Mad Quickies

Mad Quickies: 10 Actions 100 Days, Woolf Thoughts, Aqua Vitae, Children of Men and More!

The world is currently on fire but I thought these links might distract you while you’re en route to a protest, enjoy an energizing break, or choose to see some beauty. I love you all and am proud of you so let me boop you on the schnozz and let’s get to it…

From the Women’s March on Washington: Join the 10 Actions / 100 Days campaign. Via Amy

At this point, this is really old news. I mean, it was an entire five days ago, which in this administration feels like a lifetime. Still, relive the glory… The National Park Service Won’t Be Silenced. Tip o’ the ranger hat to Joy Garnett

Virginia Woolf on Why She Became a Writer and the Shock-Receiving Capacity Necessary for Being an Artist. A few extended passages from her only autobiographical writings are fascinating.

Chilean scientist JC Flores has a crack at understanding dried surfaces. This “new model could benefit art conservators and geologists.” Via Dr. Ray

Something we’ve suspected: Music helps dogs chill out. Via Amy

There are so many wonderful posts at Colossal but this was my pick today since I’m a bit partial to this kind of art. Whimsical Storybook illustration by Antanas Gudonisby.

Remember when we thought “Children of Men” was a filmmaking masterpiece and not a fucking cautionary tale? Enjoy this essay, videos and the full screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton.

‘Whiskey’ and ‘Whisky’ and Alchemy and an origin as ”aqua vitae“. Via Dr. Ray


From Refocused Media

Children of Men – every shot 45 seconds or longer

from the page

It was recently revealed that Alfonso Cuaron’s upcoming film, “Gravity”, will not only have a 17+ minute opening long take, but also an ASL (average shot length) of 45 seconds. Having been a fan of his previous films, I revisited my favorite one to see just what that type of shot looked and felt like.

I had seen the film a few times before, and couldn’t recall more than handful of shots that I thought would work. I was shocked to find there were 16 of them — heck, there are 6 longer than 90 seconds! They are used in a variety of situations, and to great effect. It was easy to see how I could forget there were so many, as each one simply pulled you further into the story. It made me so excited for ‘Gravity’ that I felt I just had to share with anyone else who would be interested.

Some other stats:

62 shots > 22 seconds (“half of 45”, my original criteria)
39 shots > 30 seconds
24 shots > 40 seconds
16 shots > 45 seconds
6 shots > 90 seconds

Obviously, you should see the film if you haven’t already. My point in doing this is to demonstrate the effect of a long take in a variety of narrative uses, and to give an idea of what a 45+ second shot looks and feels like when directed by Alfonso Cuaron.


Featured image is an excerpt from an illustration by Antanas Gudonis.



Geologic Universe, vault-keeper. Sheer Brick Studio, principal. Empty Set, designer. Bethlehem Mounties, media. WDIY 88.1FM NPR station programmer. Skepchick.

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