Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

Watch Online Animation: Walt Disney and Salvador Dali’s surrealist animation

What does Walt Disney and Salvador Dali have in common? Nothing, you might think. But that’s not true. Between 1945 and 1946 Salvador Dali collaborated with Walt Disney’s John Hench on an animated film called Destino.

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Watch Online Documentary: China Blue (2005, directed by Micha X Peled)

If the jeans you are wearing are made in China, then they might have been made by Jasmine Li (she’s the one with the blue sweater in the photo above). China Blue tells the story of this 17 year old girl who lives and works in the Lifeng Clothes Factory in Shaxi, Guangdong. She shares her room with others like her, young migrant workers – some of them with fake ID’s making it seem they are older – who leave the safety of their villages and families to earn some money. Jasmine makes 7 cents per hour.

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Michael Wolf’s ‘Real Toy Story’

Michael Wolf‘s photos are sad and human and show a reality without framing it. The juxtaposition of these simple and modest people with the uncharming factory procedures the toys go through, speaks for itself. This is what happens in the back of the lighted colourful toy shops. The fantasies these shops sell have nothing to do with how the toys come into being.

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Poland Flavour in Images – The Work of Tomasz Wiech

Tomasz Wiech just made my day. “Poland is a country of endless Carnival and great disappointment. The Carnival is obvious, and the disappointment is explicable, because things were expected to be different” he said. And I have the feeling I know what he means.

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The art of making the common surprising

Gilbert Legrand transforms common usual objects into characters. After you see these surprising transformations, your tap can never be just a tap, your brush just a brush.

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Animals in the Womb

When I first saw these photos, I thought that’s a place where the camera shouldn’t be. These animals look so fragile that the photos make me want to hold my breath, not to interfere in any way.

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Old-Age Bitter-Sweetness With a Splash of Humor: The Surprising Paintings of Marius van Dokkum

I discovered Marius van Dokkum in a postcard shop, between mountains of ‘happy birthday’ and ‘get well soon’ cards. I found out later that Dokkum’s cards were made after his paintings.

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Watch Online: Hedgehog in the fog (1975, directed by Yuriy Norshteyn)

This is probably one of the most beautiful animations you’ll ever see. Based on Sergey Kozlov’s book with the same title, these ted minutes of pure tenderness are about Hedgehog getting lost in the forest fog while going to visit his friend, Bear. ‘I’ll tell him: I brought raspberry jam’ he tells himself while walking.

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Watch Online: Chico & Rita (2010)

This Oscar nominated animation is wonderful. You should see it because of its music (jazz and Latin American), because it is original and visually beautiful and because it is about a classic-film-like old-fashioned love story.

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The Ballerina Project

Q: What are ballerinas made of?

A: Dedication, terribly hard work and many sacrifices. But not only that. The extra ingredients show in Dane Shitagi’s “Ballerina Project“. This collection of photographs is all about the charm, fragility and beauty of a life of precise timing and grace. The pictures portray professional or soon to be professional classical ballet dancers. The pictures have been taken over a period of 10 years.

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Matte…who?

Matte Stephens. I discovered his work recently and tried to find out who he was. His prints reminded me of Saul Bass and Henri’s Walk to Paris. He (Matte Stephens I mean) is a painter from Portland, Oregon. He paints with gouache and has a cat named Simon. What he can make you can see below:

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What does an Arab man look like?

So. What does he look like? Does he have a beard? A long “dress”? A camel? What is the expression on his face? And most important, how do you feel about him when you see him like that?

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Not just a room with a balcony: Rudi Hurlzmeier

Do you know Adolph Menzel? I don’t mean personally, he died in 1905, but do you know his work?

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The Earth is not flat

“If everybody could do this once, it would completely change the face of global politics, religion, education, everything…” says James May upon his return from this amazing once in a lifetime (or maybe not) trip.

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When books are not for reading: please try this at home

I recently found three artists with three different ways and styles of changing books into something unexpected. So here is what you can do with your old dull shelves of books.

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Not just a monkey: wildlife photography and what is behind these photos

Last weekend I went to the World Press Photo Awards Days. The Sem Presser lecture this year was held by ‘veteran’ wildlife photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols. And for the first time, the beautiful-too-beautiful-to-be-true wildlife photography I usually see in National Geographic, got a new human dimension. Got a context. And a face.

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Cherry picked ‘spam’: fly around in four distant places

I get tens of mails everyday from family and friends. Those kind that quote the Dalai Lama, that tell a sexist joke, ask me to share a drama, or they show me a cheesy power point with emotional text at the end, asking me to send it to five friends in the next hours.

Yesterday I got this. And this was something I didn’t regret opening. It’s a 360 tour of (I selected) four places, a bit of eye candy and a bit of curiousness. The latest because even though the view is three dimensional, the places are ‘frozen’ and yet so real.

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Mary and Max (2009, directed by Adam Elliot)

Mary is a neglected kid from Melbourne and Max is a lonely obese middle aged man with Asperger syndrome. 

What they have in common is their loneliness and an accidental connection that grows into an unusual and bitter sweet friendship. Read more…

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