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Shock Corridor (1963)

Third up in the list of Film Noir is Shock Corridor. Total spoilage: it’s not a happy ending with this one but otherwise is just as strong a story as Blast Of Silence. And what do you know, Larry Tucker aka Big Ralphy is in this one too. He must’ve done the rounds of early 60s noir and then hung up his acting hat.

larrytucker

So anyway this film was showing us the whacky and grizzly insides of an insane asylum a good deal before Jack crazied it up on One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. You could probably do a great Intro to Film Studies essay about this movie because there’s three characters that represent different parts of the shadow that the US cast over itself and other parts of the world, including the very fresh over-hang of racial segregation.

shockcorridor
Trent cracked up after being hounded out of the university he was in theory entitled to attend.

The main character gets shock treatments but they don’t scramble his brains immediately and there’s one scene where for a moment he loses the ability to talk. It uses voice over to tell us what he’s thinking and he’s wanting to open his mouth and wondering why it won’t work. That was a great little bit of visual story-telling.

*  *  *  * 

I also watched a couple of ‘70s science fiction movies: Logan’s Run (1976) : kind of weird but had some great ‘70s breasts in it (they just seemed kind of different back then) and Silent Running (1972) which I remeber seeing when I was real little, as in back in the BTV6 cargo cult days. Maybe I was 7 or something. This was the first time I’ve watched a movie and felt ‘this seemed much bigger when I was little’ in the way that a town where you grew up might. My memory of the ship Bruce Dern was floating around on was that it was much bigger and I can remember being quite tramatised when one of the little walking-boxes (robots) got his foot stuck in the railing and got blown away in a space storm. I guess that sense of ‘hey this could be much bigger’ is a good thing because maybe this is one film-story that could be re-done successfully but I guess it’d have to be done outside hollywood, a la Moon.

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One photography app I’ve been mucking around with recently is VSCO cam, which free but that’s just to lure you in to get you to spend some money. I didn’t mind so much since these little, invisible things are all I’m spending money on now (other than food). One thing I do really like is the VSCO Grid idea. This is exactly what Hispstamatic should’ve done instead of piss-farting around with Oggl; an instagram clone. A nice minimal, arty-lookin’, centralised webfront for people to show off their hipstamatic shots. Again, free at first and then charge for enhanced services/features later. Like leading lemmings off a cliff. Here’s my grid.

rolling with the cafenol

The hipstamatic app is still my favourite toy and to a small extent it’s got me interested in the history of photography. Some of the lenses and film types usable in the camera app are based on old, sometimes cheap cameras that are no longer made (at least not in the way they originally were). Info on those is fairly easy to come by. For example the Helga lens = Holga camera and the Jane lens I’m pretty sure is based on the Diana camera.

Naturally some looks or combinations have become my favourites but I muck around with it quite a bit and am left with enough time to sit with the filters that I’ve never really found a use for, and to try them again.  Cano Cafenol is one such film. It was named after a photography business guy, Gabriel Cano who created a technique whereby photos are developed in a solution of instant coffee, washing soda and vitamin C which used to be called Cafenol but is now titled coffee processing.

Cano set

I took one shot with Cano Cafenol and each of the currently available 29 lenses to see which one I liked with it best. The results: inconclusive. As is often the case it’s not the look of the image, it’s whether or not there’s actually something interesting going on in it.

, — YS @ 12:52 pm, June 21, 2013

Check out this Parmesan wheel!

Parmasan wheel at the super market

A whole, real wheel down at the local IGA supermarket. Foto is a bit blurry—I sometimes feel a bit weird taking fotos of things like that, expecially when I’m wearing my tracksuit. I remember seeing a doco about someone travelling around northern Italy and whole, good quality Parmesan cheese wheels like this are treated like currency there. They were keeping them in the bank vault.

As an adjunctive sidenote, I lost all my Hipstamatic iphone camera presets. One of the hidden pain-in-the-arses of moving countries is that if you have an iphone then you pretty much need to change to the new country’s appstore, but to keep getting updates for apps, you then need to delete and re-download them from the current appstore. I spent the whole afternoon yesterday doing that.

