November 2010 Archives

Here is the original of "The Perfect Human."

Questions:

Which version of Jorgen Leth's five obstructions is your favorite and why?

Which is your least favorite and why?

Or do you think the original is the best? And why?

What do you think the point is in setting obstructions or limitations to a project like this, and do you think Jorgen Leth worked with them effectively? How and why?

What obstructions would you place on Leth for another film?

In regards to the theme of the film, what do you think the idea of a "Perfect Human" means, and do you think the thought of it is achievable in any sort of media?

New Schedule!

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FinalSchedule.pdf

There will only be one studio work day before the due date. Please plan your project accordingly.

Final Project

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au·to·bi·og·ra·phy   

[aw-tuh-bahy-og-ruh-fee, -bee-, aw-toh-] Show IPA
-noun, plural -phies.
a history of a person's life written or told by that person.

Create a video autobiography for yourself. The project should be 3-5 minutes. You may make a traditional narrative starting from birth to present day, or you may focus on one aspect of your life that you are extremely interested in and want to present from an historical point of view. The autobiography does not have to be traditionally narrative, it can also be experimental in nature. For this assignment you may not use pre-recorded music or sound. Think carefully about how the sound relates to you and your personal history.

The assignment will be due Wednesday December 15th, posted to Mediamill.

Keep editing the Western stand-offs you shot last week for Wednesday. We'll keep working in Final Cut, I'll check on your progress, as well as give a demo on more resources for shooting your final project.

Great job on your stop motion animations everyone! I can't wait to see your final projects!

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Stop-motion animation

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MS Paint Stop Motion

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Stop Motion Video

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animation

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIUWd87EGKk

Final Cut Finishing Touches

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For those of you looking to finish your stop motion animations in Final Cut, here are some basics you'll need to know.

Always make sure your "Tool Palette" is open.
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You can find this by clicking> Window>Tool Palette. Here you'll find your pointer, razor, and pen tools to cut, move, and establish fade ins and outs.

In the actual timeline, you can place image and sound. Image is placed on the top half and is blue. Sound is placed on the bottom half and is green.
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The default for Final Cut is to link the two together. You want to unlink these so you can ad your own sound in. You do this by clicking the linked selection button in the upper right hand corner of the timeline.

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The button should look like the number 8 inside of a square.

When bringing new images or sound into Final Cut, click>File>Import>File> then select your video, image, or sound. From the bin, you can then click and drag your media onto the timeline to edit.

Once you are finished editing, you will want to export your media into one quicktime file. You can do this by clicking>File>export>Quicktime Movie. Make sure when exporting you are clicked on "Sequence 1" in your browser,

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and all of the media is selected in your timeline. You can achieve this by clicking the timeline and hitting command/apple/A. All of your media should become highlighted.

You will be taken to this window:

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Make sure you title your project and save it to the appropriate folder and your settings match the one shown here.

You should be set to go!

Remember, the lab is open all day Friday until 11pm and Saturday until 8pm.

Let me know if you have questions!

Green Screen fun

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Hero

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Coen Brothers

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Walter Disney

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I like how Jan Svakmajer used his own films inside his this one, blending the acting film with animation. His film meat love on was TV and was the movie poster one of his films? Also Jan animated the cultural story of the Otesanek. The film remained me of the American musical Little Shop of Horrors. Otik and Audrey was loved so much despite the people they ate. This film fit the classic horror movie which I really liked.
The Quay Brothers and the film Street of Crocodiles used lots of found objects. It gave a creepiness to the film. However, I could not follow the story with spit, spools of thread, ice cubes, and screws. What was the cult of puppets trying to do? The interview with the Quay Brothers helped explain the use of light and the found objects.

Spike Lee

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg8Oq_Sd3Bw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7UZ9g8wvFI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qpYkU2Wlzw

Artist Inspiration

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Robert Zemeckis - Nate Morris

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Inspiration

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Tim Burton inspires me just because he creates this amazing other worlds. He thinks of all the details, and the storylines for his movies are very weird & creative. His work has kind of a dark touch, which I like but I don't think I use too often. His characters are really developed and well thought out. I like this scene from Across the Universe just because it touches on so many different levels of sadness, and I think it's one of the better music scenes in the movie. I love every part of this movie, and the director's previous work (Frida). She uses lots of color and emotions which really appeal to me. Her movies are so creative and unique.

the point>

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Artist Inspiration

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Don Hertzfeldt

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Artist Inspiration

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The Coen Brothers

Svankmajer and Brothers Quay

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Svankmajer's "Food" and "Little Otik"
I though Svankmajer's "Food" was interesting if not aesthetically pleasing. I thought it was a really interesting comment on consumerism in society. I liked how it showed the hash marks in the beginning but you didn't really know what they were for until the after the first guy had finished eating. Once you saw him make the mark you realized that many, many others had been there before him, and then you see the huge queue of waiting consumers in an unending line and you realize that many, many will be there after him. There is something very dark, depressing, and dehumanizing about the whole thing.
I really hated "Little Otik," a lot. I was repulsed by the how horrible these people were. The little nasty girl who uses her wiles to lead a nasty pedophilic elderly man to his death. The even nastier father who obviously beats the girl considering how often she flinches from his raised hand, though he only ever strikes her once in the film. His wife who ridiculously sits looking at a mirror that reflects an image of the door she thinks this creature is going to break into. The "mother" of this weird looking stump baby who is completely insane and the "father" who is too weak to stand up to his wife even though he has the sanity to realize what they're doing is wrong and that his wife is crazy. Maybe if the animation of the tree stump was more believable I could have understood the attachment to this weird looking monster, but as it is I was just repulsed and disgusted with the whole thing.
The Brothers Quay's "Street of Crocodiles"
I didn't mind "Street of Crocodiles" the way I really disliked "Little Otik," but I wasn't crazy about it. Once Erin explained that there wasn't a plot, the whole thing made more sense, if that's possible. I just kept looking for a narrative and getting confused, so it's good to know there wasn't one. But visually I thought it was pretty interesting because the lighting was really dramatic. And I liked the little guys with their heads cut open and the eyes missing. They were really creepy.

