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Flumotion streaming Slamdance’s Filmmaker Summit

Filed under: Conference,Flumotion,movies — Thomas @ 18:34


As a collaboration between Mozilla, OpenVideoAlliance, and Flumotion, we're streaming the Slamdance Filmmaker summit.

The stream is in Ogg/Vorbis/Theora, and I'm happy to see an event like this being streamed with an open codec, using our open source technology, on our platform.

Go read the full press release.

And I owe Javier from our support team some Champagne Truffles for setting up the stream between the cracks of our usual process - Javier, the box of chocolates is next to the big pinguin's feet at work!

Waiting for a midnight kiss

Filed under: movies — Thomas @ 00:06


I must admit this movie's title didn't exactly fill my heart with anticipation. Sounded like another sappy romcom. But hey, one of my 2008 New Year Resolutions that I kept for this new year is to go out and see movies, so when a friend wanted to go, so did I.

It got better reading the description, which mentioned the still-excellent Clerks as a reference point. And the rest sounded good too.

Well, I must admit I was blown away by the end. And so was the audience - I don't think I've ever heard an audience clap at a regular movie showing. I can see the Clerks reference, being shot in black and white and linking both juvenile and acid-black humor contrasting well with the actual story. The dialogue is excellent, the tempo is high, weird things happen, and you feel the connection they're making. It definitely helps that these are mostly unknown actors and that they went for a realistic style.

The description also mentioned Before Sunset, but I haven't seen that one (out of romcom fear). It did recall both Manhattan (which I didn't like that much) and Chasing Amy (which is still in my top 5). It is a rare movie that can make sex on screen look realistic or tender, and this movie pulls off both.

There's two particular things that grabbed my attention. The first is that at some point they're discussing (without mentioning the name) PostSecret, an awesome project I've been following up on for a while. Last Christmas I got some of his books, a few for me and a few to give away to some friends. PostSecret's idea is so incredibly simple yet powerful, it's one of those rare ideas I wish I had had. As an idea, just as powerful as (but awesomely more artful than) the Million dollar homepage.

The second one was the orphaned shoes bit. If it's true that lost shoes only show up alone, then yeah, taking pictures of abandoned shoes for an art website is an awesome idea. (It also speaks to my particular fascination with shoe separation, for those of you who know me personally)

So, in short, a romantic comedy that is actually funny and appeals to my sense of romance. I'm sure there's people who'll find reasons to hate this movie, but if you've liked any of the aforementioned movies, I'm sure you'll leave the theatre with just as big a grin on your face as I did.

Before the devil knows you’re dead

Filed under: movies — Thomas @ 00:59


Arek and I have spent the weekend working - it's been so hard to get a block of continuous time to work on deploying a new version of our platform that I decided I would set aside a weekend for it to get started and convinced him to trade two working days for two weekend days. It's the only time I'm guaranteed not to be interrupted by everyone else at the time.

We decided we wouldn't actually discuss stuff, just get things done. Of course, Saturday ended up being nothing but discussing every possible topic. While it was exhausting for both of us, it seems it was unavoidable, even when we both were planning to avoid discussions. I did get to understand a bunch of things a lot better, so I spent Saturday night staying up too long and synthesising the discussions into things to do for the future.

Today, Sunday, was more productive - we're advancing on the list of tasks still left to do. In the evening I agreed to meet up with Mariette and friends to go see a movie, and Arek went along.

I was actually pretty impressed with the movie. Arek thought it was artificial, which I can see, but I really like a well told story. I only found the basic premise artificial in the sense that I couldn't believe someone would start out doing something like that.

There are two things I really like about the movie beyond the obvious (Philip Seymour Hoffman turns in another stellar performance).

A good piece of art makes you project your own ideas onto it, making you think that the piece of art is telling you something that in fact is coming from the other direction - you. In this particular case, I felt the movie showed what happens when a dysfunctional family dynamic, which is relatively harmless when kids are young, persists into adulthood. The same basic motivations and behaviours they had as kids bring on much bigger consequences when the now-adult kids have real lives and access to more powerful or dangerous resources.

You see this family interact in probably much the same way they did when the sons were kids - but the consequences of every action - stealing from your parents, harassing your little brother into doing your dirty work for you, stealing something from your older brother, fighting over a girl, whatever - are so much more far-reaching when the toy guns are real, when the money is more than what's in a wallet, and when the girl is more than just yesterday's crush.

Like I said, I'm probably projecting my thoughts on the movie.

The second thing I liked is how such a simple but clever premise births subsequent situations that are refreshing yet still entirely logical. The premise is so simple yet unbelievable that I'm surprised I haven't seen it before in a movie - what would happen if two sons rob their parents' store ? The rest of the story has its drama unfold in ways that you've probably not seen happen in the more standard thrillers, but it's still predictable even in its originality. I can't talk about any examples without giving plot away, though. But I very much appreciate how such a simple idea for a movie can be so powerful and basically write the whole movie on its own.

I understand what Arek doesn't like about the movie, but I'm still pretty impressed - a good spur of the moment movie choice as far as they go.