love this idea. So simple, so nicely done, and a great use of YouTube. The problem was pretty simple (and one that I guess Orchestra’s around the world have…) How do you engage a younger audience in the delights of Classical Music? Using YouTube and some of the most iconic movie soundtracks of all time, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra achieved a 40% increase in youth audiences for their new season of concerts. I love how this embraces YouTube as a communication tool, as much as a viewing platform to really bring home the point. It’s fun, it works and it strips away much of the pretension of Classical Music; which can only be a good thing…

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Here’s a beautfully executed music video for French Electronica musician Rone. A Collaboration between Rone himself and Filip Piskorzynski, it’s the first in an ongoing journey that has continued with the equally masterful ‘Parade’ video (below). The stand-out element here is the use of stop motion to create a truly strange, but mesmerising effect with actress Natalia Dufraisse, although it does nothing to take away from a beguiling storyline. Matched perfectly to Rone’s shuffling, rolling groove(s), this is sublime marriage of music and visual, and definately one to watch, as this seems to be evolving into a strong and ongoing collaboration between the two.

Here’s ‘Parade’

Check out the interview with Rone and Piskorzynski over at The Creators Project 

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I’ve always been a fan of the strange, somewhat musty world of British retro culture. From the long forgotten library music worlds of KPM and DeWolfe, to even, dare I say, the pseudo-grotesque works of On The Buses and the Hammer film stable of the 60’s and 70’s. One of the reasons I love them is that they, alongside many other cultural artefacts, paint an altogether different picture of this time from the full-bore swinging version we are led to believe existed back in 60’s.

In the last 10 or so years, the study, reintroduction and reinterpretation of some of the more obscure of these weird-beard archives has led to scene (of sorts) forming around the concept of ‘Hauntology’.  A term originally introduced by Jacques Derrida in 1993. The term was first introduced to me through Simon Reynolds increasingly relevant and vital book ‘Retromania’. He cites both the rise in interest in the work of the pioneering, but relatively unknown British sound architects BBC Radiophonic Workshop as an example of Hauntology at work.

It’s spectral sonic beauty, abstracted from it’s original uses, takes on another context. A hazy document of an imagined time. More recently bands such as Boards Of Canada, have taken that one step further, taking the spectral elements of British ‘B’ culture and blending it with modern electronica to create something both as familiar as the test card, and as eerie as the Shipping Forecast.

So why mention it? Well, namely this video of Hells Angels from 1973, got me thinking all over again about the relevance, and brilliance of this sort of content.

A 1973 documentary about the Hells Angel’s  represents everything that is interesting around retro culture, and Hauntology. The 39 years of age has turned what was clearly meant to be an alarmist shock piece on the rise of biker gangs (and therefore you would assume, lawlessness at large), into a piece that shows what happens when hippie culture, which briefly, the Angels were a part of, is filtered through a British lens.

This is Altamont as imagined through a Little Chef service station in Luton. The Hells Angels in the film might look cool (and no doubt, their iconography and style has been liberally integrated into all manner of fashion types since). But their feeble rebellions are met now with a lashing of comedy and, in the end hopelessness. Hollow bravardo statements are mixed with truly bizarre ‘That’s Life’ on-the-street vignettes. These juxtapositions, while meant to tell a sensationalised story in ’73, now look strangely tame and hopelessly naive. It also highlights one of the reason’s the concept of Hauntology would never really apply to similar American cultural artefacts.

Their assimilation of a quintessentially Californian and American constructs and pastimes (The Hells Angels and Motorbiking in general), is the key element that makes them so bizarre. How exoctic is rebellion on the M25 on the way to a disused canal boat on the Thames? But, in it’s inability to reach it’s own version of exotica, these videos (and many others like them), and the wider Hauntology scene,  provide a fascinating way to appreciate an archive of time when life, was more square, but much more interesting in how it articulated it’s squareness. I’ll be posting more of these as and when I find them.

(Via Dangerous Minds)

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This is a beautiful bit of branded content from mb! by Mercedes, which turns out to be the most interesting online magazine you’ve never heard of. Think The Creators Project with less ‘Viceyness’. This film set in an abandoned water slide park somewhere in the Californian desert, stars Skater Killian Martin and is directed by Brett Novak. Utilising some stunning wide shots and some awesome Phantom shots of Martin in action, when combined with the magical Love-esque sounds of Patrick Watson (his website is well worth a perusal while you’re at it), you’ve got something really special on your hands. Great work all round. And from a brand perspective, it certainly might be worth exploring further what Mercedes are doing with this platform.

