Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Review of 'The Cat People'



‘Cat People’ is a film brought to our screens around 1942 by the director Jacques Tourneur. The film is on the other side of the gender scale. As we follow a new immigrant to America Irena Dubrovna Reed as she battle with the inner urges and sexual tension she has over (her soon to be love in the film) Oliver Reed.


The stalking sequences -- as 'other woman' Jane Randolph is pursued through Central Park or menaced in a swimming pool by an almost-unseen force -- are still chilly – Kim Newman
The story is simplistic and has great usage of input the woman spin on a relation and the pain and happiness which comes with it. The story begins as Oliver introduces himself to Irena in a local zoo where she sketches. From then on the relation blossom and by ten minutes in (if that) they’re married and in living together.  After confront her husband about her belief and worries about the legend of her village and the danger that it may have on him. They call in a psychiatrist to help uncover the real reason for the worries she has. Still this ends up failing her insanity (supposedly) begins to upset and annoy her husband who looks towards a new venture with work colleague ‘Alice Moore’. The result of, which see Irena get jealous and full of hatred attempt to seize any possible chance of attacking her nemesis, whilst transformed into a jaguar. Sadly when kissed by the psychiatrist the evil within takes over and she is given the chance to take her first victim. Only to be cut short when entering the zoo she is attack by a jaguar she attempts to set free plus half a sword which is in her back. The film end on a tragedy with the husband realising his mistake and can be possible be consider as dramatic irony. Yet he still has the possibility to allow himself to ultimately be together with Alice.

What did upset me at this very part is that although we had been told about the curse that had been subject to all the women of here village back in Serbia. I still question why it takes so long for the director to imply that the lead is actual one of the cat people so to speak as on when we reach the classic ‘Dark Alley, Someone following me seen’ do we understand that all along she believe the curse because she has actual got that curse. 


'Frightening in an eerie, mysterious way that was hard to define; the screen harbored unseen threats, and there was an undertone of sexual danger that was more ominous because it was never acted upon.' – Roger Ebert
Yet moreover the most impress notion in the actual venture was the technique of using shadow and dark and light to complete create that dark gloomy effect. The effect was immense as it kept you on your sit especially when you see the typical silhouette of the Jag walking down the stair and around the pool. Plus to top that the idea of not being able to be seduce as you will become a killer basically is an in-genius plot as a viewer can see the irony and feel the sadness that a women would feel not being able to experience that final carnal act of passion with someone they love. This lead to a very sensitive subject as in inherit the female side of sex and how they are passionate slender feline who are also quite ferocious as the man when having sexual urges. Interestingly enough I feel unlike trying to depict wanting love as the La Bête et La Belle had displayed I can see that Jacques wanted to depict and give the imagery that for a female, intimacy is a key to a man heart as if you don’t show the right emotion like Irena did. You will lose your man. I all honest quite a sexist view and possible egotistical. In 1942 it made for a great cinematic.

My final thought are that this still display a more softer, vulnerable side to a woman and her sexual tension  and yet display how they effectively lust the same carnal urge but it a more love orientated way then ferocious beast type of way that male tend to depict and show even till this day. Furthermore ultimately although taking a long time to get the story into fully motion. This is definitely one to watch when dissemble and analysed it is nothing more than a masterpiece of metaphorical and artistic talents.


Apart from Simon, the acting's pretty ropey, but the film is packed with eerie moments — the famous walk through the park gave rise to the term “bus”, meaning a false shock – David Parkinson

Review Of La Bête et la Belle (Beauty and the Beast) - 1946









La Bête et la Belle (Beauty and the Beast) is commonly known for being associated by the Disney classic had originally been a French innovation one after the collapse of the 2nd World War. In 1946 director Jean Cocteau envisioned the idea of a man cursed to look and behave like an animal. The interesting part of this idea, this innovation was the implication of sexual nature between the man and the girl.


The story is of a once wealth female who goes into problems and due to a missing ship. Effectively making their family paupers and hence beauty the house slave as it’s believed that sisters are the better looking of the family.  Returning with news one day of his ship being sighted the father goes looking for the ship. Whilst getting lost in the forest he stumbles across the mansion where the beast lives. After venturing around the grounds the beast appears and offer the father a deal to give up his life or one of his daughters.  Feeling at fault for not marrying Avenant and taking their family out of their pauper lifestyle; La Belle fleas to the Beast mansion to fully the request of the beast. From then on La Belle and the Beast attempt to look past La Bette monstrous ways and eventually fall in love.


