SMOKE BREAK #1105 | Animator Recalls Her Grandmother Through Her Possessions

When Welsh animator Gemma Green Hope’s grandmother passed away, she created a superb memorial by way of this animated treatment of her Gan-Gan’s possessions.

My grandmother Elizabeth (or Gan-Gan as I called her) was a force of nature; she was wonderful. As a child she seemed to me like a visitor from another time or place. Her tiny terraced house in Bideford was full of treasures; hundreds of books, a medusa’s head, Peter the Great’s ivory letter opener, the caul of her mother tied up in blue ribbon, a tile stolen from the Alhambra, a silk blouse embroidered by nuns, deadly poison, beautiful Pre-Raphaelite artworks, a knife carved from the wood of HMS Victory, Granny Green’s pince-nez, and diaries full of stories from a hard life well-lived. After her death in 2010, I helped my father and uncle sort through some of her possessions. I inherited some of her clothes to wear, books to read, a bicycle to ride. But how do you make sense of all the other things that someone leaves behind, the things nobody sees, boxes full of photographs, and bits of string? I used these objects alongside images and memories of my own to make this short animation, which I dedicate to her memory.

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SMOKE BREAK #1104 | Indian Boy Dreams Of Becoming A “Master Chef” In Short Film

April 28, 2014 

From award-winning Indian director Ritesh Batra comes a great little short film called The Master Chef. “Akhil, a young shoeshine boy, dreams of becoming a gourmet chef when he has a chance encounter with India’s most popular TV cuisiner…” Enjoy.

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SMOKE BREAK #1103 | The Opening Credits Of Forrest Gump Directed By Wes Anderson

April 25, 2014 

Filmmaker Louis Paquet put together this short detailing what the opening credits of Forrest Gump would look like if the film had been directed by Wes Anderson instead of Robert Zemeckis. Naturally, it opens with a box of chocolates and closes with a feather.

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SMOKE BREAK #1102 | When Kermit The Frog & Fozzie Bear Got Seriously Existential

April 18, 2014 

(via) Puppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz (playing Kermit The Frog and Fozzie Bear) improvise like the geniuses they were during this 1979 camera test for The Muppet Movie.

Kermit: “Well Fozzie, the thing of it is though you’re not a real bear. You’re not a real natural bear. I mean, you’re talking about a bear in its natural habitat…What do you have, you have sort of a fake fur. You’ve got foam rubber. You’ve got foam rubber and fake fur. You’re an artificial bear. Have you ever seen a bear with a magenta nose?”

Fozzie: “I got news for you kid. You have to hurt me, I’m going to have to hurt you. Are you ready for this? Are you ready? You got a wire on your arm. It’s only for movement. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I believe in you. I do understand that I am not a real bear but I know what I am. I am what I am. But I’m a real puppet. I’m happy with my lot in life.”

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SMOKE BREAK #1102 | “A Rising Tide” Film Follows The Early Surfing Pioneers Of India

April 15, 2014 

Lose yourself in this short documentary film, the first about surfing in India, a country with a 7,500km, a population of over 1.2 billion people, and barely one hundred surfers.

Through interviews with local watermen we celebrate the joy of riding waves and the aloha spirit of the Indian surf tribe. As the numbers of surfers in the country keep growing each day, we hope that these stories may never be lost and shall help create a deeper sense of surf community in India.

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SMOKE BREAK #1101 | The Most Laughably Amazing Men’s Hairstyles Of The 60s & 70s

Strangely, to date, there remains no credible explanation for any of it. Bonus: dude at 0:52 wins the internet.

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SMOKE BREAK #1100 | Trailer For “Chef” Starring Jon Favreau & Robert Downey Jr.

Chef, a new comedy about an executive chef’s life and times following a dust-up with a critic, is coming out next month. From the looks of the trailer above, what makes it authentic isn’t Scarlett Johanssen as a hostess, the food critic’s beautifully expressed assholery (Oliver Platt is always amazing), the social media errors in judgment, Dustin Hoffman’s restaurateur hissy-fit, or all the food porn, it’s John Leguizamo shaking corn starch on his testicles. Whoever their kitchen consultant was deserves an Oscar!

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SMOKE BREAK #1099 | An Insightful Tour Of Great Britain & Ireland’s Myriad Accents

(via) Here’s UK movie industry dialect coach Andrew Jack giving a quick tour of the many accents of the British Isles. Omissions? We would have like to have heard his Mancunian.

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SMOKE BREAK #1098 | Insightful Puppets Explain The Basics Of Restaurant Etiquette

March 17, 2014 

In this episode of the internet show Glove & Boots, a puppet named Fafa the Groundhog teaches a puppet named Mario the ins and outs of basic restaurant etiquette. Money quote: “You just pay and leave. You have to do both. You can’t leave and not pay, and you can’t pay and not leave, or eventually the nice restaurant will call the police and you will go to jail.”

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SMOKE BREAK #1097 | “Caring For Giants” Film Looks (Up) At Tree Doctors In Oregon

March 10, 2014 

This short profile film by Juliet Zero looks at the work of Jim Meyers at Portland, Oregon’s Hedgehog Tree Care. “Jim calls his team of arborists “athletes” and we can’t think of a better description. The tremendous strength and technique used by the arborist matches the most demanding and technical sport. He was kind enough to hoist members of our team up to the tree-tops and though we were using cameras instead of chainsaws, we gained respect for this amazing job.”

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SMOKE BREAK #1096 | Why Would An Old Man Cross The USA On Foot Seven Times?

February 27, 2014 

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To get to the other side, therapeutically speaking. ”I saw Steve Fugate on the side of the road in the Californian desert the day after Christmas. In 1999, lost his son to suicide. A few years later he lost his daughter to a drug overdose. At sixty-four years old, he has walked across the United States seven times to raise awareness for depression and suicide and to inspire people he meets to “love life.” Prior to his departure, Steve ran a couple of successful car detailing businesses in Vero Beach, Florida. After fourteen years and 34,000 miles of walking, Steve continues his quest to heal his heart and the hearts of those in need.” – filmmaker Cyrus Sutton.

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SMOKE BREAK #1095 | A Short Film On Bristlecone Pines, The World’s Oldest Trees

February 18, 2014 

The Bristlecone’s Fate is a short and rather beautiful (if haunting) documentary film that looks at the looks at threat that global warming poses to California’s bristlecone pine trees, which are the oldest living things on the planet. ”From their perch atop the White Mountains at California’s eastern edge, the bristlecones have survived as entire human civilizations have arisen and disappeared. But there’s a new threat to the bristlecone’s existence, a globe-spanning emanation more menacing than anything they’ve faced in thousands of years.” The short is based on “The Vanishing Groves,” an essay in Aeon Magazine by Ross Andersen that we encourage you to read.

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SMOKE BREAK #1094 | How Ad Companies Market Unnatural Foods To A Gullible World

February 11, 2014 

Watch this mockumentary in which an advertising executive rejoices and expounds on the art of the “natural” sell, because the word “natural” is used in marketing genetically modified and pesticide-heavy foods, you just have to laugh. Money quote: “We pride ourselves on this kind of confusion.”

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