For Next Week!

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I'd like for you each to post a link or a video (or both) to a film/video/animation/sound artist you are inspired by. It can be anyone from a Hollywood director to a video game graphic artist to a cartoon animator. Don't worry about art historical knowledge. Be able to include a link, picture, or video and be prepared to discuss why this person inspires you. Please post before class on Monday.

Here's mine!

Marina Abramovic

The Brothers Quay piece entitled Street of Crocodiles was very dark and mysterious. I found the work to be interesting but i personally did not like the mood of the piece. I felt that is was just a bit too dark and gloomy. The close up of the very old, scary looking dolls helped me be put off by the piece even more. There was a sense of hopelessness to the piece just in the way that things moved and interacted. It was put together very well. Jan Svankmajer's pieces I found to be very interesting. I thought food was a great unique piece. The way that people glided around the room almost robotic like added to the overall story. I really enjoyed the development of the story. The constant changing of individuals serving up the meal was unexpected. Little Otik was very unique. His use stop motion in a movie was great. I would have had no idea Otik was made solely using stop motion techniques.

Jan Svankmajer/Brothers Quay

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Jan Svankmajer's film "Food" was a really unique film. I liked the idea to take a an assembly line format and infuse it into the process of eating. It seemed like a critique of fast food and modern society, how we're always looking for something quick and cheap to eat, and it's all pretty much the same food. The stop motion was really well done, it articulated the idea of a person as a vending machine perfectly.
I wasn't a big fan of the Quay brother's "Street of Crocodiles". I didn't really understand the plot much at all. Their stop animation was good, but pretty creepy. I thought that I understood it, but it just got more confusing as it went on.
Little Otik was pretty disturbing. I thought it would be more scary than it actually was. It was like an old film from the 70's in the way of special effects. I think that Otik was well done, but it really didn't fit the genre of horror, since it made it look so outdated. I really grew to hate the mom and the girl, they kept this monster alive. The plot was so simple I already knew what was going to happen. I think Jan Svankmeyer's talents could have been used on a better project.

Otik & Crocodiles

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"Little Otik" was hands down one of the strangest film's I've seen, and that's saying a LOT after the Walker screening. Not that I didn't like it, because I was thoroughly entertained throughout. The combined stop motion of the branches that made Otik and the paper cutout storybook were very well done. The characters were completely obnoxious. The mother was psycho and delusional. The old man was a pedophiliac. I almost felt sorry for the bundle of branches considering that it was a child that just wanted to eat to survive. But it didn't understand that eating its parents was unacceptable, so I felt no mercy if Otik ended up being chain-sawed and made into a glorious bonfire.
As for "Street of Crocodiles" by the Quay Brothers, the tone was far more eerie. The dissonant harmonies of woodwinds and strings set the mood for a disturbing piece. Especially the high-pitched screeching sounds of the violin. The stop motion visuals were reminiscent of Tim Burton films; very dim and neutral. I was confused as to what the film was trying to represent or what story it told. One of the brothers' commented that they "prefer black and white, because it makes things special and unique". This contrast was most definitely shown in this piece.

Quay Bros. and Svankmajer

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The movie "Little Otik" was actually a decent movie to me. The concept of a fairy tale brought to modern times is one that I enjoy. However, the movie at times really irritated me such as with the hell-bent mother and young girl on protecting Otik. The procedures used to bring life to Otik however were well done, especially when one is so used to movies just using C.G.'s. It gave it a more realistic creepy feeling by even though you know it's fake it's not as familiar to you.
As for the Street of Crocodiles, I didn't like it much. It seemed interesting, especially when you think of Tim Burton's movies, but in the end it was hard to follow and way too dark. I indeed however could see that a lot of thought was put into it, I just couldn't fit all the pieces together. The movie itself didn't creep me out, it just had me thinking "so when is something going to happen".

Quaynkmayer

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Both Jan Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay do a wonderful job of using stop motion and both often deal with the raw nature of physical existence. In jan's work he deals with it directly using the human body, clay replications or slabs of meat to explore physical expression. Often times he greatly distorts the body drawing question to its functionality and limitations. The brothers tackle this same subject matter but indirectly so through the use of puppets. Many of the shots in street full of crocodiles consist of the movements of the figurines demonstrating how their bodies work and how they interact with their environment. The puppets move similarly to humans but with specific exaggerated traits drawing relation from their bodies to ours.

I thought that the brother's quay's film "Street of Crocodiles" was very haunting. The whole film felt like an excerpt from a creepy movie. It was very well done, and while I sometimes had trouble understanding what was going on, visually it was very well put together. The whole piece felt very claustrophobic, especially considering all the characters were meant to be very small. The film felt like it could have taken place inside the walls, or under the floorboards or something. I enjoyed how all intimate objects seemed to be able to have a life of their own, and how rather than things running smoothly, special attention to the imperfections was taken, like how the spilling spools were rotating off their axis.
Jan Svankmajer's "Food" felt sort of like his personal experimentation with stop motions rather than a film. It didn't 'Wow' me in any sense, but felt sort of like a very basic use of stop motion. Nonetheless, i found it quite playful and well made. It was a bit eerie however, and confusing, and somehow Jan Svankmajer can make any food seem absolutely disgusting. I thought the transitions between the live characters and the clay special effects were choppy though, and did not complete the illusion very effectively.

