“I have never seen a movie like this, and I will never see a movie like this again… I don’t have to watch another five thousand films to know, you just know it.” –Werner Herzog
Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE ACT OF KILLING is available now for pre-order. The documentary brings to vivid life the genocide committed in Indonesia during the 1965 military coup. One million people associated with the communist party were exterminated; the killers were celebrated as national heroes.
Werner Herzog was so moved by Oppenheimer’s tragic masterpiece —which captures the perpetrators reenacting their own atrocities and the deaths of their victims — that he signed on as the project’s Executive Producer. DOX - European Documentary Magazine recorded Herzog and Oppenheimer in conversation for a director’s cut of the film; we nabbed some excerpts, reproduced below.
Read the filmmakers’ insights on successful storytelling through documentary and why THE ACT OF KILLING does such an exceptional job of doing just that. Then head to http://actofkilling.com/ to pre-order the story the world can no longer ignore. You can watch it in full starting January 7.
Colliding Stars Produce Gold
#gold is rare even in space
Again and again you hear the question from the anti-space-travel crowd. Why spend all the money to go to space when we have problems right here on Earth? Well, if all the other answers about scientific discovery and the questing human spirit don’t satisfy them, how about this? Once in a while you might be able to collect enough pure gold to make up a few Earthly moons. Gold and other heavy elements came into being late in the universe’s early development, forged mostly by the pressure and heat within stars. But gold is so exceedingly heavy, it must take something especially explosive to cook it up. A leading theory has always been collisions between dense neutron stars. In 2013, NASA’s Swift telescope spotted a burst of gamma rays 3.9 billion light years from Earth that were consistent with such a cosmic crack-up. A week later, the Hubble space telescope looked at the same spot and found a powerful concentration of infrared energy consistent with a burst of newly generated atoms with 3,000 times the mass of Earth. The signature of some of those atoms indicated they were a few moon’s-worth of pure gold. So if one collision between two stars can produce so much of the precious metal, why is it so rare? The answer is that those collisions themselves are rare, about one every 100,000 years in a galaxy like ours. Distribute that among a few hundred billion stars, and there’s just not going to be much to go around.
Emptiness & Substance
“Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Sony SmartWig Patent Proves Anything Can Be A Wearable, But Why?
Here’s a head scratcher - literally. Sony has filed a patent for a SmartWig. Yep you read that right. A wearable device in the shape of fake hair.
Sony has been a pioneer in the wearable space. Their smartwatch is already in its second generation and has been on the market since 2012. So perhaps they are getting bored for the expected and are really thinking out-of-the-box. But this is really out there (even for me).
According to the patent filing the wig is meant to cover at least part of the user’s head with at least one sensor for input, a communication interface and the necessary processors to handle these. All of these components are meant to be hidden in the wig.
The filing goes on to detail that the SmartWig would have GPS, an integrated camera and the ability to transmit and receive ultrasound waves. It would also be able to talk to a secondary computer (like a smartphone or tablet or even another wearable with a screen) and provide tactile feedback to the wearer. Oh and did I mention the laser pointer?!
My favourite feature is wig positioning sensor to help you make sure that your fake hair is on right. You have to give them credit for thinking of everything, right?
As its only a patent, this idea may never come to the market or at least may not come to the market with all the bells and whistles described above. On one hand (or head), its great to see the potential of all of this technology but on the other side, I am not too sure how many people are going to want to wear fake hair. For those that do, the patent also details that the wig will be offered using natural and/or artificial hair pieces so you might have some options.
Sources: UPTO, Engadget