After Earth: A New Day in Sci Fi?

Even though it’s still nearly a year from release, buzz is brewing about the new M. Night Shyamalan-directed, Will Smith-produced sci fi project, After Earth. The film is about a father and son who crash land on Earth a thousand years after humans have abandoned it. After the narrative fiasco called Prometheus, we desperately, desperately need new hope for American (big budget) sci fi film. After Earth actually has an interesting, novel premise — and the way that it’s come together in terms of talent, chances are (!) it won’t be the usual delusional, cliché- and stereotype-ridden Hollywood fodder. The fact that black characters will be central to a story that’s not about racism is not only unspeakably refreshing, but hopefully it’s a sign that maybe (just maybe) not everyone in Hollywood is paralyzed by an insatiable need to pander to obselete, nonsensical racial and sexual caricatures….and an exclusion of women of color as attractiveinteresting characters. (Did I mention Prometheus?) Then again, Will Smith is producing — thank heavens for high-end DIY.

In addition to starring Will Smith and young Jaden Smith, the lovely and talented Sophie Okonedo (left, Dirty Pretty ThingsHotel RwandaSkin) and equally lovely and talented Zoe Kravitz (right, Mad Max: Fury RoadX-Men: First ClassYelling to the Sun) are now also starring. This should be interesting.

One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai. When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.

Last but not least, prolific screenwriter Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana, NYPD Blue ) was  brought on board to whip the script into shape.

Good signs all around.

Check out the video teaser

LeVar Burton gives up the goods on Geordi’s sex life. Wait, what sex life?

Trekkies know the name right off the bat. For all you lay people, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge was the character rocked out by LeVar Burton (formerly Kunta Kinte on the miniseries “Roots”). Burton played Geordi on the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series and in films based on the series. But what you probably don’t know is that Burton also directed many Star Trek episodes — in fact, he’s directed more episodes than any other cast member. Nice one.

But on to the sex. Burton recently (finally!) addressed the major problem that plagued Geordi throughout the series: A crap sex life. (Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed that Geordi got no play.)

The Reading RainbowNot only is Burton a talented actor and director, but those with a good memory (or kids) know that he also hosted and executive produced “The Reading Rainbow,” a children’s reading show that was on PBS for 23 years. In June 2012, Apple released a Reading Rainbow iPad app developed by Burton and his company that became the #1 educational app within 36 hours. Damn.

On that note, this spastic ode to LeVar Burton is slightly historic, but worth revisiting. It’s hilarious and on the money: LeVar Burton is most definitely a multi-talented MF. Take that all you haters who laughed at Geordi’s VISOR.

Please don’t eat the art. No, really.

Once again, art imitates life and proves that life usually takes the prize for amazing. German artist Klaus Pichler photographed a collection of strangely beautiful sculptures that are striking on a visual level, but the real smack in the face is when you find out what they’re made from: rotten food.

Pichler, that clever man, created this eerie work to document the amount of food wasted around the globe per year: one-third of the world’s supply (mostly in the “industrialized nations of the global north”) according to the UN. He also mentions the costs to the environment — you know, as in the carbon footprint from transporting this wasted food, the water that went into cultivating it, etc.

Meanwhile, 1 in 7 people will go to bed hungry tonight. Seriously, that’s a lot of goddamn people. We all need to think three times before putting it on our carts or on our plates.

Check out the photography: One Third by Klaus Pichler