Saturday, 31 August 2013

Animated Discussions: Ana Kim: Bertie And Camera

Bertie and Camera from Ana Kim on Vimeo.

Animated Review picked this one out. It is indeed a lovely, stop motion animation short, incorporating drawn animation. It comes from Ana Kim, a recent graduate of Rhode Island School of design.

I have a thing about "camera" as a symbol. I did dream one time of a big blue polaroid-type camera... I never knew exactly what it meant, but that's the way with dream stuff. They resonate. Come to think of it... perhaps the "dream camera" is not simply a polaroid ... but one of those old-fashioned underwater cameras. Oh Yes. Photographing thedeeps... I do like that. I did make a replica dream camera out of driftwood and beach plastic. Then I did use  the dream camera as a woodcut image.... Endless fun with a camera.
Anyway I like this subtle, quiet, little piece very much.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Stop Motion Animation - Making "Skeleton Girl"

Found connection to this from StopMotion Pro... the animation software product used to film the short "Skeleton Girl" by Bleeding Art Industries.
It's a nice little piece about the work that goes into stop motion animation.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Pull-Along

You must know by now that The Old Man do have an interesting way with vocabulary. Age, medical conditions... and their requisite drugs... do not perhaps help. As he do get tireder... his grasp of nouns do get vaguer.

So he is recounting a friend's puzzlement as The Old Man requests if the friend could come round with his "Pull-Along". Some moments of this talk continues until the light dawns.

"You mean the trailer?" say friend.
"Yes. That's it... TRAILER... that's it."

The Old Man bemoans his lack of brainpower and wonders if they can install one of these new "tiny brain" things to help.... and if so... would they poke it in his ear and it find its right place?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Clouded Yellow

First blackberry and apple pie this weekend makes The Old Man very happy.

Walking today, looking for the next pie-makings, we see Clouded Yellow butterflies along the sea-facing lane. All the way from France? Maybe.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Dog Days

Swallows gathering. Plenty of butterflies. Even a dragonfly or two.
I do love the way birds be smart.

My neighbour says she takes her young dog up into the field behind the house. There the dog do romp around the grasses chasing the flies and insects that she do kick up. Swallows are flying low over the field and as the young girl-dog do chase one of them (who leads her around the field on an exhausting fruitless hunt)... the rest of the swallows do follow on behind them... snapping up the midges and flies what young dog do disturb in her running.

That's what I call the tail wagging the dog.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

RIP: Elmore Leonard - Big Daddy Of Crime Writing

Elmore Leonard: 1925-2013                         Photo: Wikipedia
I don't always read European crime stuff. I probably started reading crime fiction consistently after discovering Raymond Chandler. (Quelle surprise.)

But early on in my American crime fiction reading I discover Elmore Leonard and there is no doubt he was a master. Don't be fooled by the amount of Hollywood films that spin from his books. Elmore Leonard, who died yesterday at the age of 87, wrote crime fiction that became classics in their own right: sharp, sassy, tight, and gritty. I remember "Get Shorty" , "Out of Sight" and "Rum Punch".... I wish, amongst these, I could name a book that hasn't become a film.... but I can't. That's the way with Leonard. But for me the books came before the films.

Anyway... many people are referring to Leonard's "Ten rules of writing" to which Leonard himself added  "My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

Mmmm... I prob'ly can't say I could be a writer then.... think I fall down on all ten points. But...
Thankyou, Mr Leonard, for all those books.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Keith Newstead & Rob Higgs Automata for Tonatore's "The Best Offer"

Video of Keith Newstead's automata work with Rob Higgs for two life size clockwork men for use as props for the film 'The Best Offer' by Tonatore .... (Director of "Cinema Paradiso").

Incredible work.
But if you don't like "clockwork humans" don't watch!

