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Why We Watch: The Big Lebowski

Everything we need to know about bowler Jesus Quintana’s (John Turturro) opinion of himself is communicated here in roughly 90 seconds. Even after so many years, there is still no director doing this kind of presentation better than the Coens, except perhaps Wes Anderson. Superbly choreographed and edited camera angles, pitch-perfect soundtrack choice, and colors from another world tell a miniature story, assisting an actor with little screen time in owning much of this picture. The cherry on top of this visual sundae: Bridges, Buscemi, and Goodman respectively conveying despair, bafflement, and utter disdain that they are losing to this guy.

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EXCERPTS >|< Louella Gallagher, Knife-Thrower (1950)

A series of gif excerpted from a short movie of 1950, in which the knife thrower Louella Gallagher performs with her two daughters: Connie Ann of 5 years and Colleena Sue 2 and ½. The three Gallagher are showing in Texas and the news appears in a newsreel of the time.
If still alive, today Connie and Sue should have approximately 60 years. It would be really interesting to hear their point of view on their childhood.

We invite you to watch the full video HERE

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Una serie di gif estratte da un breve filmato del 1950, nel quale la lanciatrice di coltelli Louella Gallagher si esibisce con le due figlie: Connie Ann di 5 anni e Colleena Sue di 2 e mezzo. Le tre Gallagher si stanno esibendo in Texas e la notizia appare in un cinegiornale dell'epoca.
Se ancora vive, oggi Connie and Sue dovrebbero avere all'incirca 60 anni. Sarebbe davvero interessante conoscere il loro punto di vista sulla loro infanzia.

Vi invitiamo a vedere il video originale QUI


EXCERPTS by OKKULT MOTION PICTURES: a collection of gifs excerpted from open source/unknown/rare/controversial moving images. A digital humanities project for the diffusion of open knowledge.

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Lies from Disney films that have nothing to do with love
  • Beauty and the Beast: If you go to a library or bookstore enough times and show the proper measure of enthusiasm, you will eventually get free stuff. You know in that opening sequence, Belle goes to the bookseller, borrows the book she has borrowed like three times before, and the bookseller’s all “If you like it all that much, it’s yours!” I definitely tried to pull that stunt at my elementary school library, checking the same book out repeatedly in the hope that Mrs. Spielman, the librarian whom I adored, would eventually recognize my enthusiasm and say “Here Tessa, this book clearly means more to you than it will to any other child, and you deserve to have it.” DIDN’T HAPPEN.
  • The Lion King: It will ultimately be more rewarding to take responsibility for your life instead of having fun forever. NOPE.
  • Sleeping Beauty: It’s pretty easy to convince birds to land on your outstretched finger. I actually have done this successfully! However it involved waiting under a hummingbird feeder for about a half hour with my finger elevated to the exact height of the perches on the feeder, and my arm got real sore, but a hummingbird did land on my finger, and I felt pretty cool about it. But it took a considerable amount of commitment.
  • Robin Hood: A life of crime is fun, glamorous, and sometimes morally justifiable. Actually, I’m still working to convince myself that this is untrue. I’ll get back to you.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The wicked queen is not as beautiful as Snow White. Kind of a no-brainer, but the wicked queen is obviously mad gorgeous, where as Snow White is merely cute. My mom tried to feed me some inner beauty speech, but all I came away with was that the magic mirror was biased and/or malfunctioning. In retrospect the greater truth here is that many men and magic mirrors are often intimidated by powerful women and, as such, will opt for non-threatening types. Blaming and attacking said non-threatening types for this will only make you look bad and result in your unfortunate demise involving lightning and a cliff’s edge, so best to chill the fuck out and not worry about it. Actually, there are lots of good lessons in this movie. 
  • Aladdin: It is difficult/frustrating to be rich. The first half of this movie is basically a reenactment of Pulp’s “Common People.” Sorry being a princess is so tough, Jasmine. Congratulations on having like ten to fifteen years on Aladdin in terms of life expectancy though!
  • Pocahontas: It is safe to approach a mother bear and her cubs if you are trying to make some kind of conservationist point to a colonialist adventurer. IT IS NEVER SAFE TO APPROACH A MOTHER BEAR AND HER CUBS. JESUS, HAVE YOU PEOPLE NOT SEEN GRIZZLY MAN?!?!?!
  • The Little Mermaid: You can flip your huge mane of waterlogged hair over your head in spectacular fashion without kind of hurting your neck. It kind of hurts your neck to do this.