, , , , , — YS @ 10:18 am, April 12, 2013

FedEx is a guardroom check the wind

A few months back I mentioned how there was a city-wide taxi strike and how no one was the worse off for it.

Tomorrow there’s going to be a nation-wide omnibus strike and I am fully expecting transiting the CBD to be a nightmare. I guess if you’ve ever wondered what the subway would like like if all the omnibus people were also crammed into it, then tomorrow’s your big day.

It’s about how the gummnt is proposing to reclassify taxis as public transport, which will apparently cost a whole lot, which will, apparently make omnibus ticket prices higher. I don’t know all the figures but it sounds stupid. Taxis are private industry. Not making enough money as a taxi driver? Get a different job. The other thing that sounds really stupid is that taxis will be able to use the omnibuslanes, which will I’m sure cause omnishambles.

Update: 22/11/12, Title: OMG j/k

The bus drivers were out for one hour then went back to work. The government admitted their idea was a stupid bunch of balls and deleted the bill proposing taxis be reclassified. Everything’s back to normal. Case closed.

Gangs-terr

PS. this is a new filter/lens pak called Gangster Squad, which is a promo tie-in for the upcoming film of the same name. The circular film looks okay when it’s copied onto a white background but any other colour doesn’t really work. The lens doesn’t do much in the way of affect.

, , , , , — YS @ 7:52 pm, November 21, 2012

like dolphins can swim

Update- (7/8/11) For all the Singapore, Malaysian and even Brunei people coming here looking for the oksu station ghost comic, the one you are looking for is here.

If you don’t read hangeul and are interested in what it says, I’m told it’s basically, the boy says on his phone, check out the drunk girl. Takes a foto and sends it to his friend. The girl is swaying around but she’s not drunk! She’s being guided by a poltergeist, that throws her on the tracks.


Halftone eg

Been having mild amounts of fun with an iphone app called Halftone. It takes an existing foto and adds newsprint style ink dots, then you can add captions and whatnot. It has a lot of potential but the more I think about it, cartoons don’t really look like that. Maybe it’s not supposed to be a straight out comic strip thing.

Please excuse the lashings of Marvel-standard story device cliches.

IMG_0500

IMG_0503

IMG_0502

I didn’t use all of the features in these. You can also put things like “Mint!” over the image.

The funny thing is, Jongers told me later that there is actually a korean comic about a ghost at oksu station. She says she hasn’t read it because it’s too freaky. Little things they could do to improve this thing are: being able to switch to bold within a sentence. You’re stuck with the one style of typeface within each text bubble. I would’ve liked the above to read, ”…wreak havoc on our world!”

Also, I’m a bit fed up with how upload facilities are so proprietary and cliquey. What these foto-adjunct apps needs is a standard format of address string that the user can input to be their nominated place to upload to rather than favouring the one or two mega-big “social networking” sites. For eg, halftone gives me the choice of upping to facebook, twitter or emailing it—no flickr, so it’s a pain in the arse for me. Similarly, hipstamatic, with each new update, is making it more and more difficult for me to send my fotos to flickr.


I’ve never really understood how wrapped up some people can get in comics. I had a couple of The Phantom comics I got in a showbag once as a kid but that’s it. But after my lame-arse attempt above, I can appreciate the techniques involved in telling a story with both words and pictures and not having any redundancy take practice.

, , , , , — YS @ 1:39 pm, July 24, 2011

jangle

Hipstamatic have added a few more filter recently. Oooh that’s right I’m talking about an app.

The first pair are the nicest; a two for 99cents deal and are connected with the photographer Ben Watts who I’d not heard of before but upon further investigation is an Australian who specialises in fotos of brawny black men at the beach. I had to make do with a nice day in the pre-humid phase as an demonstration.

Into

There was one extra free lens added to the starter pack, named buckhorst. Kind of subtle, which I like.

Miserable Roof

And I just noticed another. The hipstamatic people must’ve jumped into bed with Nike because these two B&W films (and case) are branded with comet logo. A bit to hard to understand as it doesn’t really sit well with the ‘hipster’ image. Maybe they were desperate for cash, cash, cash! And I have to say I’m just not a fan of black and white. There’s more than enough black, white and grey in the world, and especially in Korea.

shrunken head

, — YS @ 12:15 pm, June 10, 2011

photography pt 2

I haven’t talked about the little computer programs, called ‘apps’ for the iphone, mainly because it seems like such a boring, nerdy thing to do. And I should probably just write and post an entry as soon as I think about it rather than deliberating for weeks. Deliberating, indeed. If you don’t have an iphone this is going to be useless, so click away, now!