Well worth a view.

(Via @pelle sjoenell)

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One of my earliest childhood memories is watching the The Red Balloon at my Grandparents house. It was pretty much the first thing that my sister and I would request to watch when we there. It either means I was an early proponent at age 5 of French New Wave filmmaking, or, as is more likely, I was enthralled with this most simple, most heartbreaking and most innovative films you might ever see.

Filmed in 1956 by Albert Lamorisse, it stars his son, Pascal, and a sentient Red Balloon. The Balloon follows Pascal around the run-down, still very Post-war district of Bellevillé in Paris. From school to home, over the course of the short, he builds an emotional attachment to the Balloon, which is cruelly stamped out by his fellow schoolkids, culminating in an ending both heart-rending (the death scene of the balloon will make any heart break) and fantastical in equal measure. Let’s just say UP has alot to thank The Red Balloon for.

The film itself won at Cannes, as well as winning Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars that year. In this excellent in-depth essay on the film by Brian Selznick he touches on the things that make the film such a wonderful experience even now. The ‘magic’ that makes the Balloon appear to be more than just an object, the intensity of the relationship that develops over the course of the film mirrors our most intimate connections as an adult. Yet for all the metaphors and symbolism that can be attached to the film as an adult watching it, Selznick concludes that this film is best watched through the eyes of a child. As a beautiful, simple story.

The film has been made available to watch on YouTube, and I urge all, young and old, those with kids especially, to watch the film and revel in this magical bit of storytelling.

Via @Brainpicker and Openculture

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This project, premiered at TED 2012 in Long Beach last week. Creative Director Cesar Kuriyama, quit his job, and is now recording one second of everyday in his 30’s. (Which will equate to a 1 hour film of that decade). The video above edits those clips together from 2011 – Feb 2012 (I assume the day of the TED talk itself).

An incredibly simple idea, this is heartwarming, honest and deeply intriguing. The simplest thing to come out of this is something that you forget quite easily.

Alot can happen in a second.

In Cesar’s year, you can instantly pick up real human emotions that feel familair to all of us, but are experienced in unique ways too. Laughter, joy, relaxation, tension, boredom, contemplation, the end moments with his sister-in-law are particularly raw. Kuriyama admits. “We take our cameras out when we’re doing awesome things; we rarely do that when something horrible is happening.” . I’m not sure why this is so inspiring”

I took something else more personal out of it. Do more with your time. Each second counts.

(H/T @nicowen There doesn’t seem to be a TED video up on this yet, when there is, I’ll update.)

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Mid-way through 2011, the formation of PARTY was announced. The brainchild of some of Japan’s and New York’s most interesting Interactive Creative Directors, including Masashi Kawamura, (he of SOUR fame), as well as creative from W+K Tokyo, BBH and beyond, it caused quite a stir. (Their inception is covered in far more detail here on Creativity).

With this sort of firepower, their first projects were eagerly awaited. They have not disappointed. I originally had a whole post set up just on the Toyota ‘Fastest Painted Website’ concept, but having seen the newest work for Japanese band Androp; it seems only right to bundle this creativity in one easily digestible morsel.

PARTY is developing quite the folio of work. Blending mystery with storytelling, with online and offline experiences, a commitment to pushing the technology, mashing together business models and shot through with humanity and charm. Their new work for Androp expands on all these themes. “World.Words.Lights.You” is music video/advert, and potential merchandising behemoth. With the cutest robots this side of the Little PrinterThese cute robot types have a dual role. To bring a smile to your face, and a crisp note out of your wallet, as the sale of these robots (on eBay) is what constitutes the revenue stream for the agency. (Note the lack of the word ‘fee’ there). Shifting their model as they go is both smart (I can’t imagine many creatives who wouldn’t want one of those toys), as well as typical of what you would expect from guys as smart and forward thinking as this lot.

All in all, just another reason to follow PARTY closely.

The obligatory ‘making of’ film.

(P.S. This isn’t the first time that PARTY and Androp have collaborated. See ‘Bell’ for further details…)

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