Robot and Frank is the feature film debut of Jake Schreier, my friend and longtime Francis and the Lights co-conspirator (you may know him as the director of the incredible video for The Top). It stars Frank Langella as an old man with a slipping memory whose kids (James Marsden and Liv Tyler) give him a caretaker robot that he initially loathes but gradually forms an uneasy alliance with. It just premiered at Sundance this week (see some clips here) and will likely be coming soon to a theater near you.

It also features a number of near-future devices with fictional user interfaces imagined and designed by myself, which was one of the funnest projects I’ve ever worked on. I have a new appreciation for the needs of a real, functioning interface versus the kind you see in the movies. I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you wind up seeing it keep an eye on Frank’s TV and everyone’s cell phones and tablets.

So, clearly I’m biased, but I saw a rough cut of the movie a couple months back and truly loved it. I couldn’t be more proud of Jake, who’s been working slavishly on this for a long time (he talks about the genesis of the project in this interview) as well as Francis, who wrote the film’s beautiful score.

If I never get to work on something cooler I’ll die happy.

Can’t wait to see this.

This looks great and it’s one of the most important health issues in our country. Glad to see there is more attention being given to why our cities and economy were designed to make health so hard.

A provocative new 4-hour series soon to air on public television, Designing Healthy Communities, examines the impact of our built environment on key public health indices, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer and depression. The series documents the connection between bad community design and burgeoning health consequences, and discusses the remedies available to fix what has become an urgent crisis.

Retrofitting Suburbia (by MPC)


Good news from a study just published in Circulation:

Sex is the cause of less than 1% of all acute heart attacks, the review said. And autopsy studies suggest that only between 0.6% and 1.7% of sudden deaths are related to sexual activity.

(A word to the wise for cheaters, though: Of those who did die during the act, most were men having “extramarital sexual activity, in most cases with a younger partner in an unfamiliar setting and/or after excessive food and alcohol consumption.”)