In the film "Street of Crocodiles," the Brothers Quay did an excellent job of creating feelings for the audience with their exceptional use of lighting, camera angles, and music. While the film really didn't have a plot, I found it interesting that that was part of the point. At the end of the film, it wrote "In that city of cheap human material, no instincts can flourish... nothing ever succeeds there, nothing can ever reach a definite conclusion." With simple dolls and random objects, the Brothers Quay created a truly eerie and captivating film.

I was not a big fan of the film by Svankmajer, "Food." This is largely because I personally cannot stand the sound of noisy eating, and watching people eat. The idea behind it was rather creative, however, even though it was extremely absurd. They did do a good job of gaining my attention and curiosity.

The film about little Otik was quite disturbing. While it wasn't exactly scary, it definitely was gruesome at times. It is very clear that this must be a European film, because American films do not usually contain as much blatant blood, gore, and nudity. I was not impressed by the stop motion movement of Otik; it seemed to me that the motion was choppy and unrealistic. Despite this, it was still a relatively intense film. I absolutely hated the mother and the little girl, because they allowed Otik to live even after eating people. The little girl even fed the monster, which is disturbing to me, as I cannot imagine a little girl doing such a thing.

Initially, I really disliked Svankmajer's "Little Otik" because of it's carnage. Every time that a person was killed I cringed and waited for the film to end. I hated the mother for allowing the events to occur. But after a break from the film and being able to think about it objectively, I really liked that movie! Every character was very unique and really brought something great to the film. Also, Svankmajer did an amazing job bringing every last fiber of the story together. Whenever you thought something was totally tangent, like the old man, it was connected to the main story line - I just loved that! Also, the humor that he used was very dark, but also very funny - like the old man :)

I also liked Svankmajer's "Food", despite it being so strange. It was really well done and was a very interesting idea, despite it being so bizarre. I loved how he combined humans with claymation, it definitely gave the film a sense of cartoonishness. If it was not like this, and was more real, I do not think the film would have been as effective in telling the story.

I really disliked Brothers Quay's "Street of Crocodiles." It was extremely dark and seems to have no real redeeming qualities. It was hard to follow and I couldn't really figure out what story/message the film was trying convey. On the other hand, technically it was very well done. The lighting and music were very dramatic and really contributed to the feel of the film. They really set the mood and gave the film a real eeriness.


The Jan Svankmajer film was both horrifying and humorous. It was horrifying because the baby was munching on people, murdering them. The father knew it was a monster baby but the mother was delusional and protective of her "child" so she wouldn't let the father chop the baby up. Finally the parents lock the root baby in the basement and it looks like they are going to get everything under control, but then the little girl takes pity on the baby and feeds it. Everything goes downhill and the horrors get worse. However, Svankmajer includes humor in the movie as well. The little girl's character has some funny lines and the situation is a little funny because it's so ridiculous. I didn't enjoy the "Food" video at first because it wasn't pretty to look at. Once I got past this, I saw the cleverness of it. I thought the video was well done.

I don't think I fully understand "The Street of Crocodiles." I didn't like that dolls were the subjects of this video. They are creepy when the move by themselves and it made the movie seem eerie. I appreciate how the sound and images work together and after the interview, use of light throughout the video was brought to my attention as well.

Kentridge

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William Kentridge's work is outstanding. The way he portrays movement in his charcoal pieces is absolutely astounding. He uses very intricate lines along with shading and smearing to make his work even better. I really liked his work, although it was a bit dark I thought it showed a lot of emotion. His shadow work was also very great. The way he made them move across the walls was something I could never imagine.

In the first video we watched by the brothers Quay, I was thoroughly creeped out. It reminded me of something that Tim Burton would have made. That was the tone I saw in the video. The figures were odd, in that a lot of them were broken toys, put together with random parts. Those made me think of Toy Story, during one of the few odd parts. The lighting and music effects in this video did a lot to set the scene. Without them, I don't think it would have delivered a tone even close to the one it did, if any at all. Overall I was not that interested in this video, but I can appreciate the work these brothers did.

In the second video we watched, about Little Otik, I was amused by the story. After picking up on the story line, I immediately related it to Little Shop of Horrors. I'm not a huge fan of watching movies in subtitles, so that probably influenced my opinion on the film. A lot of the characters were difficult to stomach, because they frustrated me. I did enjoy the cultural differences, small as they may have been. In American movies, death is rarely downplayed as much as it is in this movie. There seemed to be a lack of innocence, which I have noticed is somewhat common in foreign films. In terms of stop motion, I enjoyed how they integrated the stop motion, with Otik. They did a great job, because even for an older film, he seemed very lifelike. I was expected a 'cheesier' film, but I was impressed with the life of the tree monster. Overall, I was a little thrown off by the whole concept of the movie, annoyed by the subtitles, but impressed with the film and stop motion production.

