We used to run this town

Screenshot 2016-04-29 22.07.12From City Lab:

Once ubiquitous in bustling metropolises like New York City, payphones have been cast aside as relics of a tethered time. In the rare instances that we walk past one, we don’t even bat an eye. We barely look up from the sleeker, shinier devices that made them obsolete.

And, well, payphones have something to say about that. “You don’t want to use us anymore? Fine. But do you even see us anymore?”

That comes from “Dead Ringer,” a four-minute film by directors Alex Kliment,  Dana O’Keefe, and Michael Tucker that premiered earlier this month at the Tribeca Film Festival and was featured online Tuesday by the New Yorker. Against the backdrop of a somber, jazzy tune, one of New York City’s four remaining phone booths narrates its disdain for how invisible payphones have become, despite everything they’ve done for society.

You can watch the short film here.
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We used to run this town

The projection booth

From Wired:

WORKING THE PROJECTION booth at Avon Cinema was like a second film school for Taylor Umphenour. The single-screen theater on the east side of Providence, Rhode Island—a favorite among Brown and Rhode Island School of Design students—provided a sublime mix of unlimited free movies and a century’s worth of cinematic innovation.

The nine-year education would prove invaluable to the aspiring filmmaker. But as much as Umphenour cherished the analog world of carbon rods, lenses, and aperture plates, by 2011 it was clear film was dying—or at least fading into a specialty medium.

[…] for two years the owner allowed Umphenour to photograph and film what has become a relic in most US movie theaters: the 35mm projection booth. “I saw that there was an opportunity to take people into this vanishing world,” he says, “a world that was also deliberately kept in the shadows, unseen for almost a century that it existed.”

The projection booth

Tokyo Reverse

As described in Wired:

Recently, Ludovic Zuilli, a 28-year old photographer, spent over nine hours walking backwards through the streets of Tokyo. You get the pleasure of watching his journey in reverse.

Tokyo Reverse, the product of that simple editing trick, is a dreamlike journey through a world in which everything and everyone moves backwards. In the footage, captured by friend Simon Bouisson, crowds bustle hurriedly in reverse; people arrive at the top of an escalator with their backs turned; and a selfie is saved, reviewed, captured, and posed for–in that order.


Tokyo Reverse

Staff Riding, a short film by Marco Casino

From Marco Casino’s Vimeo page:

Staff riding, the local slang for train surfing, is a widespread phenomenon in SA. Katlehong is one of the largest townships in South Africa and has played a key role in the history of the struggle against apartheid. 

The almost total majority of surfers are kids under 25. Amputations and death are really common. The Prasa Metrorail, the SA train company, is one of the foundations of their society. This connection between train and citizens remained very strong over time. The spectacular and risky act of train surfing becomes the framework to tell the Katlehong’s young people social fabric.This place has been the epicenter of the anti-apartheid’s guerrillas, and on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the facts that we all know , the situation of segregation has remained more or less unchanged in daily life.

In a context where violence , rampant poverty , abuse of alcohol/drugs and infant birth/AIDS are the masters , the train surfing is configured as the search for a social redemption that will never come for the characters of this story .

Staff Riding, a short film by Marco Casino

$40 found footage of Chicago in the 40s

From The Atlantic Cities:

At a recent estate sale on the south side of Chicago, Jeff Altman spotted a canister of film simply labeled “Chicago” and “Print 1.” That tidbit of information was intriguing enough for Altman to drop $40 on the print.

Altman, who works in film post-production, took two weeks to inspect and fix minor issues before scanning and turning it into a digital video.

The result is this short film, a marvelous and thorough overview of 1940s Chicago, when the Wrigley and Tribune Towers were still considered modern landmarks.

$40 found footage of Chicago in the 40s

The future according to Her

A fascinating look at what makes Her so special from Vulture:

Blue-less Color Palette
Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema talking to HitFix:
“Van Hoytema says he was very meticulous about eliminating the color blue. It’s not that he has anything against blue, of course, but he felt that if they restricted a primary color like that, it would elevate the richness of the film’s look and give it a unity. ‘It’s very easy to say we want everything to be warm, but what is warm,’ he asks rhetorically. ‘It was not only that we wanted to colors to be warm but we wanted colors to have a specific identity.'”

Lack of Cars
KK Barrett talking to the L.A. Times:
“Part of the reason we avoided cars is because we wanted to avoid street scenes in general. It’s just too recognizably of an era, and then it would place it in a time, even a future time, which we didn’t want. When you have cars then half the audience starts thinking about the great cars they might have. We wanted trains and elevated walkways, which allowed us to avoid that, and seemed right anyway. Plus in your car you already have another barrier from human contact that you don’t have in public transit. And this movie is about human contact and connection.” 

Keyboard-less Computer
Barrett talking to the L.A. Times:
“I’m always amused at how in science-fiction, shows like’Star Trek,’ there are all these buttons and flashing lights. That never made sense to me. It seems to me like if you could you would just have direct communication with the computer. Also, a keyboard would have dated us. 

The Phone
From the New York profile of Jonze:
“The look of which was inspired by a vintage Deco cigarette lighter that Jonze and production designer K. K. Barrett found in an L.A. antiques store.”

The future according to Her