Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948)

Figure 1. Rope Poster 

What’s unique about Rope is it’s story is less of who committed the murder and instead is about if the characters will get away with it. As Levy mentions in his review “Unlike other movies, in “Rope,” Hitchcock is less concerned with sharp characterization and moral dilemmas than with describing how a seemingly “perfect” crime goes wrong.” (2007, Levy). As Levy highlights this film is more about building suspense than showing character development. As an audience we are given all the info of who committed the crime right at the start of the film seeing Philip and Brandon strangle their friend David with a rope. The then place him in a book chest which you can see in figure 2. Knowing this information creates tension for the audience. This is especially experienced in the scene in which the maid is clearing items of the chest. The camera is left to focus on her as she slowly removes the items from the chest, this creates a large amount of suspense as the audience wonder whether she’ll discover the body.

Figure 2. Murder

What’s also interesting about rope is its continuous nature, the film itself feels almost like a play unravelling in front of the audiences eyes. “There is a great stroke of craftsmanship at work throughout the film. Shot in ten long takes, the movie creates an elaborate illusion that there is no cutaway or break from the action, as if to indicate a quiet observer is present in the room for the whole duration of the story” (2014, Keyes). Keyes mentions that the film is shot in 10 takes, meaning that no editing is involved with this film. This is what helps it feel like a play or like you’re a spectator watching. You also feel like the spectator later in the film when the camera is moved around during an explanation. The camera is made to look around as if a human would and this successfully involves the audience within the film.

Brandon and Philip 

In modern times it would be obvious to us that the two lead characters are infact a gay couple. Webster touches upon this in his article “This modestly successful thriller stands out as Alfred Hitchcock's first colour film and for the presence of two obviously gay lead characters.” (2001, Webster). Webster says that the fact they are gay stands out. This would most likely be because at the time this film was made being gay was not as accepted as it is now. The portrayal of these characters however fits very much in the trope of one person in the gay couple being dominant and the other being submissive which is neither an accurate or fair portrayal of gay men. Though this is representation in a time in which none was really allowed it is poor.

A unique and thrilling film, Rope proves that a handful of sets aren't needed for a successful film.

Levy, E (2007) (accessed 29/04/15)
Webster, B (2001) (accessed 29/04/15)

Illustration list
Hitchcock, A (1948) Figure 1. Rope Poster (accessed 29/04/15)

Hitchcock, A (1948) Figure 3. Brandon and Philip (accessed 29/04/15)

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic park (1993)

Figure 1. Jurassic Park Poster 

Jurassic Park is a great example of a film with a story you can get invested in. In his article Richards talks about the story “It takes something that couldn’t otherwise be realised (a dinosaur park), fills it full of characters with wit and depth” (Richards, 2013). Richards is saying here that the characters as well as the fiction of the story is why this film is successful. Spielberg creates the image of family with these characters which helps the audience relate to them and feel for them.

Figure 2. Close Up

We are not only manipulated by the brilliance of the characters themselves but also by the way in which the camera is used. It feels like Spielberg has crafted every single shot to perfection. As Ferguson mentions in his review “only the most Scrooge-like viewer will fail to be transfixed by the thrilling action and the sheer scale of the director's vision.” (Ferguson, 2013). Ferguson is impressed with how big the film vision is and this suggests that Spielberg carried out his shots well. Spielberg uses extreme close up throughout the film to manipulate his audience and his layout of shots is particularly impressive in the scene with the electric fence. Is this scene the audience is forced to watch as the power is being turned on as a character is still climbing over the electric fence, this makes the audience feel anxious for this character.

Figure 3. T-Rex 

The films talents lie in the good mix of CGI and animatronics. Dunks talks about this success in his review  “Spielberg was wise to not rely entirely on computer images, rather blending the new technology with old-fashioned practical designs and the result is a film that looks far better than any modern tentpole blockbuster” (Dunks, 2014).  Dunks thinks that this film can be considered stronger than modern day films because it’s not completely relying on only CGI. The CGI being used in small chunks makes the film more believable.

Jurassic Park is a clever film that many people will have no trouble loving.

Ferguson, J (2013) (Accessed 19/04/15) 

Illustration List
Spielberg, S (1993) Figure 1. Jurassic Park Poster (Accessed 19/04/15) 
Spielberg, S (1993) Figure 2. Close Up (Accessed 19/04/15) 


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Monday, 27 April 2015

Steven Spielberg's Duel (1971)

 Figure 1. Duel Poster

Made in 1971 Steven Spielberg’s Duel was originally made for TV. The film was later shown in cinemas due to its success. Milne says that Duel was “made for TV but booking its own place on the big screen” (Milne, 2006). It’s clear that Milne thinks the film is of cinema quality which is impressive due to it being Spielberg’s first film and also a film with a low budget.

Figure 2. Cars Still 

The plot of the film is extremely simple. David Mann, a salesman, is followed by a driver in a large truck who appears to be trying kill him. It can be argued however that the story is much deeper and actually this is a contest of masculinity. Maslin picks up on this in his review “Mann himself is shown to be a henpecked husband who regains his masculinity only through the contest on the road.” (Maslin, 1983). Maslin is saying that Mann’s Masculinity is questioned by his wife and Mann feels as if he needs to prove himself masculine hence why this contest is fought on the road. We can tell that Mann’s masculinity is being undermined in the scene in which Mann phones his wife. What’s interesting about this scene is we view the conversation with his wife through the window of a washing machine an appliance often associated with women. The washing machine door could suggest that Mann feels emasculated by his wife. The cars in the film could also be symbols of the drivers masculinity. As shown in figure 2 Manns car is smaller, cleaner and less masculine looking in comparison to the large, gritty truck which is shadowing him on the road.

Figure 3. Close up

Though Duel is simple it is thrilling to watch. Gore talks about this in his article “The film is terrifying because, as Weaver is attempting to get folks in the desert to believe that he is being terrorized by a mysterious truck driver, he finds no support.” (Gore, 2008).  Gore here is mentioning that the fear found in this film is relatable. As we are watching we fear more and more for Mann’s life as his lack of support grows. This connection with the character is cleverly achieved through the way in which the camera is used, as shown in figure 3 we are shown close ups of Mann and this helps the audience to feel emotion towards Mann.

Duel is a film which shows that big budgets aren't needed to create a thrilling film.

Gore, L (2008) (accessed 27/04/15)
Milne, T (2006) (accessed 27/04/15)

Illustration List
Spielberg, S (1971) Figure 1. Duel Poster (accessed 27/04/15)
Spielberg, S (1971) Figure 2. Cars Still (accessed 27/04/15)


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Friday, 24 April 2015

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Fantastic Voyage: Applying my textures to the Influenza models

After deciding upon using this as my texture basis I then went to apply a similar texture to my influenza models. 

My first few tests were unsuccessful. The model didn't handle transparency or reflectivity well. I decided to make the model slightly flatter in colour but still keep as much appeal and make it feel like it fits in with my body cell. 

These are my final textures for the model. The have a little bit of transparency but are less reflective.