Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer 2009 Fall classes start soon

It's been a few months and I am ready to start updating the blog again. Hopefully I can come with some interesting stuff to keep people interested through this long hiatus. The next few weeks should be easy because it's comic con time! Comic con is pretty much the largest annual comic convention in the world. It branches out beyond comics into all other geeky entertainment. Lost has a very large presence there and always come up with some really cool stuff. The main LOST events will be happening this Saturday. G4 tv will be there live all day Sat and I believe they will be covering the LOST announcments. If not, your time won't be wasted watching the incredibly sexy and very funny Olivia Munn. Last year they did a great Q&A that any LOST fan could ask any question. They had really cool dharma related gifts for whoever asked a question. Here is a fun 2 minute clip...

Something that has just been released is a LOST university website. This appears to be legit and his run by abc. The concept is actually pretty cool. It is an online university that will have actual online classes based on subject relevant to lost. Some of the classes are.....

Egyptian hieroglyphics
foreign languages
Jungle survival

It appears as if you get credits for taking the classes. You will need those credit to move on to other sections. I'm betting it won't take more then 30-60 minutes to pass each section. What the end idea of this is nobody really nows yet. Check it out class registration starts Sept 22.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LOST 100th episode celebration

Download this gallery as a zip-archive

Ben is creepy

LOST and the art of visual story telling.

The great thing about really well done movies and televisions shows is that they can exist and be enjoyed on many different levels. The casual viewer can take everything as it is played out and leave it at that. While other viewers can choose a more active participation in the experience and look for symbolism and deeper connections in the story. For a while television has taken a back seat to the art of filmmaking. Over that last 10 years that has started to change as more filmmakers are getting involved in quality televisions shows. I believe LOST is on the top of the list of television shows that is truly trying to create an artful experience given the limits of network television.

Good movies and good television have one thing in common, they are telling a good story. The cool thing about this medium is that they have a few other tools to tell the story. Authors obviously have words to tell their story in a book. Filmmakers have words but they also have visuals,sound/music, pacing or editing and acting. Being a visual person I've always been highly aware of the impact visuals has on story telling. There is so much information that can be told in a simple composition or camera movement. This use of visual communication is essential to quality filmmaking. Imagine if the characters just stood there and recited the entire movie or television show. If all the information of the story was just spoken. It would be really boring. How many dramas have you seen where in the last 5 minutes one character, usually a bad guy, talks for 5 minutes revealing a bunch of information to tie up the story. This is lazy filmmaking and I believe most people are let down by this. The really cool thing about great cinematography is that most of what you are seeing is working on an unconscious level. The filmmakers are making you feel a certain way by the way they photograph a scene. All of this is very purposeful and highly thought out. LOST is no exception to this. The writers and filmmakers of LOST are some of the most talented working in television today.

Enter Nate Orloff, he is an editor working in hollywood. Nate is also an obsessed LOST fan. Nate has started writing some incredibly thoughtful cinematic reviews of recent episodes. He is breaking the shows down visually and explaining what the filmmakers were trying to do in each scene. I highly recommend taking the time to read this post of his. I've copied the first page to get you hooked. He is only posting on Doc Artz's site currently and because of the thoroughness of his breakdowns, he only has 3 up so far. I think most of you will really enjoy this while learning a lot about cinematography and hopefully enrich future episodes.



Hawaii LOST filming locations

Emily and I visited Hawaii this Winter. While there, we went on a self guided LOST location scavenger hunt. We also booked a 2 hour tour through the Ka'a'awa valley with Kos tours. Our Kos tour guide was great. He was a fellow LOST geek and really seemed to enjoy pointing out all the locations in the valley that have stood in as "the island". Ka'a'awa valley is a privately owned cattle ranch that is quite simply one of the most scenic places on Hawaii. Below is a link to our photos. I've thrown in a few screen grabs from the locations in the show. From time to time they do a little digital background painting but it's really amazing how much they do just by composition or adding a few live palm trees and other plant life.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ann Arbor Michigan

In the last few episodes we are starting to hear more chatter about Ann Arbor Michigan. I thought it may be necessary to have a little review. The Dharma initiative was started by Gerald and Karen DeGroot. They were two phd students at the U of M in Ann Arbor. Basically Ann Arbor is the birth place and home of the non island part of the dharma initiative. All of the initiative's direction flows from Ann Arbor. Below is the original Swan station orientation film from season 2. Something to note, this was the first mention of "the incident". Whatever the incident was, the result was that the occupants of the swan station were instructed to start entering the numbers on the computer every 108 minutes. It seems that this season is leading toward revealing what the incident was. My guess is that it has something to do with adult Miles encountering baby Miles. This is a total guess but I've attached part of the orchid orientation video that was released the summer after season 4. We can clearly see how freaked out Dr. Chang is about the the two (same?) time traveling bunnies coming in contact with each other.

Comic con 08 video

Every Summer LOST has a presence at Comic con. They have a tradition of showing some sort of video teaser during their Q&A. Last year it was this video. People immediately thought the voice behind the camera was Faraday. There was also a lot of speculation that the baby was Miles. It looks as if half of the predictions are true so far.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LOST Mystery #4 The Dharma Pallet drop

I'm going to inject two other mysteries into this post. The pallet drop happened in the episode "Lockdown" in season 2. It was a large pallet of supplies, mostly food, that had a parachute and a bright beacon attached to it.

The losties gathered the food and eventually created their own little kitchen where we see them eating these supplies over the next few seasons. There has only been a few references to pallet drops since this scene. The pallet drop is actually referred to as a P.R.D. periodic resupply drop by dharma literature. On the blast door map there is a line that says "P.R.D. every 6-8 months. Fatalities: 5." At the flame station it was revealed that the computer Locke played chess on could initiate drops by entering "24". So what's up with the losties finding a current P.R.D. in the year 2004 around 20 years after the purge and end of the Dharma initiative on the island? Maybe this drop got caught in some time loop. We saw last season when Faraday did his payload experiment that time between the island and just outside some radius around the island, is not in sync. Also, how was it dropped or was it even dropped at all? A while ago Darlton was asked why the losties didn't hear the plane that dropped the P.R.D.? Their response was "you're assuming it was dropped by a plane..." Here is where I bring in one of the other mysteries, Henry Gale.

When Sayid is questioning Ben right after he is captured Ben uses the alias Henry Gale. We later learn that Henry Gale was a ballon pilot that crashed on the island. We know nothing else except that his balloon was sponsored by Widmore and he had a wife he wrote a note to on a $20 bill. Maybe Henry Gale was involved in a P.R.D. There was the mention of 5 fatalities in association with the drops. The third mystery is those new looking washing machines in the swan station. That front load style didn't appear until the mid 90's and they appeared newer then most other appliances in the swan. Perhaps they were part of a drop in the 90's.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jeff Jensen is the man....

My current favorite LOST reviewer is Jeff Jensen. He has put together a really strong LOST section over at His writing is very insightful and very entertaining. One of the coolest things he is doing is a weekly video recap, clip show, parody, sketch comedy show called "Totally Lost" and is posted here. He does the show with Dan Snierson and they are both very funny in the videos. Here are a few I pulled off youtube but I suggest bookmarking the EW page and watching the current ones.

LOST Mystery Adam and Eve

During the first season some of the losties move to a cave in the jungle for shelter. Jack is the first person to find the caves and discovers two bodies. The bodies are laying down in what appears to be a purposeful position. Almost has if they were laid there or even that the two people went to sleep together never to awake. Jack finds a small bag next to the bodies that contains two small polished stones, one white and one black.

The stones are very similar to the game pieces that Locke shows to Walt a few days earlier. Jack shows the two bodies to Lock and informs him one is male and one is female. He also suggests that they have been there for 40-50 years based on the condition of their clothes. Locke seems extremely interested in the find and names the bodies Adam and Eve.

At first there was a lot of speculation who Adam Eve are. Early on the craziest theories were Jack and Kate. This was early on even before any hint of time skipping was revealed. Since then though people seemed to have forgotten about Adam and Eve. Darlton have said that we will be learning more about Adam and Eve in the future and that Adam and Eve were one of their first deliberate attempts at injecting a scene early in the first season that would pay off in one of the last seasons. Basically they believe it will prove to people that they had a plan even in season 1. Here is a great interview with them about if from Feb 2007. I think we are going to learn who they are before the end of this season. My own personal belief is that it will be revealed that Bernard and Rose are Adam and Eve. For one I'm not that into Jack and Kate as central characters. Also, what happened to Rose and Bernard during the time skipping? The last time we saw them was during the flaming arrow scene. Which based on the military clothes of the others and jughead, that time period was in the 40s or 50s. This would be right around the same time Adam and Eve die in the caves. I think Rose and Bernard are injured during the flaming arrow attack and return to one of the only other places besides the beach they think is safe, the caves. One is dying and the other decides to lay down and die with the other. I'm not sure about the stones. But there is the obvious color connection of Rose being black and Bernard being white.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dharma Lady

You may have heard a song playing in the background of last weeks episode titled Dharma Lady. It's playing when the new recruits are getting their picture taken. It's also playing in "316" when Jin pulled up to the waterfall in the van. The song is by Geronimo Jackson and can be download for free at the itunes store here. Check out the album cover...bunny skulls rock!!!


Great LOST re-capper.

I just discovered a fantastic LOST re-capper and pontificator, I'm not sure if either of those tittles actually exist but.... His name is Al Trautwig, he is a sports announcer in NYC and works with most of the teams that play in Madison Square Garden. He recaps every LOST episode as if it was a sporting event. Imagine a post LOST game run down. He is very professional and apparently a major LOST fan. His recaps are very different from the geeky fanboy reviews I am used to reading. He is incredibly observant and very thorough. He can recap a show in 3 minutes and make so many great connections you never thought of in those few minutes. I don't subscribe to all his theories, he is really convinced everything is all just a complicated game, but really like his point for point show run down. His last two reviews have not been quite as good as his earlier ones but still very worth a listen. You can view his older videos here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Namaste" notes.....

Here are my notes from "Namaste" and few fun things to look for during the re-broadcast.

Lapedus did land the plane on the runway. Is this the reason it was being built or just a lucky coincidence?

As they are trying to land the plane you can hear the numbers "4, 8, 15....." coming in over the radio.

When Sun and Lapidus get to the island and find the barracks it is obviously a different time but it also appears as if the others have never lived there. You can clearly see dharma signs and material that would have been removed by the others when they moved into those structures after the purge.

When Sun and Lapidus first arrive you can hear smokey and see his tree rattling. We also can hear some whispers right before Christian shows up.When Christian brings them into the room to show them the picture, the door opens creepily in the background. You can see a faint glimpse of what looks like smokey leaving the room. A few moments after that you can see a women in the room behind Sun. People without HD televisions may have to crank up the brightness but it's worth it. Very creepy.....could it be Claire?

Back in 1977 Sawer is the man. He clearly likes the life he has at the moment. His call out of the way Jack made descions was absolutely inspired. I really hope that we are going to see Sawyer step into the hero role for the rest of the series.

We finally meet Radzinsky and he clearly seems to be an important part of the dharma initiative. We can see he works at the flame where Mikhail "patchy" worked and Locke blew up. It also appears as if he designed the swan station where the losties spent most of season 2 and where Desmond was brought when he was rescued by Kelvin. At the end of season 2 Kelvin explains to Desmond about pushing the button. He also tells Desmond he had a partner named Radzinsky who started painting that cool map on the blast door and later killed himself with a shotgun.

We learned that Amy's baby is named Ethan. This is probably Ethan Rom. The creepy other that kidnapped Claire.

Most of the other parts of the show were setting up the tension between the losties that left and the ones that stayed on the island.
I am shocked by how much I really really like Sawyer and Juliet together. I have gotten so sick of Jack and Kate's moody, mopy indecisiveness. They can have each other I am rooting for Sawyer and Juliet. It may have seemed sudden but you need to remember that it has been 3 years. That's a long time and the the other relationships really only had about 3 months to evolve. The cool thing is that it appears that they both really want it to work even with the arrival of the oceanic 4. I know this really is foreshadowing some bad things but my hope is that we are going to see the best of Sawyer over the next few episodes.

Oh and where is Rose and Bernard????????

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

LOST Moments #2 I guess I'm out of the book club

This was the intro to season 3. I remember being so excited for this season and when this scene started I had no idea where they were going. I mean who knew the others had a book club. The shot of the plane cracking in half is absolutely chilling. An interesting note about this scene. We are introduced to an older woman named Amelia. She is the woman wearing the scarf at Juliet's door.

There has been some really interesting speculation that this woman may be Amelia Earhart. There are a few clues that point to this possibility. Amelia Earhart went missing over the Pacific ocean close to where the island is said to be. Obviously her name and she is wearing a scarf that is very reminiscent of the iconic pictures of Amelia Earhart.

Her age would be off, but it appears that some people don't age on the island. We know the island has a tendency to attract planes. One of the best clues is in the scene where Richard and Ethan are about to bring Juliet to the island. When they ask her to take the pills they are standing in front of a sign that says Herarat aviation. That's an anagram for Earhart aviation.

LOST Mystery #2 The Whispers

Ever since the beginning of LOST the characters have heard whispers in the jungle. It usually happens when someone is alone or in danger. Every time there is a sudden appearance of an other or a vision it is preceded by the whispers. These are not just random sounds. They are actual words. A lot have been transcribed and can be read here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

LOST Will End

The other day I was talking to a friend who is a casual LOST fan. During the conversation it came up that they didn't know that LOST has only one season left. I thought this warranted a post here. Yes, LOST has a definitive end date. Late Spring next year we will be watching the very last episode of one the best shows of television history. For those of you that don't know the story, LOST executive producers and head writers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse petitioned ABC for an end date to the show during the middle of season 3. They felt that they needed a specific end date in order to write the best episodes they could in order to tell the story arc they had in mind. They were worried they were going to have to start to produce filler episodes (NIki, Paulo and the spiders anyone) that didn't really propel the main story. This is really rare in hollywood, asking for an end to your job and for ABC to agree to end a major franchise in their lineup. ABC could have dragged LOST out for years ala ER. Darlton's specific example was the X-files, which they felt died a miserable death being dragged on way longer then the story should have. Here is a recent interview with them about the story arc with a few minor spoilers about the future of season 5.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Richard Alpert does not wear make up!

A lot of fun has been made about Richard Alpert and his eyeliner or "guyliner". The actor who plays Richard Alpert Nestor Carbonell has gone on the record along with Darlton saying he is 100% guyliner free. I guess he has really thick eyelashes.
You can read about it here.

LOST Moments #1 Jack and Sawyer's warm fuzzy

Youtube is full of great LOST clips. A few people are posting some nice quality clips of some great scenes. I decided to pick one of my favorites every week and post it here. If you haven't gone back and watched any of the first seasons on dvd I highly recommend it. It's a lot of fun to see the beginnings of the story arc. Every episode is also available online here but I would go for the big screen option the dvds offer.

This scene takes place in part one of the season 1 finale Exodus. Jack is about to march off into the jungle to the Black Rock to get the dynamite to blow up the hatch. He finds Sawyer in the jungle collecting the last of the wood needed to launch the raft. Jack gives Sawer a gun and is about to leave when Sawyer decides to tell him about a doctor he met in Australia. I believe this is the first, and one of a very few moments, when two characters figure out one of the ways in which their lives have crossed paths off the island.

LOST Mystery #1 Changing Picture Frames

This is the first of a few new weekly posts I plan on starting. This one simply titled LOST Mysteries will focus on things in the show that I hope will be explained at some point. It can be little things like quick flashes, background scenery, interesting dialog or much larger mysteries that involve the mythology of the show. I hope the show will explain these items but I'm also hoping people will comment and maybe we can explain them ourselves.

In episode 4x02 Confirmed Dead we are introduced to Miles the ghost buster. In this scene Miles apparently is helping the grandmother of a dead boy rid her house of his ghost. As Miles walks up the stairs the camera pauses on the grandmother's picture frames on the wall. Most of the frames seem to contain pictures of family members and in particular the dead boy we assume. After Miles vacuums up the ghost he walks back down the same stairs, again we get a deliberate camera pause, and all the frames have changed. If this was any other show it may be chalked up to an incredible continuity error on the part of the show's prop department. But considering this is LOST and the obvious camera pause I think there is something going on here.

Any theories?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Geronimo Jackson on itunes!!!

Astute followers of LOST have noticed the occasional reference to a 70's band named Geronimo Jackson.
Various creatives from the show, including Darlton, have suggested they are a real band. Most people are pretty convinced it's just a made up band or inside joke. Either way, after this weeks official video podcast this message appeared at the end.

Be sure to check out iTunes after you hear Geronimo Jackson in an upcoming episode.In addition to a full version of the song, you may find one or two other treats while you’re there.

Hmmmmmmm 4 toes

Another strong contender for the identity of the statue has surfaced. Her name is Taweret and she is the goddess of fertility.
I'm digging the head piece and four toes.

If this is or isn't the identity of the statue I believe it's not really going to matter that much. I believe the important idea is that it appears there is an Egyptian connection to the island. This may be something that just adds colorful history to the island or it may come into play in future episodes. When you consider all the other hieroglyphs we've seen on the island and in the dharma stations, I think we will be learning a little bit more about the island Egypt connection.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dude looks like a lady

I have to laugh at how wrapped up I get in this show. If you are like me I was in complete awe of that quick glimpse of the four toed statue. About 2 seconds before the cut to the view of the statue I knew it was coming. What I wasn't expecting is the creepy backside view of it. I also got a strong feeling the island was going to shift quickly again leaving us with no other views of it. Through out the show last night I couldn't get that image out of my head. I think it was a brilliant, titillating piece of editing by the creative team. In true LOST form they gave a lot but not quite everything. The online geeks immediately went to work last night trying to identify the statue and in my opinion the mystery has been solved. I think it's mildly spoilerish so if you don't want to know quit reading now.

Click to see image larger

At first what freaked me out so much was I though it appeared as if the statue had long uneven hair almost wookie like. After closer inspection of the screen caps you can see a clearly chiseled line that you would expect from historic statues. At this point most people agree this is a statue of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead. Before anyone starts regurgitating any purgatory theories a reminder that Darlton has stated many times that the island is NOT purgatory. In last night's episode Amy takes a necklace from her newly dead husband's neck. It's a necklace of a ankh, which is an Egyptian hieroglyph meaning eternal life. This is a very blatant clue on the writers part. Here is the part that sells me on the idea the statue is Anubis. In almost all documentations of Anubis he is holding at least one ankh and quite often two. In the screen cap you can see our statue is clearly holding what appears to be an ankh in each hand. So if this a statue of Anubis, what does that mean?

Anubis on the wiki

Ankh on the wiki

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Bentham" locations

Many of you know that Emily and I just got back from a 2 week trip to Hawaii. One of the things we did was to go on a LOST location scavenger hunt. With the help of LOST VIRTUAL TOUR I was able to pick out some of our favorite locations and plan an efficient tour. The site is great, most of the found locations are complete with gps coordinates so I could program them into my gps unit.
It was a lot of fun and a really great way to get off the beaten path and see some "real" Hawaii. I am planning on posting a complete slideshow of the picks soon. Until them here are a few that appeared in last weeks episode. Note, we had no idea they would air last week. We knew Hurley's hospital from past episodes. Sayid's school has been used in the past as the cantina that Mr. echo conducts his drug deal in and kills those dudes. It was also Jin's fathers fishing house. When we got there it was still prepped as the school.