A company in New York is buying, restoring and releasing vintage porn.
The actual conservation of these vintage movies remains a challenge. Old film stock is fragile, and mainstream archives won’t touch what might be considered controversial material. That’s where Vinegar Syndrome wants to step in. Over the next year, the company plans to restore and release some 40 DVDs, about two-thirds of which will be vintage X-rated films. So far, the company has acquired more than 1,000 X-rated features and over 5,000 industrial, educational and other types of forgotten films — from many sources, including rights holders, estate sales, shuttered theaters and auctions. Still to come, Mr. Rubin said, are “lost sexploitation films and some popular ’80s slashers.”
“Horror and sex is what sells,” he said.
There’s a guy who has been walking in Minecraft for three years with over 300,000 people following along as he records the whole thing on YouTube. He’s also raised over $100,000 for charity in the process. It’s amazing and the world really just doesn’t make much sense anymore.
By one measure, Mac’s endeavor is motivated by the same spirit that propels any explorer toward the far reaches of the unknown. Today, we live in a world meticulously mapped by satellites andGoogle cars, making uncharted virtual lands some of the last places that can satisfy a yearning for the beyond, as well as locations where you are simply, as Mac puts it, “first.” “My viewers and I are the only people to ever see these places exactly as they are,” he said. “Once we walk past, we will never see them again.”
Steve Cichon found a Radio Shack flyer from 1991. Nearly every item in it has been replaced by his phone.
You’d have spent $3054.82 in 1991 to buy all the stuff in this ad that you can now do with your phone. That amount is roughly equivalent to about $5100 in 2012 dollars.
50 years of tape: stories and pictures of cassette tapes.
One Day I got a Letter from a girl, in which she expressed how much she liked that particular tune on the compilation. For a year or so we became pen-pals, sending each other cassette tapes with music and chatter. Eventually we met in person.
Today, twenty years later, we’re still a happy couple.
What do we do about bad people who make great art? I have no idea, but I admire that Kit Steinkellner can just say “Fuck it and fuck you.” That might actually be best, though I really do want to watch Blue Jasmine. Tough call.
Look, Annie Hall and The Purple Rose of Cairo were two of my favorite movies growing up. And now that I know what I know, they’re off the list. Yes, just like that. I don’t want to support the work of this man anymore. That nauseates me. And here’s the thing: I love LOTS of movies. I have other favorite movies that were not written and directed by a person who did one of the worst things to a child that you can do to a child. I’m not supporting Woody Allen’s work anymore. I’m not comfortable with an uneasy yes. I have to have enough courage in my convictions to be able to say a flat-out no.
A lament for film, the latest lost medium, even though it doesn’t really matter.
The virtue of film is its imperfection. A print of a film is a living thing—it’s different each time it’s projected, thanks to new scratches and new splices, dust and hair and wear and tear. Its age shows, just as the age of a 78-r.p.m. record does, just as the age of a book from a library does. Through use, a film degrades and bears the traces of its popularity. That’s why restorations of classic films, while offering the pleasure of visual clarity, often feel denatured, as if the original virginity of an unscreened print represented a filmmaker’s intentions. A print that goes into the world takes its lumps; some state between the immaculate and utter ruin is an accurate representation of the experience that moviegoers had in the age of film projection.
TED’s lack of rigor in filtering out candidates and its emphasis on performance and inspiration has allowed the scientific equivalent of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to give speeches at Woodstock. The problem is not that technology is evil or that nothing should be touchy-feely. It’s that TED—which operates under the Sapling Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Chris Anderson—let down its guard and the inmates took over the asylum. These are ideas that are not worth spreading. They are, in fact, bad ideas and TED should feel bad for having spread them.
The Internet killed books to save reading.
When you recognize the book as technology, you realize that print and screen, like body and mind, are not mutually exclusive mediums, but that they are increasingly mutually influencing.
“Do what you love” is a dangerous luxury of the privileged.
If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves, what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.
The New York Times with additional coverage on the Hoefler and Frere-Jones split.
The perceived closeness of the partnership is why the typography world was so surprised by the conflict. Most outsiders, and even former employees, assumed that the two were, in fact, 50-50 partners.
Twitter favourites and the etiquette of the farewell fave.
People use the star for everything from bookmarking (the save fave) to props-giving (the rave fave) to presence-signaling (the wave fave) to bone-throwing (the favor fave) to chaos-causing (the hate fave, which you could also call the spice-things-up fave, which you could also call the flavor fave).
The best punctuation marks in literature.
