Wednesday, 27 October 2010
I drew Folder 8 :
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne
This is one of many classic novels that I haven't had the chance to read, so I've bought a copy and started ;)
I'm probably going to be out of my comfort zone because I've always preferred land and spacescapes to water/underwater scenes (something to do with the fact I dislike being in deep water?)
Anyhow, I'll start by reading the excerpts and the whole book so as to get the excerpts in context.
Friday, 22 October 2010
This was a truly brilliant film!
The Elephant Man follows the life of John Merrick, a man who developed a most horrendous disfigurement which forced him to sleep upright and caused him no end of pain and grief both directly and indirectly from the people who would force themselves to look upon him.
It’s hard to imagine that John Merrick was a real man subject to such horrible circumstances as are depicted in the film, Film4’s review further highlights the questions the film asks David Lynch's The Elephant Man raises myriad questions about medicine, the notion of vainglory and society's prejudices and asks us to wonder whether, over a century later, matters have improved. and I think, although its sad to say that although we’ve moved on a great distance scientifically and socially we would still probably treat such a poor soul the same still. Perhaps even worse, now there’s TV and the internet to help us torment anyone who is that far out of the ordinary
Almar Haflidason’s review at BBC Films notes John Hurt’s acting through layers of prosthetics “Buried under an incredible mass of make-up, John Hurt still manages to invest his portrayal of Merrick with dignity and courage.” I agree with this statement, John Hurt portrays John Merrick as an upstanding gentleman despite the horrific disfiguration, in fact the makeup probably served to strengthen the acting so as give a truly astonishing performance
“His moving performance contrasts with the Victorian world of industrial horror that director David Lynch tries to crush him with. The result is a glimpse into a nightmare from which a beacon of humanity clearly shines out, despite his hideous disfigurement. again quoted from Almar Haflidason’s review clearly worded closing paragraph captures the essence of the film. In spite of everything else, one thing that The Elephant Man shows is that humanity is not worn on the outside but is a bright burning light inside and no other character burns as bright as John Merrick does in this film.
I didn’t really like this film, it was a little too hard to follow and kind of creepy in places
The otherworldly way in which the movie is shot is good, there is great attention detail in the sets like odd shaped mushrooms and other flora and fauna that really emphasise the dreamy nature of the film. Louise Watson’s review for BFI Screen Online say’s “Director Neil Jordan evokes an eerie, dreamlike atmosphere for the film's heightened reality. Its otherworldly scenery and costumes seem to have been inspired by fairytale illustrations, mixed with the studio-bound visual style of Hammer horror” Indeed with the townsfolk, costumes and scenic design there is so much to see its a visual treat.
The whole symbolism of the film is so deep and the way the film is tied together with jumps in and out of the dream left me feeling a little confused to say the least. Granny told Rosaleen not to stray off the path, nor to trust men with eyebrows that meet yet that is exactly what she does (to Granny’s demise) and my stance on what unfolds at the end, echos the review at British Horror Films “The giant mushrooms peppered about the set are ridiculously phallic, and despite granny's warnings not to "stray from the path", she does so - with devastating results. That'll teach her. “
But thats enough of that, the symbolism is drawn from the books that it is based on written by Angela Carter, who also co-wrote the film. The majority of the symbolism can be explained by this quote from Grace Brox’s review of the book “The fear of the wolf is bred into the children and the women, almost like paranoia, and the danger is exaggerated to mammoth proportions. Perhaps this is done to shield them from what the wolf really stands for; sexual appetite, danger and desire, something against which women have been "sheltered" in one form or another for centuries, and out of which they are beginning to emerge” And into which the character Rosaleen is half uncertain of but half wants and in the end gives into the wolf side of things to run away as an awakened sexual woman
La belle et la bete (Beauty and the Beast) is based on a french fairytale of the same name.
I enjoyed watching the film with its fairytale like appearance, all dry ice and elegance. Dennis Grunes’ review at FilmsdeFrance.com says “The most striking thing about this film is the visual imagery. The ghostly scenes in the beast’s gothic castle are some of the most impressive and memorable to have been recorded on film. “ a sentiment I agree with, the way everything is shot makes the film a fairytale come alive and definitely memorable.
