Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The recent Sherlock Holmes film staring Robert Downey Jr. as the world’s most famous detective attracted a rather fierce Steampunk following. It’s subtle undertones of impossible technology matched with one of our favorite fictional characters from the Victorian era made it an easy sells to retro-futurists. Paired with the fact that it actually was a rather good movie with some interesting interpretations of the detective and a respectable amount of homage paid to Doyle’s source material made it a film worth seeing and unabashedly enjoying.

The sequel to the first Holmes movie has been whispered about for some time, and, thankfully, it’s finally starting to pop up every now and again. A few days ago, the trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was released. Check it out here:

I can only hope that this one turns out to be as good as the first film. I’ll definitely be seeing it when it hits theaters in December.

Syfy Plans ‘Warehouse 13′ Steampunk Spin-off

A new Steampunk slanted television series was recently announced that’s likely to be of interest to those already fans of SyFy’s Warehouse 13 series. In this spin-off series, the sister of the author H.G. Wells is actually a brilliant scientist and author who uses her brother as a front for acceptance of her research and writings in her Victorian world.

For those unfamiliar with the premise of the series, Warehouse 13 revolves around two US Secret Service Agents who are assigned to warehouse 13, which houses supernatural “artifacts”. They are tasked with retrieving missing Warehouse 13 artifacts and investigating reports of new ones artifacts.

The setting for the prequel takes place during the era of Warehouse 12 when it was located in Great Britain. Wells’ sister opts to remain a free agent despite Warehouse 12’s efforts to recruit her and uses her many talents to solve murders and other mysteries.

This could be interesting if done well. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of it!

Paraphernalia

Today, I have for your viewing pleasure a short but very sweet film by , or Sabrina Cotugno, entitled Paraphernalia as part of her third year at Calarts. The film is about a young and reclusive girl whose life is suddenly and completely changed as a remarkable person and his invention crash land into her life. The Steampunk in this one is subtle but still certainly there.

Here’s the story behind the film, and how this short piece works as a prologue for a larger, more grandiose story, via Sabrina’s deviantART:

This is a slightly non-canon prologue to my Jekyll and Hyde story. Or rather, it’s part of the backstory, the part about How Rachel, the Loyalest and Most Lascivious of Maids Met Dr. Jekyll.

When Dr. Jekyll was somewhat younger, let’s say mid-twenties, he took a tour of Europe and Africa through various steampunkish means of transportation. Why? To seek out a friend he lost a long time ago, who may very well be dead….. He never finds that friend, but on the way he sees the world and has adventures and meets Miss Rachel, an anemic, twitchy recluse of a girl holed up in her house filled with dusty old treasures.

If you liked Sabrina’s work, be sure to check out her YouTube channel, her deviantART page, and her blog, Loli and Yesterday. Not everything she does is Steampunk, but her creations are beautiful and do a beautiful job of telling a compelling story in a short amount of time.

The Candy Shop and Blood on My Name

I’ve been a longtime fan of Whitestone Motion Pictures based out of Atlanta. The short films they create are positively fabulous. Their films often have a beautiful retrofuturistic feel to them, and they are so well written and executed.

Recently, however, I’ve been a bad fan and hadn’t dropped by their website, and while I was looking the other direction, Whitestone came out with two amazing short films that you absolutely should not miss.

The first film is entitled The Candy Shop, and is a film initiative to help fight against child sex trafficking. It’s set during the depression, and therefore a Dieselpunk film by strict genre definitions, but it’s sure to appeal to Steampunks as well. Here’s the description for The Candy Shop:

Jimmy Balcom’s new job selling newspapers is a God-send to a kid working hard to help his family survive during the depression. But then Jimmy figures out what’s happening in the candy shop across the street. And he is confronted with a choice that no twelve-year-old should ever have to face. Giving his family a better life, or keeping his soul.

You can watch it below:

The second film came out just a few weeks ago, and is entitled Blood on My Name. This film is a short film musical narrative in the style of Americana folklore. Here’s the description:

On the run after a botched robbery, Erwin, who’s experienced a change in heart, tries to take advantage of a deal he’s made for himself and fellow thief Thomas. Instead he calls down the agents of a malevolent supernatural force who will hunt him to the ends of the earth rather than see him escape.

You can watch the full film here:

Be sure to also check out The Candy Shop and Blood on My Name pages at Whitestone for all sorts of goodies including a free download of the music, behind the scenes footage,  and a ton of other goodies.

Mantecoza

Mantecoza is an upcoming Steampunk webseries about an ordinary man whisked away from his average life an into the steam-driven world of Mantecoza. The series looks to be quite interesting and well produced, and their website finally went live this month.

Here’s the trailer for the series:

The first few episodes are currently getting the final touches put on them before they are released to the world. No set date for the release has yet been announced, but you can stay abreast on all the developments of Mantecoza by frequenting their newfangled website, subscribing to their Youtube channel and liking them on Facebook.

“Jersey Shore” Gone Wilde

My dear friend Mr. Jordan Bodewell of Sepiachord and Victorian Adventure Enthusiast told me about the topic of today’s post over tea a few days back. As he was listening to NPR, a story came on the air featuring what has to be one of the strangest mash-ups of all time:  Oscar Wilde and Jersey Shore.

Now, I’ve never seen an episode of Jersey Shore. I’ve lived very happily without a television for about six years now and have no interest in keeping up with episodic TV long enough to follow a plot line through to its conclusion. So, as a result, I can’t comment on the effectiveness by which Jersey Shore is recreated, but what I can say is that these are hilarious.

Check out Part One of this series below:

Wow. There’s four more where that came from, and if the popularity of these videos is any indication, there’s sure to be more.  Keep an eye on PlaybillVideo‘s channel if these videos pique your interest.

Slightly Steampunk: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Sequels

The 1968 musical film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a popular movie among Steampunks. Set in 1910’s, it features a magical flying car named for the strange noises the engine produces. It also has Dick Van Dyke, automatically making it a film worth viewing.

What most people don’t realize, however, is that the film is based loosely off the children’s book entitled, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming, the same man to give us James Bond.

According to an article from the Christian Science Monitor, the Fleming family has approved the release of three sequels to be written by novelist and screen writer Frank Cottrell Boyce. The first of these books is expected in November of this year and will be centered around the engine of the first Chitty Chitty Bang Bang finding its way into a family’s souped-up VW camper van.

Kids books or not, I’m excited about these sequels!