Tuesday, 27 October 2015

La Belle et La Bete - Film Review

Jean Cocteau's 1946 film "La Belle et La Bete" seems without a doubt both naturally ahead of its time and worthy of carrying a highly renowned Disney fairy tale inspiration on its back through the years with it. From magnificent set pieces to flamboyant and regal costumes, the story could easily tell itself without the help of dialogue as outgoing collars and flourishing dresses dance across the scene, you begin to become part of the world Cocteau has painstakingly created. The story follows that of Belle (Josette Day), a young woman who's father is forced to strike a deal with an isolated beast (Jean Marais) and send him one of his daughters as a way of apologising for his wrong doings on the beasts land. Belle willingly travels to the beasts castle and is forced to stay there by the creature and live out the rest of her days with him. Affection and empathy soon grows for the beats inside the viewer and you begin to feel remorse as you see the monster fall in love with a woman who cannot return the same feelings. Meanwhile Belle's home life love interest takes it upon himself to see to Belle's freedom and sets out to kill the beast. However due to his greed, the treasures that lay upon the land take higher priority in his mind and this leads to him being mutated into another monster much like the beast. As this happens, the supposed curse is lifted from Marais beast and Belle can finally see his true form, she instantly sees the bravery the beast has had to hold and cannot help but fall in love with what was the monster she once knew. And in the most fairy tale manner of all, they live out their lives happily ever after.

Fig 1: La Belle et La Bete
You cannot help but see this film in anything other than the splendid light in which it was intended, you are instantly transported to another world as huge magical set pieces grace the scene and help captivate the viewer, Oppenheimer describes it as "So enchanting it takes your breath away" (Hoppenheimer, 2002). It seems clear to anyone that watches this movie that it was these set pieces along with the intricate costume designs that would of attracted Walt Disney studios to create what we all know to this day to be the classic Beauty and the Beast.
Fig 2: La Belle et La Bete


In terms of plot line, Belle et La Bete carries a highly sophisticated narrative, easily capable of holding up in today's cinema. You begin to notice the influence the 'magic' element of the story has had on today's movies when you are introduced to the beats castle, as pillars with living faces and candle sticks held by human arms parade across the walls your mind instantly strays towards the likes of such things as the Harry Potter series. over the years it has been looked at as "cinema's ultimate love story" (Brooks, 2014), which seems only necessary after viewing and seeing the effect it has had on the fantasy genre over the years.
Fig 3: La Belle et La Bete

The film also carries huge moral weight, it seems that not only the design of the film attracted Disney but also the messages extruding from the screen. As the film continues Belle without a doubt a role model for people all over the world as the audience sees her fall in love with someone who the rest of the community perceives to be a merciless monster, hence brandishing the name of Beast. Ideals like this are plastered through TV and film to this day, and it seems that Belle et La Bete could be the cornerstone for such deep moral compasses.
La Belle et La Bete is not only a strong example of set design and costume design at its best, but also of moral issues being tackled at such an early stage of cinema. "full of surrealist cinema tricks and haunting mise-en-scene." (Heath Jr, 2014) are the kinds of aspects of this film that any aspiring film maker should be trying to incorporate into their own work. It feels as if work like this continues to inspire and influence marvels of today, and there is no wonder as to why it was adapted into such a widely loved Disney fairy tale classic.
Oppenheimer, Jean, 2002, Movie Magic
Brooks, Xan, 2014, La Belle et la BĂȘte – review
Heath Jr. Glen, 2014, La Belle Et La BĂȘte Review
Illustration List
Fig 1, Poster, La Belle et La Bete
Fig 2, Screenshot, La Belle et La Bete
Fig 3, Screenshot, La Belle et La Bete

Maya Tutorial - Introduction to Animation

Maya Tutorial - 3 Point Lighting

1 Point Lighting

2 Point Lighting

3 Point Lighting

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Art Of Leonia - Coming Soon


Leonia Refined - Complete Exterior Establishing Design

This is the final layout I have chosen to go for in my final exterior establishing shot for Leonia, I'm now going to make final touches to this piece and create a polished final image.

Leonia Refined - Complete Low-Angle Design

This is the complete design of my low-angle shot for Leonia, I'm going to refine this piece into a final image for Friday's Crit.

Leonia Refined - Complete Interior Design

So this is the complete design of my Interior shot for Leonia, I'm going to now create a final version of this piece for Friday's Crit.

Maya Tutorial(s) - Animation


Motion Paths
 MEL Robot
Dynamic Chain Link

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Leonia Refined

I plan to experiment with this shot over the weekend and expand it to achieve a greater sense of scale. The third image is closer to the size I'm aiming for.