Ash in Avalon

Avalon is an otherworldly, surreal sci-fi movie with stunning visuals and a haunting, moving soundtrack, directed by Mamoru Oshii. The movie’s main character is Ash, who was once member of a very successful team but something happened and she continued to work alone. She, like many others, plays war games in an illegal and dangerous virtual reality called Avalon.

The pacing is rather slow and relaxed, and even though there’s also lots of explosions, they seem surreal like everything else in this movie. The atmosphere is slightly depressing, yet very engrossing, in part due to the incredible score by Kenji Kawaii. Even if you happen to not like the movie as a whole, it’s worth watching at least once just for the music.

Here’s a short teaser that gives some quick impressions.
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This is one wonderful little gem.

Samorost could be called an interactive ambient adventure. Basically you look at each scene, try to find out where you can click and watch what happens. Your goal is to help a little sleepyhead find his way in an imaginative world full of strange creatures and bizarre contraptions. The game takes about 15 minutes of your time, but it’s time well spent, because it will put a smile on your face.

In the sequel, Samorost 2, the little guy’s dog is captured by aliens and you have to chase them and get it back.

Sand Fantasy ~ Just imagine…

Sand Fantasy

Just imagine …

Ilana Yahav is a sand animation artist. Using only her fingers, Ilana draws with sand on a glass table. Synchronized to absolutely lovely, soothing music, she weaves an ever changing carpet of dreamlike qualities that is a real joy to experience.

It’s a bit like watching clouds float by on a sunny afternoon in a reverie. Here’s an example of her work…
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The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn

The last? What happened to all the others? When the unicorn in this story realizes that she may indeed be the last of her kind, she tries to find out what happened to the rest and begins a journey to bring them back.

I don’t remember how old I was when I first watched the movie in television, maybe 5 or 6, but I still remember so much from it. Schmendrick the magician, Molly, the Red Bull, the talking skeleton, the wonderful music, and of course the enchanting unicorn. Themes are the tradeoff between immortality and love, illusions and destiny. I think this is one of those rare stories that has real magic in it.

The opening will bring back memories ~
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Ambeon ~ Fate of a Dreamer


Astrid van der Veen

Ambeon is a “mysterious and ambient side project of Arjen Anthony Lucassen featuring Astrid van der Veen, a young and very talented female vocalist.”

Usually I let my music play in the background, but somewhere during the first song of this album I had to stop what I was doing and concentrate on listening… because it was so mesmerizing and beautiful… and sad. The music could be called Melodic Rock with some Progressive and Celtic elements mixed in. As a whole it’s rather gloomy, the lyrics being dark and cryptic. Anyway, here are two samples I found on the official site..

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Unfortunately the album is out of print for now, but there are more samples available.

The Princess Bride

Princess Buttercup and Westley

Princess Buttercup and Westley

A classic fairytale.

“Has it got any sports in it?”

“Are you kidding? Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”

That about sums it up, and then not even quite. If there is such a thing as the perfect movie, The Princess Bride must be it.
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Bob Ross ~ The Joy of Painting

Bob Ross

Bob Ross

Bob Ross was the host of a television show called “The Joy of Painting” in which he instructed viewers in the art of oil painting. During the course of a show, which was half an hour, he would paint an entire landscape full of “happy little trees” and “pretty little mountains”.

He had a very optimistic attitude towards life which shows throughout each episode. His voice is so soothing that listening to it is like having a bubble bath before going to bed and dozing off, giving you that hypnotizing, warm tingly sensation inside.

Here’s a small clip that shows him painting. Relax, watch and listen…
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Zanzarah ~ Title Theme

You take the role of Amy, who is pulled into Zanzarah, a magical world full of elves, goblins, dwarves and fairies. A paradise. But the world is threatening to plunge into chaos, fairies have even started to fight amongst themselves… It falls into your hands to find out what’s wrong there and how to help. You are not alone, though. On your journey you find friendly fairies who can help you fight against Chaos.

This game is soooo cute. Magical, lighthearted, wondrous and whimsical are some words I’d use to describe it. The title theme is one of my all-time favorite songs, perfectly setting the mood for what’s up ahead.

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Here are the lyrics to this song as well as the full soundtrack.
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Divine Divinity ~ Forest Flute

Divinity Forest

Scene from the intro of Divinity

Divine Divinity (don’t mind the name) is a very atmospheric traditional RPG in the style of Ultima VII, with a combat system resembling Diablo. The music of this game is unforgettably beautiful, rich, diverse and always with a slight melancholic undertone, telling tales of long forgotten kingdoms and a distant past.

A Wind of Aleroth is a song that is played in the light, peaceful woods. There’s only one instrument in it: a flute so pure it makes your heart weep. Very deep, very melodic, making you feel tranquil, lonely amongst tall trees. Simply wonderful.

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The entire soundtrack contains no less than 44 tracks ~
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The Girl and the Bird

Bird Sketch

Bird Sketch by bluebonics.

The bird said to the girl:
~ I can dance for you!

The girl ripped off its legs and said:
~ Come on and dance!

The bird looked sadly up at the girl and said:
~ I can’t dance for you, but I can fly for you.

Furious the girl ripped off its wings and said:
~ Come on, fly!!

The bleeding bird looked up at the girl and said:
~ Not fly, but I can sing for you!

Now even more furious the girl threw the bird at the wall and shouted:
~ Sing then!!!

The dying bird looked up at the girl and said:
~ Not sing, but I can die for you…

~ Unknown Author