Kentridge

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After watching the PBS story on him, I saw that he was an easy person to respect. He is an artist not for fame or money, just because it's what he likes to do. I admire this a lot. As with his art, it is not selfish, it has other people in mind and their struggles as depicted in many of his works. The dialogue between him and someone else in which it ended with him choosing to draw whether it was a success or not also stuck out to me as an admirable moment. As fr the pieces themselves, they were not entirely surprising to me due to the reason of having seen animated stop motion before, however the silhouettes did catch me off guard. I also enjoyed the way everything in his movies seemed to me to be on purpose. The way color was introduced only sparingly, and also the way movement was depicted not in everything, but in precise moments and objects.

William Kentridge

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William Kentridge took stop motion animation to a whole new level with his creative ideas. I liked the wide variety of techniques and mediums used in his works. His style is often shocking and dark. His inspiration goes back to an experience he had when he was young. He witnessed a group of men ganging up and beating another man, even when he was on the ground. He was shocked and appalled by it. He tries to re-create these feelings in many of his works. I think that he is an artist that puts his entire heart into his work. An incredible amount of patience is required to create the animations that he made. I especially liked his application of projectors of images in combination with his live acts. He often uses charcoal to invoke specific feelings in the viewer. Much of his works include silly machines and creatures. I enjoyed a quote from him that went something like, "Absurd is a fragment of realism, it is not a joke."

Write a response to Svankmajer's "Food" and "Little Otik" as well as the Brothers Quay's "Street of Crocodiles."

Explain why you feel the way you do about them.

Due Monday, November 15th.

Kentridge

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The techniques Kentridge uses are very effective. I like how he combines and uses different media in a single work. For example, he used his body and a projected silhouette image made from paper. These shapes are combined to create a walking horse. He uses his own body with charcoal in another work. These techniques make his works unique. Another one of his techniques he uses is creating a charcoal drawing and changing it slightly in each frame. Then he combines the frames to make an animation. I admire his patience in manipulating a drawing this way because it must be very tedious and frustrating. There is a lot of diversity in his works; he plays with sound and music, projections, drawings, objects in stop motion, etc... By watching this video, it is obvious that that he loves what he does because he is very passionate when he talks about his different projects.

Kentridge - Nate Morris

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I really enjoyed Kentridge's work. What I liked most about the work we saw was the charcoal drawings, the use of shredded paper, as well as the rotating mirrors. The charcoal drawings were very intriguing to me, because of the emotion that was displayed in the work. It seemed so dark and depressing, which was fitting to the historical topics that he addressed. However it did make me wonder whether he could make a charcoal drawing that would portray a more positive image. I think it would be more difficult for him to do so, with the process that the charcoal drawing involves. Overall, I had never seen anything done that way before, with constant erasing and redrawing. The section of the video where Kentridge used torn up pieces of paper to create images, and then would blow the paper all over, was really cool. Because he video taped it, he was able to reverse the video, making it seem as if several small pieces of paper came together on their own to make an image. I was really blown away by this effect, as I had never seen it done before. The range of creativity he had in these images was very impressive. Lastly, the mirror portion of the project was interesting to me, because it was very large and blurry pictures, that when picked up by the mirrors, was clear and visible. I just enjoyed the transformation of the images, and the art technique. To go from something that looks like a spill of ink, to very defined pictures. All in all, I thought Kentridge was a talented artist who showed it in a wide variety of ways.


-I couldn't get my home computer to post to the blog, sorry for the slight tardiness

.Bill Kentridge.

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William Kentridge is what some might call a modern day renaissance man. Through his use of many different mediums his expression is expansive and speaks widely to audiences. From charcoal animations to mechanized installations to live performances and operas Kentridge attacks his subject matter from many directions. This technique allows for widening amounts of interpretation as he creates his own little worlds of correlating art. His display of limitless ability and creativity has brought him great success as an artist. What I wish to take from Kentridge is his understanding that the artistic process is ever-changing. Like him I want my art to be limitless in application by never surrendering myself to one artistic process and allowing my work to stagnate.

PEACE,
jake

William Kentridge - Joy E

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The artist uses an interesting mix of video and animation done in a variety of media, from cut-up pieces of paper to charcoal drawn cartoons. He explores controversial imagery of the Apartheid in South Africa, but also goes introspective when expressing his alternate personalities, such as Felix. I thought the black paper cut-outs in front of the white background was really moving, but my favorites were the charcoal drawings; especially the first one with the hugely tall building and the marching crowd holding signs that eventually tear the building down in billowing clouds of dust. I thought that was really powerful imagery. The other charcoal animation of the all-consuming corporate monster is really powerful too. It's really creepy how he eats and eats and eats, and then the image of the dismembered heads on a shelf is horrific. If his purpose with those animations was to tell people about the social, mental, and emotional effects of the Apartheid, then I believe he was incredibly successful. The images kind of broke my heart. I'm glad I got to see the part with the opera singer, because I had seen the corresponding video of the lady made of cut-up pieces of paper in my drawing class a couple weeks ago (they show it in the beginning of the video as well), and while it was interesting, I thought it was a lot more powerful when she is singing with it. It's almost like a part of her explodes into the universe with her voice and comes back when she stops singing, whereas before it was just like a wind had blown the image apart.

He displays both a realistic and cartoonist style in his drawings. I enjoy watching his process of drawing, erasing, and drawing over again where previous drawings were born and recorded. His use of projections are brilliant. For example, mimicking the walking motion of a horse only using pieces of paper. He is very inspiring for the fact that when his goal is in sight, he plans out the whole "transformation" process, and the result is breathtaking. Kentridge experiments and is clearly ecstatic about his work. It really shows when viewing his so-called finished products. Because art never has to be finished. It can be morphed into whatever the artist desires to make something even more fascinating. In his stop-motion film "Shadow Procession", he creates human figures made of black paper on a white background, a simple contrast that is brought to life by patience alone. I'm striving to be more like Kentridge in that aspect. He is nonetheless motivating.

