In Space

Somebody's Watching

<a href= target=blank></a>: more miraculous movies than weird, beautiful sea creatures more "miraculous movies" than "weird, beautiful sea creatures"

When Web content seems dominated by "actual" home-movie footage of man-eating lions and enough potty humor to fill a season of South Park, it's easy to get frustrated enough to (gasp) consider reading a book or something. Okay, okay, let's not get too crazy. First, remember that the Internet is your friend. It's made for you and by you and offers billions upon billions upon billions of entertainment options. So it's nice to see smart, funny people doing the legwork for us. McSweeney's recently launched another advance in the uphill battle to get an audience for short films: Wholphin, a quarterly DVD magazine. Each issue contains a variety of short films, docs, and instructional videos. Film curator and McSweeney's editor Brent Hoff explains, "I'm obsessed with people finding weird, beautiful sea creatures like wholphins. We want to similarly find miraculous movies that are out there." Like the name, the films are indeed both bizarre and cool. Though the Web site ( lacks some of the fun that comes with the DVD, there are online treats. Al Gore Documentary, directed by Spike Jonze, is a particularly engaging and unique portrait, labeled by the site as the "22-minute documentary that might have changed the entire course of the 2000 Presidential Election." Funny, considering it's only 13 minutes long. Also, Miguel Arteta and Miranda July's Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?, starring John C. Reilly, Mike White, and July, is thought-provoking and bittersweet. And at only four minutes, that's quite an achievement. Highlights from their Web-only programming include the Lynchian Facechasers (directed by Gabriel Judet-Weinshel), the endearing music documentary A Taste of Nate (Jim McGorman), and the simple yet hilariously subversive music video Nice Day (Mad Injection). As they've done with writing, the creators of McSweeney's have produced a well-curated and wholly unique outlet for short filmmaking. And speaking of smart, entertaining Web content, check out the failed WB pilot Nobody's Watching on The show's failure to get picked up is yet another sign that there's no room on network television for programming that's actually any good. But due to the pilot's success on YouTube, NBC announced that they commissioned the lead actors to appear in "webisodes" and ordered new scripts for a proposed TV series.

On <a href= target=blank></a>, a failure that's far from forgotten
On, a failure that's far from forgotten

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Toddy Burton
Birds of America
Birds of America
Alex Karpovsky tracks a once-extinct 'Woodpecker'

March 7, 2008

Big Time, Small Screen
Big Time, Small Screen
Local filmmaker Ya'Ke's 'The Second Coming' screens on HBO

Feb. 1, 2008


Wholphin, Nobody's Watching

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle