Dedicated to the analysis of film form, Every Frame a Painting is a fantastic series of video essays created by the filmmaker and editor Tony Zhou. As entertaining as they are insightful, his series of videos may well be one of my favorite discoveries on the internet.
Running for between 5 and 8 minutes, each video focuses on one filmmaker or one aspect of film form. While some people may feel that film form is quite a dull subject matter, Zhou’s essays are well and truly the opposite of this. They’re fun, engaging and informative.
Take for example texting and the internet in cinema. While we may be living in a digital age, film still seems to be somewhat ineffective in depicting this world on screen. In Zhou’s essay on the subject he presents us with how cinema has approached this conundrum and questions if a solution to their problem may lie not in its content, but in form. Check it out below and I’m sure you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about:
Other topics have ranged from Steven Spielberg’s use of the long take to Satoshi Kon’s unique editing style. I particularly enjoyed his examination into the work of Michael Bay. As one YouTube commenter put it “now I can hate his movies in a more intelligent way”. It’s a great analysis and well worth watching:
Perhaps Zhou’s most successful video to date has been his analysis of Edgar Wright’s approach to visual comedy. In his essay, Zhou looks at how the filmmaker consistently finds humor through framing, camera movement, editing, sound effects and music. Its a wonderful insight into how well designed Wrights films are, and Zhou does a fantastic job of articulating exactly how great Wright is as a director.
If you’re a fan of Tony’s work and you’d like to see his series continue you can support the project over on Patreon. If you’d like to see more from the series make sure to subscribe to his channel over on YouTube.
Last week Bobby posted some truly fantastic looping illustrations from the American designer and illustrator Drew Tryndall. I loved them, and they’re bright colors and simple shapes kind of reminded me of this great work by the Canadian artist Matthew Feyld.
Made up of strong blocks of color and bold but beautiful shapes, there’s a naive simplicity to Feyld’s paintings which just works. Whether viewed on their own or viewed as a set, there’s something so perfectly direct about these paintings that I can’t help but love them.
In an interview with Little Paper Planes, Feyld discussed the inspiration behind the shapes and forms he uses in his work:
Some of them started as human figures, or day to day objects that over time have been stripped down and become less and less figurative. Others have come from excessive doodling. I’m interested in the relationships between shapes. And the spaces that those shapes inhabit. And the even smaller spaces between those shapes.
If you’re a fan of nice shapes, then I fully recommend you check out more work from Feyld.
You can view more work from Matthew Feyld on his website.
There’s something quite ethereal in the way that Morgan Maassen shoots water. The California native is a passionate surfer and through his photography he has earned himself great recognition within the surf world. Morgan describes this video as a “brief odyssey into the world that i cherish most” and it’s clear to see that love shine through.
Shot on a Red Epic inside an SPL waterhousing, the four-and-a-half minute piece was filmed in Teahupo’o off the south-west coast of Tahiti and along the north shore of Hawaii. They’re stunning locations and Morgan’s camera work really present them as dream-like places. I found the whole piece to be utterly mesmerizing.
For those interested, the track in the video is called “Shopping Malls” and it’s from the New Zealand based six-piece SJD. More work from Morgan Maassen can be seen on his website.
Located in the beautiful surroundings of Japan’s Kansai region, Scape House sits on a hillside overlooking Biwa-ko, the country’s largest lake. With so many houses nearby it was important that this building could make the most of its view without opening itself up too greatly to the neighboring homes. Designed by Kouichi Kimura Architects, this recently completed home aims to incorporate as much light and scenery as possible through versatile living spaces and windows while still allowing its homeowners a sense of privacy.
While it seems that the focus of this project was very much based around creating a home that was comfortable, private and rich with versatile spaces, I have to say that I find the building’s sober exterior to be particularly striking. It’s slender, almost Tetris-like, shapes form a distinct look and its combination of different greys add variety and texture to a bold exterior.
You can view more images from inside Kouichi Kimura’s Scape House here.
Seams is a collection of five molded ceramic tableware centerpieces designed by Benjamin Hubert Ltd for the Italian manufacturer Bitossi Ceramiche. This project came about as part of the studio’s research into creating mass-produced products with one off details by manipulating a traditional ceramic manufacturing process.
In the ceramics world, seams are a common unwanted side effect created during the casting stage of manufacturing. Typically they’re trimmed off before the piece is set, but the studio thought that by including them in this work these small imperfections might actually enhance the final outcome. I think it’s a really nice touch and that the seams add a unique decorative detail that celebrate the process of how the work was formed. To get a better sense of this process you should check out the short animation below:
Benjamin Hubert Ltd is a London based studio founded in 2007. Comprising of a team of industrial designers, researchers and engineers who work across a broad range of sectors including furniture, lighting, consumer goods, architectural installations and interior design.