Kentridge

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William Kentridge's techniques were very effective in reflecting the message of his works. His techniques are as dramatic and informative as his stories are themselves. I found that his use of animation - using charcoal, erasing, and shadows to convey his message - were very effective. A large amount of his works focused on the Apartheid, a policy of racial separation used in South Africa from 1948 to 1990. His use of charcoal and shadows gave his characters a silhouette and form but gave them no individuality and personality. This reflects the general feelings towards the Blacks by Whites during this time, who believed that the Blacks were nothing more than a group of faceless subordinates. Kentridge's use of erasing also gave his pieces a sense of constant destruction and rebuilding, something that had been forced upon the Blacks at the time. Without these techniques, I am sure that his pieces would be far less effective.

Kentridge

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William Kentridge's work is very unique. His use of charcoal for his videos creates a very dramatic and dark look. However, it's interesting because the charcoal is never fully erased, you can see the things drawn before. When I first saw his films this kind of bugged me, but now I don't notice it as much. He does a really good job of transforming one thing into another, which is kind of his way of transitioning scenes. He doesn't use that much color, he keeps it for when he needs to emphasize something; draw the viewer's eyes to the focal point. His technique of using ripped up bits of paper worked really well too. He tends to tell the story in the same way, whether he's using paper or charcoal, you can see his style. Most of his works are political, yet he says "I am just an artist. I just make drawings." However his work clearly has a strong message about South Africa and the politics that have shaped the country.

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There are now three webcams available to you in checkout.

There are a total of 8 Canon Vixias in checkout. These are the cameras with the 16 GB cards and do not require tapes with them. Since there are three other introductory level classes shooting video right now, the cameras are in high demand. Make sure you reserve the cameras well in advance of your shoot.

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You can reserve all equipment for 48 hours, but know that you are able to reserve equipment over the weekend, so if you reserve something on a Friday, you can keep it until Monday morning.

Also know that the lab is open before class on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as after class on Mondays and all day Fridays until 11pm and Saturdays until 8pm. If you need to get work done and do not feel as though class time is not enough, please do so outside of class.

You will all end up using Final Cut if you are putting sound into your projects. I will do a tutorial on that in the next couple of weeks.

Also know that FramebyFrame is NOT compatible with PCs, so if you had planned on working on your piece on a PC, please work on it on the lab computers, or if you have an alternative method, please let me know.

Here are some links to Svankmajer shorts. He uses objects AND people to portray emotions.

William Kentridge

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Post a response to the film watched in class on William Kentridge by Monday, November 8th. I have posted links to several other films of his, as well as the Georges Melies film he referenced.

Think about some of the techniques he uses and their effect.


Watch the full episode. See more ART:21.

Walker Films

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Of the films I watched, Taris was unique. The premise of the film is a lot like a celebrity interview or a brief biography. In this case, it was Jean Taris teaching swimming. It was far more artistic than the premise would have allowed, much like how I'm Not There portrayed Bob Dylan's life.
Taris, as well as Kenneth Anger's Eaux d'Artifice, utilized sound very well. The sound in both movies contributed without being distracting or overwhelm. Sound use was very economical in Taris; each sound was a product of the visual, and where there was silenced, it was a reflection of the surrounding (underwater). In Eaux d'Artifice, sound served the same pupose as the hue filter; it served as the backdrop fro the film, not the focal point.
In comparison to Taris and Eaux d'Artifice, The Ivocation of My Demon Brother's use of sound is fairly excessive. The purpose was to overwhelm the audience, to instill discomfort. However, the continuity and harshness of the sound took away from the visual. If the sound was kept the same and was interjected by silence, it would have been more significant.

Walker Films - Joy Erickson

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I really liked Lapsis. I reminded me of the kalidescopes we used to play with as children. I also really like the middle-eastern type music that is playing. It makes me want to move my body. And I thought the way the different images seemed to come together and blow apart was really cool, almost like cells splitting under a microscope or something. It was really trippy.
I liked El Espectro Rojo as well. I thought for a really old movie it must have been really freaky when it came out. The way the images are layered and one gets slowly revealed must have been cutting edge special effects in those days.
I hated Invocation of my Demon Brother, but I also enjoyed it. I thought the images were really evocative and disturbing, especially the albino man. The music was just on the edge of making my ears and brain bleed. I was relieved when it was over.

Walker Films

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The first film I will comment on is "Koko's Earth Control" by Dave Fleische. Watching this film, I began to immediately connect its topic to current happenings in the world. No matter how much the clown type character tried to discourage the dog from pilling the lever and ending the world, the dog insisted on doing so. I associated this with today's government urging for everyone to go green, yet society insists on living in its old ways.
The second film that I liked was "Breakaway" by Bruce Conner. I really liked the fact that the way the subject seemed to contort her body in conjunction with the music that she was dancing to. They lyrics in the song say "I'm going to breakaway from everything....before I go insane" Just when the subject seemed to move in an insane manner, the music is saying, "before I go insane". Halfway through the film, the same song is then played backwards, and the subject's movement began to change. Overall this film was quite intriguing.
The last Film, which I absolutely did not enjoy watching, that I will comment on is "T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G" by Paul Sharits. While I was trying to focus my attention on the heartbeat increasing in speed, which was overpowered by the "destroy, destroy, destroy", I became slightly irritated. Ii then thought about my own heartbeat, noticing that it, in actuality had begun to increase as I became more and more annoyed with the repitition in this film.

