Phasma Ex Machina trailer

Paul Raven @ 10-04-2009

Hey, remember us mentioning the indie sf movie Phasma Ex Machina last year? Well, they just dropped us a line to let us know that the film is in the final stages of post-production, and that the trailer is ready for viewing. Here it is:

Find out more about the film at the Phasma Ex Machina website.

Killer app

Sarah Ennals @ 05-04-2009

Killer app - Does Not Equal

Does Not Equal is a webcomic by Sarah Ennalscheck out the pre-Futurismic archives, and the strips that have been published here previously.

[ Be sure to check out the Does Not Equal Cafepress store for webcomic merchandise featuring Canadians with geometrically-shaped heads! ]

Ray Kurzweil: the Movie

Paul Raven @ 25-02-2009

Via George Dvorsky, here’s the trailer for Transcendent Man, the forthcoming film about the life and work of Ray Kurzweil:

I’m pretty convinced that Kurzweil actually believes what he says, though only time will tell whether he’s right or not. However, this trailer doesn’t do much to disrupt Kurzweil’s image as a kind of pseudo-religious techno-prophet; disengaging from the subject matter and looking purely at the language and framing, it seems to set him up as a misunderstood Messiah, and that tends to fire up my instinctive BS detector much more than speculations on the developmental curve of technology.

What’s your take on Kurweil – deluded crank or visionary genius? Or something in between?

Swedish data bunker can withstand nukes in style

Tom James @ 28-11-2008

Charles Stross points to this fun datacentre in Sweden:

This underground data center has greenhouses, waterfalls, German submarine engines, simulated daylight and can withstand a hit from a hydrogen bomb. It looks like the secret HQ of a James Bond villain.

And it is real. It is a newly opened high-security data center run by one of Sweden’s largest ISPs, located in an old nuclear bunker deep below the bedrock of Stockholm city, sealed off from the world by entrance doors 40 cm thick (almost 16 inches).

Also Strosscommenters point to another Dr. Strangelove-referencing movie-design essay on the design of supervillain’s lairs: Who Stole My Volcano? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dematerialisation of Supervillain Architecture.

[via Charles Stross, via Magical Nihilism][image from the article on Royal Pingdom]

Art attack: visual themes in movie SF

Tom James @ 25-11-2008

Ken MacLeod points to a visually arresting web-essay called Star Wars: A New Heap, or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Death Star that highlights connections between architecture, design, movie SF and art:

Lucas envisioned a World of Tomorrow dominated by black, white, and gray; hard-edged, massive, and inorganic forms, covered with a salty acne of apparatus.

The film’s visual program was a departure from the saucers and occasional capsules writ large that sci-fi audiences had grown accustomed to, but its colorless symmetrical ships should have been recognizable to at least a small portion of its audience—those familiar with contemporary art.

Lucas hired so many members of Kubrick’s team that their subset of the Star Wars crew was dubbed “The Class of 2001.” But he borrowed selectively. Kubrick’s 2001 environments were cohesive and balanced, informed by architectural theory and late-’60s aesthetics; they upheld the distinction between the astronaut modernists and the alien minimalists.

By contrast, Lucas willfully mashed together minimalism, modernism, and NASA design. Two visual rhetorics are at war on-screen: The first is that of an industrial superpower; the second is that of a rogue fringe of misfits and mismatches.

[via Ken Macleod][image from Phil Romans on flickr]

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