Thursday, March 06

The Trivial Eye: Foreign Posters for Hollywood Movies

by Jason Toon

These days, the posters for Hollywood movies usually look pretty much the same everywhere, except for the language. But there was a time when it was more common for local distributors and exhibitors put together their own posters to appeal to local audiences. And their re-imaginings can be more interesting than the movies themselves. Sometimes they'd interpret the movie's theme symbolically. Sometimes they'd latch on to some detail that the American producers considered secondary. Sometimes they'd take a completely different tone or visual style. And sometimes they'd make some crap up and hope it got people in the door. Can you recognize any of these well-known Hollywood flicks from their foreign posters?

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Thursday, August 29

Watch This First: Yasujiro Ozu's Pillow Shots

by Jason Toon

This is what I wish poetry felt like. It's a collection of brilliantly composed "pillow shots" - quiet, enigmatic, non-narrative interludes - from the films of master Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. Dangerous Minds has more about the technique and the director.

 
 

Watch Watch This First first, every weekday morning. Because the best way to start the day is to start it a few minutes later.

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Tuesday, August 06

There Can Be Only Pun: Art Rock

by Sean Adams

You guys, I have an addiction. I'm addicted to puns. I need them. I can't get enough of them. I HUNGER FOR THEM. That's why I've set up this weekly blog feature: so you guys can feed my addiction. Every week, I'll name the topic, give you some examples, and then you'll pun away in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter. I'll choose the best ones and post them here next week. Sound good? Good! Let's do it!

THIS WEEK'S EPISODE: Art Rock

Today we're looking for songs (preferably from the 70s and 80s) that artists would listen to. And by that we mean, old song titles with artist puns in them. Check it:

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Wednesday, July 25

The Trivial Eye: Pictures of War

by Jason Toon

For as long as people have been making pictures, they've been making pictures of war. And no wonder. The grime, the glory, the heroism, the horror: war is human drama at its most intense and primal. The heat of battle makes for powerful images, whether they're in a museum or a newspaper. Can you name these paintings, sculptures, and photos; the people who created them; and the conflicts they depict?

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

You want more Trivial Eye, don't you? Yeah, you do.

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Tuesday, July 10

Completely Unfair Comparisons: We Have Returned

by Sean Adams

There are plenty of places on Woot where you can find helpful information. This is not one of those places. Every week we will be comparing 3 pairs of things that shouldn’t be compared using this formula: Unrelated Thing X vs. Unrelated Thing Y in terms of Function Z. Facts will be misunderstood, overlooked, or changed for the sake of the argument. Enjoy.

1. A Thin Layer of Wax vs. Lava in terms of Doing a Triathlon

Lava can be great for training purposes when it comes to the bike or the run – nothing inspires you to go faster like turning around and seeing a bunch of lava – but for the swim, it could prove detrimental. Think about it: lava is liquid rock, and a fear of liquids is not what you need to dive right into whatever body of water you have to doggy-paddle across. On the other hand, a thin layer of wax could be just what you need. Just coat the bottom of your foot and bam! You’re protected from the harsh surface of the road, path, or peddle without wasting valuable time ripping off a pair of shoes before you jump in the water.

Advantage:

A Thin Layer of Wax
 

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Thursday, June 28

Sean University: Which art art thou?

by Sean Adams


 
It’s possible to sign your name on a receipt with a letter opener; you just need to dip in ink first. But is it ideal? No. You have to be really gentle or else you’ll end up tearing the receipt or damaging the surface underneath, and that’s if you manage to even take the thing out of your pocket without someone calling the police and saying, “There’s a crazy man with a dagger and it looks like he’s going to stab a barista!”

What’s my point? There are two: first, to explain the “scene” I caused at the coffee shop downstairs from the office; and second, to show that different situations call for different tools. And nowhere is this rule more important than in art.

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Wednesday, May 09

The Trivial Eye: The Faces of the Gods

by Jason Toon

The gods and demigods of the ancient world were more than just deities: they were entertainers. As colorful as superheroes, as petty as soap opera divas, as rowdy as cowboys, their adventures whiled away many a night in the pre-TV age. And while they may not command the worship they used to, as entertainers, they've had the kind of staying power Bob Hope could only dream of. Can you name the gods, goddesses, and heroes depicted in the millennia-spanning gallery below?

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments, below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

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Wednesday, April 11

The Trivial Eye: Self-Portraits

by Jason Toon

An artist's favorite subject is him- or herself, often gazing out of frame to the right, for some reason. Here are slices of eight attempts by great artists to capture their own radiance. Can you name the artsts/subjects?

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

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