The first piece that I want to discuss is Kenneth Anger's "Eaux d'artifice". I really enjoyed this film, because of the combination of music and water. I have always enjoyed water and fountains, and this film adds a very interesting aspect. Throughout the entire thing it was similar shots of fancy fountains in the same setting. However, as the music changed, it seemed that the story did as well. Early on the music was somewhat frightening, almost like a horror film score. But as it changes, it seemed as though the water did too. It went from being an intimidating scene to an exciting one, and then to almost a joyful one. I also really liked the visual effects they incorporated throughout the film. The fading and transitions were so smooth that it effectively confused and intrigued me about the film. I really enjoyed this film, and the use of water as an art form.

The next film that I would like to acknowledge would be William Klein's "Broadway by Light". I knew I would appreciate this film right away when I noticed it was New York, because NYC is one of my favorite places. I really enjoyed how Klein made the lights of NYC into music. I have always personally believed all of New York City to be a work of art, and I thought that Klein did a great job of showing that. By matching up certain sounds and instruments to the movement of lights, he showed how even advertisements and promotional items can be beautiful too. I really felt that the main message of this film was that there is beauty everywhere you look, if you take the time to see it. He found music within the lights of old NYC, and I was very impressed with the entire film.

Lastly I would like to focus on "Frank Film", by Frank and Caroline Mouris. This was the film that I was most impressed with. Mouris incorporated so many different aspects into one film that it was almost mind-blowing. He told his entire life story, and to greater detail than one would have ever expected. While doing so, he seemed to include key words spoken at the same time that had meaning to him. Perhaps single things that were important to him, which he didn't have time to bring into the main story. I really enjoyed having the option of which speech I wanted to focus on during the film. I think this was a very effective way of telling his story more in-depth. And obviously the visual effects were outstanding. It was so fast paced, and lasted so long. Watching the animations while listening to his story really placed you in his shoes. This may have been the most effectual life story telling that I have ever heard in 13 minutes. I felt as though I knew him much more than I should ever know anyone after listening to them speak for a mere 13 minutes.

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1. John Whitney - Lapis

This was my favorite film. The most predominate color in the film is blue. The tones he uses are strikingly similar to those of the lapis lazuli stone. The rich drone sound of the sitar complements the slow moving luminescent visuals. The the constant motion and ever changing nature of the film keeps the viewers attention

2. Frank and Caroline Mouris - Frank Film

Frank film is a very visually appealing work. Frank provides the viewer with lots of motion as he creates masterful collage like frames. The double spoken audio adds to the motion and the speed of the work. The two layers of speaking overlap one another and require a heightened amount of attention to understand what they are saying. the visual and the two sets of audio correlate in narrating franks life. I really enjoyed the way that they would come together in correlation with on another and separate tangentially throughout the piece.

3. Marcel Broodthaers -Figures of Wax

I feel as though this film sucks. It's comprised mostly of long slow pans of inanimate objects. There is very little sense of action or motion throughout and its focus on the life of Jeremy Bentham makes it even more boring. The audio is comprised natural sounds in the environment and a lengthy dry narration by a man with a british accent. It is just very hard for me to see how the production of this film required much work or forethought. sorry marcel but you get two thumbs down. It the film were cut down to the few shots of the camel at the end it would be much better.

Walker films

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The first film I'd like to comment on is "Invocation of My Demon Brother" by Kenneth Anger. His surname speaks true if describing the overall tone of this piece. I was mildly uncomfortable throughout, and generally confused. I was trying to relate soldiers running out of a helicopter to three people smoking a pipe and then to some ritual of madness. It didn't make any sense to me and I felt like I walked out of what one could describe as an "acid trip".
The second film that really struck me was "T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G" created by Paul Sharitis. All I could do during this short film was try and focus on the accelerating heartbeat in the background, while trying to ignore the relentless "Destroy. Destroy. Destroy." that had been ringing in my ears. It literally made me angry. Epileptics probably would have gone into a coma if they had been forced to watch this. The colors were pretty and everything, but I never got used to the images of mutilating a face, and couldn't ignore the repetition. It almost drove me out of the room. But is that what Sharitis wanted? Probably. What a jerk.
One film that left its positive impact on me on "Lapis" by James Whitney. It resembled a kaleidoscope morphing throughout in an array of colors and shapes. The patterns were hypnotic and entrancing. Though it was a simple concept, it kept my attention (and I wasn't annoyed by it). The patterns danced with the music. I felt as if I jumped straight into my iTunes "Jelly" visualizer.

