Tag Archives: competition

The Ventriloquist – A short film starring Kevin Spacey

Great post from The Fox is Black, and nice to see Jameson doing content so well:

‘The Ventriloquist’ is a fantastic short film written and directed by Benjamin Leavitt and staring Kevin Spacey. The film came about as part of a wonderful competition set-up by Trigger Street Productions (‘The Social Network’ and ‘21’) and sponsored by Jameson Whiskey. Designed to uncover up-and-coming film talent, the competition asked people in South Africa, Russia and the USA to submit a 7 page script and the winning three entries got to make their short – each one staring Kevin Spacey.

It’s a wonderful idea and the shorts really don’t disappoint. Leavitt’s film is particularly great. It tells the story of an introverted ventriloquist (Spacey) who tries to match wits with his outspoken marionette. What works so well in Leavitt’s film is how it deals with the difficulties of communication. In a world of e-mail, texts, tweets and every-other form of modern communication it’s not too hard to form a connection with Spacey’s character and to empathize with the difficulties he has simply talking to people face-to-face. In this sense, we could all be viewed as being like ventriloquists from time-to-time. Make sure to put some time aside and watch this film.

You can also view the other two great shorts on Jameson Whiskey’s YouTube page. They come well recommended!

He-gassen – antique Japanese farting competition scroll

You’ve got your thick-rimmed glasses, your manga books, your expensive jeans and a couple of t-shirts made of really really nice cotton, but do you have a farting scroll?

The database for Japanese and Chinese classics at Waseda University Library has digitised a rare scroll showing a he-gassen (屁合戦), or ‘farting competition’ (see it here in full).

Apparently, similar drawings were used to ridicule westerners towards the end of the Edo period, with images depicting the westerners blown away by Japanese farts.

Personally, I happen to know first hand that English ones are bad enough, so I’m not sure the Japanese guffs would have worked. My friend Max’s divine wind would have made short work of them.

I also once read a book about a dude who travelled the world learning weird local martial arts (pressure points, wrestling, iron jacket, all that stuff), and the weirdest of all was a guy who had deliberately developed halitosis so bad he could knock you out by burping in your face.

Tropfest 2011 winner: Animal Beatbox

What is the true call of the wild? Here we travel down a very special river and are introduced to a wide variety of the animal kingdom who all contribute their name for the sake of music.

Directed by Damon Gameau
Tropfest Australia ( world’s biggest short-film festival, 700 entries, 16 finalists)

I mean, I liiiike it and all that. Shame he didn’t go into full chopsticks with the dolphin chorus. Nice idea though.

Tropfest website says: ‘The winning film is a branch into animation by Underbelly and Balibo actor Gameau, with a catchy lyrical and poetic narrative. The film was shot in his mother’s spare room for just $85 and on a liquid detox diet with his girlfriend by his side – somehow they are still together. “I’m quite new to stop animation, but I find it a quick and versatile way to express any idea that may be lurking in my head,” he says.’