Saturday, October 31, 2009


Released in France this week is Jean-Pierre Jeunet's latest visual feast 'Micmacs a Tire-Larigot'. Typically it's an eccentric French comedy choc-full of inventive set-pieces with sublime photography by D.P. Tetsuo Nagata. France's favourite funny-man, Dany Boon, stars as Basil, a video store clerk whose father was killed by a land-mine & is himself inadvertently the victim of a drive by shooting. He survives a bullet lodged in his brain & despite falling homeless and jobless as a result of his injury sets out on a mission to ruin those who manufactered the weapons.

The picture features several animated sequences & wonderful 'live' automatons made from objects found in the junk-yard where Basil finds himself adopted by the eccentric 'family' living underneath. Within Jeunet's ouvre I'd say Micmacs lies somewhere between Delicatessan and Amelie. It's good to see him back with a new film after several years struggling to realise the film version of Yann Martel's Life of Pi.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Last weekend I visited a part of Europe that I'd never thought I'd see- Slovakia! It was all down to my Canadian colleague, Mr. Kris Pearn, and his insatiable desire to drink beer in every European capital before he moves back to the U.S. Of course I needed little convincing to tag along on the expedition into the lower Carpathian region!

We visited the impressive Devin Castle, outside Bratislava. Twice unsuccessfully beseiged by the Turks but blown apart by Napoleon's soldiers-it's still an imposing fortress. We dropped water down the central well & listened until 5 seconds later it plopped into the Danube hundreds of feet below.

Bratislava is right on the border with Austria so we hopped on a train for a day out in Vienna. Majestic city-we tried to see as many of the great galleries as possible and had our fill of Klimt and Schiele at the Belvedere and Leopold museums.

The highlight for me was visiting the Secession building to finally view Klimt's Beethoven Frieze which I'd admired since art school days.
Love that monkey!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Term 2 Week 4

Rapid drawing here-poses between 5 and 10 mins. Relatively short poses like this forces one to simplify the forms and avoid extraneous detail.







Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Life Class Term 2

In Life Class I've been trying out some different media for a change. I struggled like hell with pastels-talk about being outside my comfort zone-there's nothing like using blunt chalk to expose your weaknesses!

Conte crayons were a bit more manageable but the drawings are still inept!

I went back to pencil for some fancy anatomical studies.

Class-mate warm ups.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The art of film editing

Back in July I attended a special BAFTA lecture by film editor Pietro Scalia. He's worked with Oliver Stone, Gus Van Sant, Ridley Scott amongst others and spoke very eloquently of his collaboration with these film-makers. It was a real masterclass in cinematic form & Scalia had us all fascinated with his dissection of key scenes from projects that he's worked on; the opening of JFK, the 'resurrection' of Oliver Reed in Gladiator and a key scene in Good Will Hunting.

This is Scalia's diagram analysing the symmetry of VanSant's camera set-ups to which he matched his approach to editing the sequence. Watch the clip below and it will all make sense!

The lecture was filmed and can now be viewed on the BAFTA website. Follow the YouTube links to see the other parts.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Life Class-new term!

It's surprising how rusty one gets at life drawing even with a short break over the summer. I passed almost the entire first session warming up drawing my class-mates. People have great un-selfconscious expressions when they're focused & concentrating.