Walker Arts Films

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1. The Film "69" by Robert Breer was interesting i thought. It had a very mechanical feel to it and the sound in the beginning made it even more mechanical. The sound also reminded me of home movies from the '50s since there was constant white noise subtly playing i the background. The shapes that rise and fall from the screen remind me of a close-up of some sort of machine working. The parts all swing through view in relation to another and it seems like they are all connected in some way. Towards the end of the piece the sound changes to where it sounds more like someone switching radio stations, with voices almost becoming legible. I found the piece interesting, but repetitive at times, though random images would randomly pop on screen for a few frames which gave diversity to what was going on an killed the repetitiveness a little.
2. I enjoyed the film "Lapis" by James Whitney. More than anything, this reminded me of scenes in movies taking place in the '60s where the characters are on LSD. The music i think fits very well with the piece as a whole. The sounds have a sort of consistent feel to them, but at the same time play a song which helped keep me interested in the film. The film of little colored dots moving in consistent circles and patterns kept my interest through the film, and probably would have without the music. Not that it would be an ideal use of my time, but the figures were moving enough and changing, and zooming up close, and then far away enough that they drew my attention and it was very interesting to watch how they all interacted with each other.
3. EAUX D'ARTIFICE by Kenneth Anger reminded me personally of the scene in Disney's Fantasia when the pixies are waking up and there is dew on all the leaves. The music playing is not very different from that which was playing during that scene in Fantasia and the water droplets everywhere remind me of the dew. I didn't really understand this piece very well, the person walking down the stairs particularly seemed out of place to me. Even so, the film was incredibly relaxing and peaceful to watch. The music with the scenes of fountains almost felt like watching an excerpt of Greek mythology. About 2/3 of the way through, when the music changes to a more up-beat sound i thought the film lost some of its' cohesiveness. I dont think that the second song fit in with the fountains. I found it interesting however, how the film could completely change its personality because of it music. The film does start feeling more accomplished and excited because of the 2nd song, even though it does not fit in entirely with the scenery.

Walker Films

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1. The film Eaux d'artifice stood out to me, mostly because of the contrast of this one and Anger's other film. The last one just kind of made me irritated while this one fit me more. It had a very nice laid back theme in my opinion and along with the music really got me actually thinking.
The sounds in the film sort of move the film along and set the flow. While if it were silent you'd mostly focus on the woman walking, and ignore a bit of the water flowing. The thing that stood out to me the most was the obvious contrast as stated earlier, but also the part at around 8 minutes where the music changes. It all sounded familiar and at that time was when it clicked for me.
The film didn't make me uncomfortable at, as said earlier it had the opposite effect. The combination of water, dark colors, and relatively relaxed song helped. If I were to change anything, I'd probably focus more on the water.
2.William Klein's Broadway by Light struck me right away. After seeing some unorthodox films this one was easy for me to connect to. The sound takes away the part of focusing on the lights, while it also gives the viewer a sense of environment. The story is sort of a life and death of a city type of plot to me with a reverse, usually people would associate morning/light as life and night/dark as death while if you add in Broadway lights it flips it. It made me think of Minneapolis and other cities with their abundance of lights and how it would change in the day light. The film didn't make me uncomfortable, it had me intrigued as to what else could this concept be applied to.I wouldn't change anything about it, everything in the film seemed to fit as it should and altering it would just change the point.
3. Lastly, John Whitney's Lapsis I enjoyed for the simple fact that it didn't seem to try and be something it didn't need to be. To me it was just to be a good experience for the viewer and have them take it as they see fit. The sound gives motion to the film in the auditory sense. The first thing I noticed was obviously the changing patterns and music. It reminded me of the desert mirages, and also the seasons with the changing colors. As with the other films I talked about this one didn't make me feel uncomfortable, I enjoyed it and liked that it gave me a sort of "make your own story" feel. As with the last film, I wouldn't change anything other than maybe the music to something more modern just for the contrast of old and new.

film comments

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The first film we viewed was El Espectro Rojo. It stands out to me because it was one of the few that seemed to have a distinct purpose. While none of the films exactly had me on the edge of my seat, I would consider this my favorite. The entire film takes place in a cave. A demon there does many random magic tricks, most of which were with fire or making objects and several women disappear. I liked the spontaneous and animated actions used in the clip. The lack of sound makes the viewer pay more attention to visual details. At the end, one of the women freed the other women, turned the demon into a skeleton, and took his cape. If I could change one thing, I would make the magic tricks seem more real, because they were a little awkward.
My least favorite film was T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G. I did not like how the combination of the sharp sounds and the bright flashing colors gave me a headache. It's simply a person doing things with his face as bright colors and letters are flashed while the word "destroy" is repeated. If you see the first minute of it, you've pretty much seen the whole thing. The only thing I got from it was that possibly the longer you hear the same thing, the more different ways it can be interpreted. For example, was he saying "destroy," "this girl," "just draw" or "just die?"
Another film shown was Frank Film. At first, it seemed like another pointless film, but then I realized what was going on. Frank describes his life story, while images and words pertaining to the specific time period are simultaneously flashed and heard. At first, it seemed like too much to take in, and I thought it was abstract. But after watching for a while, I separated the voices to understand the narrative. I liked how this film had a purpose, and held my attention.

Walker Films

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Robert Breer's video "69" came across as very bizarre when I started watching it. It had shapes flashing by the screen and it transitioned with epileptic flashing of lights. I think it told a story of how many things in our lives are based off of the same basic shapes - this was solidified by the sounds that were added periodically throughout, like engine sounds for cars. The flashing lights made me very uncomfortable, but looking back, I would not have changed it, because it allowed for easy transitions.

Koko's "Earth Control" was cute, but definitely contradicts all of my views of 1920's cartoons. The style was very reminiscent of Walt Disney's original Mickey Mouse cartoon, "Steamboat Willie," but the cartoon was very dark. There was a story being told, it was very strange though. A cartoon clown and a dog find a hut that has a switch that causes the end of the world. After a scuffle, the dog flips the switch and the world around them quickly deteriorates. I really liked the use of flashing black and white to show disarray and lack of structure. Despite the dark mood of the cartoon, the music kept the cartoon very optimistic and playful. I liked that the music kept the cartoon from being too dark, but if I were trying to portray the end of the world, I may have implemented more panicked and somber music.

Hans Richter, "Rhytmus 21" - I did not really like how abstract the film was, because I prefer structure, but its use of music seemed to give it some sort of pattern. As the music slowed, the rectangles shrunk. As the music got faster, the rectangles grew. As percussion was introduced, rectangles appeared more frequently. I think the use of music had a huge affect on this piece, and it definitely made me enjoy it more.

