Thursday, 19 January 2012
Film Review: ‘The Shining’ (1980)
‘The Sihing’ is one of the most known and frightening film in the history of the cinema. Scenes filmed in bird’s eye view of a yellow car riding through the empty mountain alleys linked with a terrifying music by Wendy Carlos, signify drastic events that are about to come.
Made in 1980 film is based on a book by Stephen King. It tells a story about Jack Torrance and his family. Jack who is a writer with enthusiasm agrees to take care of an Overlook Hotel in Colorado through the winter season. The building is being shut at this time of the year, so Mr and Mrs Torrance with their small son, has to live through that time alienated from the society. Little Danny, Torrance’s son has a special ability- shining. It gives him an ability to communicate with the other world. Boy quickly notices that the hotel is full of ghosts of a murdered family. He is suspecting the ghosts to interfere in the life of his parents and himself.
‘The movie is not about ghosts but about madness and the energies it sets loose in an isolated situation primed to magnify them. Jack is an alcoholic and child abuser who has reportedly not had a drink for five months but is anything but a "recovering alcoholic.' (Erbert. 2006) Erbert explains that the film isn’t a ghost horror but its more psychological. Slowly developing insane behaviour of Jack is the most frightening motif of the film. The visions his having, are elements of a bigger jigsaw. Just the place he’s in- alienated, wild and unknown- gives the film a specific horrifying feeling. It can be said The Overlook Hotel is a second plan actor, a figure that signifies something scary and unpredictable. The hotel is a synonym of a haunted house. The madness of Jack is almost like a circle that throughout the time starts to shrink, closing his family in decreasing surface.
"Alive with portent and symbolism, every frame of the film brims with Kubrick's genius for implying psychological purpose in setting: the hotel's tight, sinister labyrinth of corridors; its cold, sterile bathrooms; the lavish, illusionary ballroom. This was horror of the mind transposed to place (or, indeed, vice versa). The clarity of the photography and the weird perspectives constantly alluding to Torrance's twisted state of mind. The supernatural elements are more elusive than the depiction of his madness."(Nathan 2007) Nathan observes that when the behaviour of Jack changes and gets worse, the setting in the hotel changes along him. The audience can see what the world looks like through the mad person’s eyes.
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ – that’s how a healthy man slowly starts to drown in madness. Jack looses the feeling of reality and looses self control, which causes him to be a danger for his family. His mind starts to be a trap from which he can’t escape.
‘The Shining’ is an unchallenged piece, which makes people watch it with delight. The music, scenes, the characteristic way of showing the horror, and the unpredictable ending keep the audience in suspense until the very last minute. It’s not a typical horror, we see this days its more original and psychological.
Roger Ebert (2006) The Shining (1980)- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060618/REVIEWS08/606180302
Empire Magazine Ian Nathan (2007) Empire Essay: The Shining.- http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132700
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Film Review: ‘Suspiria’ (1977)
Young and talented girl, Susy moves out to Freiburg to study at the famous school of ballet. During her stay there the atmosphere is starting to get frightening, starting with a cruel murder of one of the students, through an attack of disgusting larvae’s, ending on the frightening and dreadful looks of the staff. There is definitely something bad in the air.
Indeed, in film we are dealing with something evil- the evil seems even worse when we get to find out that it’s something that no one has seen and only shows up from the unexpectedly, and hides under the image of normal people. The main character just in time realizes that there is something unusual going on at the school. Her worries become even more realistic after she hears the story of her closest friend Sarah who confesses that she knows much more.
The Director Dario Argento made the visual side of the film spectacular. He builds the suspense of the film in gradual series of murders. The film contains soundtrack made by a band ‘Goblin’ that cause the mystery and somehow makes the film have a bit of a fairy tale feeling in it, but also gives the mood of an incoming danger. "Argento's skilful use of unsettling, intense colour and stunning set designs adequately obscure the film's numerous structural flaws." (Film4, 2008) The thing that stays in mind is the extraordinary stenography, which is full of intensive colours, especially bloody red. “Shooting on bold, very fake-looking sets, he uses bright primary colours and stark lines to create a campy, surreal atmosphere, and his distorted camera angles and crazy lighting turn out to be much more memorable than the carnage.” (Maslin, 1977). Maslin suggests that all the colours used in the film are extremely artificial and unreal like for example the blood which has that very bright vibrant colour almost like an acrylic paint.
New York Times Review Janet Maslin (1997)-http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=990CEFDB1F3BE334BC4B52DFBE66838C669EDE&partner=Rotten_Tomatoes
Film4 (2008) Suspiria 1977- http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1020662-suspiria/reviews/#type=top_critics
Film Review: ‘Don’t Look Now’ ( 1973)
The daughter of John and Laura Baxter drowns in a lake. The couple goes to Venice to come to the terms with the tragedy. John decides to devote himself to work, to renovate an old church. But he still can’t forget the tragedy that happened in the past. Married couple meet two sisters on their way with spiritual powers. They reckon that their dead daughter is trying to warn them about danger. John doesn’t believe anything they said but the prophecy is gradually becoming the truth.
