Monday, 29 March 2010

Terry Gilliam

This week I watched a couple of Terry Gilliam films, I've never really seen anything by him but I've been told many times that I would like his films so I watched 'The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen' and 'The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus'.

I've always been a big fan of adventure films, especially anything quite surreal or unusual, I really love the idea of fantasy worlds and the escapism that goes along with this so I really loved Baron Munchhausen, you can really see how vast Gilliam's imagination is when you see the extent of detail in the different locations of the film. I thought the sets were amazing, in particular the theatre scenery in the opening scenes which was made up of a series of flat sections that folded in and out to create movement and the suggestion of perspective etc. I also loved the scenes on the moon which were also made up of flat scenery which moved sideways and forwards to create a city. It was really refreshing to see a film with so many impossible looking scenes being made without the use of CGI and it made me feel that a lot more is possible for me to create within my work by hand. I really like the idea of constructing sets that move in quite a simple way but the mechanics of the movements would also be beautiful enough to be visible; this is something I'd love to try in an animation or film.

Dr. Parnassus was also a really wonderful film, I didn't like some aspects of the animation in the imaginarium scenes but it would obviously make sense to use more current technology but I still prefer more traditional animation methods. I thought the combination of modern day with the old-fashioned set worked perfectly and the transformation to a modern set was really beautiful. Again there were some fantastic sets and costumes which were really inspiring.

I was impressed with both films as although they are quite weird and strange they never became silly and everything seemed necessary to the story which I really admired, I would imagine that making such unusual films could lead to adding in crazy characters and scenarios just for the sake of being weird but this didn't seem to happen.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


I went to the Post(er) exhibition last week at Rogue Studios (possibly the most hidden away gallery space I've ever experienced, I would never find it again alone), I had mixed feelings about the exhibition, some of the work by Rob Bailey and Nick Rhodes was really inspiring (see my faves in images below) I really loved the screen prints and it made me want to try doing some of my own, I have a massive fear of the screen print area though so I need to overcome that. The rest of the pieces were a bit mediocre and a lot of very similar prints were placed around the room so after about 15 minutes there wasn't much else to see. The space itself was also a bit of a let down, the exhibition looked a bit haphazard and didn't look as though a lot of thought had been put into the curation. It was worth a visit though for the work that I did like but I don't think I'd ever be able to find the place again to go back..

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Prague - House of the Black Madonna

This was a really interesting collection of Czech Cubist work displayed in the House of the Black Madonna; a Cubist building designed by Josef Gocar. The last memories that I have of Cubist work are from my GCSE's being told to copy Picasso and Georges Braque so it was refreshing to see some Cubism away from high school. I found myself much more interested in the metal work and furniture in the exhibition; the paintings just sort of passed by without much interest. I really liked the sculpture work by Otto Gutfreund (below) I found the hollow eyes and cheeks of his faces fascinating and I was in awe of the way that he had turned a piece of metal into something with so much character.

The few pieces of furniture that were dotted around the 3 floors were wonderful, I loved the severe shapes and angles that were applied to such mundane things as dressing tables - it was really beautiful design. The top 2 floors were probably the most compelling, they housed more simple graphic drawings of architectural plans and some of the detailed drawings that were used to plan out the Cubist paintings. It made me appreciate the precision and the organisation of the paintings whereas before I think I just dismissed them as distortion without any real thought. The collection also contained a number of African masks which seemed to be out of place but were fantastic, it made me want to look into more tribal and cultural based art work, maybe during my next project.