Films

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Taris, roi de l'eau
I liked that parts were filmed underwater and the different camera angles. The only sound in the video was narration and water sounds. I noticed there was no sound during the slow motion parts and the water noises were silenced during the narration. The water sounds enhanced the piece and I think they should have been continued throughout the whole video. The video's story is about what goes into being a successful swimmer. I related to it because I just attended my first swim meet and I was in awe at how fast these people could swim. I liked that towards the end of the video, it made swimming seem like a form of art.
Eaux D'Artifice
This piece seemed very tranquil. Right away I noticed the blue color and the tranquil music. It triggered my memory of the movie Sleeping Beauty when everyone at the palace is under the spell and everything is at rest. The story in the video is that a woman is walking through a garden at night and she disappears in a fountain. If I had to change something, I would add some very subtle water sounds because I wanted to hear the relaxing sound of the water when I was watching the video.
T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G
When I was watching this I got really annoyed because he was only saying "destroy" over and over. "Destroy" didn't sound like a word anymore after about 30 seconds of constant repeating. Then, it started to sound like other words were mixed in and I couldn't tell what he was saying anymore. It was uncomfortable to listen to "destroy" for that amount of time. The sound was very important in this piece because without it, it would just be colored pictures flashing and I wouldn't have felt as strongly about the piece. There wasn't really a story but it reminded me a little of Andy Warhol's work because it was basically the same image in many different, bright colors. I wouldn't change anything about the piece because even though I didn't like the constant repeating during the video, after it was done and I didn't have to listen to it anymore, I thought it was really interesting.

Walker Films

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1. Jean Vigo "Taris"
I really liked this film because of the creative angles used, especially for the 1930's. The black and white actually suited the subject of swimming, it gave the water an intense look. The sound added to the excitement of the races. I notice right away that it's in French, and since I can't understand them, it makes something ordinary like swimming seem foreign and different. The shots of the swimmer's legs remind me of swimming lessons and learning how to kick. If I could change it I would add subtitles.

2. Paul Sharits "T.O.U.C.H.I.N.G."
I really disliked this film because it was so annoying I wanted to cut my own tongue out. The repetition of words and pictures flashing got so irritating, it could have been used for torture. The word "destroy" which was said over and over began to sound like other things as they seemed to overlap after a period of time. The sound takes away from the piece because it is so repetitive and the listener just wants it to stop, its uncomfortable in that it just keeps going. There is no story, it's just this guy and people doing stuff to his face and random letters. The random switching of colors made me think of how this video could cause seizures. I would add more pictures and change the words.

3. Frank and Caroline Mouris "Frank Film"
I really enjoyed this film because of the time it took to collect all those images and the story it told. The two audio tracks going at the same time were kind of confusing, I kept switching from one to the other, but the second was more a of a background track. I think it might have been more effective if the background track was quieter. I liked the cut-out pictures, I used to make collages with them when I was younger. I liked how the story progressed from his elementary school days to college and his career. I was just amazed by all the images he had.

http://vimeo.com/15032225

I found the film called El Espectro funny. A devil character kept doing these magic tricks. All of the participants in the stage act where women. A good use of fire and pyrotechnics was used throughout the film. In the end, the devil was out tricked by a woman.
Broadway by Light was like nails on a chalkboard for me, but I think that was the point. The visuals were of all the blinking and flashing lights that lit up the night sky. The music that played made the film that much harder to see. The end film ended with the sun rising and the lights off. One could see the frame work that the lights were on. I think the point of the film was to say that the lights have destroyed the natural wonderful environment, and made it ugly.
Frank Mouris's Frank Film was my favorite. He used many images from a personal collection to tell a story of his life. I loved all the images he used and how they layered themselves in a symmetrical way. Frank narrated the story along with 1 or 2 other layers of him talking. The story he told was his career path from grade school through high school and into college. He told of how his interests changed and what influenced him. Graphic design and producing film was the end result.

Walker Write-up

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I really enjoyed the time spent at the walker. The videos were very weird for the most part and were not something you would typically see otherwise. There were two videos I really enjoyed and they were Eaux d'artifice by Kenneth Anger and William Klein's Broadway by Light. I enjoyed Eaux d'artifice because it had a very rich elegant feeling to it. The selection of string based music really fit into the piece. There was a large emphasize on water and fountains. I felt it was trying to show the elegance water can have. It is so free moving and beautiful. This piece felt elegant to me because there was a reappearing women who appeared to be dressed very elaborately. I felt like she was touring her private gardens and viewing all the different fountains. I really don't have anything i would change about it. The second video I enjoyed was Broadway by Light. I really liked the concept of showing how the bright lights of a big city interact. The music was synced with the lights pattern. I like how it showed a night on the town in New York. Everything that goes on after dark, and how the lighting changes the feel of the city entirely. There also isn't much I would change about this video. There were a few videos I really did not enjoy, but there is one that stands out more then the Others. Kenneth Angers Invocation of my Demon Brother was so..... I really don't have words to describe how I felt about this video. I was very creeped out and mortified. There was really no story. There were just constant flashing images of satanic rituals. I believe there was even a clip of a small animal (possibly a cat) being placed into a fire? This sent shivers down my spine. The sound incorporated really had no effect, besides giving me a headache. If there was something I could change about this video I would make it less dark and random. Stick with either a dark theme or a random theme but having both just made it really hard to follow.

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