Tuesday, 15 December 2015

What if? Metropolis - Final piece

While working on this I had a lot of issues in Maya on my laptop. I finally managed to deal with these issues but that slowed down my production time greatly. Overall I am happy with the outcome of my final city based on the work of Constantin Brancusi. But from this I have learnt that I need to work on my time management a lot as that was a big issue throughout this project which I am not happy about. 

Monday, 7 December 2015

What if? Metropolis Digital Set UV Layout

I am part way through my UV layout of my digital set. So far I have UV'ed the outer area which will be the grassy hills. I have also UV textured the main buildings such as the cathedral and the skyscrapers, along with a few sculptures. There is the one building in the middle which I am finding it hard to UV but hopefully with a bit of help I will be able to do this promptly to get onto texturing.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Shining 1980 Film Review

Fig 1.
The Shining is a 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on a novel by Stephen King. The story follows Jack Torrance and his family as he takes a new job watching a hotel up in the Colorado rocky mountains during the winter. During their stay at this hotel there are a lot of strange things that go on which cause fear within characters and build suspense within the story. This psychological horror builds up suspense throughout the whole story. Using one of Kubrick's favourite styles and keeping things slow to gradually build up such as he did in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  As Rodger Ebert said "the characters seem reliable enough, although the dialogue has a formality that echoes the small talk on the space station in "2001.""(Rodger Ebert 2006)
Fig 2.
One of the iconic features of this film is the design of the hotel in which it is based. Kubrick and his production designer Roy Walker managed to create a wonderfully vibrant yet eerily creepy set for this film to take place. As said by Ryan Lambie "In no other film has an interior felt so mundane and yet so palpably evil"(Ryan Lambie 2011)  The isolated setting provides the bases of the story whilst also giving a beautiful setting with a lot of open space and grounds equipment such as the labyrinthine which comes into use as the film plays out. Within the hotel Kubrick and Walker used a very open plan for the main rooms. On top of this the patterns of the rugs and carpet throughout the hotel are very bright and catch the viewers eye. The carpet throughout the hotel is now seen as an iconic pattern by many people due to this film.
Fig 3.
Another aspect of this film that creates is eerie and creepy feel even when just normal acts are taking place, such as Danny riding his big wheel throughout the hotel, is by Kubrick's brilliant direction and shot selection. As said in a review by James Beradinelli "The combination of unimpeachable set design, perfect shot selection, long tracking shots, and an impeccable score (comprised primarily of a selection of classical pieces) creates an atmosphere in which suspense and dread ferment." (James Beradinelli 2009) When riding his big wheel through the hotel Kubrick uses a shot from just behind Danny following him from the exact same distance the whole time. Majority of the time he does this he doesn't play any music but uses the sound of the wheels on the changing surfaces to build a slow suspense that the audience can feel build up throughout.

Fig 4.
The Shining is a film that you will not forget after watching. The way in which it slowly builds up the tension to a boiling point along with a combination of the eeriness of the setting and the direction is produces an experience to watch that will be felt by all viewers. Not only that but the performance of the actors plays a huge part in the way this film works. Jack Nicholson's ability to make any situation to feel serious yet still calm was a perfect fit for the roll of Jack Torrance.


Ebert, R 2006 Rodgerebert.com - http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-shining-1980

Lambi, R 2011 DenOfGeek - http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/18283/iconic-set-design-the-shinings-overlook-hotel

Beradinelli, J 2009 ReelViews - http://www.reelviews.net/reelviews/shining-the

Fig 1 - http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSuyZ3Ido0NkD-KSJAoY7eosym_AHdZ891pvUaUOryPCIDJZFdy

Fig 2 - http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/the-shining-overlook-hotel.jpg
Fig 3 -  http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1477835!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_970/mcdshin-ec023.jpg

