Hacking the Passive Girl Toy

Over at Instructables site, maker  j_l_larson writes, “I have noticed a strange inequity between the poseability of girls and boys dolls.  Most of the female dolls have stiff arms and legs, which permit them to do little more than model clothing.” To rectify matters, Larson created a step-by-step tutorial for modifying girls’ dolls so that they can actually do stuff. Lisa Wade of SocImages adds, “scholars have noted that ‘action figures’ and ‘dolls’ tend to be pose-able and non-pose-able, respectively, reflecting the idea that boys are encouraged to be active agents and girls passive objects.” The tutorial is a great way to examine this issue, and the disembodied in-between shots are works of art in their own right.

Wheeeeee! The finished product.


“Dance, dance… otherwise we are lost.”

Fellow admirers of the late Pina Bausch may get a little emotional, watching this trailer for the upcoming film Pina– Dance, Dance… Otherwise We Are Lost, made “For Pina Bausch, by Wim Wenders.”

Via Gabrielle Zucker, thanks.

Coming soon. In 3D, no less! In the wake of that first wave of 3D schlockbusters and huge budget family movies, it’s going to be interesting to watch and see if this oncoming wave of arguably more “arthouse friendly” 3D films (Wenders’ film, Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and Scorcese’s Invention of Hugo Cabret being chief among them) will change more critical viewers’ perceptions and expectations of the medium.

A Requiem for Jean Rollin

image courtesy Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience

Jean Michel Rollin Le Gentil, French film director fantastique and “gentle poet of sensual horror”,  passed away yesterday (December 15, 2010) at 72, after a long illness.

Much beloved by his fans and horror connoisseurs, lauded for his bizarre genius and the unique, intensely personal vision he brought to his films, Rollin leaves a legacy brimming with uncanny beauty and perverse, morbid delights.

Though his works contained elements of horror cinema,  Rollin insisted he did not make horror films; instead he prefers the label fantastique, which he described as “the opposite of the supernatural”.   His story telling, marked by “surreal sensibilities” and a “narcotic narrative drive”, made for mysterious (and at times maddening) viewing; but the imagery, oh, the imagery. Languid and melancholy, romantic and doom-laden, the dreamy atmospheres Rollin crafted were truly like nothing else in cinema: “…hermetically sealed worlds of desolate chateaus, solitary vampires and violent seduction”.

According to Rollin’s son Serge, who spoke with Fangoria shortly after his father’s death, “Jean was surrounded by his friends, and was looking at the photos of his two granddaughters when he died.”

Jean Rollin (via)

Rollin was calmly uncompromising and self-assured to the very end. The filmmaker’s own words about his work and perceptions of criticism are as fitting a closing statement as any:

“Honestly, I don’t care [what people call me]. Some people say I’m a genius, others consider me the greatest moron who ever stepped behind a camera. I have heard so many things said about me and my films, but these are just opinions.

I am perfectly happy with what I do, because it has always been my choice.”

“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish

…but Douglas Burgdorff had one of the best videos of all time. ONE OF THE BEST OF ALL TIME!”

The following clip is not safe for work or for the squeamish. For all the rest of you, no rx ENJOY.

Via Kitty Doom.

The Books: Cold Freezin’ Night

Experimental musical duo The Books are highly thoughtful and empathic scavengers and re-interpreters who’ve been surprising and delighting audiences for over a decade now. Paul de Jong and Nick Zammuto’s songs –a strange melange of acoustic melodies (cello, guitar, banjo, etc.) spliced together with an ever-expanding library of “found sounds”– are dense with samples lifted from home recording cassettes plundered from thrift stores, as well as bootlegged video tapes. They also cut and paste sounds recorded from children’s toys and random non-musical objects to create looping percussive beds. The resulting music is off-kilter yet tightly controlled, and often unexpectedly danceable.

This chaos-wrangling, ephemera-pillaging style is well-represented visually by the music video for “Cold Freezin’ Night”, a weird 80s schoolyard disco taunt off their latest album, The Way Out:

via Dustykins once again. (Girl, you really gotta start blogging for us!)