I’m mildly amused with retro-style camera apps. It’s pathetic really, isn’t it? You’d think that someone like me would see a name like ‘Hipstamatic’ and steer well clear of it. My only defence it that I am getting into this with my eyes open, and accused of being a hipster, falsely or not, all I know it I don’t feel like one and I don’t think they would wear an addidas top every day they’re not at work.

And ‘Hipstamatic’ is relatively expensive too. Some of the others (I’ll get to them later) are givin’ it away for free. The hipstamatic app is $2 american (that’s less than $2 Australian (LOL!)). And if you want extra lenses/film/flashes, which are all essentially filters, they come in packs of two or three and cost an extra 99c each. I was really surprised with myself that I bought them—bought them all (about 5 packs in total). But did so under the reasoning that almost everyday I end up wasting some smallish amount of money, like I’ll buy something to eat for five bucks and get halfway through and think, well that was a mistake wasn’t it.

I think the thing that gets the hipstamatic app out in front is the nice packaging. It looks nice and it looks fun. Fun is at the heart of this retro-foto mini-veer, veering away from the 40,000 megapixel ultra-HighDef telephoto lens stuff. Here’s what it looks like:

IMG_0323

It’s skinnable in the way mp3 players or browsers are. This is the ‘Mr.Blingy’ skin that comes with one of the packs. It looks nice but actually is hard to see if standing in sunlight.

IMG_0322

This is the back, the ‘Cowgirl’ skin, released as a freebie during the recent SXSW thingo. As you can see the view-finder is rather small, which is part of the whole analog thing. If you want to square up exact dimensions when you’re shooting, then the standard camera app on the phone is obviously better. Sometimes the little viewfinder has resulted in wonky shots but sometimes the unpredictability has added nice touches, like here with ancient krean cybermen:

Ancient Cyberman

I like how the wheel is partially seen in background.

At present there’s 12 film types and 9 lenses when fully decked out. There’s also 7 flash types. The iphone camera flash is fairly poxy and eats up the battery like all get out. I guess the flash would be good if you were at a party and taking fotos of your friends. I’ve no friends and go not to parties, so haven’t found the flashes very useful. Anyway, there’s a lot of combinations of look that can be cooked up, and I’ve had a jolly old time messing about in that way. From the really hot:

Maintenance

to cool:

Oksu Stn

One of the really neat things about it is now that these kind of phones are internet capable is that you can take a foto and upload it straight to the internet. With hipstamatic there’s the choice of sending it to Flickr, fuzzbook, tumblr or an email address. This eliminates the whole process of having to wait until you get home, plugging the camera in to the computer, transferring, transferring again to internet. Who can be bothered with that now? Not me. Small conventional cameras like cannon Ixus, take note. Similarly, the hipstamatic filter sets are good, and good enough, because with time literally speeding up during the last twenty years, who’s got time to be messing about with GIMP or photoshop? I don’t even know how to use photoshop.

It would be good if hipstamatic had a zoom function, but this is not their fault, there is no zoom on the normal iphone camera, and I guess it goes against the whole retro ethos. Also, when I’m sending fotos to flickr, and typing a title for the foto, hipstamatic wants me to start Every Word With A Capital Letter, which is Dippy. Also, all the foto formats are square. It’d be good to have a few rectangle. There’s no good postcards in Korea so I make my own and rectangle works best for that. The square format seems to work best for small things and intimate settings. Expansive, landscape shots look boxed in.

Once or twice I’ve wondered if I will look back at some of these shots in 10 or twenty years and think, I wonder what colour that really was, and perhaps wish I’d just taken a normal foto.

For a minimum or two and up to 7$ it’s been fun, and has got me enthused about taking fotos again—something I’ve done little of in the last two years (barring special occasions). I even took a USB stick down to the printer the other day and had some printed.

, , , , , — YS @ 11:25 am, March 31, 2011

The television will not be revolutionised.


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