You’ve been reading or watching Game of Thrones. You’ve lovingly lingered over the descriptions of Gray Wind running into battle with Rob. You cried for Lady and cheered when Nymeria used Joffrey’s arm as a chew toy. Perhaps you’ve even caught yourself looking back over your lease agreement and wondering if “dire wolf” qualifies as an exotic pet.
AUSTIN, Texas — Each year, movie nerds flock to the South by Southwest Film Festival for the chance to see scads of movies at the cinephile-friendly, beer-serving Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Ritz Theater. This year, however, Alamo Drafthouse is offering something for TV fantasy nerds too — a gallery show of original Game of Thrones art.
That’s right. The brains behind Mondo – the Alamo collectible-art division responsible for all of those rad movie posters – have asked a talented crew of artists to make original pieces based on the HBO show. The result is a series of eight screen prints and nearly 30 pieces of original art – the latter of which, along with two of the screen prints, will be on display at a Mondo gallery event beginning Friday and running through March 14.
[More @ Underwire]
Beck’s astonishing 10-minute recreation of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” racked up more than 300 thousand Youtube views in the last week, and now Beck and music video director Chris Milk (with the help of car maker Lincoln) are releasing an all-new way to experience the performance for all the fans who wish they could have been there. Call it the next best thing: an interactive 360-degree version of the performance that allows online viewers to navigate the concert similar to the way you navigate roads in Google Maps Street View, while surrounded by sound and movement.
“The perspective you have watching it in 360 and the way you move around is probably similar to how a player in a videogame moves around the space,” Beck told Wired. “But in this you’re obviously moving around a real space. It’s sort of imposing the way you navigate in a videogame into a real-life experience.”
Animated GIFs have become so huge. They’re everywhere. But why? On the surface, they’re pretty silly—a few frames of video, endlessly looping in time. There are GIFs of Star Trek‘s Picard facepalming, of Dwight from The Office dancing, of one penguin shoving another into the water. There’s Tom Cruise laughing, sports-play flameouts, tons of porn.
This is the sort of one-note joke that—like rickrolling or ermahgerd pics—normally fades after a few revolutions of the international meme cycle. But animated GIFs aren’t dying. They’re metastasizing: People festoon their Tumblrs with them, pass them around in email, and use them as Twitter avatars or signatures on discussion boards. Oxford Dictionaries even chose GIF as its USA Word of the Year for 2012. This is all the weirder considering that GIFs date back to the prebroadband late ’80s. As a medium, they’re quite old.
Ah, but it’s this ancient vintage that helps explain their true appeal. To really understand the value of animated GIFs, you have to go back even farther—to 1879 and Eadweard Muybridge’s “zoopraxiscope.”
Read more @ Underwire!
Earlier this week the University of Chicago received what might be an elaborate hoax, a miracle, or the best college admissions application of all time: Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The journal came in a package addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr. but wasn’t sent through the U.S. mail — its stamps are fake. It’s a near-perfect replica of the journal Indiana Jones uses in Raiders, but it’s not the real deal – Lucasfilm also doesn’t know its origins — and the university has absolutely no idea how it found its way into Rosenwald Hall, which houses the school’s admissions department and where the staff initially thought it was just a piece of mail meant for a professor that got lost on the way.
“This package was a little perplexing because we couldn’t find the staff member or the professor [it was intended for] in the directory,” Garrett Brinker, director of undergraduate outreach for the university, said in an interview with Wired. “So that’s when the plot thickened.”
Read more about the mystery package over @ Underwire!
Breaking Bad’s Walter White will go down as one of the most popular heroes-turned-villians in television history. For five years now, White and Bryan Cranston (who plays him) have created a cult-like following among groupies – resulting in geeky forms of adulation like Walter White animated GIFs and now a lookalike contest.
Last week dozens of wannabes showed up in Albuquerque for the event hosted by Steven Michael Quezada, who plays DEA agent Steven Gomez on the show. Fittingly held in the city that serves as the series’ backdrop and Quezada’s hometown, the contestants came clad in everything from those now-famous opening-scene underpants to the ubiquitous yellow hazmat suit that has taken over later seasons.
“Bryan Cranston has just killed it, and that’s why he gets the props,” says Quezada. “He’s fucking kicked ass, bottom line.”
It’s time to bring some mystery back to this rodeo. Here’s what’s happening on The Monitor this week: Legos. Batman. Malaise. Filthy animals. And that’s all we’re giving you. Click the image above to watch the very best of pop culture this week. And, as always, e-mail us at email@example.com with thoughts, suggestions or burning questions. Even non-burning questions would be fine, actually. Less liability on our part.
…just the thing to set this weekend off right. HAPPY FRIDAY!
Every so often, a person comes along who combines an insatiable pop culture appetite and a totally baseless sense of his own importance. Not only has that happened, but for some reason Wired saw fit to give him his own weekly podcast. Allow us to introduce The Monitor, a new video series in which senior editor Peter Rubin sits in front of a giant fake bookshelf and talks about his favorite releases of the week.
A few favorites from the entire week to start off the New Year…
It’ll be called The Story of the Streets and is due out from Bantam Press on March 29. Mike Skinner (The Streets, famed British rapper) has been writing for the project and also enlisted the help of Ben Thompson (from The Guardian who has penned memoirs with Russell Brand and Vic Reeves). With The Streets recently announcing they’re finished, Skinner also has a new musical project to keep him busy in 2012 called D.O.T.
This was only a matter of time, right? The Broncos QB who claims to derive strength from higher powers will now have some assumed strength in the superhero realm. Marvel will team up with ESPN to make Tebow Time because he’s “like the Marvel heroes who pull off last minute victories.” The link has sketches of Tebow that currently appear on the Marvel site. No timetable on the comics release yet.
Danny Trejo, not playing a Cartel member, is an older gentleman who gets fed up with being hassled on a bus and beats the guy to a pulp. His legend spreads through town under the name “Bad Ass” and naturally more crime fighting and goon punishing ensues. (Ron Pearlman is involved too, film comes out in April. Trejo’s outfit alone is worth a watch).
I’m not sure he’ll ever make his own music again (R.I.P. The White Stripes). White told MOJO that Jones is next in a series of singles he’s been producing for Third Man Records. Jones did “Jezebel” and “Evil” (from Howlin’ Wolf) for his effort. White’s series of singles now includes ICP, Stephen Colbert and John C. Reilly in addition to Jones.
GeekDad has a knack for great Kickstarters, so behold: Oregon Trail: The Director’s Cut. The game is currently available online as a flash-based freebie but the developers are looking to make a mobile version for various devices (they’ve already reached the funding goal just halfway through). The game imagines what would happen if D.C. Became overrun by zombies and you had 32 hours to gather supplies and ditch the city.
[via Nathan Mattise]