If you loved The Fifth Element, there’s a new movie to make you rejoice

Thanks to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, blockbuster sci-fi adventures can be trippy again. Bulbous monsters, sparkly outfits, zero-G hairstyles, starscapes that look like 1970s prog rock album covers—it’s all cool now. And that means, strangely, that the world is finally ready for a movie based on the 1960s comic book that started the psychedelic sci-fi craze in the first place.

That’s what you’ll see in this first full-length trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the tale of Valerian and Laureline, two spacio-temporal agents hired to guard the universe’s only intergalactic library in the insanely colorful cosmopolis Alpha. The film is directed by The Fifth Element mastermind Luc Besson, whose most recent movie was the transhumanist hit Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson. As for Valerian‘s plot, there’s some kind of vague menace threatening not just the future of knowledge, but all of space-time.

The story looks fun, but the backstory is downright fascinating. Director Besson has been obsessed with the original French comic Valérian et Laureline for almost his entire career. Created in 1967 by French literature professor Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières, the comic tackled social and philosophical issues with a strong dose of mid-century radicalism. What made it unique was the combination of political commentary with Mézières’ crazy, colorful art. Mézières was a close friend of Jean Giraud, creator of influential sci-fi comic Mobius. Both Mézières and Giraud’s work were the immediate forerunners of the sexy/otherworldly style found in Métal Hurlant (Heavy Metal) magazine.

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China downplays tensions with U.S. as Xi prepares to meet Trump

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Beijing sought to play down tensions with the United States and put on a positive face on Friday as the U.S. administration slammed China on a range of business issues ahead of President Xi Jinping’s first meeting with President Donald Trump.

Microsoft closing down CodePlex, tells devs to move to GitHub

Microsoft announced today that CodePlex, the company’s open source project-hosting service, will be closed down.

Started in 2006, the service offered an alternative to SourceForge. It was based initially on Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server source control and later added options to use Subversion, Mercurial, and git.

At the time, there weren’t a tremendous number of good options for hosting projects. SourceForge was the big one, but it always seemed light on feature development and heavy on advertising. CodePlex on the Web was much more attractive and less cluttered. The use of TFS for source control meant it also had strong integration in Visual Studio.

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