I came across this short film in a blog by an Anglo-Saxon scholar, the Unlocked Wordhoard. It’s a 6-minute adaptation of an Old English elegiac poem, “The Ruin,” done by some students at the University of Oxford. I hadn’t read the poem before (Old English and modern English text here), but it’s hauntingly beautiful. The film is done in Old English with modern English subtitles, and the language is beautiful too. Maybe someday I’ll learn it. But that day may be a ways away. Anyway. My favorite thing about the film is how it applies the poem’s description of a ruined Anglo-Saxon mead-hall to an early industrial-age cement factory…good literature resonates throughout the ages, doesn’t it?
I’m fully beyond caring any more whether or not I’m supposed to like American Idol. I’m nearly beyond even hiding behind the phrase “guilty pleasure.” I’m incredibly excited about the upcoming premiere on Tuesday (BTW, I’m planning on live-blogging the show this year, so stop back by and watch it “with” me!) Anyway. The point right now is that while waiting for the new season of American Idol to start, I came across torrents of Australian Idol, and watched that throughout last fall and winter. And I’m going to share it with you, because it was just that good. (In case it comes up, New Zealand Idol? Not as good…even my friend from NZ agrees.)
A few things that Australian Idol does better than American Idol, or at least did better this year.
- As the contestants get fewer and fewer in number, the time limit on the songs goes up. So the first few weeks, when they’ve got to get through 10 or 12 contestants per show, they have the same 1:40 time limit that American Idol does, but when they get down to four or five people, the songs are up to 2:30 or even 3:00 sometimes. That makes for a) fuller songs giving a better idea of the singer’s talent and b) less stupid filler.
- They let the contestants use instruments! Okay, that was a new step this season, but Australian Idol is the first Idol show worldwide to do that. Hopefully our Idol will do it soon, because it really added a whole new dimension.
- Going along with the instruments, they encouraged singer-songwriters to try out as well as just singers, which brought a lot of depth of interpretation even to the cover songs.
- Marcia Hines, the female judge, is really nice like Paula Abdul, but she’s not HIGH half the time.
Video and audio of the top eleven Australian Idol 2006 contestants after the jump.
Recutting movie trailers seems to be all the rage these days. Here’s a few of my current favorites (I’m not really choosing all the ones that take comedies and romances and turn them into thrillers and horror films…that what most everyone is making):
Office Space as a psychothriller:
Sleepless in Seattle with Meg Ryan as desperate obsessive:
And my favorite: The Sound of Music as a tense, yep, you guessed it, thriller.
The strain of music at the very end totally makes it.
Just to reverse the trend, here’s the one that I think started it all (at least, it was the first recut trailer to make the blogosphere rounds that I saw):
The Shining as a feel-good family film.
I haven’t seen The Shining, so I don’t really get as much out of this one as the other three, but I know it’s a horror film, and you definitely don’t get that from this trailer!
And you thought trailers actually gave you a good idea of what to expect from the film! Heh.
This promo played at ComiCon this year…the audio’s a little iffy, but it does a great job of getting across the writing style of the show. Or, at least, half of the writing style. It’s hard to get across the more emotional, tender side of the show in a short promo like this. But the sarcasm is here in spades. “Nobody likes a blonde in a hamster ball.” Kristen Bell is so great. Note: All the clips are from Season 2, but there aren’t really any big spoilers.