Friday, 27 February 2015

Adaptation B: Brainstorming Character Ideas

This is a brainstorm of some characteristics and qualities of my chosen alcoholic drinks. My aim is to convert these characteristics into human traits to help me design my characters and their personalities.

Adaptation A - Re-upload

Due to problems with the prior upload of my Infographic I have uploaded it directly to Youtube for a better quality video.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Film Review: Sita sings the Blues

Nina Paley is an American born cartoonist and animator who before her recent work such as Sita sings the Blues, dwelled mostly in comic strips such as Nina's Adventures and Fluff. Judging by Sita sings the Blues, Paley's style reflects her artistic background through the incorporation of the comic strip style that runs throughout the duration of the film. Not only the style is a direct link to Paley's life but the storyline in the film is influenced by a trip she made to India with her then husband and a spiritual journey she went on through reading the Indian epic, the Ramayana. The style of the film is what makes it intriguing. the visual style used is abstract with a variety of animation styles and techniques that depict the same story but in different moods. The narrative style is very conversational and whimsical telling the story through the light-hearted conversation of three Indian shadow puppets. The film also incorporates a musical style into the film breaking into 'blues' type singalongs.

The film through this trio of narrators tells the story of Rama and his wife Sita, covering how they met, Sita's kidnapping their life after this incident and so on. All throughout this, another story is being told alongside. The true story of director Nina Paley's marriage coming to an end but shown in relevance to the ancient mythological story of Rama and Sita. Key characters in the film obviously are Rama and Sita as the story revolves around their relationship but also Nina Paley and her ex-husband as their story was intertwined into the plot.

I felt like with the film, Paley was attempting to depict the ups and downs of relationships and by conveying her relationship side by side with that of an ancient mythical being like Sita, she is attempting to highlight the similarities in these kind of relationships despite the time period or cultural surrounding. As far as the exemplification of relationships, Paley succeeded in doing this with a combination of different animation styles and light-hearted humor to keep the audience intrigued. However, the story she chose to narrate is not one that would interest those who are not open-minded to the message she is attempting to portray. So for this reason I wouldn't personally recommend this film despite feeling that it was well made, the relatability of the film does not favor the masses.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Film Review: Waltz with Bashir

Ari Folman is an Israeli film director and score composer born to Holocaust survivors in 1962. His most renowned previous work is film Saint Clara which won multiple awards in Israel including Ophir award for best film, best directing and best supporting act. Waltz with Bashir is most highly distinguished by its distinct visual style using a unique form of animation which was developed by Yoni Goodman and compiling it with very cinematic directing and musical scores. The result of this is a very theatrical visual spectacle. Also, despite the film being completely animated it still contains dark hues and unsubtle eerie visual themes to match the dark overall feel of the film and storyline. The film is set in modern day Israel but with constant referral to 1980's Israel during the Lebanon war. For these reasons the film is currently banned in Lebanon. Ari Folman himself stars in the film playing himself in the present day and when he was a young soldier. By casting himself as the protagonist of a film about his own experiences creates a very natural and unbiased viewpoint for the viewer assisting in the fluidity of the film.

Along with constant reference to the Lebanese war, the film circulates around Folman, upon the advise of a childhood friend, interviewing old comrades and fellow soldiers from the war inorder to retrieve lost memories from the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Beirut. The film uses flashbacks of Folman and the interviewees to depict the nitty gritty realities of the war first hand while also intertwining the personal experiences of the interviewee.

I feel the film was an attempt to bring light of the horrific events of the war to the rest of the world, using one of the most horrific aspects of it (the Sabra and Shatila massacre) as the main focus of the storyline. I feel using animation to do this was very effective as the themes and images conveyed in the film are not ones we usually associate with animation, which we find intriguing. In many senses it achieved what it set out to do as it has won and been nominated for multiple international awards such as Golden globe award for Best foreign language film, Academy award for best foreign language film and BAFTA for best film not in the English language. I would personally recommend this film, despite the language barrier, as it is a good watch and is historically informative.

Friday, 6 February 2015