The film was for its time was classic and to this day a well presented interpretation of the sexual nature of a man. The movie shows the strong powerful emotion of desire and ferocious passion that a man has metaphorically. But what was good was that although you could look and see that metaphorical value, you could also see the importance of love in this film and how although a man may be horny we’re still yearning for that passionate love between someone and ourselves.



With interiors that owe much to the paintings of Doré and Vermeer, this visual feast is enhanced by the magical realism of Henri Alekan's photography – David Parkinson


Furthermore the imagery really portrayed the idea of a mythical place, which considering the time was a feat itself. The artistic use of anatomy a part of the upholstery was a scary yet mystical enabling the view to understand that the mansion was not of a human environment but one of magical values. Yet I thought that the door and mirror dialogue was quite poor and ill choice in the film as I didn’t understand why all object that where animated in the house had to talk to la belle. In essence other element (i.e. lights or statues) all had part of the human anatomy be it an arm or head. Yet the door and mirror had neither and yet out of all they were the most intellectual. Perhaps maybe have the statues speak. I don’t know really and let face it am nit picking at this film.

'Marvellous surreal effects live on the mind’s eye long after the lights go up: the beast’s smoking paws; a living mantelpiece; the billowing white drapes as Belle is carried along a castle corridor, seemingly without moving her feet; and ethereal human arms brandishing candelabra.' – Louise Brealy

If I didn’t think for it time it was incredible and artistic in this day age the method of having set stages in which to stick by was well chosen for this film as the involvement of other areas would most likely confuse and bore viewers as a different landscape every seen become confusing and not depicted very well.

'Wonderfully designed by Christian Bérard complete with fantastic living statuary, and dignified by a Beast at once ferocious, erotic and genuinely tragic - are pure magic'


In conclusion I feel that although not a significantly well pieced element of work with area jumping clips in the film. The artistic value and metaphorical value for this piece is a testament to Jean Cocteau and his cast. Importantly being able to identify the spirit of a man who has passion and fercious sexual nature but also display another more soft side which is the yearning for a commitment to someone special and their own.

Review Of 'The Fly' (1986)






As I stated recently in my blog, ‘The Fly’ made in 1986 by David Cronenberg was a superior and far more complex film then the original in 1958. The film follows an anti-social scientist (Seth Brundel) who discovers the art of teleportation and is keen to perfect the device and finally be able to transport life organism.  After meeting reporter Veronica Quaife at a scientific community conference he shows her invention as a way of impressing her not thinking of the consequences of inviting a reporter back to the invention of the century. This results in collaboration between them and even romance as they document the final stages of the invention. Being socially inept, when Veronica leaves to follow a lead on a case with her editor ( a previous relationship) Seth attempts to teleport himself after having success only once previously with a baboon. Whilst in progress a fly enter the teleportation system and whilst through the duration genetically combined with Seth. Following on from this Seth physical and mental character changes for the worst and the effect turn him more confident and stronger, faster and have the abilities known to insect.  Alongside these problems Veronica struggle to get to grips with her new love transform as well as having his child.


'Only Cronenberg can get away with working out his raw phobias on screen while being poignantly witty and repulsively entertaining at the same time.' – Alan Jones


When watching this epic (which it is an epic). I felt that the film was more complex then its predecessor in 1958.  It had vital information, area that contributed better to the final outcome of the film. Nevertheless, keeping parallel to the storyline of the 1958 ‘The Fly’. My first impression that had changed from the original was that this was a horror, without a shadow of doubt. The lighting was dark and cold. Unlike the 1958 version which made it look more like family movie. A real positive that came from David Cronenberg remakes was the gore, which is vital to a horror movie. The idea of the human anatomy being manipulated, distorted, decaying, mangled as the progression of what is implied as a disease takes over Seth Body. My favourite scene has to be the arm-wrestling when snaps the man forearm. The idea of human body being disfigure has always had a psychological affect on ourselves, as it freak us out. We as human being don’t like to see any type of manipulation to our natural physique.  


'Decay and metamorphosis into an exuberantly handled, shamelessly melodramatic love story - albeit a love story in which one partner is a pus-packed bluebottle' – Adam Smith
Other improvements where to the story, as the modification to the manipulation of the fly genetics and the human combining saw a steady transformation just as a cancer would gradually spread with a more hideous and un-symmetrical then seen in the 1958 box office. As well as the mental affects of being combined.

In conclusion, David Cronenberg made his career off this well produced piece. The attention to detail in the costumes and the lighting where critical for the genre it resides in. Furthermore his attention to detail in the story and how each individual story and personality affects the final result in the films. All in all David Cronenberg in my opinion rescued the awful sham which was the 1958 version of ‘The Fly’. My advice...Forget the original ever existed.