The parentheses in Nabokov’s Lolita
“My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three…”
The sentence goes on — for 84 more words, eleven commas, one colon, one semicolon, and another set of parentheses. But the reader, like Humbert Humbert’s unlucky mother, stops dead. Nabokov is a daredevil writer, and often a florid one, but what he shows off here is unbestable economy. Like the lightning inside it, this parenthetical aside is swift, staggering, and brilliant. It is also Lolita (and Humbert) in miniature: terrific panache containing terrible darkness.
Typography fight! I know many designers who are saddened by this.
In the most profound treachery and sustained exploitation of friendship, trust and confidence, Hoefler accepted all of the benefits provided by Frere-Jones while repeatedly promising Frere-Jones that he would give him the agreed equity, only to refuse to do so when finally demanded.
Here are a bunch of scientific ideas people think should maybe be retired. The whole thing is fascinating, but I especially liked this from Jonathan Gottschall on the idea that there’s no science to art.
Our curious love affair with art sets our species apart as much as our sapience or our language or our use of tools. And yet we understand so little about art. We don’t know why art exists in the first place. We don’t know why we crave beauty. We don’t know how art produces its effects in our brains – why one arrangement of sound or colour pleases while another cloys. We don’t know very much about the precursors of art in other species, and we don’t know when humans became creatures of art. (According to one influential theory, art arrived 50,000 years ago with a kind of creative big bang. If that’s true, how did that happen?) We don’t even have a good definition, in truth, of what art is. In short, there is nothing so central to human life that is so incompletely understood.
Also, Max Tegmart thinks we should do away with infinity, and that would be fine with me because it hurts my brain. (Seriously… infinity keeps me up at night.)
In the past century, however, infinity has become mathematically mainstream, and most physicists and mathematicians have become so enamoured of infinity that they rarely question it. Why? Basically, because infinity is an extremely convenient approximation for which we haven’t discovered convenient alternatives. Consider, for example, the air in front of you. Keeping track of the positions and speeds of octillions of atoms would be hopelessly complicated. But if you ignore the fact that air is made of atoms and instead approximate it as a continuum, a smooth substance that has a density, pressure and velocity at each point, you find that this idealised air obeys a beautifully simple equation that explains almost everything we care about: how to build airplanes, how we hear them with soundwaves, how to make weather forecasts, etc. Yet despite all that convenience, air of course isn’t truly continuous. I think it’s the same way for space, time and all the other building blocks of our physical word.
The Onion: Netflix is thinking about adding a good movie.
With the growing success of the streaming platform, we thought the time was right to think about possibly offering, just for the sake of variety, one film that wasn’t a total critical and commercial flop forgotten immediately after its initial theatrical release.
The Onion (of course) crystallizes the Woody Allen problem. (Or the Roman Polanski problem. Or the Orson Scott Card problem. Possibly the Mike Tyson problem, though cheering the comedy stylings of a convicted rapist feels like a different problem to me.)
Gosh, just thinking about the moral ramifications of this situation is enough to make one’s head spin, frankly. On one hand, you have the accusations that have been leveled against me: that I am a sexual predator who molested my adopted adolescent daughter while simultaneously entering into a sexual relationship with the child of my now ex-partner that continues to this day. But on the other hand, you have my truly lovable persona and monumental contributions to cinema—as evidenced by such timeless works as Manhattan, The Purple Rose Of Cairo, and Crimes And Misdemeanors—that have delighted millions of people and unquestionably benefited society as a whole.
I don’t make a habit of linking to anything related to Justin Bieber, but this paragraph is beautiful.
Of late, Bieber’s more confrontational, avant-garde explorations in being irritating have included: peeing in a mop bucket, challenging the conventional notion of mop buckets not having some kid’s piss in them; spray-painting monkey and penguin graffiti, representing the idea that celebrities are trapped just like zoo animals, and also that Justin Bieber thinks penguins are dope; and haunting a Brazilian brothel dressed as a spooky ghost, a stand-in for the lingering specter of society’s prudishness about prostitution, and the classic Freudian connection between death and banging bitches. It also included not actually retiring from music, his most antagonistic artistic statement yet.
Hazlitt offers some writing advice for 2014.
What are my qualifications to give writing advice? Well, I’ve worked Monday happy hour at a number of bars that are no longer open; I have an associate degree that I received from a fake college after flunking out of high school; I have been paid to write about bands for, like, months now, and have a semi-regular column for VICE’s YouTube music channel’s blog, where I started my tenure by getting death threats from punks via Facebook; and at 38, I decided it was time to grow a mustache. Basically, as my tombstone will read, at least I’m not Chuck Klosterman.