An Audio-Visual Look at the Composer’s Radiohead-Infused Tour de Force
Water Powered Jetpack Turns Man into Sea Monster in Thomas Giddings' Futuristic Short
Rising imperiously from the waves, making jet-propelled dolphin jumps and backwards somersaults, professional stuntman Arran Topham appears as a waterborne Ironman in filmmaker Thomas Giddings’ new short, Icarus. Taking its name from the Greek myth of the child who flew too close to the sun and fell to a watery death, the film stars Topham—who has appeared in The Bourne Ultimatum, X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Bond movie Skyfall—performing delphine acrobatics made possible by the Flyboard. Invented by world champion jet-ski racer Franky Zapata, the luxurious high-tech toy is designed simply for pleasure, allowing anyone to connect with their inner Flipper. “I found out about this machine and flew to Marseilles, where Zapata is based, because I just thought it was so insane,” Giddings recounts. “It has this otherworldly quality; it’s blowing the boundaries between flying and swimming, and as soon as I saw it I wanted to capture it.” During monochrome downpours on the UK’s Dorset coast, the director filmed from a small boat through dusk and dawn to capture the overcast sci-fi footage. For his next project Giddings is journeying deeper into the hidden world of stuntmen, documenting their lives behind the Hollywood scenes for a solo exhibition and book to launch in London and Los Angeles next year.
STATS FROM ON SET
Poole harbor, Dorset.
Distance to the Sea of Crete where, according to Greek myth, Icarus drowned
Highest altitude reached
Minimum depth of water required to operate
Highest velocity in the air/underwater
Ten knots/4 knots.
Volume of water ejected by Flyboard
1,000 liters a minute.
Number of times Topham had flown the Flyboard before filming
Number of times Tophan had to be pulled out of the water
One local expert and two other stuntmen on jet skis.
Liquid consumed on set
David Lynch Remixes Radiohead Producer Nigel Godrich’s New Band
Cinematic auteur and musician David Lynch adds an otherworldly lilt to electronic kraut-pop trio Ultraísta’s “Strange Formula,” taken from their forthcoming eponymous debut album and accompanied by their self-produced psychedelic video. Named after the Spanish ultraist literary movement, the band was formed by Radiohead’s producer and honorary “sixth member” Nigel Godrich with artist Laura Bettinson and multi-instrumentalist Joey Waronker, who has drummed and produced for the likes of Beck, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, Eels, and Paul McCartney. Also members of Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace project, Godrich and Waronker bonded over a mutual love of Afrobeat, dance music, visual art and tequila, inviting Bettinson to contribute vocals to their avant-garde hooks. Lynch’s remix follows offerings by Matthew Dear and Four Tet, with the latter’s take on debut single “Smalltalk” earning fervent praise in the music press. “People hear things differently and so to have something spat back at you through someone else's eyes is usually quite interesting,” notes Godrich. Stripping away the group’s usual popiness for his contribution, Lynch distorted Bettinson’s vocals into a languid drawl and blended the guitars and synths into an ominous storm of noise. “We're honored. He is a very interesting cat indeed,” offers Godrich of the Blue Velvet director’s contribution. “I personally had no preconceptions, but it makes sense knowing his persona. It's very visual.”
Ultraísta will perform at Lynch’s Parisian Club Silencio on Wednesday October 3.