Archive for 2014

The Sundancers’ “Favorite” Moments

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

It’s been a fun trip, but we’re back at Eckerd now. Still more updates to come, so stay tuned.

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No No - I Refuse to Make a Pun for This Title

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Well, I tried anyway. Really, truly, from the bottom of my heart, no pun intended. I mean, I could’ve gone with, “Just Say ‘No’ to No No,” but I loved the documentary, directed by Jeffery Radice, about Dock Ellis, a professional baseball player who notoriously pitched a no hitter while tripping on LSD.

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Sundance: The love-hate relationship in Park City

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Lexy Ford)

aerial view of Utah mountains (photo credit: Lexy Ford)

Can I quote you on this? “Yeah, my name is John Fucking Doe.” A local resident of Park City, had some mixed feelings about the Sundance Film Festival being held in his city. This got me thinking about how the locals REALLY feel about the festival and all its brought or taken away from the city. Over the past few days I have been asking some local residents, other than John Fucking Doe, what they thought were the pro’s ands con’s of the festival. (more…)

Best freebies @ Sundance 2014

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Sundance is as independent a festival as Canada is proud to have spawned young Biebs. Not at all. Luckily, we’ll let it slide because we’re still kids and we all like free shit. So what benefits of shameless corporate sponsorship did we reap? Here are some of the coolest things
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Navigating Opening Weekend at Sundance

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

But seriously, what?

But seriously, what?

It wasn’t until arriving at Sundance that I began to really understand the term ‘film junkie’. So, I thought I would try to provide some tips to ensure that you will have a positive experience without having your eyes clawed out by the merciless beasts that want to get into every film before you. So read these three tips and rejoice! So what if they seem pretty obvious and not all that helpful? That’s just your opinion. You haven’t even been to Sundance yet so why am I listening to you? Or maybe you have in which case this really isn’t for you. Either way I don’t care what you think. That’s a lie, I do care. I guess I’m just insecure. Shut up. Now you’re probably thinking: “What is this guy talking about? Is he actually going to give his stupid tips or not?” So, without further ado, let’s get started. (more…)

FED UP

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

This morning I finally got the chance to see the film I was most excited about. I read about it in the brochure before we left for Sundance and told myself it was one I couldn’t miss. Fed Up directed by Stephanie Soechtig left me leaving the theater full of ambitions and hope for future change in the American food industry. This documentary revealed some of the horrifying truths about what we as Americans are consuming on a daily basis and how detrimental these products can be to our health. Everyone in the audience is presented with a handful of case studies and is told heartbreaking stories along with loads of statistics and evidence on obesity rates and nutritional value. Fed Up reveals that the long-held misconception that less calories and more exercise leads to lowering obesity rates is simply a tactic being used to cover up the real danger in our foods; sugar. The nation is being deceived by major food corporations into thinking that labels on products are truthful. (more…)

Locke –A Film About Being A Man

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Die HardRambo, Dirty Harry, Remember the Titans: these are manly movies, or, at least, movies centered around men and masculine ideals. AMC might even call them “movies for guys who like movies.” You protect the weak, justice guides your every move, and you’ll even use violence to fight for what’s right when necessary.

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On John Slattery’s “God’s Pocket” and Why He Should Stick to Acting

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Who thought this squad could make a bad movie?

Who thought this squad could make a bad movie?

Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of those festival sweethearts that will never be able to do ill in the eyes of the people. His track record speaks for itself. The downside of this is that he probably gets asked to do five different movies every day. Still, when John Slattery aka Roger Sterling approaches you about an inner-city, organized crime movie set in Phiilly during the 70’s with John Turturro, Christina Hendricks and Richard Jenkins, I can understand that it may seem like a safe bet.

Slattery, who has directed five different episodes of “Mad Men,” demonstrates a complete lack of understanding in character development with his first feature film.
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A fancy night with Flea

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Flea plays bass in a jazz set

The night started with me seeing a photo on Instagram that Flea (bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) would be at a certain Sundance event celebrating music in film. I had no idea if he was just going to be moseying around, or playing, or what, but regardless I knew would be there to find out.

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The Oculus Rift

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The Oculus Rift headset

The Oculus Rift headset

The Oculus Rift has been on my radar since the original kickstarter, which I did not donate too because of the laughable success rate for hardware funded through that site. As the months went on, however, it became more and more clear that the people behind it knew what they were doing, and my passive interest turned into excitement. The list of supported games grew ever greater, and people in the gaming and technology press had almost universally good things to say about it. I was not yet convinced, as it seems to me that allowing oneself to get excited about an expensive and unfinished product without trying it yourself is foolish. Still, I was itching to give one a try, so imagine my surprise when, while flipping through the Sundance brochure, I came across a page saying that it would be there to try for free.

For those who do not know, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality visor that contains two screens that are viewed through two curved lenses that trick the eye into perceiving the image as 3-D. There are also a series of sensors that detect the movement of of the wearer, which can then be interpreted to allow the user to look around a virtual environment. Similar devices have existed in the past, but because of recent advancements in technology coupled with the wide range of games that are working to support it makes this device possibly the biggest leap in the field of personal virtual reality that has ever happened.

The day I got there, I went to the vibrantly red New Frontier lounge, and got in line for the demos. After experiencing what the device has to offer, I have to say I am very impressed. The first I saw was Clouds, which was a smaller version of another instillation in the lounge. As far as an introduction to the device, it works well but is unimpressive overall. It is essentially a series of interviews about various technological advancements set to abstract landscapes that the viewer can look around in. There were also some demos using a Beck concert and a clip from The Girl From Nagasaki that were interesting. The real show stealer, however, was Eve: Valkyrie. made using assets from the MMO RPG Eve Online, Valkyrie is a spaceship combat simulator that is set to be a launch title for the device. Although the demo is fairly simple, the ability to look around the cockpit while flying in real time feels absolutely incredible. It is sometimes hard to keep track of everything that is going on, but the feeling of craning your neck to find enemy spaceships is honestly unprecedented.

I was lucky enough to have gotten an interview with a representative from CCP games, developers of Eve Online. There was also a representative from Oculus present, but unfortunately he was unable to comment.

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