Monday, June 27, 2005

Picture Posting Now Easier on Blogger

This last week has seen the launch of Blogger's simple approach to adding imagery to their blogs. Up to now it's meant finding somewhere else to host the pictures. Picasa's software, "Hello" does the job nicely and is free. But there's still the pain of transferring html from one post to another. And it was limited to jpg files. But now it's a snap to upload jpgs, gifs, bmps, and tifs from the computer or from somewhere on the net.

Instructions are here

Saved - Heaven Help Us

Finally got to see the movie, "Saved" last night. Our kids are at an 'middle of the road' Evangelical Christian high school so they were intrigued with the presentation of stereotypes of tryhard evangelists in the school context. We had an atheist school friend over. He was full of questions all the way through. He hadn't been exposed to a culture of exorcism, hard-sell evangelism or cliched expressions of praise. At the end he told us it was the best movie he'd seen in ages.

The movie's a great example of irreverence used to start conversations about faith that doesn't fit into the narrow confines of fundamentalism. Significant points of the movie include Mary challenging the intentions of a gossip-focused prayer meeting, and Dean telling the principal that even though he's gay he believes he is still loved by Jesus. I like the character of Patrick, a guy who's keen to explore Christian faith but wants to do that with unpressured honesty.

For those buying or hiring the DVD have a look for the Easter egg. From the Main Menu go to the 'Special Features' option. Highlight the menu entry 'Heaven Help Us' and then press the RIGHT arrow key on your remote control. This will highlight an icon of Jesus. Press the ENTER to select him. This will reveal a clip of R.E.M frontman and producer of "Saved!", Michael Stipe, talking about the film.

As can be anticipated many are not impressed by the movie. It can be seen as an outright attack on Christianity. It's described as irreverent, sick and blasphemous. I wonder how it would stand up to the Anti-Vilification laws of Victoria, Australia?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

birthday boy

birthday boyBirthday Boy is a multi-award winning film by Sejong Park, a recent graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) who apparently took to animation like a duck to water. The 10-minute film was nominated for an 2005 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Birthday Boy has won 30 film festival awards and screened at 52 festivals worldwide since it was completed in April 2004.

The film is a poignant tale of a young boy who father has gone off to fight in the Korean war. The young boy dreams and plays at being a soldier. The twist in the story needs to be left to the viewing. Despite the subject of war, the telling is gentle, almost whimsical, yet finally disturbing as well. The contrast of the reality of war and the boy's hero-worship of his father is at the crux of the film.

The film is available on DVD, published by AFTRS and Accent Films. While the short film is only 10 mins long there are another 56 minutes of extras on the making of the film.

This is not Disney animation. It is not contrived or cliched. Instead it makes a space for wonerding about how we pass on the best and worst of our humanity to the next generation.

Monday, June 06, 2005

video and audio blogging

care to add a video or audio blog to your blog site while you're on the road?

here's a commercial service that can help.

this isn't an advertisement, rather notifying you about a new development in blogging. I suspect these people will do well. it's a simple and great idea. The example itself gets you going hmmm....... watch out for clones soon.

the future of the internet?

From the supposed "Museum of Media History"