The Esoteric Fantasy of Vaesen

Vaesen is great little animation I found today and I’d like to share it.  Watch the video below.

It’s the Bachelor project of Adrian Dexter.  According to this interview Adrian:

… I wanted Rankin-Bass on acid, written by Borges.

He got my attention.  The animation style is more esoteric than most mainstream productions and reminds me of Shakespeare: The Animated Tales.  There’s no dialogue, just post-rock themes and it has a dreamy quality that I really enjoyed.  For those interested, if you click here, you can watch a short making-of.


Dirk Gently and the South Bank Show…

The BBC are about to show the new Dirk Gently mini series (March 5th).  I’m in two minds. While I was so looking  forward to the pilot that some disappointment was inevitable I don’t think that excuses the production team any responsibility for the completely unfunny mess that we were given. On the other hand it IS Douglas Adams and it IS Dirk Gently.  I hope that the rumours are true and that the writer has held back on most of the material for this series.  Fingers crossed. I shall at least give it a go.

This blog post isn’t about my fingernail biting worry.  Nor is it about my general contrariness.  What I wanted to share is a set of YouTube links to a South Bank Show special dating back to the early 90s. It’s about the life and works of Douglas Adams.

Take a look at these:

I don’t particularly like Art shows. In the UK they tend towards either the rigidly conservative mainstream or the gloriously pretentious art world.  There are exceptions.  I used to watch the South Bank Show because there was normally something interesting on it. Looking at the links I have posted below it reminds me of a happier time in British broadcasting.  This is an example of the ITV that gave us Spitting Image, World in Action and countless other works before it devolved into meaningless celebrity worship and soap operas.

Of course back then there were only 4 channels (and I dimly remember when there were only 3) but it’s disappointing to look back on ITV and see how good it used to be.


BBC to broadcast Olympics in 3D – why?

According to the BBC the Olympics will be broadcast in 3D.  Looking closer I see that what they really mean is the opening and closing ceremonies and the final of the 100m sprint. Oh yeah, and some retrofitted highlights.

Hardly “The Olympics”.

The problem, it seems, is one of capacity.  The BBC is worried that if they punt too many extra dimensions our way they’ll not be able to cope and we’d lose some sports that nobody will watch anyway swimming coverage.

But why bother?  Only 6% of British households have 3D televisions and despite serious promotion by all channels (including hardware vendors) take up has been only  marginally lukewarm.  If the film industry is anything to go by, the increased expense and lack of any discernible benefit means that 3D will go the same way it always has – into the gimmicky bin. If people want anything, it’s affordable quality entertainment.  I have to ask whether the BBC would be better off investing in new different programming?

Let’s be clear.  Muddying the image, reducing the broadcast quality and all in the name of adding an extra dimension doesn’t seem like a good commercial idea. Manufacturers like it because we need new kit.  Broadcasters like it because they can say they are charging more for gimmicks innovating. However Joe Punter doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic. As someone who gets headaches and can’t really see the type of 3D film makers are using. I am certainly never forward to sticking a  Brechtian Alienation Device on my nose and in fact refuse to indulge this current fad.


So I didn’t win.

As anyone who has checked in here recently knows I entered the Light Reading competition over at the Diamond Light Source.

I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me – because of you I made the shortlist. Many Thanks.

Unfortunately I didn’t win. That honour goes to Tanian Hershman – congratulations to her!

Time to enter more competitions I think!


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