Shared from Keith Newstead's YouTube Spot.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Travels With My Film-Life: Berlin, 1931 - "Emil & The Detectives"

Ah! You do think I may be deep in the rise of Hitler and such, here in 1930s Berlin.... But no....
I am enjoying the innocence of a ragamuffin childhood as I join village boy Emil, robbed of his money by a bowler-hatted villain who do drug poor Emil as he travels by train to Berlin to stay with his grandmother. (Moral: Do not accept sweets from dodgy strangers, children!) In Berlin Emil is helped by a friendly gang of children (aka "The Detectives") to track down the bowler-hatted villain and find a way to get Emil's money back. Watch out for the car-horn tooting gang leader. Toot-toot!

Based on the famous children's book  "Emil & The Detectives", written by Erich Kastner, this 1931 German version is by Gerhard Lamprecht and has a script written by a pre-Hollywood Billy Wilder.

This is the kind of kids story that makes me feel good. Not sure why. But I remember my favourite children's book was "A Hundred Million Francs" by Paul Berna... which is set in postwar France but in many ways is a very similar story... a gang of ragamuffins track down the villains that steal something precious from them.

On the same DVD as this German 1931 film is the BFI restored 1935 English version...
Here's an extract for you.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Greydoll And Criminal Reading: "Generation Loss" by Elizabeth Hand

So, a crime book that I do read recently is "Generation Loss" by Elizabeth Hand. 

I think this is a good one. Set in America, the coast of Maine for the most part. It's "enfant always terrible" protagonist is a New York punk photographer, Cass Neary. She is a devil though... Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander on speed. Which is most probably true.

She gets, or think she gets, a commission to interview an aging photographer on her island home. Once Cass gets her chaotic self there, the atmosphere gets darker and death steps up. Cass is obsessive about photography. And the "Generation Loss" referred to by the book's title is - in the photographic context - the loss of quality when an image is successively copied.

If you like dark, if you like thrillers, and if you are an analogue photography geek... this is a book to try.

And, of course, you can read a detailed Euro Crime review here.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Let There Be Light

Yesterday the roof of the plastic lean-to was taken off ready for building work.

The Old Man and me stagger around in the blaze of daylight coming through the house windows.

This mornin' The Old Man do say:
"It's like waking up with snow on the ground....."

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Just So You Know...

(... yes... this is me looking uncharacteristically "pokey".... which is The Old Man's in-house slang for "irritable"...)

.....just so's you know and in case the posts get more erratic or more grumpy than usual.... Me and The Old Man are embarking on a bit of rebuilding.... in that the plastic bit on the back of the house what be leaking, spider-infested and falling apart.... is being replaced by something a bit more robust.

This have meant a bit of worry... and a bit of getting to grips with molto troppo belongings. That is to say... sifting through and moving them.

We therefore be grumpy, anxious and tired. And this be likely to go on for a month or two. With apologies if the posts get too ratty or fail to appear.

Viva building work!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Greydoll & Criminal Reading: The Namesake By Conor Fitzgerald

I do read crime fiction when I can.... It's not just for Mrs D you know.

A while back I do read "The Namesake" by Irish writer Conor Fitzgerald - part of his crime series featuring an American-born Rome police detective, Alec Blume.

"The Namesake" plunges Blume into the Calabrian Mafia... initially in a very unlikely vehicle and with a very unlikely travelling companion. As the book progressed I grew to understand and like Blume....(there's a touch of humour in there .... for I came to the conclusion that Blume is a naturally awkward man.) You got me with this one Mr Fitzgerald, I'm ready to read more.

Read a Euro Crime review here..... and give the Alec Blume books a go.

Friday, 2 August 2013

My Weekend Creepy Telly Done Gone...

Alors! My dose of French creepiness (The Returned) do finish last week.
In short... The Returned have gone but the good news is that The Returned Are Returning!

The Old Man says enough is enough (for him) of zombies. He will not watch The Returned when they do return.

Il a perdu son courage pour de telles choses..... tant pis.