Category Archives: Video

The Corpse Flower Strikes Again

Actually, three of them are about to bloom.

The U.S. Botanic Garden has announced that three of its corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) plants are expected to bloom during the next week. It will be the first bloom for all three of the plants.

The plant gets its name because it emits a disgusting, repulsive, nauseating odor when it blooms, which has been likened to, among other yucky things, that of a rotting corpse. The smell attracts pollinators to the plant during its one-day bloom. After that, the corpse flower becomes dormant for a period that can range from a few years to more than a decade.

That same disgusting, repulsive, nauseating odor also seems to be irresistible to humans. The picture at the head of this posting is a CBS News photo of a 2013 corpse flower bloom at the Botanic Garden. The event was visited by more than 130,000 people.

As with earlier blooms, the Botanic Garden Conservatory will be open for extended hours. On peak bloom days, visitors will be admitted until 10 PM.

Or you could watch this 24-hour live stream from the Conservatory. It’s guaranteed odorless.

“How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer”

A helpful guide from the Auralnauts.

According to their self-description…

“Auralnauts are Craven Moorhaus and Zak Koonce. We do a lot of things here. We change the dialogue in movies to turn them into comedies. We change dialogue in commercials to turn them into dark glimpses into dystopian futures. We count how many people were murdered by popular movie stars. We write music. We basically do whatever we want and hope you enjoy it, because thinking too hard about what people want tends to ruin the creative process.”

The Crown — Season 2 Teaser

A Christmas gift from Netflix to all of us Anglophiles: The Crown returns on 8 December 2017.

It looks like we’re jumping ahead to the early 1960s by the end of Season 2, which is good news, since Season 1 often felt like it was taking place in real-time.*

The new season will begin with the Suez Crisis in 1956 and end with the fallout from the Profumo affair of 1963. The teaser features a brief look at Michael C. Hall, aka “Dexter,” as President Kennedy.

The Crown, with its solid performances, was one of my favourite shows of 2016.


*Not that I minded. For me, the more detailed, the better, when it comes to getting my British fix. I was only worried that at the pace the first series was playing out, I’d be celebrating my 100th birthday long before The Crown made it to the Diana years.

The Disaster Artist — The True Story of the Making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room

The Room is a 2003 film that has deservedly earned a high ranking on any recent list of “The Worst Movies Ever Made,” up there with Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space and Nicholas Webster’s Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

The Orson Welles of this “Citizen Kane of bad movies” is the mysterious and staggeringly untalented Tommy Wiseau, who produced, directed, and wrote the screenplay, such as it is. Mr. Wiseau also plays the lead. Here he is, at his finest:

Acting like that would embarrass William Shatner. Hell, it might even embarrass David Caruso.

So, of course, The Room has become a cult favourite, with midnight screenings and Rocky Horror-esque audience participation.

Greg Sestero, who played the aforementioned Mark—“Oh, Hi Mark”—in the movie, wrote a book about his experience, and now James Franco is bringing it to the screen. A new teaser takes a look at the making of the scene in the above video:

It’s called The Disaster Artist, and in addition to James Franco, it stars Dave Franco and Seth Rogen. The release date is 1 December 2017.


Want to see more?

Here’s a selection of some of the funnier stranger more deranged scenes from The Room:

Cigarettes After Sex — “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” and Other Love Songs

The seventh episode of The Handmaid’s Tale ended with this song, “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby,” by an ambient pop group named Cigarettes After Sex. I’ve had them on heavy rotation for the last two weeks.

Cigarettes After Sex is, basically, a Brooklyn-by-way-of-Texas singer-songwriter named Greg Gonzalez and an evolving troop of collaborators. In 2012, Gonzalez recorded the first and so far only Cigarettes After Sex EP in a stairway at his alma mater, University of Texas at El Paso. He released a handful of singles over the following five years, and, somewhere along the way, attracted an online following. The audio-only YouTube version of “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” currently shows more than 62 million plays.

Cigarettes After Sex released a self-titled début album earlier this summer. The music reminds me of the Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star, but it’s even more lush and sensual than that of those 80s virtuosi. The band’s name certainly captures the mood of its music.

The cover photography, btw, is by Man Ray.


Here are some of the singles. Audio only.

“Affection” (2015)

“K.” (2016)

“Each Time You Fall in Love” (2017)