Animals

Cinema’s Talking Animal Ids, Ranked

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“There are elements of Goodbye to Language you might find in any Hollywood movie — people arguing, a shootout — and even a dog, the director’s own. (Roxy wanders the countryside [“conversing”] with the lake and the river that want to tell him what humans never hear.)” writes NPR of Jean-Luc Godard’s new film. The director’s “meditation on love and history, nature and meaning” will be playing at New York’s IFC Center until November 4.

“One of the reasons the dog Roxy is very prominent in the film … is that he’s trying to get people to look at the world in a kind of an unspoiled way,” critic David Bordwell stated of Godard’s animal companion. ”There are hints throughout the film that animal consciousness is kind of closer to the world than we are, that language sets up a barrier or filter or screen between us and what’s really there. And although the film is full of language, talk, printed text and so on, nevertheless I think there’s a sense he wants the viewer to scrape away a lot of the ordinary conceptions we have about how we communicate and look at the world afresh.”

Animal-centric films tend to fall into the absurd or terrible categories, especially those where the beasts talk or act as a foil for a human character’s inner world. But Godard’s latest demonstrates one way directors can make the concept of the animal id work. Here are eight others, ranked for your convenience.
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Heartwarming ‘Old Faithful’ Photo Series Proves Senior Dogs Have A Lot of Love Left to Give

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“Senior dogs end up in shelters for a variety of reasons, sometimes because of neglect or abandonment, sometimes because their owners simply cannot care for them. The health of older dogs is at high risk in a shelter environment, and as a result, they may be less adoptable then the younger dogs (or perceived as such by the public),” reports senior dog advocates and all-volunteer group The Grey Muzzle Organization. Photographer Pete Thorne, who we discovered on Co.Design, puts a spotlight on the senior dog community in his series Old Faithful. His portraits capture the character and determination of old dogs — from a bone cancer survivor and several blind pups, to those abandoned in shelters and passed around puppy mills during their lifetime. These dogs have seen it all and their faces tell many stories. Meet some of the pups in Pete’s photos series in our gallery. Visit the artist’s website to stay up to date on how you can purchase his planned book.
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Pop Culture-Inspired Photos of an Adorable Dog in Illustrated Scenes

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Adorable, Budweiser-loving bull terrier Spuds MacKenzie was the most famous dog of the 1980s, but the most popular bull terrier of 2014 is a pup named Jimmy Choo. The photogenic pooch, who we learned of on Photojojo resides with his human Rafael Mantesso—a Brazilian restaurateur and marketing exec. Mantesso also happens to be a talented artist. His illustrations adorn the backgrounds of his fun photos of Jimmy. We’re especially fond of the pop culture-inspired pics, including an homage to performance artist Marina Abramović (in this case, “Marina Abramobull”), Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, and Game of Thrones. Get to know darling dog Jimmy Choo in our gallery.
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‘Underwater Puppies’ Are the Cutest Thing You’ll See Today

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Photographer Seth Casteel has found himself a delightful, bestselling niche with his underwater animals series — even if it’s just dogs for now. His new book, Underwater Puppies (a sequel, naturally, to Underwater Dogs), is the cutest thing, with joyful photos of goofy, tiny puppies enjoying swimming for the first time, and Casteel capturing it all on film. It’s adorable, and we’ve got a sample below.
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Adorable and Ridiculous Portraits of Pooches from New York City’s Dog Beauty Pageant

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America: land of the free, home of the… dog pageant. We love our dogs just as much as we love dressing them in sparkly tutus and tiaras—some of us, anyway. Artist Sophie Gamand, whose photographs of wet dogs mid-bath previously captured our hearts, returns to the Flavorwire gallery with a series about doggie pageants (first spotted on Neatorama). Gamand was at the recent New York City Dog Pageant where pampered pooches hit the stage in their glittering gowns and outrageous costumes. “In a city like New York where having a child is so expensive, where people don’t want to give up their freedom or lifestyle, where they feel isolated and have a hard time meeting their soul mate, the dog seems to be the perfect answer,” Gamand writes about the “doggie moms” in her pictures. Most of the pups appear to be having a good time. Their personalities really shine through. But a few can’t disguise their humiliation. Gamand explains that these moms also regularly attend animal-related charity events with their stylish hounds dressed to the nines. That means the embarrassing miniature cheerleader outfit that poor Yum-Yum is forced to wear isn’t for naught.
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Heartwarming Photos and Stories of “Bully” Breeds That Dispel the Bad Dog Myth

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From the boxer to the Boston terrier, “bully” dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, many people associate the word “bully” with the dog’s temperament. Dogs such as the pit bull are instantly labeled as violent and aggressive, when in reality they make for loyal and loving pets. Photographer Douglas Sonders, whose work we discovered on Beautiful/Decay, started the Not a Bully series to draw attention to the unfair treatment of “bully” breeds and share successful adoption stories to help dispel the myths. Sonders’ own dog Emma, a pit bull mix, inspired the photo campaign. She spent nearly a year in foster care, shunned due to her appearance, and came close to being euthanized. Through adoption, Sonders saved her life and discovered what a gentle soul she was. For more heart-warming stories of “bully” breed rescues, visit our gallery. Support Sonders’ cause by visiting the official Not a Bully website.
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Adorable Photos of Metalheads and Their Pet Cats

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Musician, jewelry designer, and metal fan Alexandra Crockett looked past the corpse paint to reveal the softer side of menacing-looking metalheads, by way of their pet cats. Due out in May, the adorably evil Metal Cats features the felines that make these musicians, promoters, fans, and others purr. Members of bands like Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Black Goat, Isis, and Exhumed are featured throughout. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to no-kill shelters in the cities hosting a series of related benefit …Read More

10 Fantastic Feline-Friendly Interior Designs

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Designers and architects often ignore our animal family members when it comes to creating spaces where people and pets live. What’s a house panther to do? We searched high and low for feline-friendly interior solutions that offer pets a permanent place of their own. These catwalks, staircases, and bridges allow kitty to stretch the imagination and get a paw up on indoor …Read More