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Eat Fast and Live Longer
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In this curious series, the minds behind history's most iconic toy franchises will discuss the rise (and sometimes fall) of their billion-dollar creations.
In 1977, after being rejected by Mattel and Hasbro, Lucasfilm signed with Kenner Products to have toys produced for their sci-fi film Star Wars. This was a huge gamble, as Kenner was a small toy company at the time and the negotiation process started late due to George Lucas' secrecy over the ship designs. Since then, toy sales of the Star Wars franchise have totaled to US$14 billion worldwide.
The Toys that Made Us
Alejandro Jodorowsky's daring and psychedelic films of the early 1970's, 'El Topo' and 'The Holy Mountain', cemented his status as the Godfather of the Midnight Movie. In 1974, he began work on his next film, possibly the most ambitious film ever attempted. In the pre-Star War era, Jodorowsky’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel DUNE was poised to change cinema forever. His DUNE would star Brontis Jodorowsky, Alejandro's own 12 year old son, alongside Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and even Salvador Dali. The team of assembled visual artists were some of the most provocative talents of the era, including H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud. The groundbreaking special effects were under the control of Dan O'Bannon and the soundtrack would be created by Pink Floyd and the French prog-rock masters, Magma.
For two years, Jodorowsky and his team of 'Spiritual Warriors' worked night and day on the massive task of creating the fabulous world of DUNE. In order to secure the necessary Hollywood funding, they created over 3,000 storyboards, numerous paintings, incredible costumes, and an outrageous, moving, and powerful screenplay. In the words of Jodorowsky’s producer, Michel Seydoux, 'It should have been enough. But it wasn’t.' Through intimate and honest conversations with Jodorowsky, filmed over the span of three years, plus interviews with legends and luminaries including H.R. Giger (artist, ALIEN), Gary Kurtz (producer, STAR WARS) and Nicolas Winding Refn (director, DRIVE and THE NEON DEMON), as well as never-before-seen realizations of Jodorowsky’s mind-blowing psychedelic space opera, director Pavich's film finally unearths the full saga of 'THE GREATEST MOVIE NEVER MADE'.
The series heads to the very frontiers of space and science to produce the definitive history of science fiction. What if our creations turn against us? The idea of creating life has fascinated society since the earliest days of science fiction. Robots transports viewers from the first steps of Frankenstein’s monster to the threat provided by the Terminator and the world of Cyberspace. Find out how Rutger Hauer created one of the greatest speeches in all of science fiction for Blade Runner. Discover from Kenny Baker the challenge of acting in Star Wars while inside the body of R2D2, and learn how Anthony Daniels was drawn to the role of C-3PO by concept art modeled closely on the robot from the silent classic Metropolis. The creators of the original Robocop describe how its hidden depths have given it enduring appeal and William Gibson reveals the origins of his seminal novel Neuromancer. From HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Cylons of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and the world of The Matrix, this is a journey that asks – what does it mean to be human?
The Real History of Science Fiction
The Definitive History of Star Wars
To get us in the mood for the launch of the seventh Star Wars film, discover its Definitive History. Documentary taking a behind-the-scene look at how the world's biggest, multi-billion pound movie series came into existence. Featuring rare interviews with Star Wars producers Gary Kurtz and Robert Watts and insights from those members of the creative team who won Oscars making the visual effects. Plus, a few little-known and surprising facts surrounding the film franchise.
Fractals Hunting the Hidden Dimension
The ultimate adventure in scientific inquiry, this fascinating program follows the exploits of a small group of pioneering mathematicians who discovered a whole area of study that is revolutionizing all branches of understanding in the world: fractal geometry. Fractals are most recognized as a series of circular shapes with a border surrounded by jagged "tail-like" objects. The program, aimed at the average viewer does a fine job of explaining the background of fractals, first by beginning with the story of Pixar co-founder, Loren Carpenter's work at Boeing, developing 3D terrain from scratch using fractals. From there the program starts at the beginning with an introduction to Benoit Mandelbrot and his revolutionary work. The explanations are full of solid factual information but never talk above the level of a viewer who has some understanding of basic mathematical principles. Once the concept is presented the program spends the rest of the time showing how prevalent the fractal is in life. For a program about a mathematical concept, "Fractals" is very engaging, showing how the process was applied to special effects as far back as the Genesis planet from "Star Trek II" all the way to the spectacular finale on Mustafar in "Star Wars: Episode III." I found myself astonished at how fractals were the source of the lava in constant motion and action during the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight. What is more amazing is when the program delves into practical applications such as cell phone antennas, and eventually the human body. For the average person who enjoys watching science related programs, even on a sporadic basis, "Fractals" will prove to be a very worthwhile experience. The program is well produced, integrating talking head interviews (including some with Mandelbrot himself) with standard "in the field" footage. The structure of the program is very logical and never finds itself jumping around without direction. In simplest terms, this is a program as elegant as the designs it focuses on.
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
The Sky at Night
History of the Eagles
George Harrison Living in the Material World
Life In Cold Blood
The Life of Mammals
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