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 - 
Travers. P 1990 -
Howe. D 1990 -

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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,

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.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

What if? Metropolis Thumbnails 27-61

Life Drawing session

I feel as if my life drawing skills have greatly improved since the first week of this course and that this has helped me within our What if? Metropolis project. I am happy with my last drawing with is a rare thing for me as I usually critise my work a lot and rarely have a piece that I like.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Influence Map 1

Here is an influence map of sculptures and statues by Constantin Brancusi. I can see all of these shapes and colours very interesting and can see potential for buildings and structures within my city.