Sunday, 31 August 2014

Animated Discussions: Real-life Settings And Lighting for Paul Howell's "Husk"

With a life-sized puppet and real backdrops - "Husk" is a stop motion animation set on the streets of Melbourne and telling the tale of a dryad amongst feral fairies! It's currently doing the rounds of film and animation festivals. The film is by animation software "Stopmotion Pro" owner, Paul Howell with music by Bruce Smeaton.
Follow this link to a set of blog posts that describe its making... including some of the problems involved in shooting on real-time city streets.
And this is a very short trailer!

Husk film trailer from Paul Howell on Vimeo.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Travels With My Film Life: Ireland, Sligo... "Calvary"

The other night we visit Sligo with "Calvary".... a wonderful, dark, moving film by John Michael McDonagh.
In a small coastal community, a priest, Father James, hears confession in which a man recounts his years of abuse at the hands of a priest and tells his confessor... how much better to kill a good priest than a bad one. The man's abuser is dead now anyway... so Father James must make his peace and prepare for his own death in one week's time, for he is the "good" priest chosen. Father James is played by Brendan Gleeson (am now a fan... after watching him as Ray of "In Bruges") and what follows is both at times humorous and at other times bleak. Perhaps a metaphor based on Christ's approach to his place of execution, this is certainly a study of man, conscience, love, faith... I dunno. But it is the sort of powerful film, packed full of strong performances, that you can't help thinking about long after it's finished.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Old Man Bakes Bread Again

For friends and foes who wonder about The Old Man's hand problems...
Still not quite right. But he be getting back into the swing of baking bread with a largely one-handed approach to bread shaping...
He is getting back on form, though he do say his starter be getting  a bit "thin"... and therefore he still be fretting.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Oooh... Dr Who...

I did watch the Nooo Dr Whooo'Cos I never do grow up.
The Old Man disappeared to do the washing-up as he cannot cope with sci-fi facial rearrangements.

But this is a fine, steam-punk, first episode (Deep Breath) with Peter Capaldi in place as the regenerated time-hero.... confused, rattled, angry, but delighted to be Scottish. A Thames-bound dinosaur, murderous automata and the return of the Madam Vastra the Lizard Lady - I so enjoyed it all.

Now with a new Swedish crime series (Crimes of Passion) coming to BBC Four next Saturday (Aug 30th 2014). I shall be a happy Saturday night telly watcher again.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Guilty Pleasures: Film Music - The Old Man Speaks

The Old Man do remonstrate with me that he DO like film music.
I say "Huh!" to that.
"Yes," he say " I like that man what wrote the music for Truffaut's "Day for Night".
"Who's that?"
"Can't remember.... But I also like the one who wrote for Cocteau... Er.... Begins with a A..."
"Auric." say I, forever the reference librarian.
"Yes. That's it."
So there we are. We both like a spot of film music. But he likes French and I like Italian.

And here's a trail for Cocteau's "Orpheus" including some of Auric's music from the Criterion Collection over at YouTube.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Guilty Pleasures: Film Music

I do admit that sometimes I like to listen to film music.
I have the odd CD of such....(Ennio Morricone)
Why is this a guilty pleasure? Because The Old Man do not approve of such a thing. Despite his own passion for  Badalamenti's "Twin Peaks" music. many, including myself, our own passions are the exceptions that prove the rule... He do sneer at the genre as a whole.... 'cos it is not proper stuff.
But if I like it. I love it.

So there I be on Saturday afternoon.... minding my own business... when Radio 3's "Sound of Cinema" pops up. This episode is not a mixed one, but a programme dedicated to the music of Nino Rota... (Zeffirelli, Visconti, Coppola's "The Godfather"...) I'd already missed Part One last week... but I be able to listen to this one - dedicated to his work with Fellini.
I be transported to the world of Italian film. Sunglasses on, I bop around a bit. Oh, I enjoyed it, me.

Brit-based listeners can catch this episode over the next few days til about 23rd August - here.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

With Apologies...

... for not posting more often.
I am reverting to my name-type. Old, grey, grumpy.... disillusioned. I am also stiff as a board. Bits of me hurt more often than I would like. I have taken to seeing my osteopath again and she tries to straighten me up. Then she folds my arms across my chest and I see her approaching me with that rolled up towel...
And I do exclaim, "NO! Not the cracking..."
"Oh yes..." she says and...
Crack.. Crack.. crack...  do sound my back as she do squash me up.
I look at her aghast.
She says... "You needed that."

Alors! I am still grumpy. Perhaps I have to take up meditation. But the world's a mess, ain't she.... and it do make me brood.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The View From St. Agnes Beacon

The other day... a break for freedom away from the house with a trip over to St. Agnes Beacon, a landmark hill over on the North coast of Cornwall near the village of St. Agnes.
Heather, butterflies, bees, and a blue dragonfly the size of a small helicopter buzzing a puddle near the top. It be lovely there. Back to the car for the necessary pasty.

This view is from near the top... looking eastwards along the coast towards Perranporth and Newquay.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Graphic Passions : "Through the Woods" by Emily Carroll

Been reading/looking at... Through The Woods, just published in the UK by Faber & Faber.

It's a first book by Canadian illustrator-comics artist Emily Carroll...(although she has contributed to anthologies in the past) and it's made up of five short horror stories which seem to be being billed as "for children".
Well... in many ways I never do grow up... so I am happy to be horrified by Carroll's black, white, red (with the occasional swish of rotting green) drawings and hand drawn text... which bring us these dark tales from the forest, where something dreadful always abides... it being a place that is an eternal source of fairy tales of the Grimm kind.

It is hard not to gallop through these stories.... OK. I gallop through these stories.... BUT I know that I will pick up the book again and savour the artwork and the lingering thoughts left by these pungent little tales of the Undead, the Other, -  and the Things which are not what they seem.
Here's what The Independent  has to say in a recent batch review.