I think that the beginning dragged on a bit, it seemed a little slow to start and for anything to develop but once it got underway it was truly brilliant, the actors Jean Marais and Josette Day performing spectacularly. Derek Malcom at The Guardian says that it may not be Cocteau's perfect film “But it is probably his most perfect, because it speaks to so wide an audience with its intensity of vision and the emotions that it inspires in us. Watch Beauty looking into a mirror and seeing her face replaced by that of the Beast … you see a precisely imagined fantasy” but the fantasy is only so real because of the actor’s engagement and the very well done stylised shooting
Again I have to agree with Grunes’ view on how the film makes the audience feel like a child once more, capable of believing the innocent world of fairytale “This is a rare film which is capable of reviving the child in each one of us – a remarkable experience, a remarkable achievement” which indeed it is, there are very few films that can captivate the mind like La Belle Et La Bete
Cat People follows the story of Irena, an attractive young Serbian lady who believes that she has a curse that will make her transform into a panther when her emotions run high (particularly sexual arousal). She meets a handsome man, Oliver, at a zoo. The two of them end up getting married but Irena says she cannot be a proper wife to him else she would transform and kill him. Not long after this Oliver sends her to psychiatrist Dr Judd whilst Oliver finds that he loves his work colleague Alice. Oliver tells Irena that he no longer loves her, Irena gets jealous and angry and proceeds to stalk Alice as a panther. The film climaxes with Irena taking the life of Dr Judd and later herself by releasing a captive panther which kills her
I have to start off by saying that with a few exceptions I could not understand what Simone Simon’s character Irena was saying in the beginning of the film.
Anyhow, Cat People strikes me as being a film about three main themes. Sexual appetite, the fear of sex and the social exclusion of foreigners. Irena’s character is portrayed as quite sexual, yet afraid of any sexual encounter, she admits that she likes to be alone and that Oliver is her first friend in America. Irena is very forward, inviting Oliver home for tea despite only having know each other for a brief time. Very soon they marry, Irena says that she really wants to fulfil her role as Oliver’s wife i.e. to consummate the marriage but is afraid of what will happen. She deeply wants but at the same time is too afraid to have any intimate relationship with Oliver. In fact there is a heart tugging scene where Irene is in her bedroom leaning against the door with Oliver on the other side, just as Irene is about to touch the handle a panther screams in the background (Irena’s house backs onto the zoo) and she withdraws into herself, alone still.
Oliver dismisses Irena’s beliefs as mere superstition and attempts to dismiss them and encourages her to visit a psychologist, Dr Judd who despite trying doesn’t prove much help to her. Oliver comes to love his co-worker Alice, who admits to loving him. Irena catches this and begins stalking Alice
Jeffery Anderson describes the bus scene in his review at Combustible Celluloid “Lewton and Tourneur give us evidence of a cat--or something catlike in motion--lurking just around corners. But they show us nothing concrete. In one scene, a woman is walking along a dark sidewalk. She hears rustling and fears something is out there. From out of nowhere a bus pulls up between her and the audience, letting out a loud and sudden squeal from its breaks. It's the one time Lewton allowed himself an easy scare, but the scene is eerily effective” and effective it is, the tension builds up all the while Irena is following Alice with the click from Irena’s heels keeping time with the sound track until BANG theres a bus!
A reviewer from Timeout.com said “with a superbly judged performance from Simon as the young wife ambivalently haunted by sexual frigidity and by a fear that she is metamorphosing into a panther” and I agree wholeheartedly, despite no being able to understand her at the beginning!
I think it’s very hard nowadays to find a film that doesn’t show everything and instead relies entirely on the idea that something is or can happen and would have to agree with this conclusion at Film4 “Famously making a virtue of its limitations, the film features no actors in cat-suits, no explicit special effects, just terror in the shadows.”
|A Male Adolescent Tweety Pie?|
|Hmmm :S not that great, I prefer the skeletons!|
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Times of the day and stylised lighting:
Poker Chips and Layered Shader Bottle renders:
I really liked doing the bottle shader, but sometimes Maya is a nightmare to work with!
Until Maya reinstalls the desk is not forthcoming because it's being a pain and not working :) computers...
1,2 and 3 point lighting:
[Because the animations have come out at 170Mb and 450Mb I cant upload them, they will be burnt to disk on submission]