Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Definitive Influence Map

The room of birdcages is a room in which a traveler can pick a birdcage and travel to the world it contains. Each birdcage holds a different dimension.  These are all the images that reassured me to go ahead with this idea.

Influence Map: To Contain a World

Influence Map : Worlds

The first image on the top left and the second one on the top right are images that helped me come up with the concept of having multiple worlds in a single room.
The one on the far bottom left is a room of light bulbs. I was initially going to use light bulbs instead of bird cages. However, many artists that I have looked at such as Bruce Munro and Jeff Wall have used lightbulbs in their art and that concept already seemed used so I opted for the bird cages instead as they have always seemed uncanny to me and that was that.

Submission Disc Artwork

@Phil: Final Combination

Here is my final combination of the matte painting and the Maya modelling. The placement of the matte painting is bothering me a bit. It's almost there but I don't know what to do with it.
Any suggestions would be welcome

@Phil: Final Maya Render

This is the final Maya rendering of my chamber of birdcages.

@Phil: Final Matte Painting

This is my matte painting. Any suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Film Review: Blue Velvet (1986)

David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986) is a film filled with dark concepts that fill the audience with unease. According to reviewer Blake French, "(Blue Velvet is)an abrasive, original look at violent and perverted behavior" French,Blake. (2001). Blue Velvet.
The storyline starts off with the character Jeffrey, who stumbles upon a severed human ear. Upon taking the ear to a detective, Jeffrey meets the detective's daughter Sandy who informs him about the involvement of a woman named Dorothy in the murder.
Curious about the situation, Jeffrey goes in to investigate. He follows her home from the bar where she works. He breaks into the apartment of Dorothy and hides inside her closet.
Upon her arrival, Dorothy quickly discovers Jeffrey and forces him to engage in sexual activity with her.
Fig 1: Blue Velvet Poster
 This film contains strong Freudian concepts of masochism and sadism.
Dorothy is married to a man who is kidnapped by a man named Frank. Frank in turn blackmails Dorothy into performing sexual favours for him.
This film focuses on the familiar concept of sex which is meant to be an act of pure love and taints it with the acts of violence.
 As Jeffrey tries to help Dorothy, he gets deeply caught in the downward spiral that is her life.
As a side story, Jeffrey also begins to get attracted to Sandy, who is the only source of light in his darkening life.
While on a date one night, Jeffrey and Sandy come home to a distraught Dorothy who seeks the help of Jeffrey regarding Frank. In the process, she whispers the words "My Lover" to him.
This hurts Sandy and causes turbulence in their relationship.
Finally, Jeffrey informs Sandy's father of his independent investigation and has a team of policemen surround Dorothy's apartment. He finds Dorothy's husband dead in the apartment and with a gaping hole where his left ear should have been.

Fig 2: Frank and Dorothy

He cleverly corners Frank and he is arrested.
The film concludes with a rather false and cheerful family portrait of Sandy and her parents and Jeffrey in their kitchen, observing a blatantly fake, robotic bird. Dorothy's son is returned to her and they are envisioned as living happily ever after. This is rather difficult to grasp as Dorothy is portrayed as a very damaged woman. The very fact that she can be a mother who is to raise a stable minded child, is a rather idealistic concept.
Fig 3: Sandy and Jeffrey
The picture of the American Suburbia is multi-layered. One is, at first, given the impression that everything in this neighborhood is filled with joy and that life is perfect. However, underneath all that positive and 'too-good-to-be-true' image, there is horror and reality. According to reviewer Jamie Russell, "Lynch's modern masterpiece is obsessed with the strangeness that hides in the nooks and crannies of suburban America." Russell,Jamie. (2001). BBC Film Review. Blue Velvet (1986)

Blue Velvet is an engaging film that horrifies the viewer and deeply unsettles its audience.
As reviewer Rob Fraser states, "In Blue Velvet - sexual obsession, ideas of identity, electrifying musical numbers - these would all resurface to more satisfying effect in his masterpiece" Fraser,Rob.(2007). Empire Online Film Review. Blue Velvet.


