animation – cinema – design

Drama

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Chico & Rita

Hanging out with my friend Tina the other day (no you drugged out hipsters, this one) and we decided to double date at the TCA early in the week.
Spent the day shooting video for UNM and then walked from my office over to the theatre.

My girl was running late and showed up hungry. The ticket office only took cash (fail). So we snuck by our double date and drove down the hill to the grocery store to get our fried chicken fix for the month. Then back up the hill and into the theatre, where we sat down in the middle of a car chase.

This movie could be total crap until that chase and I would still tell you to go see it. See it big, let the colors and the music wash over you and scrub the jaded hipsterness off your soul until you weep tears of joy that other humans are as in love with life as you are and thank God (or whatever) that you’re blessed enough to appreciate the blessings heaped upon you.

I left totally elated and called my homie Oscar immediatly because the blend of 2d and 3d in this movie is pretty much exactry (link to the external world) as he called it at the dawn of our animation infancy. The producing of this movie used the same model that Book of Kells (link) took, which is pretty amazing. By cutting up the story into location sections, and handing those sections out to small animation houses across the globe, they are able to keep their production on schedule, and cover any drastic stylistic changes that may arise from using so many different animators. Because of the location change happens within the context of the story, the minds eye happily throws away visual inconsistensies about style, thinking they are part of the overall narrative of the piece. WHich, with proper planning, they are.

The star crossed love story is one of the hardest to pull off, and this narrative does an okay job of mixing together the lives of two artists who follow their bliss, letting the music and art do the heavy lifting when the script fails. I’ve yet to meet the girl who fights for her man in one scene, wins, then says nothing the next as he’s drunk and being carried home by her rival. I’m sure they’re out there; I just haven’t met them. This script also does a good job of minimalizing the communication methods of the day, and glamorizing the “reflection” period that artists today are going through. We all have access to cell phones with our email on them now, but apparently “letters” and “regular phone” just couldn’t get the job done back in the day. Which is why civilization advanced… I’m sure. And while I’m a big fan of reflection and the celebration of the artists that got us to the mindset we find ourselves in on the day to day, the glorification of that recognition seems to minimalize it in my mind, and it comes out as (upon reflection) a social theme; some kind of grasping last hope that we’ve done something with our lives. I’m a champion of hope, so i’m down, but it stinks of unreality.

All in all, great movie. Go see it. Share it with someone. Kiss them on the way home.

This world we live in, these lives we lead, after all is said and done; are more beautiful than we ever realize. And this film brought that out in me just by viewing it.

****1/2

Coming To America  -DVD-

So I sit down at my sisters house to catch up on reviews when she puts on “Coming to America”
This freaking movie is Eddie Murphy at his very best and the reason Arsenio Hall deserved to have his own TV show. They rip off everything from every good movie, introduce the world to Samuel L. Jackson, and even have James Earl Jones give a Vader line flippantly. The film holds up well over time and offers a tongue in cheek look at american society, as well as black society in america (i suppose, though it should be noted I grew up white in northern New Mexico) and they ape (HA!) every part of what it is to be black in the united states. What’s sad is this is still a pretty good look at american society in new york, also at the sweaters that made Cosby famous. So good it’s got to be Soul Glow.

****-

Snow White and the Huntsman

This is the team that I’d like to have make my Edutilos movies.  Specifically for the demonsword storyline, but pretty much any of the Thorngill series. Great movie.

So for the second time today I wandered into the translux storyteller theatre here in Taos. It was awesome; for the first day of June has started off pretty well for me. Relaxing into success really is the key.
After spending the afternoon watching Battleship, rehearsing with my band and going over the episode timings of Long Slide Back with my studio partner Mansfield; I got to participate in date night, which led us to the storybook cinema of Snow White and the Huntsman.

I could go on and on just about the subtext contained in each characters clothing as they progressed through the movie. What a well thought out script and storyline. Co-option is the word of the day and they grab after everything.

Visuals from every snow white tale I’ve ever seen or heard of. The lords prayer pointed at ancestor worshiping the main characters father.   The love interest?  Robin Hood.

The white hart; anime style.

..and every style of witchery I’ve ever heard of:   Transmutations, possessions, soul eating, life gathering, essence draining.

All there.

The overarcing plotline of good vs. evil is happily obscured by backstory, leaving us to wonder wheather or not we really are supposed to be saving the earth, or ourselves. I’m sure that treaties will be written about this movie in filmschools all over the world this year, and rightly so.

The use of blurry post production creats a dreamlike atmosphere in which special effects have the authority to define “magic”, and the ease with which to move around without yanking the viewer out of their state. I’ve spent the last several hours looking at bluescreen footage, so some of the matte jobs leaped out at me, but what was interesting was… none of them bothered me. Totally a crappy greenscreen, but it fit within the boundaries of the plotline and helped move the film along so…
did I mention it was on film?
The first set of cigarette burns made me happy, but the dolby digital soundtrack screaming it’s face off when the movie ended made it all worth while.

****1/2

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