Cluster Map

Revolver Map

March 2017
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DAOKO

DAOKO is an energetic J-Pop artist from Tokyo who recently had one of her songs selected to be the end theme for Shingeki no Bahamut Virgin Soul. Not bad for someone who posted their home made music videos to Nico Nico Douga, and had one of them take off. The first track is Daisuki with TeddyLoid, the second is If we are the Protagonists of the Game, the third is just called Bang. And I threw in a Rage of Bahamut Virgin Soul trailer at the end.

Suicide Squad Parody by The Hillywood Show

Everything you need to know is in the title; the Hillywood Show is a brilliant parody presentation put together by Hilly & Hannah Hindi, some truly twisted sisters who combine music, dance, and video production to create some of the most amazing short films you can find these days. It shouldn’t be a shock that they have been parodying such pop culture icons as Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, Supernatural, and Sherlock. The real shock value comes from the fact that their fan base includes the casts of Supernatural and Doctor Who, actor/artists like Billy Boyd, Lady Gaga, and Sean Astin, writers/directors like Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and production houses including BBC America and MTV. With the key players you are creating your parodies from being in the front row of your cheering squad, you have to know you have gotten it right!

American Gods trailer

Starz signed up to put Neil Gaiman’s American Gods into production, and it looks amazing so far. They have a new trailer I had to share here, and since they also posted their SXSW panel, I am throwing that in as well. The show premieres on Starz on April 30th, these should help you get ready for it! Thanks to Tor for the heads up on this one!

Just Film Festival

China has finally launched a film festival specifically targeting the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, called the Just Film Festival. The group appears to have organized in 2014, holding the first festival in 2015, as near as I can tell. It seems to have gotten them off to a good start, because this year around 200 industry professionals were running 3 tracks, with the most popular session being the projects, promotion, and investment presentation. That started off with around 500 potential films putting in their bids for funding, and by the time the dust settled it was narrowed down to just 3 titles: Immerse, Saving Human, and Planet X. I don’t know which or how many of them got the money to begin production, but over the last decade or two there has been an explosive growth in the Chinese Science Fiction literary scene. Some of those books and stories have won recognition world wide, and some of them are now in bookstores in North America; it is nice to see their SF/F film industry starting to get some momentum and recognition as well.

Happy Pi Day, Albert Einstein

Today is Pi Day, the day that starts off 3.14 and celebrates the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. This day gives mathematicians from around the world an opportunity to educate everyone and celebrate the beauty of the universe. So it seems appropriate to me that Albert Einstein, who once said Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas was born on this day in 1879. Happy Pi Day, Albert Einstein, and thanks for all your wonderful insights and explanations about how reality works!

Something to Do: Movies

This week is the Disney live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast, more specifically the live action remake of the 1991 Disney animated version of Beauty and the Beast. Just last year we had the French remake La Belle et la Bête, but of course that one was the remake of the 1946 masterpiece La Belle et la Bête by visionary filmmaker and poet Jean Cocteau. That one was a direct adaptation of the 1757 story of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published in an anthology of fairy tales. The other option this week is Atomica from Syfy Films, which seems to be a mid-future thriller with the potential to become a slasher movie, although I do like a couple of the actors involved.

Something to Watch: Disc’s

The Western winner this week is Passengers, an excellent character driven romantic drama set against the backdrop of deep space during an era of interstellar expansion. Solace has a psychic doctor assisting a detective in tracking down a serial killer. The only problem is the serial killer is a psychic too, and a much better one than the doctor working with the FBI. It has a world class cast and an interesting trailer, the critical reviews indicate the movie has some serious flaws but the chemistry between the cast makes it work despite them.

In Anime, K: Missing Kings is the movie bridge between season 1 and season 2; there are 7 kings in the world, each with their own special power which they can grant in greater or lesser degrees to their followers. And there is war between the secret kings, with the potential to overturn the mundane world entirely. Ben To: The Complete Series is being released in a S.A.V.E. edition, with a totally different kind of war. In grocery stores across Japan, the battle for half-priced Bento boxes has become fierce.

SECONDWALL

SECONDWALL is an energetic J-Pop-Punk band who formed in 2009, with their first major single in 2012 and the first mini-album in 2013. The first song here is At the end of love, the cherry blossom dances, which was the OP theme of the TV Drama Love That Makes You Cry on Fuji TV last year. The second track is 2015’s Identity, the third is Period filmed live at Otsuka Deepa on November 9, 2011, and posted by the director.

MakeHuman

If you are playing with 3D modeling, be aware of MakeHuman, a free open source tool for creating 3D characters. Written in Python, it integrates seamlessly into blender, and allows you to instantly generate a fully rigged and ready to animate human or near-human. It’s slider set has over a thousand morphs you can apply to modify your character, including (but not limited to) Age, gender, height, weight, body proportions, face shapes, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, neck, hands, feet.. the list goes on. And it is licensed under the CC0 license from Creative Commons, giving you unparalleled freedom to use your creations however you like. The folks over at Games From Scratch did an excellent introduction video on this, which I am including here so you can see just how easy and powerful this package is.

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Nevertheless She Persisted is a sci-fi/fantasy flash fiction collection featuring unique visions of women inventing, playing, loving, surviving, and – of course – dreaming of themselves beyond their circumstances, according to the event’s page at Tor. It was the reaction of some world-class authors to the statement made when Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the United States Senate for reading the words of Coretta Scott King last month:

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

Yesterday, on International Women’s Day, a number of those authors ran with it, turning an attempt at subjugation into the inspiration behind a collection of stories you absolutely need to read. And you don’t have to pay a penny to do so; they are posted online at Tor, free and accessible to all. Enjoy, and perhaps even be inspired; I certainly was.