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The Independent Culture
Acme City

Bugs Bunny Boulevard, ChickFlick Street, and Film Noir Terrace are among the desirable addresses at this Warners site, which is handing out 20Mb of free web space for fans to create their own "unofficial" tributes to, among others, You've Got Mail, Depeche Mode, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Looney Tunes. Artwork and film stills are made available for all-comers, albeit under the avuncular eye of the copyright holder, and "community producers" are being recruited to help organise the neighbourhood. The resulting home pages are basic to say the least, and there are no controversies as yet about studio intervention.

Sony Entertainment Robot

Furby meets Robocop at this Sony Japan site. Shiny and segmented, but convincingly mutt-like, or cat-like, or monkey-like depending on your preference, this is no virtual creature. It is "a new genre of pet for those who have always wanted their personal robot pal". Although still in development, this little chap is already more versatile than its flesh- and-blood equivalent - for one thing you can rip off the hind legs and replace them with wheels, something organic pets normally resent. Sony offers lots of detail about interchangeable software and "Open R Architecture" and, like any proud parent, an endless series of QuickTime movies of its baby learning to walk.

D.FILM- Digital Film Festival

Francis Coppola is quoted here, asserting that "one day a little girl in Ohio is going be the new Mozart and make a beautiful film with her father's camcorder". The new breed of film-makers at this fascinating site just might bring it off. D.Film campaigns for microbudget moviemaking for all, now possible thanks to newly affordable software and computer power once restricted to large-scale features. For the download-patient, QuickTime clips display a low-cost ethic carried to extremes: Buddha Bar, for instance, was shot on a disposable cardboard still camera before being processed. There is a travelling festival (in Berlin last week) and also a plan for online distribution of movies via cable modem.

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