The vision of Venice is very different from a romantic city of love. In Roeg’s ‘the city of love’ is unpleasant, gloomy, like a labyrinth filled up with dangerous and dark alleys. Climate of the city gives a feeling of danger and alienates the main characters, which brings the sense of uncanny. "He's [Roeg] a former cinematographer, and a genius at filling his frame with threatening forms and compositions. He uses Venice as well as she's ever been used in a movie; he shot there in late fall and an early, dark, wet winter." (Ebert 1973) There are hidden motifs in the film which are: red colour and water they are both included during the tragedy that happened at the beginning when their daughter who was wearing a red robe drowned. So throughout the film whenever we see red and water we get the feeling of danger. "Effective enough as a chiller in its own right, with Roeg of course it all goes so much deeper, acting as a labyrinthine but none the less moving and perceptive mediation on loss, love, and the indefinable nature of time itself. As if piecing together an intricate puzzle, key motifs constantly recur: the colour red, shattered glass, water, until their ultimate meaning is finally revealed to horrifying effect." (Wood 2001
The film contains a lot of hidden warning signals that are being suddenly shown in the continuous nearly monotonous story line. Scenes of reconciling the marriage bonds in the activities like going for a walk or conversations, makes the audience lose their vigilance through the lazy action in the film. But its just the calm before the storm. The middle of the film tests the audiences patience waiting in the suspense of what is going to happen. The ending scene is definitely something no one was suspecting its horrifying and gives the audiences goose bumps.
Roger Ebert (1973) Don't Look Now.- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19731220/REVIEWS/312200301 (Accessed : 20/12/11)
BBC David Wood (2001) Don't Look Now (1973). http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/03/05/dont_look_now_1973_review.shtml (Accessed:20/12/11)
Film Review: ‘The Wicker Man’ (1973)
Sergant Howie receives an anonymous letter from Summerisle Island. The addresser asks him for help to find a missing girl. After Howie gets to the island he starts an investigation. After a while he gets to know very unusual habits from the citizens. Finding a child on the small island won’t be an easy case, which he was expecting to be. The music continues through the whole film, and if someone was watching it in selected scenes, it could be thought of as a musical.
‘The Wicker Man’ is a thriller with a religious aspect. Robin Hardy lets the audience get to know the mysterious world of the citizens from the island. Robin Hardy Manipulates the audiences mixing the horror with happy melody which is quite untypical, as normally in that kind of films we hear terrifying music that keeps is the suspense.
The film contains extraordinary views of the citizens on the island. The people carry out very disturbing sexual rituals even the children are involved and it’s all being thought as normality. "With such a colourful production history, "The Wicker Man" was always destined for fame. Yet its cult status actually has more to do with the film's content - there's a paedophile subplot, lots of occult rituals, sexual perversion, Christopher Lee in drag, and a resolutely downbeat finale that's as far removed from a happy ending as it's possible to get. And on top of all that, it's bloody scary." (Russell 2001) Russel also touches up on the ending of the film as it’s carried out as another very ‘freaky’ ritual that no one from the audience would expect to happen, as it was a sudden turning point in the action. "The Wicker Man is, more than anything else, a film about what people can do in the name of religion or, more generally, belief. Its power comes not from appeals to the supernatural but from a deep understanding of our own undeniable nature. Horror doesn't get much closer to home than that." (Smith 2007) Smith explains that in the film people are murdering a person, whilst sinning a song and being happy for what they believe in, and thinking that they are doing a right thing and it’s a normal thing to do. The whole religious view of the island makes is extremely uncanny and wrong.
BBC Jamie Russel (2001) The Wicker Man (1973)- http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/12/17/the_wicker_man_1973_review.shtml
Empire Magazine Adam Smith (2007) Empire Essay: The Wicker Man- http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?DVDID=7892
Film Review: ‘The Innocents’ (1961)
(Fig1- Film Poster)
Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) agrees to take a role of a mistress and take care of a couple of orphans, who after the death of their parents found themselves in the care of their uncle who isn’t particularly happy about that fact. Gentleman doesn’t see a reason for which he should bring the children to London, where anyway they wouldn’t be able to accompany him in his favourite entertainments, and would be just a nuisance for him. A house at the cottage is the best place for the kids, so he sends there the mistress, and gives her the authority to be the person in charge of the whole house and the people who live in it. He gives her an order to not interrupt him with any problems, she has to solve them all by herself. Full of anxiety woman goes to the house in Blye, and the beauty of the place charms her. Flora also seems like a charming little girl. Everything is like in a fairy tale until Miles gets expelled from school and needs to get back to the house.
(Fig2. Miles and the ghost of a man)
‘The Innocents’ is one of the best films directed by Henry James, the film is a gothic horror, and not everything in it has a clear meaning. The relation between the kids and the caretaker, question the audience, because it isn’t entirely clear, if she wants to save the kids from the ghosts, or if everything is a figment of a diseased imagination. 'Miss Giddens desperate desire to help while overtly suggesting a note of repressed hysteria, hinting that the ghosts may be externalizations of her own inner demons'. (Biodrowski, 2008)
(Fig3- Ghost of a woman in the lake)
The atmosphere of horror is achieved by the music especially the melody about the willow tree. “The story’s profound, unsettling ambiguity is perfectly served by Georges Auric’s soundtrack of laughs and whispers.” (Walters, 2006) The soundtrack makes the audience wait in the suspense of what is going to happen. And the whispering of people we can’t see on screen makes us feel uncomfortable and gives the horrifying feeling. It’s important to mention the 11 and 13 year old actors who did a great job getting into their characters so perfectly especially Miles who was possessed by a ghost. After the film a lot of scenes stays in the audiences minds especially Miles’s and Miss Giddens’s controversial kiss.
Walters, Ben. (2006). The Innocents- http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/76028/the_innocents.html (Accessed 20/12/ 2011)
Biodrowski, S. (2008) The Innocents (1961)-http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/2008/04/film-dvd-review-the-innocents-1961/ (Accessed20/12/2011)
Monday, 16 January 2012
Saturday, 14 January 2012
Bison 50%, Bear 50%
4 Blended Presets
Polar Bear 100%
Double Sided Shader 1
Double Sided Shader 2
Facing Ratio Shader Water
Facing Ratio Shader X-Ray
Facing Ratio Shader Blood Vessels