With Austin's SXSW coming to a close, most movie geeks are already looking toward the city's Fantastic Fest to get their genre fix. One short film hoping to be on the schedule that promises to be a uniquely surreal adventure is Topaz Duo: Cosmic Phoenix
. The Arabian sci-fi tale comes from ambitious director Benito Robinsoni
who has also dabbled in the horror-comedy universe (with folks like awesome actress, writer, and filmmaker Axelle Carolyn
According to the filmmaker, the Cosmic Phoenix
was inspired by the "growing, but still widely unknown, psychedelic Arabian pop aesthetic (as championed by artists such as Fatima Al Qadiri
), and emerging science fiction preoccupations of the region — spawned by the oil/gas boom and a resurrection of Arabian mythology and mystery narratives; cross-pollinated with the B-Movie, VHS aesthetic of the 1980s." Whew. Topaz Duo refers to the real-life singing act of the same name. Married Egyptian pop-lounge singers Ahmed and Nahla star in the film and face off with a demonic alien being set to destroy the planet. How do they plan on stopping it? With a set of badass, self-made weapons and the quantum vibrational power of Arabian pop.
Robinsoni is currently wrapping up the final touches on FX and sound, but there's a trailer available that is insane fun. He's also working on a videogame version of the story and would like to develop a feature. The director hopes to be at Sitges and Fantastic Fest this year. Follow the movie's Facebook page
and the director's Twitter account
For a few thousand dollars you can pretend you're living in Middle Earth thanks to Hobbit Holes. The "for work or play" mini houses can be custom made to suit your needs and make for an imaginative backyard playhouse — should you choose to really lavish your family with such an amazing gift. Here are some important stats from the company's Etsy page
"[The] Hobbit Hole playhouse is 12' wide, has a maximum interior height of 6'3" and about 50 square feet of floor space … Comes with a set of plexiglass and screen windows. Has a pressure treated floor system and all cedar framing. Floor is urethane-treated sanded plywood."
While we have your attention, related Hobbit savvy news sources are also reporting a copyright infringement issue with pub The Hobbit in Southampton, England. Lawyers are demanding that owner Stella Mary Roberts remove any references to Tolkien’s characters because they legally own the rights to the Lord of the Rings brand. Roberts claims the process would bankrupt her and that she's called her ale house The Hobbit for more than 20 years. It looks like those Frodo and Gandalf cocktails Roberts' establishment serves are going bye-bye — along with the customer loyalty cards featuring Elijah Wood's name on them.
Roberts believes that she's doing no harm to the popular film series and is instead "bringing people to the books and the stories who haven't heard of J.R.R. Tolkien." Visit a "save The Hobbit" movement on Facebook if you're feeling passionate and start brainstorming an alternate name for your imaginary brood. Your kid would have hated Bilbo Ian ____ anyway. Look for The Hobbit in theaters this December. [via io9 & CinemaBlend]