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Moon's Song of the Week: Burning Streets of Rome by The Smittens

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR7ZHWBt93E&w=853&h=480]

Aching for a bit of 90s-esque alt-pop? We’ve got you covered. American indy band, The Smittens, have hit on an ingenious way to make a video about Rome without actually having the fly out to the eternal city itself. Everything about this video – from the clever use of Google Street View to the quintessential ‘dancing in your bedroom’ shots – is wonderfully low-fi and to my mind that just adds to the charm of what is already a lovely song.

Burning Streets of Rome is out now.

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BTB Film – Wild Watch

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug_yyOsreXI&w=853&h=480]

Jim Eaton and I made this Springwatch parody back in 2011. It’s another 2 Days Laughter Festival entry and as such is a 5 min comedy film that was produced in 48 hours. It stars the wonderfully funny, rubber faced stylings of Paul Teeling and Rosie Owen who were, as ever, a total joy to work with. Camera work and special effects were done by Paul Wade and he deserves a lot of the overall credit for being the one that badgered Jim and I into doing the film when we really had a lot of other work we should have been doing.
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Mission Highlights: Space X's Dragon Makes History (in 2:27 seconds)

A historic moment in space history went almost unnoticed very recently. The first commercial launch of a space shuttle was made by Space X, an independent contractor who are now looking to expand the influence of the ground to outer space. If you doubt the importance of this first successful mission of Space X’s Dragon shuttle launched to the International Space station, to return to earth 2 weeks later safely having orbited the plant hundreds of times, this short video will help to give you a sense of it’s importance.

If you are wondering why this moment is important it is that historically, the pursuit of exploration and expansion for the Human race does not accelerate fully, and never has, until the common man, unallied to any government or political power chooses to take control of the technology and advancements that will allow him (or her) to see new, uncharted frontiers. While you can call it commercialism, commercialism is funded through people’s aspirations and dreams. The founding fathers of the New Land (although already occupied) went because, they, as individuals could see the value in a new frontier.

The passionate and dedicated team at Space X have done this and the pride and joy they have in achieving this, the first of so many goals is obvious in this speedy recreation of what happened just a few short weeks ago. The importance of this movement forward in the history of human culture comes through loud and clear, as one solitary space shuttle broke the blue sphere that houses us and moved us forward quietly into the future.

Sorry if it’s a little over the top but it’s early in the morning, I can’t sleep and this moved me more than perhaps I expected. Just thought I’d let you know that while most of us were sleeping, the universe around us got a little closer without us knowing…

Black Dynamite on the Case!!

The potential for high offence is always a surprising distance away in the world of Black Dynamite by Adultswim. Would never’ve thought something so obvious’d be so funny. I’ll be looking up Black Dynamite – and none of your Reverse Honky Psychology’ll change my mind. Ha ha! White people are lame!!

Deliberately tongue in cheek, Black Dynamite manages to match the crude joy of Seth McFarlane’s Family Guy and American Dad with cool references to blaxploitation movies from the 60s and 70s.Not one for the kids but not everything can be…

A team up with Moon seems very, very unlikely….

Practitioners 2: Katsuhiro Otomo

As a catch up for all new visitors to Beyond the Bunker, we’ll be representing the original Practitioners series 1-55 (Simon BisleyChris Bachalo and featuring the most influential comic creatives in history). Thoroughly incomplete but featuring legends like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Frank Miller and Alan Moore already more will be hitting the site next year. For now though, sit back every Tuesday for a run-down of the men and women who created the comic industry we know today. (Or check the full list in the menus above). This week: Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo.

At the top of each book sold of Akira there rests a very impressive name in bold lettering. Katsuhiro Otomo. The 2000 page epic would not exist without his genius. Personifying his countries often distant ideals of constant devotion to practice, work and perfection towards a focussed life goal, Otomo marched onwards to completing his masterwork even as he was unaware that he was developing it.

Born in Miyagi prefecture, Japan in 1954, Otomo left school in 1971 to become a Manga artist and succeeded quickly – unsurprising given his unswerving diligence in perfectly measured linework coupled with highly detailed yet crystal clear characterisations. He worked for ‘Action’ magazine until 1979 diligently putting out work on behalf of others.

With the release of solo projects (most notably Fireball (1979) and Domu: A Child’s Dream (1980)) he revealed himself to be a true auteur, a position that can only be occupied when you have mastered all aspects of a medium and his body of work illustrates this perfectly. Katsuhiro is the epitomy of the short gap between an artist’s hand and mind when fully utilised. Fireball was uncompleted but is considered a milestone as it carries themes that were carried forward into his later work. Domu: A Child’s Dream saw a battle between a senile psychic bent on secretly murdering residents of his apartment building for pleasure with his powers and a young girl, Etsoku who stands defiantly against him with her own battery of powers.

