Category Archives: Film

The Global Genetic Coronal Phosphorescent Thermohaline Economic Asteroid-Earthquake Singularity War That Will Doom Us All

“The Last Day of Pompeii” by Karl Briullov.

In the real world, disasters aren’t just a matter of scale – they’re a question of preparedness and of a society’s capacity to handle the fallout. Vaccines, rapid-response teams and early-warning systems can move the needle from calamity toward recovery, while poverty, corruption and ignorance slide it toward catastrophe. So, cue announcer: “In a world … where real disasters aren’t single events that arise from simple problems that are solvable in 93 minutes  …”

10 Possible Future Disasters

The Topsy-Turvy World of Trendspotting

Poster of Alexander Trend forecasters project everything from staffing and hiring needs to next year’s “it” color. Through a combination of instinct, experience, statistical modeling and not a little bit of finger-crossing, they tell clients where best to place their billion-dollar bets. Even granting the occasional self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s never been an easy gig, and the consequences of failure can be ruinous.

Today, big data is changing the field, providing unprecedented amounts of information even as it churns out predictive algorithms no one quite understands. In this article, I take a look at the past and future of this prognosticative trade and examine …

How Trend Forecasters Work

The scandalous sneeze

Fred Ott's Sneeze (film by William K.L. Dickson)
Fred Ott’s Sneeze

The 1894 kinetoscope of Fred Ott sneezing after inhaling a pinch of snuff, taken by Thomas Edison’s laboratory, was one of the first human acts ever committed to film. If you believe the internet rumors concerning the relationship between sneezing and sex, it might also have been the first movie orgasm.

No wonder nasal snuff was so popular for hundreds of years – and small wonder, too, that Pope Urban VIII threatened to excommunicate Catholics who took snuff in church….

Is Sneezing Really Like an Orgasm?

The moon, in the conservatory, with an iceberg

Image (and model) by Werner Willmann.

The 100th anniversary of Titanic’s fateful voyage arrives laden with new photos, new articles and, of course, new theories regarding what caused her sundering. Over the past century, researchers, authors and filmmakers have blamed the incident on everyone from White Star management and Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard to Captain E. J. Smith and helmsman Robert Hitchins.

In this article, I examine the latest and arguably most novel theory: The moon did it.

Did the Moon Doom the Titanic?

It’s the pictures that got small

When televisions first entered the marketplace, directors were faced with a challenge: How to develop a visual language that would translate to a tiny black-and-white screen. They couldn’t just borrow from film: When concentrated down to 3 – 12 inches (or, after World War II, 19 – 20), the compositions, symbols and set dressing of massive silver screen productions reduced to a muddle. The effect has only grown more pronounced in the smash-cut, hyper-kinetic summer blockbusters of today.

It would no doubt strike many movie directors as strange to see us with our heads down, staring at our hands and enjoying their bigger-than-life productions on smaller-than-your palm devices. Nevertheless, people want their movies, and they want them on their iPhones, Androids and other portable devices. Here are some of the best apps available for downloading, collecting, experiencing, sharing and playing games about your favorite movies.

10 Mobile Apps for Film Buffs