On the Bro’d

If you’re a highly sensitive purist, DON’T bother with On the Bro’d: Every Sentence of Kerouac Retold for Bros. It will only sully your palate and piss you off. If you’ve never actually read On the Road, well, you should experience that first, most definitely. Particularly if you are bright-eyed, collegiate (pre or post) and fulla beans. For while it may retain its verve when read at a later age, the classic Kerouac scroll is, first and foremost, a young adventurer’s screed.

via DJ Dead Billy, thanks.

But hey, all you crabby old culture vultures who eat sacred cow burgers with zeal and favor the thigh bones of vegan Sarah Lawrence humanities majors for your walking sticks, pull up to the groaning board and dig the fuck in. If, perhaps, you remain secretly convinced that young Jack and pals could have stood to be a bit less self-indulgent, paternalistic, or just plain fuckwitted, this satirical retelling may provide you with nourishing vindication.

On the Bro’d is exactly what the title describes. References to beer bongs, pimps, Axe Body Spray, Sparks, popped collars, bottle service and “Wonderwall” abound. From its official press release (yes, apparently it has an official press release, ugh): “On The Road is an American classic and the seminal work of the Beat generation, but much of it’s lost in translation when read by the generation that goes to the club and then beats.” The as-of-yet unnamed author insists that his reinterpretation is both appropriate and relevant, seeing as the original book was goaded by the “stirring unrest and genius of a generation of bros.” Nnnngh.

Profoundly cynical and relentlessly obnoxious, On the Bro’d will make you weep and laugh and barf for the future of American culture as only a seasoned NYC designer/writer/humor blogger can make you weep/laugh/barf. So enjoy. Or not. Either way, you have my love and empathy.

Gender Subversion Poster

Via Slim –who says he was reminded of it when he read this piece by a mother defending her five-year-old son’s Daphne costume– comes this awesome sauce:

This poster can be purchased on the cheap, or downloaded for free at the Crimethinc site as part of their “Gender Subversion Kit”.

“Part poster, part zine, and made to be deployed in an endless number of environments, the Gender Subversion Kit is a 22″x14” two-color poster on the outside and a line art illustrated gender-fuck coloring book road map for both kids and adults on the inside. Inspired by and adapted from the boys will be girls will be boys . . . coloring book by JT and Irit, we took the parts we loved the most, made a few small changes, and mass produced it on the cheap.”

Alex Heller Does Creep Cover With Dolls

Made popular by the trailers for The Social Network, the Scala & Kolacny Brothers’ Choir’s cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” gets a suitably disturbing video by Alex Heller. Using a Nikon D60 to take 1554 pictures, Miss Heller gives us the story of four, malevolent Barbies and the chubby outsider who wants more than anything to be just like them.

Via Kuriositas : The Daily What

The Vagina Power Halloween Special

It was many years ago when I first discovered the awesomeness that is Vagina Power, an Atlanta-based public access show hosted by the inimitable Alexyss K. Tylor and her often shocked and bewildered mother. Few have done more to empower women than Tylor, a woman whose unique voice shines through in the heated battle betwixt the genitals.

In this particular episode, she uses the holiday of Halloween to focus on a woman’s duty to police her vagina, a valiant call to arms, meant to tame the lawless land below the waists of the Second Sex. In doing so she also explores the wedding ring’s role in binding both the Penis and the Nuts. It is not quite as stupendous as when she explained that “dick’ll make you slap somebody”, but it is classic Alexyss K. Tylor nonetheless.

Leo and Yam: Gender-Bending at High Altitudes

Hot on the heels of Mer’s discovery of Jordan Catalan… Oh, the clip below features aerial performers Leo Hedman and Yam Doyev (performing as Leo and Yam) in a steamy duet inspired by 20′s/30s silent films. Hedman’s femme fatale and Doyev’s pinstriped gentleman take on the comic side of sexual traditions while putting on a fluid, athletic, physically rigorous performance. In their own words, the flirtatious exchange “takes a wry, satirical look at the ways we conform to the gender roles assigned to us… and what happens when the mask drops and we find that our identities are a little less straightforward than we imagined.” This November, lucky Coilhouse readers living in London can witness the premiere of Leo and Yam’s first full-length show, titled Panoramic. Check their site for details.

Hedman’s other solo performances – inspired by Nosferatu, Psycho and more – are not to be missed. More images and clips, after the cut.

[via mikest, thanks!]