Sunday, 28 February 2016
Saturday, 27 February 2016
Focusing on the spider character today. After researching prosthetics in theatre and dance I stumbled across some fascinating use for them from people with disabilities in the performance arts.
My idea is that of a character that reads on different layers. The initial impact, thanks to theatrical lighting would be the silhouette of a human skull which is achieved by the person in the costume controlling the abdomen of the spider. Secondly the viewer will notice the smiling and inviting, pure white mask that is in front of the spider and thirdly the face of the spider itself behind the mask. Here's a visual explanation:
Still lots to refine on the colour scheme, fabrics, details and shapes but I hope I'm hitting the mark with the idea. Feedback is welcome.
Friday, 26 February 2016
I had a lot of trouble pinning down the look of this particular performer. It ended up being a play on words and the Fruitworm became a very feminine and fruitful dancer that still has the creepy vibe of the previous two. The colour scheme is human but with more purples and the blossom she is holding is from an apple tree.
This Character needed to have the silhouette of a praying mantis but still look like a person that might be hiding underneath. Since the Head shape of this insect resembles two big heads the personality of that character came through as a twofaced and very creepy. The praying mantis is cunning and its dance is seductive but the end goal is obviously for the participant to be devoured. This character also lies and promises the beauty of the butterfly using its wings but again this only serves the purpose of entrapment and deceit.
A slightly more refined version of the character again, placed in a theatrical environment.
Had a lot of fun designing the Butterfly, I tried to incorporate as many symbols as possible in her costume and outlook. Heavily inspired by Art Nouveau and the colours of actual butterflies. Her earing is a chrysalis in she herself is emerging from one. I wanted her to be delicate and fragile hence the cloth on her eyes.
I wanted to make a more finalized version of the character that would go on my portfolio too, so here it is.
This character sounded more difficult before I actually started creating the silhouettes. I couldn't think of an elegant way to combine a fruitworm and a dancer but I got a few ideas out of them.
Thursday, 25 February 2016
(fig. 1 – movie poster)
“Persepolis” is an animated film from 2007 directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. The film is an adaptation of the graphic novel created by Satrapi and tells the story of growing up in Iran and eventually Europe in-between a war and a revolution. The first thing that strikes the viewer while watching is the muted colour palette that quickly turns into only a black and white rendition that works so well on the screen. The graphical style of the animation communicates the story in a truly elegant way and not a single scene is left to feel boring or unloved.
The story itself is really touching. A girl that is born in a country that stands on a politically shaky ground has to discover where she belongs and filter government propaganda from the truth. I think what makes the message so successful is the light-heartedness of the overall style, it makes a point and it doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste, just a lot of compassion and understanding. The comedy is very subtle at places too, making the animation flow seamlessly without forcing a reaction out of the audience. In that sense I think “Persepolis” serves its purpose – it tells a compelling and real story that transforms and not just demands a reaction.
Another very sweet part of the story is how Marjane is physically growing up while all the chaos is happening in her country. It adds another dimension to the feeling of unrest and constant flow, the physical transformation being part of a mental and political one. And even though Marjane has to leave her country, scared of what might happen, she remains the same character and is a great example of the Hero’s journey. Once she returns, she feels like everything is the same and yet slightly different and is more aware of the oppression and limits that are not a norm for her anywhere else.
What would make the film more authentic perhaps is not watching it dubbed in English and incorporating subtitles that work with the animation like in a graphic novel. Nevertheless the film still has a very strong presence and a feeling of truth behind it. It also suggests that this could happen in any country at any time and freedom is a very, very precious thing.
“Persepolis” is a wonderful example of a film adapted from a graphic novel and a breath of fresh air with its bold style and compelling story. I would give it 5* but I feel like that is not enough. The depth of the animation is what speaks for itself and I’ll be sure to watch it a few more times.
Fig. 1 – movie poster - Flickeringmyth.com, (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.flickeringmyth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/7279175.3.jpg [Accessed 25 Feb. 2016].
Thursday, 11 February 2016
(Fig 1 – movie poster)
“Waltz with Bashir” is a film directed in 2008 by Ari Folman. Maybe the best selling point about the animation is how the director was able to visualise the visions, dreams and stories of the people interviewed. The overall feeling is like watching a documentary with very surreal graphics at places. The only thing that keeps the viewer from actually criticizing the movie is the sensitive subject covered throughout. The story is indeed shocking and it could be argued that leaving the viewers with a bitter aftertaste is what we are supposed to feel and how we are supposed to react. It also covers themes like memory perhaps criticizing modern society for their forgetfulness about the horrors experienced not-so-long-ago.
Technically the film is beautifully executed and creates a very well thought through atmosphere. For instance there is an overall “sluggish” feeling in the movements of the characters but that fits perfectly with the subtitles, giving you enough time to actually read and watch at the same time. The limited colour scheme works really well as well and the transitions between the real world and dreams/nightmares were working perfectly by simply changing the colours of the scenes. The ending of the film however, destroys the well-executed animated world and forces the viewer into the reality of war and death. It really is uncomfortable watching it, but it contributes to the reality of this film.
Personally I find military films distasteful and I don’t see how talking about war and violence does any good to the people watching it. It also has no entertaining value – it simply offers a blunt view on agony and death. There is always an undergoing theme as well of comradery and heroism depending on which point of view the film is made. As I said in the beginning of my review I cannot really judge the film because of the sensitive topic. I liked it technically but I wouldn’t watch it again.
Fig. 1 – movie poster - Gstatic.com, (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/movieposters/187168/p187168_p_v8_ab.jpg [Accessed 11 Feb. 2016].