Thursday, 23 October 2014

Final presentation-Invisible Cities

Definitive influence map

Film Review: "Stanley Kubrick" 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Figure 1: Movie poster: 2001: A Space Odyssey

"Stanley Kubricks" Space Odyssey is a very strange unique film in the sense that the narrative story is not told that much through dialogue but of the actions of the characters themselves. The film statrs in a area where apes are shown to evolve, it then cuts to an object being found on the moon, it cuts again following a space ships crew consisting of Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Spoole (Gary Lockwood) flying to Jupiter before showing a confusing ending. 

Figure 2: slow motion ape

this is a very slow film with heavy emphasis on suspense which is very different to what we are used to with today's modern films. "Stanley Kubrick" would make certain scenes very overly dramatic by shooting them in slow motion, he uses strong and powerful orchestral music to overly emphasise these scenes. Tom Milne a journalist for the guardian says "It turns in lazy slow motion against the sky" (Tom Milne, The Guardian, 2010) which infers the slow motion shots give greater meaning.

Figure 3: Astronauts on the moon  

"Roger Ebert" "states "This is the work of an artist so sumblimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention." (R. Ebert, 1997). This infers that everything in the film keeps interest by making us feel as though something is about to happen although nothing really does before the end. the only scenes one could say created suspense and tension were each scene with the black rectangle which something happens around with dramatic music for effect.

Figure 4: weird scene

One could say "Stanley Kubrick" could have been influenced by the era in which this film is shot. As Jonahh Oestreich pointed out that "it was the psychedelic movement of the late 1960’s"(Oestreich, 2013) There are multiple scenes in which this film were there is nothing but lights flashing and ending with a baby in a pod looking at the Earth.this film is down more to the viewers own interpretation as to what it means or is trying to convey.

Illustration List 

Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Figure 3:

Figure 4:


T. Milne, the guardian (2010):

R. Ebert (1997):

Oestreich. J (April 27, 2013)

DVD cover

Film Review: "Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B.Schoedsack" King Kong (1933)

Figure 1. Film poster of King Kong (1933)

King Kong (1933), directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B.Schoedsack, is one of the most classic movies in history. The film was known for being the influence of the marvellous destruction of today's blockbuster movies. King Kong is about a film crew travelling into the far reaches of the ocean to find the iconic location 'skull island' which Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) tells the captain to go for his new film. The island is a homeland to indigenous civilization of savages and primitive human beings who worship a giant beast a on the island known as "Kong", who is later charmed by the beauty of Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and takes her away after the indigenous kidnap her and offer her as sacrifice to Kong. John Driscoll  and a group of other crew members sets out to find her and Kong, encountering many dangerous beasts lurking within the island.

Figure 2. Skull island still

In figure 2,you see a still of when the ship first arrives at skull island. One can clearly see that the scene is highly complex with multiple layers mainly composed of foreground with the sea and ship, mid-ground with the wall and background of mountains. Roger Erbert said "The movie plunders every trick in the book to create its illusions"(Erbert, 2002). this still is a great representation of how the film uses a combination of live action and matte painting together to create dramatic pictures.

Figure 3. Indigenous civilization.
"Modern viewers will shift uneasily in their seats during the stereotyping of the islanders" (R. Erbert, 2002) this is true as this film was made in America 1933 which still had segregation and racism so what they showed on the screen compared to today's modern society is completely different. For example the way the tribesman were portrayed was like traditional tribesman from Africa not the brutal savages that the screen was trying to depict them as. This is a touchy subject however "Peter Jackson" recreated the scene and natives so they weren't stereotyping them as tribesman, he made them into much more un-human like savages which and took away any racist connections. 

Figure 4. King Kong and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

one would say King Kong is an admirable film for making monsters without using the computer technology that we have today. It appears that stop motion animation with puppets or plasticine could have been used to make the sequence shown in figure 4. David Thompson certainly seems to be correct when he says that "King Kong is the inspiration for half the monster films ever made" (Thompson, 2012). with films like "Gareth Edwards" Godzilla (2014),  and many other films where an oversized monster wreaks havoc. 
Illustrations List.

Film poster of King Kong (1933)

Skull Island still

indigenous civilisation

 King Kong and Tyrannosaurus rex.


Erbert. R (2002)

Thompson. D(2012) King Kong: No 10 best sci-fi and fantasy film of all time

Artist: Who's who

Perspective exercises

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Metropolis Review

Film Review: "Fritz Lang" Metropolis (1927)

Figure 1. Film Poster: "Fritz Lang" Metropolis (1927).

The film Metropolis (1927) is a German film directed by Fritz Lang and can be seen as one of the most influential films within the Science fiction genre throughout film history, From this film Fritz Lang took an important step into laying the foundations of today's' Visual effects (VFX).Set in the future, Metropolis was founded by Joh Fredersan who also runs the city, One of the wealthy residents the son of Joh, Freder Fredersan (Gustav Frohlich) the protagonist, Freder witnesses a beautiful woman known as Maria (Brigitte Helm) followed by many children in a place known as Club of the Sons. Before Freder can do anything she quickly disappeared with the children from where she came. Smitten by her beauty, Freder tried to follow her but instead found himself venturing into the depths of Metropolis where the workforce keeps the Utopian society above working, seeing people enslaved to run the machines of the city often until they collapse. After seeing the cruelty of the depths of Metropolis, Freder strives to change and create a better relationship between the working and wealthy class which pushes the city to its limits.

Figure 2. Maria experiment.

In figure 4, you can see one of the famous highlighted scenes of Metropolis. It is where Maria's appearance is being transferred to the robot created by Rotwang the mad scientist. it uses good visual effects to do this and on further investigation the star behind the robot infers that Lang may be trying the express something dark and sinister in this particular scene. 

A way to describe Metropolis is that it its design futuristic for its time and the city is a feat of imagination and architecture.
Figure 3. Scenic view of Metropolis still.

Figure 4. Still from the Fith Element (1997)

One of the many features of Metropolis is the creative Sci-fi vision of its time. It is probable that Lang was trying to show us his own idea of futuristic city. in doing this his vision has influenced many films of today, such as "The fifth Element'(1997) Where we see a futuristic cityscape with concrete skyscrapers much like those of Metropolis. Anthony Quinn seems to be right when he states"But it's the stupendous design of the film that remains its true glory"(Quinn, 2014) because Lang manged to use this design to create a film that feels massive and real and then so good as to influence many more films in the future.
Figure 5. The Hands,The Heart and The Head still.

In figure 5, it is shown that Freder has finally made a connection between the two different society's by shaking hands with both classes at the same time. It is apparent that this is a powerful moment within the film. in doing this the film can convey an important message, that people can always work together without discrimination to achieve something greater.

Metropolis layed the foundations of modern films of today and showed that with every dream and strive for greatness there will be an opposite effect somewhere that has potential to rebel. Lang also manages to show political and social problems in a way that gives light to a happy or better outcome.

Illustrations list

Film Poster.

Maria experiment

Scenic view of Metropolis still.

Fith Element.

The Hands,The Heart and The Head still.


Quinn, A. (2014)