TBT: Sexy. Kinetic. Thriller.

 "Strange Days" (1995)

Pre-Millennial Tension: “Strange Days” (1995)

Our TBT is dedicated to “Strange Days” (1995), the “sexy kinetic thriller” and feminist gem which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and co-written by two dudes, James Cameron and Jay Cocks (insert joke here). The film portrays a perilous time when violence and lawlessness were rampant and technology was used to satisfy society’s desperate quest for escapism and most base urges. Sound familiar?

As leading lady Mace, Angela Bassett is a thing of wonder and beauty. She’s gorgeous, strong, smart, sexy and self-possessed.
Angela Bassett in "Strange Days"Angela Bassett in "Strange Days"

Juliette Lewis in "Strange Days"

Juliette Lewis in “Strange Days”

A raw, pre-Licks Juliette Lewis is Faith, the dysfunctional flipside of Mace: a tragically beautiful hot mess. Both women are doing their best to navigate what many thought would be the ‘end of days’ — New Year’s Eve 1999.

And of course, Ralph Fiennes is….damned fine (even as an oily virtual reality dealer). There are also  plenty of hot character performances by thespians who later became well-known faces: Vincent D’Onofrio (where Brooklyn at?); Tom Sizemore, Glenn Plummer (in a brilliant and timely turn as militant rapper Jeriko One), William Fichtner, Josef Summer, Richard Edson and Canadian Michael Wincott.

There’s a lot going on here. Social turmoil, police brutality, technology, the economy, race, America’s general agitation on the eve of the new millennium. This dystopian thriller is smarter and more interesting story than a lot of what we see lately. First off, it’s set in an Los Angeles that actually looks like L.A.: multi-cultural and multi-racial….throughout the film, not just the scenes of poverty or violence. The fact that there is a militant rapper whose gripes with the system are presented as legit seems astounding in retrospect. (The film was released only 17 days after the verdict in O.J. Simpson’s trial.) Last but not least, this film represents the best of feminism — that which shows women as they really are: are equally capable of the best and worst of what it is to be human.

Director Kathryn Bigelow

Director Kathryn Bigelow


Movie Posters from an Alternate Reality


The other ‘Bambi’: A poster for the Disney classic by UK artist Rowan Stocks-Moore. Check him out at http://rowansm.tumblr.com/

TheVerge.com has gathered quite a collection of alternate movie posters for films we know and love — this time done by independent illustrators.
We’ll never see Bambi the same way again.

Alternative Movie Posters from the Underground

Flashback Friday: It’s Automatic

Strictly speaking this is not necessarily futuristic, but it feels like it, no? Maybe the sexy robotic thing that Wendy & Lisa have going on? In any case, enjoy.

His Purple Badness

I’m the best you’ll ever find….


And hopefully, it’s A-U-T-O-MATIC that you will support a new direction in science fiction. ROXË15 has 11 Days left on IndieGoGo.
Back the campaign, support indie film!

It’s Alive! The World’s Oldest Digital Computer Is Back

So you think your computer is old? Ha!


Over sixty years young: the Dekatron.

Meet the Harwell Dekatron. It’s world’s oldest programmable digital computer and the UK’s National Museum of Computing has revived it.

The Dekatron was created in the early 1950s for the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment. And unlike today’s computers, the Dekatron was built to last: it did its thing for 20+ years.

You’ve probably noticed that computers keep shrinking as they get more powerful. Well, here’s where it all started — this big clunker is about the size of a Hummer and has all the juice of a pocket calculator.

We’ve come a long way, baby.


Antique Tech: Huge-A** Cell Phones

Mobile phone, XXL

He wasn’t the only one who thought this clunker was cool.

Remember these? It’s hard to believe no one thought twice about how big and incredibly awkward cell phones were when we first got them into our hot hands. Thank God technology has evolved, because when they were born, mobile phones had to be the most cumbersome and inconvenient status symbol ever. My mother had a huge, supersonic pager, then a bulky car phone, then a big ole’ generator-sized cell phone. And while my father gave her oversized, unelegant gadgets the side-eye, I was fascinated…no, obsessed…with the whole idea of a phone with no cord. That you could take anywhere. (Didn’t take much back then.)

Want a good laugh? Click here to check out 14 people with big ole clunky mobile phones…all convinced they had it going on.