Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Worlds Apart - The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari

Cabinet Of Dr Caligari (1920)

Director - Robert Wiene

This is possibly the first silent film I've seen since an child and certainly the first I've watched in its intirity. Obviously this, for a 90 year old film is very out of date but for its time I can imagine that it could have been quite a master piece. The most striking thing about the film is querky sets. They make an almost cartoon like appearence in the film and really drive it visually.  It's great to see the way the set designers used the perspectives in the landscapes to give a real sense of depth. In all the building exteriers and interiers not a right angle can be seen. The film has been noted for this by many, the BBC's review discribes "entirely expressionistic cinema that would influence film noir, science fiction, horror, and the likes of Tim Burton". You really can see the influence this has had even today in popular cinema, giving a real hint that Tim Burton could have conjured up some of his ideas from watching this film.

All the windows are so beaufully wonky and give so much character. As with all the props that stole my attention away from the plot of the film and focused more on the small details of the set design. I recall barely seeing a single curved line in the whole of the film, angular lines drew you into the film like a well composed painting. The chairs people sat on looked so uncomfortably tall and impractical giving a real dream like feel.

When is came to the outdoor scenes, even though there was no realism what so ever thay still gave a scense of space and felt like it was outside, such a success for the set designers. It is to be said an inpressionist work of  art or "it is defined as an "art" movie" - Never a truer word has been said about the film, every scene feels like a painting coming to life.

Space - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

Ok so I got folder 7 which is 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I'm quite exited about the contrast of the underwater scenes in conparison to the inside of the Nauticus. Thanks to Dan for telling me about 'Steam Punk'.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Maya - Final scene

Yay all done with Zdepth and my own fan. :)

I was getting pretty frustrated with this one. First off Maya wasn't rendering all 3 layers even though everything was correct. I started back at the beginning and then it started to render all 3 layers. I rendered them but realised the smooth hadn't been applied. So I smoothed it and rendered again. Maya again decided not to render all 3 layers even though nothing had changed except it had been smoothed. I started again, Maya crashed. I started again yay it's rendering all 3 layers smoothed. Zdepth layer wont open in photoshop. Why not it's a tiff like the 2 other layers and they bloody open grrrrrr.

So this picure is without Zdepth because maya wont render that layer into a file that photoshop can read no matter what format I choose.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Anatomy - The Elephant Man

A heart wrencing story of the life of Joseph Merrick which has to a certain decree been bastardised by hollywood. Joseph Merrick (called John in the Film) is a man who is suffering from a deformity that at that time had never been seen. Possible now thought to have been Proteus syndrome but no test now can be conclusive. In the film you find that John Merrick was being mistreated in a circus freak show. In reality this wasn't the case Merrick was in a freak show but he made good money and was treated well. There are a few untruths in the film but mostly they can be forgiven as the film is so well executed by David Lynch (best known for Eraserhead and Twin Peaks) who you couldn't imagine making a drama so serious. But this is by far the best and most serious of his films film 4 describe his work as "Up there with both the best of David Lynch and the best of British cinema" and that's not far wrong.

During Merrick's life he is taken into care by Frederick Treves a surgeon at the London Hospital as played by Anthony Hopkins, there he is cared for and put on display for other doctors and surgeons to see. Mr Merrick slowly becomes a celebrity of his time as he gets taked about in the papers and is visited by notable people in high society. This give a lovely parrallel as Frederick Treves starts to wonder if he is doing the right thing as Merrick is still essentually beingh put on diplay and looked at.

There are many moments in the film where you feel so much compassion for Merrick and it becomes hard to keep the emotion in. This is many due to John Hurts performance as Merrick which is so believable and "truly remarkable" to quote the New York Times.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Maya - One, Two, Three point and rear lighting.

Maya - Robot Walk

Anatomy - Life Drawing Lesson 4

Anatomy - Splice

This is a film in which two scientists are researching splicing different animal DNA together in order to creat new species that could help develope new proteins to cure disease. During their experiments they  splice animal DNA with human to see what the results would be. Obvioulsy this has massive moral implications so it is kept secret even from their employer. Their creation (Dren)  grows fast (convieniently) so they are able to observe  its full life cycle in only a month. The one thing I found disapointing about the film is that you didn't find out what animals Dren was made from. If you knew it may have helped give more of an understanding on why she developed the way she did.

Overall I felt the film lacked any real scientific credibilty even for fiction, the Telegraph reviewed this film as "A disappointingly clueless science movie that lacks curiosity in even the basic building blocks of a hybrid creature’s DNA" the film could have given a better explaination on how their science worked and how they achieved it.

During the film there are some scenes that are quite shocking, will make you cringe and scream "no don't do it". The film does go over the top perticually the final scene where Dren dies and then comes back to life as a male instead of female. It felt like a different film had been bolted to the end. Love put it as "Is it ridiculous? Frequently. Tasteless? Uh-huh" Couldn't have said it better myself.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Anatomy - The Company Of Wolves

The Company Of Wolves is a beautiful adaption of the fairtale Little Red Ridinghood. In this version there is a real sense of horror, The New York Times even goes as far as discribing it as  "like a horror movie from Hammer Films" and some of the scenes use classic horror techniques like childrens toys used as instruments of fear. This film is certainly not for the young children like the classic story we all know. I love the way ths film starts with the main character Rosaleen dreaming of the story of her as red ridinghood and because the film is a dream it gives licence for it to get wierder and wierder. There are moments in the film where it feels like you're in a story inside a story inside a dream.

But nowhere does it get confusing even with all the stories in dreams and surreal moments, at one point in the film a Rolls Royce is driving throught the forest in a supposed time when the car would not have been invented. But thats the freedom of capturing a dream and it all aids in keeping you on your toes wondering what magical bonanza is next.

For a British film with quite a low production budget is really does well to capture a realism in the scenes with a set build forest and village. The animatronics of the man changing to wolf were also very well made. I totally agree with Time Out when they say that the film has "the most beautiful visual effects to emerge from Britain in years" It was truly beautiful in the grossest possible way.

Maya - Horror and Sci Fi lighting

Maya - Morning, midday and night lighting.

Maya - Rocket animation

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Anatomy - More Jutmingo sketch ideas

 Rather than have wings and arms in this one I've merged the two together.

Flamingo style legs