Thursday, 30 March 2017

Adaptation (B) | Working With Projection And Deformers

As a key theme that runs through the original piece of music is change, or choice, I like the idea that as the objects begin to morph and distort in my project they also begin to fade, suggesting the idea that as an original entity is morphed or transformed it begins to lose the essence of its original purpose.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Film Review | England | Ethel And Ernest

The 2016 film Ethel And Ernest, directed by Roger Mainwood, depicts the story of the Raymond Briggs novel of the same name, a story that surrounds the themes of love and loss, topics that global audiences can not only relate to but also appreciate. The tale its self is a true telling of Briggs' parents lives, Ethel and Ernest, a couple who lived through a world war and managed to live a mostly happy family focused life, however littered with the trauma's that came along with living through such events.

Fig 1: Film Poster, Ethel And Ernest

As mentioned before, Ethel And Ernest is a British film, not only in its story but also in its style choices. The entire film feels extremely personal, almost handmade, which gives the story a level of charm and relatability that without a doubt added to its potential to connect with an audience. Britain as a region has quite a large catalogue of animation history, with the likes of Aardman in books there is no question that British animation has had an impact on impact on animation worldwide. When compared with the films of fellow British animators Aardman, there are undeniable similarities, the literal handmade stop motion work of the Wallace And Gromit creators mirrors beautifully with the charming aesthetic of Ethel And Ernest, suggesting that within Britain there seems to be a desire to make animation feel personal and to almost make the hard work put into the profession shine through the piece, hiding behind little trickery.

Fig 2: Screenshot, Ethel And Ernest

In terms of previous filmmaking, Mainwood certainly has a recognizable style, with the film The Snowman And The Snowdog to his name there is an obvious aesthetic that runs through his creations, embodying the before mentioned handmade quality that gives the film its tone and personality, something that has really allowed the film to resonate with audiences and bring a tear to the eyes of most viewers.

The story itself follows that of the couple Ethel and Ernest, as they attempt to enjoy a loving marriage and raise a happy family amongst the turmoil that the world war brought upon England. As the pair grow older in their adorable family home, their son, Raymond, grows up and begins to live his own life, and as the wheels of time begin to set in motion the film takes natural but heartbreaking steps that mirror small fractions of anyone's life.

Fig 3: Screenshot, Ethel And Ernest

In terms of quality of film, Ethel And Ernest definitely sits well with most audiences, as difficult areas of life and death are touched upon with a delicate and charming style, resonating themes are to be witnessed throughout its entirety leaving viewers a welcome mix of delight and dread.

Illustration List

Fig 1: Film Poster, Ethel And Ernest,, Accessed on: 26.03.17

Fig 2: Screenshot, Ethel And Ernest,, Accessed on: 26.03.17 

Fig 3: Screenshot, Ethel And Ernest,, Accessed on: 26.03.17    

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Film Review | France | Persepolis

The film Persepolis follows the story of the director, Marjane Satrapi, as she travels from Iran to Europe in what can only be described as a difficult childhood filled with political change, cultural change and personal battles. The initial worldwide release of this film was met with positive reviews, even holding a 96% rating on rotten tomatoes, which is no easy task in this day and age that allows anyone's opinion to be published and taken into account.

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Persepolis

Although the film does feature story telling based in Iran, it is at its heart a French animation, with a French cast and large heritage rooted in France. As a country, France does have a fairly large backlog of animated films but this one stands out amongst the rest due to its autobiographical style and almost edgy approach to the art style, often feeling extremely graphical (due to its graphic novel roots) and handmade whilst still maintaining its clean cut finish.

Fig 2: Screenshot, Persepolis

As an artist, Satrapi's work is mostly alive in a more illustrative style, boasting an impressive catalogue of previous books and graphic novels that also feature the same style of drawing that is apparent throughout Persepolis. As this film is autobiographical, Satrapi's art style choices could be seen as a direct reflection of how she feels about the life she has led, often adding trivial moments to the piece, potentially suggesting that the creator has a mature outlook on the events that have taken place in her life.

Fig 3: Screenshot, Persepolis

The film itself details the creators travel from Iran to France as political changes occur in her home country, forcing her to grow up as a rebellious teenager away from home and the comforts of her family, which as you can imagine has had lasting effects on the filmmaker and shaped the person she is today. It seems that what the film is attempting to convey to the audience is this idea of change and personal development even in times of internal stress and external trauma, the notion that good people can still remain good people and develop even in troubled times.

In terms of delivering a message within a narrative and getting a message across to an audience, Satrapi's 2007 film Persepolis most definitely achieves its goals, as viewers are left with a real sense of personal change and character development.  

Illustration List

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Persepolis,, Accessed on: 23.03.17 

Fig 2: Screenshot, Persepolis,, Accessed on: 23.03.17 

Fig 3: Screenshot, Persepolis,, Accessed on: 23.03.17 

Waltz With Bashir | Israel | Film Review

Waltz With Bashir is a film directed by Ari Folman, who also wrote the piece, depicting the creators memories of events that took place when his country was at war with Lebanon, a war in which he served, making this film autobiographical. The film received a release in 2008 and was met with great reviews and high praise, being potentially the first feature film to emerge from its home country, since its release Waltz With Bashir has remained a well loved film which represents an artist telling of extremely personal and intense events.

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Waltz With Bashir

In terms of animation tradition it is fairly difficult to find a film that predates Folman's creation which also shares a similar style, possibly suggesting just why Waltz With Bashir was met with such critical acclaim. Although Folman doesn't necessarily have the largest of filmographies, holding only a few films to his name, it is more than true to say his name will be remembered for this original telling of difficult subjects. As this was essentially the first film of its kind to originate from Israel, it is fair to say that its initial audience were new to this type of film, obviously audiences from this country could have potentially seen animated features from across the globe, the idea of a feature film being born in Israel and depicting issues directly concerned with their country would be completely new to them.

The story itself seems to exist to not only illustrate Folman's memoirs, but to also educate audiences across the globe potentially, depicting events that some parts of world and age brackets may not be familiar with. The story follows events that occurred when Israel were fighting with Lebanon, specifically massacres that Folman was exposed to. As Folman struggles to regain his memories of such events, the audience is taken on his personal journey through these episodes of time and how the creator managed to survive.

Fig 2: Screenshot, Waltz With Bashir

In terms of style, Waltz With Bashir boasts a graphically designed style similar to that seen in many graphic novels that would be recognizable to audiences all over the world. Because of this choice of style, some story telling featured in this piece come off as slightly tongue in cheek, almost sarcastic, making the events appear as extremely real, showing that Folman had no interest in showing a romanticized version of the events he witnessed, possibly being the reason that the film was met with such praise.

Fig 3: Screenshot, Waltz With Bashir

Whether or not Waltz With Bashir is viewed as realistic and educational piece or as an artist memoir with, the film will without a doubt deliver in one way or another, depicting real events in a style that enforces the ideal of realism due to its relativity, a style that definitely paid off in Folman's case.

Illustration List

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Waltz With Bashir,, Accessed on: 23.01.17

Fig 2: Screenshot, Waltz With Bashir,, Accessed on: 23.03.17

Fig 3: Screenshot, Waltz With Bashir,, Accessed on: 23.03.17 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Acting Class | Week 2

During the second class of our acting course we learnt about the importance of clarity in movement when communicating an action to an audience, by acting out our morning routines and trying to decipher each others actions we could see how movements could be miscommunicated...

Adaptation (B) | Pitch Presentation