A Little Alchemy for Your Friday Afternoon


Looking for a bit of calm at the end of a stressful week? I’ve got just the ticket. Thanks to Vimeo’s Staff Picks (and crainium.net), here’s a wonderful clip from Evosia Studios’ Henry Jun Wah Lee, videographer and creative mind behind some of my favorite time-lapse nature videos. As usual, full-screen HD is borderline imperative. (The Utah winter shots are [Read More...]

TIFF Trailer for Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises”


For some time now, I’ve been eagerly awaiting an English-subtitled trailer for the great Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming (and somewhat controversial) The Wind Rises. Today (thanks to the Toronto International Film Festival and /Film) is finally the day. After a bit of adjusting to the Japanese characters that keep appearing vertically on-screen (and the bewildering pop song [Read More...]

Seeing Isn’t Always Believing


I’ll be honest; even after repeated viewings and reviewings (and an entire night to let it all sink in), I’m still not entirely convinced this play is even possible. In debates concerning the game’s greatest defensive shortstops, I’ve always been an earnest Omar Vizquel supporter — partially because the bulk of his career occurred during [Read More...]

My Brush with Hollywood Immortality


Over the weekend, I stumbled across this fun piece from The National Catholic Register’s Jim Graves entitled “California Churches Make Hollywood Cameos:” California is home to many beautiful Catholic churches as well as home to Hollywood. Consequently, the state’s churches have frequently caught the eye of filmmakers and appeared in well-known movies and television shows. [Read More...]

The Musical Soul of Pixar’s “Blue Umbrella”


I wasn’t as impressed with Monsters University as I was hoping. It was a pleasant (and thanks to my son, a memorable) theatrical experience, but the backstory of Mike and Sully’s friendship lacked the emotional teeth I’ve come to (perhaps unfairly) expect from Pixar. I was impressed by The Blue Umbrella, though. It was wonderfully made, [Read More...]

Dances with Lions


The following is a test of your Courage Sticking Place system. Step 1: Go here. Step 2: Click on “Look.” Step 3: Find out what you’re really made of. Amazing, no? It’s an interactive mini-site called “The Serengeti Lion,” and it was released in conjunction with this month’s National Geographic article, “The Short Happy Life of a [Read More...]

The Unassuming Genius of Franz Schubert


A few nights ago, a quick (but rewarding) YouTube session — instigated by a friend’s casual remark on the “Mozarty-ness” of Franz Schubert’s 5th Symphony at the live concert he was attending — reminded me of something I have forgotten with demoralizing regularity: Franz Schubert was a genius. The fact that I routinely forget the truth [Read More...]

Brock Davis, Vine Master


It’s taken me a while to warm up to Vine. I’d like to be able to say that there was a principled reason for my initial dislike. Something grandiose and a shade Ludditetastic, like “I don’t think you can show enough in 6 seconds to make it a valuable form of communication,” or some such oversimplification. [Read More...]

The Most Exciting Play in Baseball


Hank Aaron once said that “the triple is the most exciting play in baseball.” He was wrong. That breathless anticipation and excitement as a runner makes the turn at second and heads for third is one of the sport’s greatest pleasures — a pleasure amplified, I suspect, by its rarity in today’s game. So I certainly understand where [Read More...]

The Evolution of Greenscreen


Greenscreen is one of those things I’ve always heard described as an ubiquitous presence in Hollywood. Yet I’m still shocked when I realize just how frequently (and seamlessly) it’s being used. OK, you’re right. It’s not always seamless. And yes, it can discombobulate some perfectly respectable actors into some horrendously wooden performances. But it’s more than [Read More...]