Its difficult to imagine Katushiro Otomo as anything other than a genius. Writer, artist, draftsman, director, and unself-conciously and perhaps unexpectedly global cultural avatar. His work, one most specifically, speaks for him more than many other creative practitioner in the field as there is little that can be gleaned as to his character from it because his understanding of so many elements is so diffuse and wide reaching.

Domu: A Child’s Dream (1980)

His writing blends perfectly the spiritual, the cultural, the subtle and the brutal.

Any flaw visible in any work he has done before or since is overshadowed by Akira. Around bikers Kaneda and Tetsuo the world spins, never leaving the confines of the Neo Tokyo city limits in 2000 pages, as bikes blaze through neon streets, psychic children fight over broken buildings, people burst up walls and a general with a mohawk struggles to get an orbiting defence platform with a massive laser to explode a giant bug baby.

Tower blocks rise through panels with thousands of windows each as perfectly proportional as the last, even when they are upside down and falling into the sky. Broad themes of creationism rest perfectly next to action sequences involving tanks driven by amateurs through cluttered streets in Tokyo’s districts. Never has an artist been so adept at slapstick octane and subtle broad ideas, occasionally in the same panel.

Using his love of film as a benchmark for his artwork and his stripped down storytelling style, Anime was always a natural advance for Katsuhiro and he was working as a character designer for Anime Harmageddon one year before the beginning of his epic; Akira began. Helming Akira as an Anime in 1988, begun while the book was still incomplete, and creating one of the most (if not the most) far reaching Anime ever created and forever altering the standard to which western comic books are now held to.

A master who took a boyhood dream and worked diligently to see it happen, standing head and shoulders above an already advanced and crowded medium in the country that had long since mastered the form.

The 1st Red Dwarf X Trailer – Return to the Dwarf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7opdzX_4kE

Even following the gaps and uneven nature of recent series of the Dwarf, we are, here at Bunker HQ, absolute Dwarf fans. During filming of the second Moon film we were lucky enough to catch episodes of the last outing of the Dwarfers. This trailer shows a very real move back towards the cheerful, more immediate laddishness and humour of Red Dwarf V AND VI, hopefully with a dash of the production values of VII, VIII, IX. While they’re looking older (with the exception of Llewelyn’s Kryten) we here at the Bunker will no doubt be tuning in to see Rimmer get lost in a card game.

The Real Return to Oz: Oz Trailer

With the unfortunate John Carter still stinging the memory of Walt Disney, this magical follow up looks like much safer – even if much more fantastical – ground. Fun stuff from the looks of it, even if there are a dearth of silly creatures. Clearly made with an eye on the 3D market, the cinematography looks detailed and layered. Whether James Franco will pop on a pair of ruby slippers remains unknown.

Dropping Science – 10 Lesser Known Natural Wonders

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiWO-c6mst0&w=853&h=480]

 

I don’t have a tonne of time this weekend, so here’s a video I stumbled upon a little while ago and have been waiting for a chance to share. Without wanting to sound too much like Professor Brian Cox, there are plenty of amazing things in our world. Many of them are extremely famous but there are many more that you may never have heard of. Here’s a quick run down of 10 incredible natural wonders that you may not have seen before, courtesy of All Time Top 10.

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Moon's Song of the Week: Faster Horses by MNDR

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwM0wN3dwj4&w=853&h=480]

Moon’s bringing you a bit of electro today. Faster Horses is the new single from American electro duo, MNDR and it’s pretty much exactly the kind of music you need on a Friday. While it really needs a big sound system to do it justice, it still has a fantastic feel to it on my puny speakers. I just love the way it breaks down half way through.

Faster Horses is out now.

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If you like what we do here at BTB, why not consider picking up our comic?

BTB Film – A Comedy of Edits

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIA8qlyWIbs&w=853&h=480]

A Comedy of Edits is the story of William Shakespeare’s meeting with his play’s financial backers and stars Joshua Broadstone and Jack Gavin (of Devil’s Fork fame) as well as Ryan Brannon (one half of comedy duo, Cold Callers). They’re all good friends and it was lovely to get a chance to work with them all again. It was written and directed by Jim Eaton and myself and expertly shot by Paul Wade (who also did the post production and very cool titles).

It’s the most recent film we’ve done (depending on when you read this) and was produced back in April of this year for the 2 Days Laughter Competition. The sketch won both best film and best screenplay and has led to several exciting projects for Jim and I, so we’re pretty happy with it.

Enjoy!

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