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The Late Movies: The Jerk

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In 1979, Steve Martin appeared in his first starring movie role. He played Navin R. Johnson in The Jerk, directed by Carl Reiner. This movie has a special place in my heart, probably because it was one of the few VHS tapes my family owned when I was a kid. I've seen it a zillion times. Here are some of my favorite clips, though, to be honest, pretty much the whole movie is one long favorite clip. Note: a few of these clips have mildly salty language.

"I Slit the Sheet, the Sheet I Slit, and on the Slitted Sheet I Sit"

"I know we've only known each for four weeks and three days, but to me, it seems like nine weeks and five days."

Cat Juggling

"Roll the ugliness."

"Tonight You Belong to Me"

A uke, Bernadette Peters, and a campire? Heaven. Oh, also a cornet.

The New Phonebooks are Here!

"I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now." That's pretty much why I'm a writer.

Also: "Damn these glasses!" "Yes sir: I damn thee!" Then a brief 2001 reference I never got as a kid.

Note: this clip has apparently been mirrored to avoid automated takedowns from YouTube. You can really see it in the phonebook closeup.

S**t and Shinola

"Son, you're gonna be all right." By the way, if you (like me as a kid watching this a thousand times) have no idea what this was referring to, read this brief Wiktionary article.

Sadly, this clip cuts off right before the big gag (you'll know what I'm talking about if you've seen the movie). But still.

The Thermos Song

"Oh, I'm picking out a Thermos for you...."

"I Don't Need Anything. Except This."

His voice right before he picks up the chair always gets me.

TV Trailer for VHS Release

I bet this is why we bought it.

Got Any More Clips?

If anyone can find the "pizza in a cup" scene online, please post a link. Somehow that really sticks out as a favorite moment for me. Also, here's a 2008 clip of Steve Martin introducing The Jerk at AFI.

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Radio Flyer
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Pop Culture
Tiny Star Wars Fans Can Now Cruise Around in Their Very Own Landspeeders
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Radio Flyer

Some kids collect Hot Wheels, while others own model lightsabers and dream of driving Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder through a galaxy far, far away. Soon, Mashable reports, these pint-sized Jedis-in-training can pilot their very own replicas of the fictional anti-gravity craft: an officially licensed, kid-sized Star Wars Landspeeder, coming in September from American toy company Radio Flyer.

The Landspeeder has an interactive dashboard with light-up buttons, and it plays sounds from the original Star Wars film. The two-seater doesn’t hover, exactly, but it can zoom across desert sands (or suburban sidewalks) at forward speeds of up to 5 mph, and go in reverse at 2 mph.

The vehicle's rechargeable battery allows for around five hours of drive time—just enough for tiny Star Wars fans to reenact their way through both the original 1977 movie and 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. (Sorry, grown-up sci-fi nerds: The toy ride supports only up to 130 pounds, so you’ll have to settle for pretending your car is the Death Star.)

Radio Flyer’s Landspeeder will be sold at Toys “R” Us stores. It costs $500, and is available for pre-order online now.

Watch it in action below:

[h/t Mashable]

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Art
Artist Makes Colorful Prints From 1990s VHS Tapes

A collection of old VHS tapes offers endless crafting possibilities. You can use them to make bird houses, shelving units, or, if you’re London-based artist Dieter Ashton, screen prints from the physical tape itself.

As Co.Design reports, the recent London College of Communication graduate was originally intrigued by the art on the cover of old VHS and cassette tapes. He planned to digitally edit them as part of a new art project, but later realized that working with the ribbons of tape inside was much more interesting.

To make a print, Ashton unravels the film from cassettes and VHS tapes collected from his parents' home. He lets the strips fall randomly then presses them into tight, tangled arrangements with the screen. The piece is then brought to life with vibrant patterns and colors.

Ashton has started playing with ways to incorporate themes and motifs from the films he's repurposing into his artwork. If the movie behind one of his creations isn’t immediately obvious, you can always refer to its title. His pieces are named after movies like Backdraft, Under Siege, and that direct-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen classic Passport to Paris.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Dieter Ashton

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