GIZMODO

From harmless, innocent jokes to the downright ridiculous hoaxes, online pranks have grown into an artform all their own. As we venture (both online and offlline) through this magically confusing day known as April Fool's Day, we should also revisit some of the strangest pranks played by our ancestors to see how far we have come. Check out Gizmodo's list of the most horrific and cruel pranks gone bad from long, long ago. From sending live cats in a bag to near train accidents and making someone nearly go blind, it's good to see we humans haven't lost our sense of "humor" after all these years!

Short film lovers rejoice! One of Indie Street's favorite short films...pretty much ever...is getting a sequel! Filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt announced on Twitter a few days ago that his extremely successful, Oscar-nominated short film, World of Tomorrow, is going to have a follow-up. If you haven't seen the original, stop what you're doing right now and feast your eyes on one of the best indie scifi shorts to ever be made! You can watch it RIGHT NOW on Vimeo on Demand! We are 100% confident the sequel, The Burden of Other People's Thoughts, will be just as memorable. Until then, read more about the upcoming film here!

Yesterday, we discovered Netflix’s mind-reading prototype called Mindflix. Like something out of a science fiction film, Mindflix’s sensors basically tap into your brain in order to recommend something for you to watch. Now, since this technology is not yet available on the market at this time, you might be looking for a little help in a more realistic sense. This is where Cinetrii comes in. The site connects you with films based on mentions of related work in film critic reviews. By tracing artistic lineage in film, it searches quotes from critics that compare a film in question to others that are similar or are influencers. Yes, it is a very specific type of curatorial help in navigating you towards similar films if you already know your tastes. Even if mainstream film critics aren’t necessarily your top source for discovery, why not at least give it a try and possibly uncover something new! We tried it out with our recent favorite "The Love Witch" and the suggestions were all pretty spot on recommendations! Looks like we've got a list of new films to watch! Fancy a try? Read more about Cinetrii over on Gizmodo!

How about a round of a fun game we like to call animation vs. sculpture? You might be scratching your head but artist John Edmark has created insane 3D printed sculptures that, with the clever use of a strobe light, look like weird computer animations! They are essentially sculptures come to life, leaving you at once both hypnotized and puzzled. The artists states about his work: “Blooms are 3-D printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. Unlike a 3D zoetrope, which animates a sequence of small changes to objects, a bloom animates as a single self-contained sculpture. The bloom’s animation effect is achieved by progressive rotations of the golden ratio, phi, the same ratio that nature employs to generate the spiral patterns we see in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotational speed and strobe rate of the bloom are synchronized so that one flash occurs every time the bloom turns 137.5º (the angular version of phi).” Hmm, sounds scientific AND artsy. Check out more about Edmark's mind-boggling, magical works of art here, via Gizmodo! 

It’s less than 2 weeks until Christmas, which is quite exciting! Unfortunately, in terms of the work week, it’s only Tuesday. Take it from us, nothing helps you get out of that almost mid-week slump quite like a great film. Escape from reality for a few minutes today and revisit some of the most beautiful shots in film history, according to film-lover Jim Casey. Broken down into two different montages, Casey explores scenes from both black & white classics to highly saturated modern indie favorites. Go back in time and give your eyes a visual treat - head on over to Gizmodo to check out the 2-part feast now!

Do you think of yourself as a true film aficionado? Annoying your friends by quoting classic movies all of the time? Well, how about testing your skills in a visual way? Artist Jordan Bolton has created a movie poster series that showcases various objects that have appeared in famous films. The posters lay out defining and memorable props and everyday products from films such as “The Royal Tenenbaums”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, and others. The posters are available for purchase on the artist's etsyLike a hidden object game, take your guesses and test your skills at what films certain glasses, pencils, shoes, etc. belong to over on Gizmodo!  

Yesterday, the New York Film Festival offered a really unique experience for film lovers that I stumbled upon by happy accident. You see, at 1pm they moved a screening of “The Cinema Travellers” to the theatre right next to the 330pm talk by Ang Lee. Leaving one, you ran into the other. Call it a coincidence, but I say it's cinematic fate. “The Cinema Travellers” followed the story of two showmen with traveling cinema roadshows in the remote villages of India. As they started struggling to bring in audiences with their analog ways and old clunky projectors, the digital world of film inevitably started creeping up on them. And Ang Lee’s talk? About the insane, innovative technological advancements on display in his new film “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”. The contrast of the Indian documentary to Ang Lee’s talk was eye-opening for people curious about film as a physical medium. It was a delight to see both and it was also a delight to then randomly run across this film inspection video via Gizmodo. Learn about what it takes to inspect a physical piece of film and get mesmerised by the images within the frames as they fly by - a somewhat lost art that hopefully will not be lost forever! 

 

In exciting space & film news, NASA has teamed up with Apple to produce a short film called “Visions of Harmony”. The film’s focus is on celebrating the arrival of its Juno probe on Jupiter - set to happen this upcoming 4th of July! Nothing says Happy Independence Day like leaving this planet and arriving at another uninhabited planet! The film is currently available for free on iTunes & Apple Music, featuring music by former Nine Inch Nails and now Apple Music Executive, Trent Reznor, as well as others. A journey 5 years in the making, we can’t wait to see what the Juno spacecraft tells us about the formation of our solar system! Read more about the short film and mission here!

After sitting back and watching the complex jump from analog to digital over the past few years, you'd be forgiven if you couldn't quite keep up with it all. It has been easy for many of us to get lost in the nitty gritty details of all the new technology on offer. Sometimes you have to take a step back and think, did many of us ever really know how film worked in the first place?? While we are so obsessed with the here and now as well as the future, it’s always great to learn (or refresh our memories) about the past and the history of analog media. Head on over to Gizmodo to get a quick course on the workings and history of film and check out the "What Is …" youtube video for a more visual breakdown.

Sometimes a series of photos can speak for themselves without any deeper insight or explanations needed. Case in point: Guns Replaced with Selfie Sticks. Basically, someone has taken stills from both classic and popular films and replaced the guns within the shot with…selfie sticks. Yes, the inherently funny little devices have taken on a whole new life within this Tumblr series. From Clint Eastwood smoldering into his iPhone to Schwarzenegger’s cool hashtag worthy motorcycle pose, the concept is a fun way to spend a few minutes contemplating our modern day digitally egocentric ways. Read more here and enjoy!

Researchers at Columbia University’s Computer Visions Laboratory have just created a new way of possibly taking photos. Their experimental “camera” device has elastic optics and a flexible sheet, resulting in a widened field of view that allows the device to wrap around the object it is capturing. The Columbia University team is now trying to create a smaller version of the device which could be used out in the field. It has a long way to go as the resulting images are still a tad bit blurry, but it’s an interesting start to a new way of looking at things. Could also lend itself well to video! Read here for more info and gifs on this possible future flexing camera.

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