short film

The Arctic : A Short Film about the Frozen Beauty of the Arctic

THE ARCTIC began in October 2018 and lasted for about seven months. It records the crystallization processes of different salts. During this period, we explored various forms of the crystals and their wonderful growth patterns. Most of the footage was captured by time-lapse photography.

The tile of this film comes from the icy sensation of the Arctic. We hope this film can remind viewers the stunning beauty of the ice world and the importance of protecting our planet (via).

There’s something soothing about this video. Maybe it’s the lack of chaos, or the simple order and beauty of the icy world. I don’t know. But whenever I watch it, I see a brain, or a community, and the ice is ideas or imagination running wild and free in every direction, yet with purpose.

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Neighborhood Golf, a film by Nicolas Heller

For the past 10 years, street photographer Patrick Barr aka Tiger Hood has become a local legend known for bringing golf to the streets of NYC.

It’s a game that requires only three items: a golf club, a newspaper-stuffed milk carton, and a crate. What was initially just a way for Barr to pass time has gained traction from major news outlets and celebrities on a global scale. However, street golf seems to overshadow his true passion… photography. Barr’s archive consists of thousands of mind blowing film photographs of NYC from the 1990’s to 2000’s.

His goal was to preserve a time and place that he predicted would dissolve in the coming years. With his archive as evidence, he predicted correctly (via).

In a time that likes to embrace a, “Be content with what you have,” or, “make the best of what you’ve been given,” Tiger Hood is an example to us all.

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Inspiring films about Humans  :  Documentaries  : The Tables, a short film by Jon Bunning

The Saint of Dry Creek : a StoryCorp short film

Dont' sneak. . . if you sneak it means you think you're doing the wrong thing. And if you run around your whole life thinking you're doing the wrong thing, then you'll ruin your immortal soul.

Damn, that's good.

StoryCorps was designed by David Irsay to "preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world," and has collected well over 50,000 stories (that number is from June, 2015). 

I first heard of David Irsay and his brilliant development of StoryCorps almost two years ago while walking through the streets of Chengdu, China. He and it was the center piece to the episode The Act of Listening from the podcast TED Radio Hour. Since that night, I've listened to hundreds of podcasts. Yet, this episode has remained one of my all time favorites. 

Thank you Eric Trauger for sending me this video!


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Favorite Podcasts  :  TED Talks  :  StoryCorps films

Poilus: A short film about any one of us

The “Poilus” - infantry soldiers in the French army, especially during WWI - are waiting to leave for the battlefield. Among them, Ferdinand, a young hare, is playing the harmonica. A signal is given, the attack begins. It’s on the no man’s land that he first encounters his enemy, a horrible creature.

This short film is intriguing. Why the juxtaposition of the car in the opening scene and the tank? Is it humanity and war? 

The harmonica, like Ivan Denisovich's clean spoon, is his clinging to humanity. And when he killed the soldier wearing a different color, he killed himself - metaphorically. 

But also literally. Playing in the open battlefield was, essentially, suicide. All the soldiers heard him - and one might argue, were inspired by him - but then a shot rang out. Before the whistle.

But who shot him? 

The soldier clenching his fist is in blue, just Ferdinand. Did his own commander kill him? The one who ripped his little bit of humanity left and stomped it in the dirt? Or was it the enemy?

And who is the enemy? 

Using bunnies is brilliant because any association we have with them is kind and fluffy and a perfect gift for any child of any age because they're harmless! Bunnies don't fight wars. Bunnies don't kill - our enemies do. 

Once humans are taken out of the film, everyone can be anyone, which, I think, is the point.

The line between them and us is instantly blurred. All the bunnies look the same, act the same, and twitch the same. Suddenly, any one of us can be any one of them. And anyone of us can choose to play the harmonica, or pull the trigger. 


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  WWII Vets - Former Enemies, Now Friends  :  Humanity




When 2+2 equals 5, it's time to stand

Sometimes, it's best not to believe what we're taught.

When I showed this to my students a few years back, I asked, "Why imaginary guns? Why not the real thing?"

"Because they're not killing him," a student responded, "but his mind. And his imagination."

Perhaps the same can be said for the mindless adherence to rules, ideas, and religion

Ethnic (or any) diversity is like fresh air: It benefits everybody who experiences it. By disrupting conformity it produces a public good. To step back from the goal of {diversity} would deprive {everyone}, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, of the opportunity to benefit from the improved cognitive performance that diversity promotes.


When surrounded by people “like ourselves,” we are easily influenced, more likely to fall for wrong ideas. Diversity prompts better, critical thinking. It contributes to error detection. It keeps us from drifting toward miscalculation (via).

Sadly, at times, it takes someone standing at the chalkboard or standing in front of a tank to remind us how far we've drifted. 


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Diversity  :  Heineken commercial - More than a drink  :  Dangers of a Single Story


Rakka, by Neill Blomkamp

Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) is planning on making a series of experimental short films as proofs-of-concept for possible feature film development. His first short has just been released through Oats Studios; it’s called Rakka, stars Sigourney Weaver, and is kind of a cross between District 9 and Edge of Tomorrow (via).

These futuristic/alien takeover sort of movies, for me, are always a hit or miss. What I do like about them though, and this one seems to be of a similar cut, is that they bring humanity to the edge of extinction and then ask, "What does it mean to be human?" 

If we survive, but at the sacrifice of morals, of humanity, is life worth living?

The Walking Dead asks the same question. So does Ivan Denisovich. Because conflict - true and meaningful conflict - reveals truth. Truth about ourselves, and truth about our world. 

I'm intrigued by Amir and what part he will play. How will his fractured humanity impact the world? Will it win? Or will it succumb?


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Short Films  :  Humanity



Human, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Below is a short excerpt from a film entitled, "Human" by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

"I am one man among seven billion others" Bertand writes. "For the past 40 years, I have been photographing our planet and its human diversity, and I have the feeling that humanity is not making any progress. We can’t always manage to live together.
Why is that?
I didn’t look for an answer in statistics or analysis, but in man himself."

Yann Arthus-Bertrand was born in 1946, and has always nurtured a passion for animals and the natural world. At a very early age, he began to use a camera to record his observations and accompany his writings.
On the occasion of the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, Yann decided to embark upon a major photographic project about the state of the world and its inhabitants: Earth From Above. This book enjoyed international success, selling more than three million copies. His open-air photographic exhibition was shown in around 100 countries and seen by some 200 million people.
Yann continued his commitment to the environmental cause with the creation of the GoodPlanet Foundation. Since 2005, this non-profit organization has been investing in educating people about the environment and the fight against climate change.
This commitment saw him appointed United Nations Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador in 2009. That same year, he made his first feature-length film, HOME, about the state of the planet. This movie was seen by almost 600 million spectators around the world (via).


You can watch the full-length movie here.


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Humanity  :  On Living