Fraser,Rob.(2007). Empire Online Film Review. Blue Velvet. Available online at: Accessed 14th January 2012

French,Blake. (2001). Blue Velvet. Available online at Accessed 14th January 2012

Russell,Jamie. (2001). BBC Film Review. Blue Velvet (1986) Available online at: Accessed 14th January 2012

Illustration List

Figure 1: Lynch,David. (1986). Blue Velvet Accessed 14th January 2012

Figure 2:Lynch,David. (1986). Blue Velvet Accessed 14th January 2012

Figure 3:Lynch,David. (1986). Blue Velvet Accessed 14th January 2012

Film Review: The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a film that reeks of spooky and strange thoughts. The plot revolves around a man named Jack (played by Jack Nicholson) and his family who move up to a hotel as Jack receives a job as a winter caretaker.
Jack's son Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony with whom he has conversations frequently. Danny creates a distinct, scruffy voice for Tony. The voice sounds almost geriatric and is out of place when heard from the mouth of a little boy. This puts the audience in mind of the little children depicted in Jack Clayton's The Innocents (1961) .

Fig 1: The Shining Poster

The chef of the hotel communicates with Dan with a method called the Shining. This means that the two of them can communicate telepathically. According to the chef, the entire hotel is a storehouse of memories and some of them are evil. Dan begins to have visions of the previous caretaker who gets cabin fever and massacres his wife and two daughters. 
The wife of Jack, whose name is Wendy, plays a character who is perpetually afraid. Her entire life is uprooted when her husband begins to have violent bursts for no apparent reason. During this time, her motherly instincts rise up and she strives to protect her son.

Fig 2: The Twin Girls of The Caretaker

Dan keeps seeing the two girls who died at the hands of the previous caretaker. According to reviewer Jonathan Stryker, "(They are) horrific Diane Arbus-inspired twins staring directly at us" Stryker, Jonathan. (2002). Shining  /moviereview/the-shiningAll these events take place in an empty hotel.
This denotes a high sense of unease as a hotel is a place that is almost always populated. However, with the empty reception desk and the dimly lit corridors, it looks more like a haunted house. According to reviewer Janet Maslin, "(it is)something far more fearsome than a haunted house—it's a home." Maslin, Janet. (1980). The New York Times Film Review. The Shining.
Jack keeps working on his writing while getting progressively angry towards Wendy. Wendy being the doting wife, accepts his mood swings as a mere side effect of his stress and dismisses it.
However, when Dan is discovered with bruise marks on his neck, she blames it on Jacks violent rage and aims to take action.

Fig 3: The Vision of Dan

Jack tries to attack her and she uses a baseball bat to knock him out of consciousness. She locks him up in a storage room and runs out trying to find her son. Jack escapes and chases Dan, apparently possessed by the ghost of the caretaker who murdered his family with an axe.
Jack runs into a hedge maze ( another uncanny concept as it is depicted in snow and in the night with minimal lighting) after Dan who cleverly dodges his father by covering up his footprints and escaping the maze to meet his mother.
Jack gets trapped in the maze and is frozen to death.
The Shining does have a satisfying ending where the villain gets killed. This comforts the audience to some degree. However, one cannot help but think of how things would have gone if the little boy, Dan turned evil and the two of them had attacked the mother.
There can obviously be alternative endings to the storyline but it is the contents of this film throughout that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.

According to reviewer Simon Hill, "This film is a one-off, a never again to be repeated recipe, a benchmark for others to strive to reach." Hill, Simon. (2011). Celluloid The Shining Review 


Hill, Simon. (2011). Celluloid The Shining Review  Available online at Accessed on 14th January 2012

Stryker, Jonathan. (2002). Shining  Available online at Accessed on 14th January 2012

Maslin, Janet. (1980). The New York Times Film Review. The Shining. Available online at
Accessed on 14th January 2012

Illustration List

Figure 1: Kubrick, Stanley.(1980).The Shining

Figure 2:Kubrick, Stanley.(1980).The Shining

Figure 3: Kubrick, Stanley.(1980).The Shining