Fig 4 - http://www.emlii.com/images/article/2014/02/52f7ad2abdb65.jpeg

Repulsion 1965 Film Review

Fig 1.
Roman Polanski's 1965 film Repulsion is about a young, attractive woman, who is petrified of any kind of sexual contact with men. But by being an attractive woman, she draws a lot of attention. Throughout the film we can see the main character,  Carol, being taken through, what would be normal experience for most people, but in her case very distressing and almost petrifying experiences of getting attention from the opposite sex. It is never properly stated but you get the idea that she had a mental illness which is more then likely the route to her issues. This point is backed up from a quote by Barbara Shulgasser when talking about Carol " at first, seems merely shy, then anti-social and finally morbidly frightened of human contact."(Barbara Shulgasser 1998). We can see this develop throughout the film as her repulsion builds up in a way in some scenes that are very disturbing to watch.
Fig 2.
During the film Carols sister, Helen leaves Carol in their apartment a lone while she goes on holiday with her boyfriend. It is during this period of time that we can truly see Carols mental illness starting to come out and how it is effecting her. One way in which we can see this is when in the apartment at times Carol has hallucinations of the walls cracking and the apartment falling apart from the inside. (See fig 2.) This can be taken in different ways. For starters it is one of the signs to the viewers that there is an underlying issue with Carols mental health. It could also be said that the cracks, which progressively get worse throughout the film, could be representing Carols deteriorating mental health and is an insight to the viewers to inform them how it is progressing. This can bring a different kind of fear to viewers unlike the common horror film. It is more of a disturbing fear. Rather being the one to make you jump out of your seat you will more likely sink into your seat in discomfort. As Peter Bradshaw said "the sudden, giant cracks she imagines on switching on a light – they always creep me out with a thoroughness that run-of-the-mill horror movies never achieve."(Peter Bradshaw 2013)

Fig 3.

Another way in which Polanski represents Carols mental health deteriorating throughout the film is from the way in which throughout the story she has two main encounters with men that stand out for obvious reasons. The first one takes place with a man named Colin, who is her admire and wishes to take Carol out. When Colin turns up at Carols apartment and forces his way in when she is not responding to him. His intentions are good but unfortunately for him Carols mental state was in no condition for an event like this to happen and she reacts by striking him over the head with a candle stick and this results in Colin dying and Carol putting him in the bath tub. One of the more disturbing factors of this altercation is the way in which she shows no remorse for what she had done, as if she had not just killed someone. This is not the only occasion an incident such as this takes place within a short period of time. Shortly after what happened to Colin, Carols landlord comes to inspect her apartment after noticing the door is broken due to the incident with Colin. From this the landlord tries to complain about the late rent cheques and this turns into him trying to sexually assault her. This is one of Carols worst fears and you can see this come out as she grabs a shaving razor and cuts him several times in an attack fuelled by fear which results in the landlord being killed.
Fig 4.
Overall Repulsion has the ability to make a whole room feel uncomfortable while watching the film but at the same time you would not want to stop watching. The way Polanski uses the graphics scenes which are somewhat questionable, such as Carols nightmares of being sexually assaulted in her own bed every night, is one of the main ways in which he conveys this feeling of unsteadiness. Another way in which this is conveyed and gives the film such an eerie feel is personally for me is Catherine Deneuve's performance as Carol. She plays the part so well with the way in which her stares of fear can really draw in the viewers and she conveys what her character should be feeling extremely clearly and effectively. As said by Simon Miraudo " The young Catherine Deneuve (she was 22 at the time of filming) gives a performance so unsettling and so precise"(Simon Miraudo 2010).


Shulglasser, B 1998, SF Gate - http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Deneuve-a-revelation-in-Repulsion-3088836.php

Bradshaw, P 2013, The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jan/03/repulsion-review

 Miraudo, S 2010, Quickflix - https://www.quickflix.com.au/News/PlayItAgain/Repulsion/6997

Fig 1 - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/89/Repulsion_(1965_film_poster).jpg

Fig 2 - https://tinribs27.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/repulsion6.png

Fig 3 - https://blog.blcklst.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/repulsion-1.jpg

Fig 4 - http://www.tvbomb.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/repulsion1900x506.jpg


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Life Drawing 2/12/15

Black Narcissus 1947 Film Review

Fig 1.
Black Narcissus 1947 is a film directed by Michael Powell and Emetic Pressburger. Is based on a group of nuns who get sent to the Himalayas to start a convent in a palace called Mopu. The palace had previously be owned by Kublai Kahn as a harem. The nuns have been sent to this palace to spread their religion to the people in the local area of the palace. This film is based a lot around the limitations that the nuns have to follow. We can see their lusts starting to come out shortly after arriving to the palace. We can see attraction from the nuns to some of the men present at the palace and throughout the film we see this develop within certain characters. We can see this backed up from a review in the Guardian by Peter Bradshaw as he said "the ruler's ruggedly handsome English agent, who triggers a batsqueak of hysteria among the brides of Christ."(Peter Bradshaw 2005)

Fig 2.
One of the features of this film that really stands out is the set design. The film is set in the Himalayas  but was filmed within a studio in England. The way in which Powell and Pressburger conveyed this wonderful setting was by the use of matte paintings. If you look at Fig 2 you can see the use of this. Everything apart from the small stone area in which the nun is standing is matte painting. From using this technique the viewers get drawn into this wonderful setting and give a very realistic feel. We can see this point backed up from Time Out magazines review "those matte-painting vanishing perspectives and cinematographer Jack Cardiff’s harshly exaggerated lighting cues—creates a psychologically charged space in which an ungodly tragedy can unfold." (Keith Uhlich 2012)

Fig 3.
Another aspect of this film that particularly stands out to viewers is the way in which Powell and Pressburger used the lighting and colours to represent the different moods that progressed throughout the film. We can see a lot of light colours, which give almost a cold yet calm feel such as a lot of different shades of blue. This represents the nuns innocence that is present within the nuns while they are still present at their original convent and also once arriving to the Mopu palace. As the story develops and the lust from the nuns starts to build we can see these colours start to change to stronger more vibrant colours that seem to represent the temptations and wrongfulness starting to come through from the nuns. An example of this is in fig 3 as you can see the lighting is predominantly red and orange which gives almost a sinister feel as all of these feelings from the nuns is taboo and against their vows as a nun. We can see this point backed up from Tom Dawson's review in which he stated "This digitally restored print allow us to luxuriate in Black Narcissus's sensual riches, and particularly the way the filmmakers and their Oscar-winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff use colour to convey states of mind."(Tom Dawson 2005)
Overall Black Narcissus is seen as a revolutionary film within the British film industry and has inspired many of todays top directors. For example Scorsese has said before how influential both Powell and Pressburger have been to his work, and have even stated how Powell was the one that gave him the idea for Raging Bull to be in black and white. The use of the different colours to represent moods and emotions would later be used throughout cinema but this was on of the first influential films to do this. 


Bradshaw, P 2005 - The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2005/aug/05/3

Uhlich, K 2012 - Time Out magazine - http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2005/aug/05/3
Dawson,T 2005 - BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2005/07/29/black_narcissus_2005_review.shtml


Fig 1 - http://www.cinema.online.lu/loi/MovieImg/2014/5/20140523143517_29490.jpg

Fig 2 - http://www.cinemas-online.co.uk/images/632-black-narcissus.jpeg

Fig 3 - http://celluloidoptimist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Narcissus.jpg

Monday, 23 November 2015

Edward Scissor Hands Film Review

fig 1.
Tim Burnton's Edward Scissorhands (1990) is a movie that shows the depiction of isolation and how this can affect people when they are introduced into society. Edward had been living on his own for many years in isolation and then was introduced into a picturesque town where everyone knows everyone and the introduction of a new strange character will have the whole town talking. As Rodger Ebert said "He is intended, I think, as an everyman, a universal figure like one of the silent movie clowns, who exists on a different plane from the people he meets in his adventures." (Rodger Ebert 1990)

fig 2.

One of the visually enticing features within this movie is all down to the production designer, Bo Welch, who was responsible for the design of this picturesque town in which the film is set. The brightly coloured town which appears to be based on the 60s, with the classic retro pieces of furniture and the houses all brightly coloured and all on different colour schemes to help define the residents individuality. The look and feel of the town is very artificial. The way in which there is this quite town where everyone is stuck in their ways and has their routines down. Then in the background of this town we see a big dark, eerie house on top of an out of place mountain. The people in the town rarely even seem to acknowledge the existence of this place, Edwards home, during the start of the film but as it goes on so does the use of this part of the town. Which some people believe is used to represent the dark side of this quaint little town. As Peter Travers said "lives in a dark, musty mansion overlooking a small town of pastel-colored tract houses." (Peter Travers 1990)

fig 3.

The way in which Edward acts within the film is how you would expect a 'person' who has been in isolation for almost off of their life to act. He has had no interaction with a human for how many years after his creator had passed away. We see this in a dramatic flashback scene where Edward was finally about to receive his hands. When first entering the society of this town Edward is the talk of the town, something new to disrupt the repetitive lives of the people who live in the town. Everyone wants to meet him and after first meeting him they all want to be friends with him, the new, strange person who in reality isn't even a person. Throughout the story we see the views on Edward change very quickly as the towns people start to loose their obsession with the towns new feature and they start to realize Edwards strange behavior and even though his intentions are always in the right place. Being the shy and timid person that he is, he is always seen as the bad guy because of his odd features, his hands, which people see more as weapons then Edwards actual hands. As said by Desson Howe "Those blades turn out to be Rodin-tested when it comes to lonely women's hairdos, poodles and garden shrubbery. But they're not so good with people; he keeps hurting himself and others unintentionally." (Desson Howe 1990)
fig 4.
Throughout the film we see an attraction from Edward towards Kim, the daughter of the Peg, the woman who took Edward in. Edward and his somewhat primitive mind at points seems infatuated with Kim almost from before the two characters even meet, when we see Edwards admiring a picture of Kim when he first enters Peg's house. As the film goes on we can see a sense of caring start to build within Kim but it seems more of a sympathy rather then of attraction. What helped push lovers storyline between Edward and Kim was Kim's boyfriend Jim. Jim is seen as the antagonist in this film, always treating Edward like he's less of a person and picks on him. This backfires on him as it pushes Kim away from him and towards Edward. This is another factor that builds tension between Jim and Edward. All of this tension builds up to its boiling point in the final scenes where a fight between Jim and Edward takes place. The result of this fight is a rather anti climactic ending for the film. As Jim threatens Kim which leads to Edwards protecting her and stabbing Jim with his hands.
This very shortly results in the end of the film, with Edwards staying in the original old dark mansion at the top of the cliff in which he was found in but in a different way than before as after the experience he is portrayed as more human then as previously seen.

Ebert. R 1990 - http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/edward-scissorhands-1990 
Travers. P 1990 - http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/edward-scissorhands-19901214
Howe. D 1990 - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/edwardscissorhandspg13howe_a0b2c5.htm

Fig 1 - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3b/Edwardscissorhandsposter.JPG
Fig 2 - http://modern-vinyl.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Edward-Scissorhands.jpg
Fig 3 -https://roisinmcloughlin.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/castle1-500x3122.jpg
Fig 4 -https://fogsmoviereviews.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/edward_scissorhands_haircut1.png 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

What if? Metropolis Orthographs 1 - 4

What if? Metropolis - Final concept art

Here is my final concept piece for my city collaboration with Constantine Brancusi. I made most of the piece in Maya but when taking this into photoshop and from speaking to Jordan I started to use the lasso tool to modify my piece a bit to help get the perspective right and to convey my ideas correctly.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

La Belle et la Bete Film Review

When watching Jean Cocteau's Le Belle et la Bete one of the first things that you notice is the similarity between the film and, rather then beauty and the beast, as you would expect, it reminds most viewers of Cinderella. With the two 'beautiful' sisters who have fancy gowns, expensive jewellery and think very highly of themselves. Whereas on the other hand there is the third, less fortunate sister, Bella, who has to clean the house, scrub the floors. As said by John Sunier "escapes a Cinderella-like situation in which her mean older sisters have made her their servant in the house." (John Sunier 2011). From this though it gives us a sense of Bella's innocence from the way in which she carries out all of these tedious chores but still keeps a simile on her face and never complains. Compared to her two sisters who can moan about the smallest of things. We have seen this scenario throughout many different films to date, which gives watching La Belle et la Bete an almost nostalgic feel and familiarity.
(fig 1.)

Although that being said it doesn't take long to get into the classic Beauty and the Beast storyline. We first see the recognisable features that you can recognise from the story that we all know. We first see this when Bella's father gets lost when travelling home. He stumbles across the Beasts house and we enter a magical world where the doors open themselves, the candles light themselves with hands holding them that move for the directional light. Statues are alive and their eyes would follow the characters, you are drawn into a wonderful world of magic and also have a sense of eeriness. This is the first time we see anything unworldly and magical in this otherwise so far realistic story. We can see this point backed up from critic reviews, "The Beast's dwelling is one of the strangest ever put on film--Xanadu crossed with Dali. Its entrance hall is lined with candelabra held by living human arms that extend from the walls."(Roger Ebert 1999).
(fig 2.)
La Bella et la Bete has had a huge influence in a lot of today's big cinema pictures such as the Disney film 'Beauty and the Beast' which follows a very similar story line. You can also see its influence throughout a lot of other television show plot and also other films. The influential story line is one of a tale of a beautiful woman falling in love with a 'beast' for the person he is rather then what he looks like.
(fig 3.)

For its time and the struggle of production for the time, being in France just after the second world war, this film should be one to be looked back on as one of the most influential films. The plot being recycled to this day and the special effects used to create the Beast's magnificent magical castle. Not only that but the make up used to create the Beast, as primitive as it looks in modern time, was a feat at the time of production and took 5 hours a day to complete. As said by John Sunier " detailed and original Beast makeup for Jean Marais, which took five hours to put on each day." (John Sunier 2011)

 Sunier, J. July 17, 2011 Beauty and the Beast, Audiophile Audition

Ebert, R. December 26 1999 Beauty and the Beast, RodgerEbert.com

Illustration list

Fig 1 - La Bella et la Bete Film poster.

Fig 2 - Bellas father in the Beasts house.

Fig 3 - Bella and the Beast.