Weiwei & Lo Pan Linky

Gangnam juggernaut continues. Amazing Big Trouble in Little China riff:

And, even better, legendary dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei does his own version:

Dangerous Minds, who have been supplying Friday Linky with content for years now, has blown up big with a massively-shared post about Facebook’s (frankly insane) monetisation idea that breaks the core functionality of their own service and makes you pay to get it back. I fully expect it to be rolled back almost entirely before the year is out, but FB is experiencing financial pressure for the first time so maybe they’ll double down on this craziness? It ain’t like G+ is gonna take all the users away…

Also from Dangerous Minds: super-realistic sculpture of Ripley in Alien

Speaking of Facebook, that’s where Pearce has been sharing a horror movie a day. Here’s one to share, 1979’s ‘Zombie’. Sayeth Pearce: “If you don’t want to watch the entire movie, go straight to 33:30 and watch one of the most legendary scenes in horror movie history.”

The Exorcist as 80s sitcom.

Alan Moore sings on the hard-to-find/copyright-spiked Black Dossier record – listen to it here

Lady computers for your delicate lady computing hands. Built-in horoscopes! No I’m serious.

A history of photomanipulation
(via Maire)

Amnesty International’s new thingy, that uses your Facebook timeline to suggest what would happen to you in a repressive regime

The hard numbers behind the gender gap in academic publishing (via Amanda Lyons)

This guy is kinda my hero today, too: high school dude goes and does social-good health research, gets published, is awesome – then identifies a technical weakness in *his own paper* and *retracts it himself*. Legend.

Kiwipsum – A kiwiana themed dummy text generator, bro (via Heather)

The 10 best films of the 1890s. (Includes the actual films, which are mostly about a minute long each.)

This sounds groovy! The mysterious package company (via Anna Klein)

Arranging your bookshelf is like deciding seating at a dinner party…

Decoding the Canadian “sorry”

And finally, first seen via Mike Foster, here is CAT BOUNCE

6 thoughts on “Weiwei & Lo Pan Linky”

  1. I should mention that “Zombie” is actually “Zombi 2”.

    “Zombi” is the European title of George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead”, which was released first in Europe in a version completely re-edited by Dario Argento (to maximise the scenes of action & carnage and to minimise the satirical & comedic elements).

    [Comparing the two versions is very interesting. When Argento’s “Zombi” cut was submitted to the BBFC (the British film censorship board) they cut it very harshly; when Romero submitted his own cut a short time later, they were much more lenient about the amount of gore they let through.

    [According to Romero, this is simply because his version was funnier, and therefore less intense, and so the exact same scenes of extreme violence seemed less nasty and more like part of his satirical point. It probably helped that Romero took out quite a bit of prog rock band Goblin’s driving score and replaced it with intentionally-goofy library music, which changed the tone of the movie by itself.]

    Lucio Fulci, who was already working on a zombie movie, retitled it “Zombi 2” to cash in on the success of the Argento version. It’s actually a very different movie; Fulci claimed that his point of reference was actually the subtly suggestive Val Lewton horror movies of the 1940s, which is hard to see at first because “Zombi 2” is filled with scenes of extreme carnage far more disgusting than anything in any version of Romero’s movie. It’s only once you get past the gore that you can see what he meant.

    Fulci, though a rather ham-fisted director in his own right, was an extremely film literate and intellectual person, who actually embedded quite a bit of social criticism in his movies, and was often more concerned with “pure cinema” than with storytelling. Although less skilled as a craftsman than Dario Argento, he tended to push his imagery a lot further. Argento only approached Fulci’s level of formal surrealism once, with Inferno – similar to but far more conventional than Fulci was attempting at around the same time with movies like The Beyond and Manhattan Baby.

    For more information about Fulci as a serious filmmaker (he’s usually written off as a gore-hack even by his biggest fans) check out Patricia MacCormack’s essay at Senses of Cinema: http://sensesofcinema.com/2004/great-directors/fulci/

    None of which should stop you from going immediately to 33:30 of “Zombie” (aka “Zombi 2”) and experiencing a scene that will genuinely make you go, “Woah! They really did that!” (It’s not a hyper-gory scene, it’s just completely insane.)

  2. Yes, that article about the Canadian “sorry” is completely accurate. I’ve often said that Canadians are actually fairly awful and judgmental sorts who shame each other into a blandly pleasant form of social control.

  3. Pearce, always a pleasure to read your commentary on movies. That’s one of the best succinct commentaries on Fulci that I’ve read in a while. The one great thing about him is: he’s not Jesus Franco.


  4. Jesus (ho ho!), Pearce! That’s more JF movies than anyone should ever own. I’m assuming Oasis of the Zombies is in there somewhere?

  5. Malc: Yep, though the version of Oasis of the Zombies that I have is the French-language one, which is actually directed by Pierre Chevalier. The Spanish-language version, directed by Franco, has a totally different cast and is supposed to be gorier and less lethargic, but it’s very hard to find.

    I also have Zombie Lake, which Franco prepared but left before shooting because it was below his standards (!) and which was then directed by Jean Rollin, and also Dr . Orloff and the Invisible Man, which is an imitation of Franco (!) starring many of his usual favourites and directed again by Pierre Chevalier.

    When it comes to Franco, I favour his early B&W gothics (especially Miss Muerte and The Awful Dr. Orlof) and his surreal erotic horror movies with Janine Reynaud (Necronomicon/Succubus, which was praised by Fritz Lang of all people), Maria Rohm (Venus In Furs, Philosophy in the Boudoir) and Soledad Miranda (Vampyros Lesbos, She Killed In Ecstasy, Eugenie De Sade).

    But I’ll attempt to sit through anything the old perv directed, though I’ve only found two past 1980 that are worth looking at (Faceless, an unusually polished and VERY violent ripoff of Eyes Without a Face, starring Helmut Berger, Brigette Lahaie, Caroline Munro and Telly Savalas, and Killer Barbys, starring a trashy Spanish pop/punk band as themselves).

    If anyone is actually interested in learning more about Jess Franco, the episode of Eurotika devoted to him is a good starting place: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chp1NunL8Xk

    The whole series is worth watching if you’re interested in Eurotrash cinema, and I think it’s all on YouTube if you search for it.

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