Bitossi Ceramiche are a world-renowned manufacturer of ceramic-ware who have been making work since the 1920s. Based in Florence, the factory have collaborated with a whole host of famous designers in the past including people like Arik Levy, Fabio Novembre and the Bouroullec Brothers. This collection was completed earlier this year and is Benjamin Hubert Ltd’s first collaboration with the company.
More projects from Benjamin Hubert Ltd can be seen on their website.
I’ve never stopped to think about how we might grow plants in space. I’ve only really thought about those enormous geodesic domes that you see in sci-fi films like Silent Running, but I’ve never stopped to consider what a practical real-life equivalent of those might be. Obviously being in space brings about all kinds of issues and I can just imagine the problems you might face if you tried to water some soil while floating around in zero-gravity.
Fortunately the guys at NASA have been thinking about exactly these issues. Back in 2011 the experts and astronauts there collaborated with designers Piotr Szpryngwald and Mirko Ihrig in developing a means for astronauts to grow food on long duration space flights in a clean, easy and safe way.
Their solution is brilliantly simple. The concept consist of a small pillow which contains the seed and hydroponic media. They also created a special watering device which can both puncture and activate the pillow. The final element is a growing chamber which informs astronauts about the harvesting cycles of their plants. I think the idea is great and I love the look of it.
You can view more images from the project here.
Earlier this year Rolling Stone described Jack White as “Rock & Roll’s Willy Wonka” and it’s clear to see why. His label, Third Man Records, is undoubtedly a golden ticket for music fans. Its Nashville HQ boasts a record store and a music venue while also releasing some of the most out-there records you’re likely to come across. From a peach-scented LP to records that glow-in-the-dark, White’s label has enough eccentricity to give even Roald Dahl’s imagination a run for its money.
But Third Man Records isn’t just about novel ideas; they’re also passionate about great music. Perhaps that is most apparent in their most recent project; a first of its kind box set that charts the rise and fall of Paramount Records. Spread over two-volumes, the collection is an omnibus of art, words and music… and both volumes look absolutely stunning.
Volume One was released late last year (take a look here) and covers a period between 1917-1927. I now have a whole host of images showing off the second volume of the collection and it’s a beaut! Consisting of 800 tracks released between 1928-1932, this new collection contains six LPs as well as two books filled with bios, art and articles. Not only that, but it also contains a USB drive filled with music and ads from the era. Everything is housed in a beautiful aluminum and stainless steel cabinet that evokes the high art deco styling of the era.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of music I’m sure you’d be impressed by how great this package looks. Taking inspiration from the likes of Walter Dorwin Teague, Norman Bel Geddes and especially John Vassos; the cabinet looks beautiful and the illustrations and design of the books is just superb. Its creators stated that their intention for the project was to create something closer to an interactive museum exhibit than a conventional music collection and I think they’ve definitely pulled that off.
To say that Paramount was an important record label feels like a bit of an understatement. Its output included releases from jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller, as well as blues musicians like Charley Patton and Son House. Their contribution to American music is hugely impressive; bringing about the birth of the Mississippi Delta blues while also influencing the style of Robert Crumb and countless other 20th century artists and illustrators through their series of hand-drawn ads in the pages of the Chicago Defender.
A collection like this is a lot to take in. I’ve spent a small amount of time listening to it and feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I love the sound of the era and it’s been a joy to discover some great recordings from that time. Paramount was the first and most comprehensive chronicler of what America sounded like during the 1920s and ’30 so it’s great to see their legacy being preserved in a manner as fitting as this.
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records Volume 2, 1928-1932 is released November 18. Volume 1 can be purchased here.
German graphic designer Timo Lenzen really has a gift when it comes to creating eye catching posters. The Frankfurt-native has an impressive portfolio of work and his collection of poster designs really grabbed my attention. Not only has the designer produced an impressive quantity of work but so much of it looks amazing and demonstrates his gift for variety and diversity. I was particularly taken by his restrained use of black-and-white.
Lenzen says he enjoys working in a wide range of media and is excited to explore the possibilities that this allows him. If you take a quick skim through his website you’re bound to spot this wide range of media he’s talking about. He’s worked in everything from animation and illustration to typography and space.
I particularly love his poster “The Noble Experiment”. It was designed for a competition run by the blog Totally Drunk and presents an expression used by president Herbert Hoover during the Prohibition Era. I love his typography and the hazy black-and-white sits perfectly with the look and feel of the era.
You can see more from Timo Lenzen on his website.