'Beautifully wrought, darkly funny and finally devastating' - Dave Kehr

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Review of 'The Fly' (1958)


Being one the most memorable movies which, came from the 1950's era. 'The Fly' is a film that hasn't kept to its original genre over the years. The Fly as directed by Kurt Neumann was made as a horror but through recent years and the development of the horror genre 'The Fly' has now crept into the comedy genre.


'The Fly' is based on a traditional Canadian family (Hence the slight hint of a French accent) of which spends his time experimenting with the sciences to create new and exciting innovation. The film enters this family's life when the husband/father has achieved (as they state the movie) 'the impossible'. His breakthrough - having the ability to teleport object via disintegrating and then re-assembling their electrons in another destination. Coming to the climax of his research and testing Andre DeLambre (scientist) tests his device on the living organism and after a few test (including his cat) he achieve his goal. Finally after the short success when teleporting himself he splice his electrons with a fly which enters his teleportation system before activation. From here on out Andre and his wife (Helene Delambre) attempt to find the hybrid fly before the fly instinct take over. After close encounters with catching the fly to no avail, Andre has to sacrifice himself as the fly begin to take over.

‘For younger viewers, especially those generally familiar with horror and who might have seen the 1986 version of this film, there are a couple surprises. One, that the story in the original, while similar in its broadest features, is very different in the details, and has a very different focus.’ - Brandt Sponseller


I loved reading this review because I felt it was too generous in compliments about my film. My opinion is that the  film was a disaster in my eyes for many reason but the main one being is that the storyline was about as complex as a Mr. men book. For me to sit and describe the movie pretty much in a paragraph, demonstrates it simplistic idea of a man pushing the boundaries of science. Yet the question that came to my mind where:


·         Why is a well-off businessman in a printing press industry have a hidden life as a scientist who basically makes the invention of the century that full-time professional scientists haven't even made progress?
·         And why if this movie is a horror (which was set to be in 1958), do we see the hybrid near the end of the movie?

Now, don't get me wrong when I look at the era it was made in, I have some sympathy with the idea of the film and how it would be hard to accomplish a horror about a humanoid fly. But then I look at the 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' and I see that is a horror. It is meant to scare you and till this day it will remain a horror. Where as 'The Fly' is now a comedy, as the boy made people laugh with his face and comments. When talking about his mother and her curious change of mind Philippe states 'You not what women are like!'That not horror that stand up.  When reading the film 4 review of ‘The Fly’ I found this quote which made me laugh because it was so apt.


‘Despite one of the silliest concepts in horror cinema - Price admitted being unable to keep a straight face during filming - there is something irresistible about this tale of a man who swaps heads with a housefly.’  - Film 4



In conclusion the film lacks a baseline story which would grip a viewer into what going on. The fact that before reviewing I believed the film to be nothing more than a joke a bit like the Scary Movie spoofs of today. In fact Neumann should be disgraced to even attempt to call this a good creation. I am glad that I have been able to look at a remake because to anyone who hasn't watch it. I suggest you don't it is a waste of 1hr and 34 mins of your life.  As stated in the Radio times review:

‘This is no match for the superior David Cronenberg remake’ – Alan Jones





Friday, 17 September 2010

Petromyzon Marinus - Sea Lampery

Here are some images that I have collected of google images in regards to this creature.
The following description from:

http://www.arkive.org/sea-lamprey/petromyzon-marinus/#text=Description

Lampreys are some of the most primitive vertebrates alive today, they are known as cyclostomes, which means 'round mouths' and refers to the fact that they are jawless, having instead a round sucker-like mouth. A further primitive characteristic is that the skeleton consists of cartilage and not bone (2). Lampreys are similar in shape to eels, and have a series of uncovered round gill openings (known as gill pores) on the sides of the head and a single nostril on the upper surface of the head (2). The sea lamprey is the largest cyclostome in Europe. It can be distinguished from the other lampreys by its larger size, the marbling of the greyish-green back, and the two dorsal fins, which are widely separated (4). An alternative common name is 'stone sucker' (5), which may have arisen from the habit of males during spawning, when they create a depression in the river bed by wriggling and removing stones with the mouth (4).







Summer Project - Creativity 101


For our summer project we where given a chance to use certain item to create a new and interesting objects. At first, I did struggle but after taking each item individually and looking at the shapes and rotating I was able to visualise different ideas. Most of which turned out 'Sci-fi'. I went with this idea and noticed that it had I found a basis to run with. The idea came as made a citadel in space with one of my objects. From then own I saw my creativity as a new world (spaceship) which houses different race from all over the universe. The downside is that the world was corrupted by the all-seeing siren who use her power and priority to rule the citadel with here secret VV marine corp. Here are some of the final designs that I have come up with: