Five Friends Take the Same Photo for 30 Years

In the summer of 1982, five teenage boys sat down on a wooden bench together and posed for a group photo at Copco Lake, California. 30 years later, they’re still taking that photo. High school buddies John Wardlaw, John Dickson, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney and John Molony made a pact: every five years, they gather together at the California lake, sit on that same bench and recreate the picture they took at 19 years old.

To begin with, a ritual was never intended: the original picture from ‘82 was taken simply to mark the vacation. Captured with a 35-millimetre camera on self-timer, the photo saw the young vacationers sporting curiously “dark and mysterious” expressions as Molony held up a Folgers Instant Coffee jar containing a live cockroach, a piece of butterscotch candy (food for the cockroach) and a photograph of Robert Young (company for the cockroach). Revisiting the lake in 1987 saw them taking the photo again, on the advice of cabin owner Wardlaw (nicknamed “Wedge”), with the same facial expressions and the same pose, and they’ve done so ever since.

Their touching tradition recently gained media attention when Dickson posted the photographs on a website dedicated to the pact. “Watch us lose hair and gain forehead, gain and lose and gain and lose weight,” Dickson posted on the site. “There are reasons we all decided it was better to take the photo with our shirts on.”

Such collective dedication makes for a heartfelt tribute to the power of friendship. But how long will this go on for? “We plan on doing this for the rest of our lives, no matter what,” says Dickson. “Up until there’s one guy just sitting in the same pose! Even then, maybe someone will take a picture of an empty bench for us.” [Read more…]

The Top 5 Pixar Movies

This coming Friday sees the American release of Pixar Animation Studios’ 13th full-length feature, Scotland-set fantasy adventure film “Brave.” Initial reviews point to it being yet another win for the celebrated film studio – a relief after the rusty 2011 sequel to their very own “Cars.” To mark its highly anticipated release, I’ve taken a look back at Pixar’s previous works and selected their five greatest, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is no mean feat.

After all, Pixar have awarded us such an awesome collection of computer-animated classics in their 17-year history, and have left us with so little to fault. As such, I’m fully expecting to be verbally spat upon in the comments section below for leaving out some truly remarkable pieces of cinema. For this, I can only apologise. One thing we can all agree on, though: “Cars 2” is not listed below, just as it shouldn’t be. [Read more…]

The Evolution of the Superhero Movie

We are currently living in the age of the superhero movie, a financially-friendly genre that is at present flying its way around cinema screens on what is noticeably becoming a regular basis. With the earth-shattering advances in special effects over the past couple of decades, it’s becoming increasingly easy for super-powered vigilantes to make the transition from the pages of a comic book to being projected on the silver screen, which has resulted in a recent explosion of cinematic offerings from the superhero genre. Just this year we’ve already feasted on Kenneth Branagh’s “Thor” and Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class,” and last Friday (June 17) we were presented with Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern,” which shall be followed by Joe Johnston’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” released July 22 in the US. It seems you can’t look at your local cinema listings without seeing someone in a cape or a mask or with their skin a funny colour (no racism intended). But what is the history of this genre? Where did it all begin? When did it really become popular? And what is with our current fascination with crime-fighters who have awesome, otherworldly powers?

[Read more…]