Slightly Steampunk: Inception in 60 seconds

Last summer, the film Inception hit theaters across the nation causing an upsurge in reports of bewilderment and confusion among moviegoers. Despite this, the film has generally been well received and continues to receive favorable reviews from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

As someone who doesn’t watch a lot of television in any form, I’ve never seen the film myself (I prefer novels to film anyway), but an abbreviated version of the full length film executed in a decidedly Victorian style was brought to my attention a few days ago. The execution of the art is really impressive… I love how the dreams are shown.

This film was the result of a competition by Jameson Whiskey in Germany to shoot a remake of a film within 60 seconds. To see more entries for the Done In Sixty Seconds Competition, head over to their YouTube channel.

Slightly Steampunk: Among the Spirits

If I were to tell you that there is a TV series in the works that is premised around the actual friendship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, you’d probably be very interested. Perhaps even more so when I informed you that this series, Among the Spirits, is a fictional account of how the two teamed up to solve murders in 1920s New York.

Sounds pretty intriguing all the way around, if you ask me. With Doyle responsible for the creation of one of Steampunk’s most beloved characters, Sherlock Holmes, and Houdini as quite possibly the greatest escape artist of all time, the series has the potiential to appeal to both Steam and Dieselpunks alike.

Unfortunately, though, the series is being produced by SyFy. The negotiations to acquire Among the Spirits was announced in a recent article on deadline.com. While the premise sounds absolutely fascinating, I’ve lost almost all faith in SyFy’s ability to produce anything actually worth watching. And the article talks about “Steampunk technology” in the 1920’s… I swear I just had a tirade about the Steampunk/Dieselpunk line just last week.

Your better bet, until Syfy proves me wrong, is to track down the self-published graphic novel Among the Spirits by writers Steve Valentine and Paul Chart. My search to find a means to purchase the graphic novel, however, have been largely fruitless. If anyone finds it, please let me know, and I’ll update accordingly.

If you can’t find Among the Spirits, try tracking down Nevermore, a novel by William Hjortsberg with an eerily similar premise.

Slightly Steampunk: Victorian Inventions

I love my History degree. I sincerely do. When it comes to many things Steampunk, however, historical accuracy is of minimal concern to anyone. After all, there’s very little that’s punk about reenactment.

As Steampunks, history is there to inform, but to not to guide. It’s there to give us a grounding for an aesthetic, but not to make us yearn for the recreation of a time when people could be considered property, women couldn’t vote, and being LBGT meant imprisonment.

Some aspects of Victorian society, however, do play a larger and more influential role in today’s Steampunk. Themes of invention and mad science have undeniable historical roots and heavily permeate Steampunk culture and philosophy.

So much of our modern world was forged during the Victorian era. Some of the most influential inventions are featured in this  piece entitled Victorian Inventions, a part of the BBC’s series, Horrible Histories.

Horrible Histories does a great job of making our collective history laughable. Steampunks will be particularly interested in the piece on Victorian childhood, Victorian Beer, and British Things but there’s a whole wealth of historical topics set to music and mercilessly mocked that history buffs of all eras will find amusing.

Eye of the Storm

Today’s blog post features a fantastic video called Eye of the Storm by Ben Lovett.

Eye of the Storm was directed by directed by Christopher Alender, and is from Lovett’s debut album, Highway Collection. The album is set to be released on March 15th, 2011. To purchase the song, Eye of the Storm, please click here.

And to see an interesting video on the production of the Eye of the Storm’s music video, please see the second video clip below:

I’m looking forward to the release of this album. I’ve yet to hear it, but something tells me it might be good.

Slightly Steampunk: Sherlock

With the success of the 2009 Slightly Steampunk Sherlock Holmes film with Robert Downy Jr. in the title role, it should come as no surprise that a number of Holmesian spinoffs have popped up in the last year or so.

The topic of tonight’s post is an especially outstanding result of this recent infatuation with the great detective, and while in no way Steampunk in its presentation, the source material is so fondly regarded by Steampunks themselves that I felt the production deserved some acknowledgment here.

PBS and the BBC’s retelling of the adventures of the great detective in a modern setting is a far cry from the Victorian England that we Steampunks love to revise, but because this is Sherlock Holmes, it’s sure to capture the interest of the Steampunk community. Thankfully, this newest incarnation of Holmes is blends enough of the new and the old to draw in old fans and still keep them entertained.

On 9 November 2010, all three 90 minute episodes were released to DVD, which you can purchase here. And for those of you who enjoyed Episode One of this series, you’ll be very glad to know that a sequel is already in the mix.

SteamCon II : Steamphunk Synchronic

Even though it’s been months since the end of Steamcon II, there’s still reports and material from the event still trickling in. Today’s blog post features a report done by N’Specter Phillips and Special Agent Cummings of Steamphunk Synchronic, an online magazine focusing on Steampunk events in the greater Northwest.

Ah, it brings back some wonderful memories! If you look closely, you can even see a tiny glimpse of me in the video! Many thanks to Veronique Chevalier, who brought this report to my attention.

Plans are, of course, already underway for this year’s Steamcon, Steamcon III- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. 

The Invention of Love

Today’s topic is a wonderful short film about love in a Steampunk world. It’s beautiful, but terribly sad, so grab those tissues and enjoy The Invention of Love.

The Invention of Love was written and directed by Andrey Shushkov. You can visit his website here. I’d love to also bring your attention to his blog, which you can read through any online translator service that will translate  the post to English (or if you read Russian anyway). Click here to see all his posts tagged under Steamfilm and see Andrey’s progress through his diploma project.

The film was inspired heavily by the style of Anthony Lucas, the creator of The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello.