Thursday, 12 December 2013

Secret Lairs Crit 13/12/13

Crit Presentation

Venusian Sorceress Final Render


Digital Set Pipeline - Venusian Sorceress








Orthographic Drawings - Set and Hero Prop







Final Scene and Hero Prop Concept Art



Only God Forgives (2013) Film Review Nicholas Winding Refn

Only God Forgives (2013) Film Review Nicholas Winding Refn 

Figure 1


Only God Forgives is a crime/thriller film directed by Nicholas Winding Refn in 2013, which recieved many mixed reviews. The plot of the film follows an American drug smuggler living in Bangkok who comes into many conflicts with a local police officer after the death of his brother.
Colour and lighting is one the main factors that make this film stand out from start to finish. Throughout, we are thrown into masses of bright neon colours mostly of blues and reds. This makes every scene so much more interesting; due to the lack of dialogue, we are given time to admire every inch of the frame cast in these almost futuristic lights, as seen in Figure 2. Damon Wise describes the colours as the "neon sleaze of Bangkok both dangerous and beautiful, everything is bathed in disorientating primary colours". (Wise, 2013). One reason why the repetition of red and blue colours is perhaps to represent conflict. This could be between the main character, Julian and the Bangkok cop, or between Julian and his mother. Whichever, these two colours are seen throughout the film from the very start, such as the opening boxing match where the two opponents are wearing blue and red. Theses two colours are even shown in the poster, seen in  Figure 1. 


Figure 2

Although in this film we experience horrific scenes of violence such as a man being tortured by being stabbed in both his eyeballs, there is also a comedy value to the this film. From time to time we experience scenes "with bizarre setpieces of sentimentality and nauseous black comedy" (Bradshaw, 2013). This relating to the scenes of the Bangkok cop taking part in karaoke in a small bar, seen in Figure 3. These scenes usually occur after the cop has brutally killed one of his victims and so gives the idea that the karaoke is placed to try to lighten the mood of the film considering what has just taken place. There is something very strange and funny about a middle age Bangkok police officer calmly singing karaoke after committing a horrendous murder.

Figure 3

There are also many Freudian links based around Only God Forgives. This mainly revolves around Julian's relationship with his mother, Crystal. There are many links to Freud's theories such as the competition to be the mothers favorite son; "Julian and his brother Billy's relationship with their mother is entirely Freudian in nature, from the basic castration complex (Crystal, their mother, taunts Julian by comparing the size of his penis to his brother's)" (Hayes, 2013). We are also shown many other hints to Freud's theories such as we are told that Julian had killed his father back when he was living in the US. 


Figure 4

Bibliography

Wise, D (2013) Only God Forgives Film Review, http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=137633 (Accessed on 12/12/13)

Bradshaw, P (2013) Only God Forgives (2013) Only God Forgives Review, In: The Guardian [online],http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/aug/01/only-god-forgives-review (Accessed on 12/12/13)

Hayes, B (2013) Only God Forgives is Uncannily Freudian, http://badassdigest.com/2013/07/19/only-god-forgives-is-uncannily-freudian/ (Accessed on 12/12/13)


Illustrations 

Figure 1, Only God Forgives (2013) Nicholas Winding Refn [Film Poster] Dennmark/Thailand, A Grand Elephant, http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w4ZQ2r3fkew/Ue65gwz0R1I/AAAAAAAABFY/a4_FxgCtJnA/s1600/Only+God+Forgives+Poster.jpg (Accessed on 12/12/13)

Figure 2, Only God Forgives (2013) Nicholas Winding Refn [Film Still] Dennmark/Thailand, A Grand Elephant, http://dcfilmgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/kristin-scott-thomas-only-god-forgives.jpg (Accessed on 12/12/13)

Figure 3, Only God Forgives (2013) Nicholas Winding Refn [Film Still] Dennmark/Thailand, A Grand Elephant,http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/BK0iQyEt24A/maxresdefault.jpg (Accessed on 12/12/13)

Figure 4, Only God Forgives (2013) Nicholas Winding Refn [Film Still] Dennmark/Thailand, A Grand Elephant,http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/euOfPwH6zOI/maxresdefault.jpg (Accessed on 12/12/13)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Suspiria (1977) Film Review Dario Argento

Suspiria (1977) Film Review Dario Argento

Figure 1

Suspiria is an Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento in 1977. The story follows an american ballet dancer as she joins a german ballet school. However the during her time there, a number of vicious murders occur and is revealed that the school is run by a coven of witches.
As soon as the film starts we are thrown into a 12 minute long tension filled murder scene. Immediately we can see that Argento is not aiming to create a realsitic film but one more about the twisted amazing set design and how grusome he can make a death. He does this my making the whole set over the top with bright colours and warped patterns, the scenes seem more about art than making a film. When watching this film, there are many hints of other films such as The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari. Ed Gonzalez says that "Argento's visuals actively evoke a fairy-tale fantastique, engaging and toying with the Technicolor glory of Disney's cartoon version of Snow White" (Gonzalez, 2001). This quote could relate to the fact that each scene does feel like a cartoon. For example, when we see blood it almost looks simply like pink/red paint,it does not seem that Argento wanted the blood to look realistic but to be this unnatural opaque liquid,seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2

Another way Argento creates an unrealistic weird atmosphere is through the use of lighting. As we continue through the film it is hard to remember any scene where we have encountered natural light. Argento uses bright colours to fill a scene to create different moods, for example, in one scene a character turns off a light and in normal circumstances the set would be plunged into darkness, however Argento floods the room with a sinister green glow to make the scene feel much more evil. Ian Berriman describes Argento's use of colour by, "He uses coloured gels to light scenes in an ever-revolving palette of vivid primary colours, so that, say, a shot of rain falling becomes a shower of blood." (Berriman, 2010). These lights can easily switch the mood of the scene with a simple switch such as a nice calming blue colour to a vicious red just before scene of horror.

Figure 3

Argento's epic horror is also accompanied by a tension filled soundtrack. "It's difficult to give a flavour of its unique, surreal, hyper-intense mood by simply describing it." (Smith, s.d.) Argento creates this tension by delivering scenes with continuous drones of unbearable sounds to make the audience constantly on the edge of their seat until finally you are thrown into silence. This silence seems to only occur just before the violent act of murder is about to happen. The silence seems to create much more horror than the pounding headache of a soundtrack that you wished hadn't of ended until finally you stuck with the nightmarish violence. This accompanied with the sinister lighting creates a masterpiece of a horror film.

Figure 4


Bibliography

Gonzalez, E (2001) Suspiria Film Review http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/suspiria (Accessed on 4/12/13)

Berriman, I (2010) Suspiria Film Review http://www.sfx.co.uk/2010/06/07/freakshow-suspiria/ (Accessed on 4/12/13)

Smith, A (s.d.) Suspiria Film Review http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132659 (Accessed on 4/12/13)

Illustrations

Figure 1, Suspiria (1977) Dario Argento [Film Poster] Italy, Seda Spettacoli http://heim.etherweave.com/weblog/archives/POSTER%20-%20SUSPIRIA-thumb.JPG (Accessed on 4/12/13)

Figure 2, Suspiria (1977) Dario Argento [Film Still] Italy, Seda Spettacoli http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C5hrcRv9SY0/UIB_S3C-1YI/AAAAAAAAMLk/31Bmjtqo8iU/s1600/Suspiria12.png (Accessed on 4/12/13)

Figure 3, Suspiria (1977) Dario Argento [Film Still] Italy, Seda Spettacoli http://tommygirard.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/suspiria11.jpg (Accessed on 4/12/13)

Figure 4, Suspiria (1977) Dario Argento [Film Still] Italy, Seda Spettacoli http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6XTNgM826EQ/TcC_TFmHbiI/AAAAAAAAAWE/IKB3aKXZXbM/s1600/suspiria-red-hall.jpg (Accessed on 4/12/13)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Shining (1980) Film Review Stanley Kubrick

The Shining (1980) Film Review Stanley Kubrick

Figure 1    

The Shining is a psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. The story follows a fathers decline into total insanity after being left to look after a huge hotel that had been closed for the winter. 
When watching the film, all sorts of ideas occur to how Jack, our main character, loses his sanity. One of these would be due the massive isolation that the whole family experiences. As soon as the film starts we are shown vast landscapes with not a single piece of human existence in sight, we hear that when Jack comes for an interview with the hotel owner that he made the trip in 3 and a half hours. These elements show the audience how far away from civilization the family are. The sense of isolation is then worsened when the hotel is struck by a snow storm, leaving the family stranded in the wilderness. It is said that "Kubrick gives us the eerie, colossal, brilliantly lit spaces of the Overlook Hotel" (Bradshaw, 2012). This quote can be backed up with an example, such as a strange shot that overlooks the hotels maze (Fig. 2). As the camera zooms out from the center of the maze, the paths seem to go on and on without us ever seeing the exit to the maze. This could perhaps represent the entrapment Jack's body feels; there is no way out. 

Figure 2  

The strangeness and twisted feel of the film is also achieved through the incredibly set shots. We are constantly shown images of symmetry and patterns. By these scenes of symmetry being shown so often it starts to create a twisted atmosphere; everything in the hotel seems too perfect and straight however the mind of Jack is the complete opposite. Examples of this would be the maze, the patterned carpet seen throughout the hotel (Fig. 3) and the famous line "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." repeated thousands of times on page after page of Jacks 'work'. Kubrick also uses his trademark way of shooting scenes using one point perspective. All these straight shots down corridors and enormous rooms once again create a strange and peculiar atmosphere to the hotel. "The clarity of the photography and the weird perspectives constantly alluding to Torrance's twisted state of mind." (Nathan, s.d.).


Figure 3  

The Shining has been a massive influence on the world of film and is widely renowned as one of the great classic horror films. Kubrick's "superlative horror puzzle-box still spooks and spellbinds after all these years." (Clark, 2012). The film has influenced many other creations seen all over the world today, ranging from music videos such as 30 Seconds to Mars' 'The Kill', to homages seen in television series such as Hannibal and The Simpsons, seen in Figure 4 and 5 below. 


Figure 4 & 5    



Bibliography

Bradshaw, P (2012) The Shining (1980) The Shining Review, In: The Guardian [online], At:http://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/nov/01/the-shining-review (Accessed on 28/11/2013)

Nathan, I (s.d.) The Shining Film Review, http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132700
(Accessed on 28/11/2013)

Clark, A (2012) The Shining Review, http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/theatrical-reviews/the-shining-22374  (Accessed on 28/11/2013)


Illustrations 

Figure 1, The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick [Film Poster] UK/USA, Warner Bros, http://images.moviefanatic.com/iu/v1364991695/the-shining-poster.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)

Figure 2, The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick [Film Still] UK/USA, Warner Bros, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8ncbdnKcYbE/UTQJwhTNORI/AAAAAAAAQpA/Sn57si_bobo/s1600/Shiningmaze.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)

Figure 3, The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick [Film Still] UK/USA, Warner Bros, http://files.tested.com/photos/2013/08/16/52187-622609-shining_bike.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)

Figure 4, The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror V (1994) Matt Groening [Television Still] USA, 20th Century Fox Television, http://25.media.tumblr.com/84275172468256cb0a01f5f85caba9e7/tumblr_mkz1osvS1H1r64jflo3_250.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)

Figure 5, Hannibal (2013) Bryan Fuller [Television Still] USA, Dino De Laurentiis Company, http://24.media.tumblr.com/c44c920248f6480fec6f98db0db12882/tumblr_mo5dbuAMAp1qki57ko1_500.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)


 
 


Monday, 25 November 2013

Repulsion (1965) Film Review Roman Polanski

Repulsion (1965) Film Review Roman Polanski 

Figure 1

Repulsion is a British psychological horror film created in 1965 by Roman Polanski. The plot of the film follows the deterioration into madness of the main character, Carole, mainly revolving around men. There are many theories too the meaning behind the film and why Carole turns to insanity. One of these is the idea that Carole was abused sexually as a child. This would then connect to the fear and revulsion towards men Carole shows throughout the film, for example, the furious brushing of teeth and washing of her face after she kisses a persistent male follower. This almost seems like Carole is trying to "rid herself of some dread disease transmitted by men." (Viola, 2008) As we progress through the film we find ourselves being shown multiple horrific rape scenes by faceless men, this could relate to the flashbacks of child abuse experienced as a child. We also see Carole putting on lipstick and dressing up before we see another scene of abuse, this then suggests that the abuse was so common that she eventually started to prepare herself for the horror that was about to take place.
At the end of the film we also see a family picture showing Carole as a child. The image shows the girl in a way that she is completely separated from the normal world. We can see fear and disturbance in the eyes of the poor young girl. (Figure 2)


Figure 2

Polanski also makes each scene of abuse so much more painful through the use of sound. He uses continuous repetitive sounds to make the scene so uncomfortable and almost awkward, for example, one scene of rape is "played out to the amplified ticking clock" (Bradshaw, 2013). This makes the scene feel so much more endless and leaves the audience wanting the scene to be over. Polanski also uses silence in many scenes, this then creates a sense that the scene seems to be dragging on for a lifetime. The whole film is made to make the audience to feel uncomfortable, its not meant to make you want to watch it over and over again, but to make you want the end to come. This could be to try and put the viewer in the shoes of the abused Carole; constantly wanting the pain to be over.

Figure 3

The main theme of the film is to show Carole's deterioration into insanity and so Polanski achieves this by using the set and environment shown in each scene. We first encounter hints of this when we see cracks appearing in the street and in the apartment. As we progress through the film, these cracks become more and more common as Carole's brain develops into madness, as seen in Figure 4. This can then represent the splits and tears in the sanity and mind of the poor abused french girl. It was also said that "Small cracks in the walls of the apartment flow into crunching indicators of the heroine's crumbling mind" (Crowther, 1965). Towards the end of the film we also see the apartment turning into a nightmare of distortion, perhaps to represent the warped cage that the main characters mind is so horribly trapped in. 

Figure 4




Bibliography

Viola, M (2008) Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965) http://notesofafilmfanatic.com/?p=18 (Accessed on 25/11/2013)

Bradshaw, P (2013) Repulsion (1965) Repulsion Review, In: The Guardian [online], At: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jan/03/repulsion-review (Accessed on 25/11/2013)

Crowther, B (1965) Repulsion (1965) Repulsion Review, In: The New York Times [online], At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=EE05E7DF1739E471BC4C53DFB667838E679EDE (Accessed on 25/11/2013)


Illustrations

Figure 1, Repulsion (1965) Roman Polanski [Film Poster] UK, Compton Films, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Nq5VyQnjpbY/Tjh5TqGfGaI/AAAAAAAAAEM/sOSUoO_G5Jc/s1600/Poster-Repulsion2.jpg (Accessed on 25/11/2013)

Figure 2, Repulsion (1965) Roman Polanski [Film Still] UK, Compton Films, http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Xh8OsdXukAM/TQE_ugl11oI/AAAAAAAAAh4/vOvtpJWZ8H8/s1600/repulsion+photo.jpg (Accessed on 25/11/2013)

Figure 3, Repulsion (1965) Roman Polanski [Film Still] UK, Compton Films, http://ilarge.listal.com/image/833405/968full-repulsion-screenshot.jpg (Accessed on 25/11/2013)

Figure 2, Repulsion (1965) Roman Polanski [Film Still] UK, Compton Films, http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/n-z/repulsion/repulsion_shot25l.jpg (Accessed on 25/11/2013)


Feedback Needed - Final Concept Colour Ideas





After receiving feedback from my OGR, I needed to make my scene look more alien crafted and feminine. I also needed to add in some more otherworldly colours and so these are some of the results I came up with. I'd appreciate any feedback about these ideas and any other ideas put forward.