The Woman in the Window (1944) directed by Fritz Lang

In a single frame of this early film noir classic there’s a veritable riot of Freudian symbols, film noir tropes, and visual metaphors. It’s almost overwhelming.

1. Protagonists reflected in mirrors suggesting dual lives / duplicity.

2. Femme fatale dressed in black.

3. Statue on mantel conveys both the sexuality and damage of female protagonist.

4. Males in submissive posture to dominant femme fatale (one of the males in the ultimate submissive posture, you might say).

5. Murder weapon simultaneously suggests castration and penetration.

6. Coffee table has feminine form, while flowers (one for each male character) on top of that table have phallic shape.

7. Champagne bottles repeat phallic imagery; one is open (spent).

8. Relief pattern on fireplace mantle suggests a maze /pattern of deception/ trap.

I almost can't stop seeing pictures in these terms now, certainly not after reading Alain Silver’s and James Ursini’s The Noir Style, a brilliant shot-for-shot study of the imagery of film noir. 

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EXCERPTS >|< Popeye the Saylor (1933)

A series of gifs excerpted from the banned cartoon Popeye the Saylor, with Betty Boop as special guest. This short features a complete version of Popeye’s theme song.

We invite you to watch the full video HERE

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Una serie di gif estratte dal cartone animato censurato Braccio di Ferro, con la partecipazione di Betty Boop. Questo cartone animato presenta la versione integrale della sigla di Braccio di Ferro.

Vi invitiamo a vedere il video originale QUI




EXCERPTS by OKKULT MOTION PICTURES: a collection of gifs excerpted from open source/unknown/rare/controversial moving images. A digital humanities project for the diffusion of open knowledge.

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The Zoopraxiscope - The World’s First Motion Pictures

Pioneering photographer, Eadweard James Muybridge (1830-1904), gave his most famous lecture in 1882 at the Royal Institution in London. It was in front of a sell out audience that included members of the Royal Family, notably the future King Edward VII. He displayed his photographs on screen and described his Zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip. This historic lecture was published under the title The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, Illustrated with the Zoopraxiscope, in 1882.

In 1887, Muybridge published his 100,000 plus photos in Animal Locomotion - An Electro-photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements. There were over seven hundred plates, all folio-sized, in eleven volumes. This work is today a reference source in motion study and is considered the most exhaustive analysis ever made of the subject. When seen through the Zoopraxiscope (as early as 1879), Muybridge’s photographs are without debate, the world’s first motion pictures. Men, women, children and animals are seen as in true motion, resembling nothing less in quality or appearance than the earliest works of the Lumiere’s in 1895.

Muybridge’s final accomplishment was without Celluloid, yet fluid, preceding the commercial films of the 1890’s by at least 16 years. When considering the fact that there are 172,800 + frames in a typical two hour film of today, Muybridge’s 20,000 pictures, if shown consecutively (impossible with the Zoopraxiscope) would provide a film of approximately 13 minutes in length.

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EXCERPTS >|< The Boxing Cats (1894)

“A glove contest between trained cats. A very comical and amusing subject, and is sure to create a great laugh.” (by Edison Films)


An animated gif excerpted from The Boxing Cats, a 23" movie from 1894 directed by W.L. Dickinson and shot at the Thomas Edison’s Black Maria studio. The images show two cats with small boxing gloves that fight in a miniature ring. The man behind them - that seems to smille during the shooting - is prof. Henry Welton, the trainer of the two boxers felines.
An incredible example of the success of cats since the beginning of moving images history.

We invite you to watch the full video HERE

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Una gif animata estratta da The Boxing Cats, un filmato di 23 secondi del 1894 diretto da W.L. Dickinson e girato presso il Black Maria Studio di Thomas Edison. Le immagini mostrano due gatti con piccoli guantoni che combattono su un ring in miniatura. L'uomo dietro di loro - che pare sorridere divertito durante le riprese - è il prof. Henry Welton, il trainer dei due pugili felini.
Una incredibile testimonianza del successo dei gatti sin dagli esordi della storia del cinema.

Vi invitiamo a vedere il video originale QUI




EXCERPTS by OKKULT MOTION PICTURES: a collection of gifs excerpted from open source/unknown/rare/controversial moving images. A digital humanities project for the diffusion of open knowledge.

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Anton Lavinskii / Alexander Rodchenko

Sergei Eisenstein . The Battleship Potemkin | Броненосец Потёмкин . 1925

[The National Library of Russia, St. Petersburg]