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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013 – Coen Brothers) – POTENTIAL SPOILERS

The film is a mobius strip.

It’s hell, an inescapable one.

Every effort made to escape the path leads you back to the one you just tried to get away from.

All you see around you is success, but only the kind that others enjoy, the kind you want and what is always out of reach.

Every move you make is one step too late. Everyone around you also lets you back into their lives after you have supposedly ruined the relationship. 

Hellish in structure, though the facade looks fairly mundane and almost trite. But that structure underneath is devilish.

I actually wouldn’t watch it again. Well made, but not my cup of tea these days.

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#vscocam from a few days back

#vscocam from a few days back

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color palette + gif

WIP: NUNCHUCK MAN. photoshop

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FILM REVIEW – CITY OF GOD (2002) – Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund

This film stands the test of time. Looks like it was shot last year.

Everything about it is excellent. At times, very hard to watch, but such an excellent film.

A classic.

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FILM REVIEW/BREAKDOWN – SNOWPIERCER (2013) – BONG JOON HO

Just saw this.

Solid film. Not on par with City of God or Children of Men, which to me are masterpieces in storytelling and production, but definitely a solid, solid film that I would recommend to those who wanna watch something with some soul to its flesh and bones.

SPOILER ALERT

SETTING THE STAGE

 the world has gone to shit – and in this instance, we’ve entered a new ice-age that has wiped out life-as-we-know-it on earth, and the remaining people are on a Noah’s Ark of sorts, in the form of a train that never stops, circling the frozen and desolate world.

MAIN THEME

The name of the game: social stratification, exploring it from the angle that those in power justify reinforcing it (with violent, cruel, and inhumane means) under the banner of a “healthy ecosystem,” in which “every individual has their ‘preordained’ place” in the train. 

STORY ARC

An underdog set out to escape an oppressive system fights his way through a gauntlet of power-serving police, hoping that his elder will become the leader of the “community,” but along the way, the underdog emerges as a leader through trial, discernment, decisiveness, and the greater good, as he confronts oppressive power at the top, in hopes that the community the new leader is a part of has a chance at a new life, a new hope, and a free world in which suffering can be eliminated – or at least to destroy the systemic structure that enslaves a class of people to the benefit the upper echelon, who only cares to be sedated with drugs, creature comforts, and heartlessness in regard to the downtrodden and exploited.

THINGS DONE WELL

Chris Evans does a great job of acting. Had he been a bit to the left or to the right, the film could have veered easily into cheesiness and campiness, and the stakes of the film could have dropped drastically, but he pulled off a great performance.

Ed Harris plays a very cool, rational, “logical” and therefore, so, so, so, so very mentally twisted and emotionally decrepit cult-leader/CEO/demi-god/architect figurehead. You don’t really hate him, but nothing he says seems legitimate in the face of all that we’ve gone through as we’ve watched the hero claw his way to the top.

The stark contrast between the living conditions of the haves and have-nots, makes each successive level into excess and luxury look so very, very disgusting. Now that I think about it, the film does an amazing job at displaying the fruits of greed in a tertiary manner, rather than moralizing against it directly through preachiness. Some of the luxurious levels look so beautiful and serene, but within the context of how everything else is in that society, they start to look so very, very evil. And it becomes very evident that the only way those levels can be maintained is through the exploitation of the oppressed class. This theme is hit on the head a bit much, but the visuals and production do a very solid job of demonstrating how this greed plays out.

THINGS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE BETTER

Some of the fight scenes could have used a bit more, backstory? I don’t know. I’m always skeptical when a downtrodden hero displays preternatural fighting skills, but I’m sure that exists in the real word. 

VFX were aiite, but considering the overall budget, they squeezed out a ton from the money they had.

Some of the acting could have been more nuanced – like the dude who lost his arm, and even the Door Opener’s daughter.

BEST SURPRISES

When the teacher pulls a gun out after she acts all creepily happy-go-lucky-cult-follower when praising the “glorious achievements” of the dear leader, Wilford.

POLITICS SURROUNDING THE FILM

Harvey Weinstein didn’t like that Bong Joon Ho didn’t want to cut 20 minutes from the film, and thereby, imposed an artificial “limited screening” and blocked the film from having a nationwide release. Who can say why he did this? I wonder what motivations and intentions were behind such actions. I can’t say! The mysteries of life abound unabated. 

PERSONAL WISHES

I wish they hired me to do the motion graphics for the Wilford propaganda piece that they play to indoctrinate the kiddies at school. I woulda knocked it outta the park. I’m super curious who was hired to do those. For a story set in the year 2030 or whenever, the motion graphics were straight up steeped in 2013 motion graphics trends up the wazoo.

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Anonymous said: Hi Kevin! I really admire your work and love seeing it on my tumblr feed! I was wondering what you do to stay inspired?

kevindart:

Hi! I wanted to answer this because I remember when I was younger I used to go through long spells where I felt like I had a creative block or “just didn’t feel like drawing”.  I haven’t had that feeling in a long time and this question made me wonder what happened since then.  I think it boils down to having a broader appreciation of the world.  I’ve found as I’ve studied art and gained more life experience in general that it’s easier to see amazing things all around me, whereas my younger self would need a massive creative spark of some sort that would give me a flash of inspiration.  These days I feel more aware of stuff and feel like it’s easier to notice things that are just vaguely different enough to be super interesting and inspiring, like an especially orange cloud in the sky that I can’t ever recall seeing, or an exceptionally blue shadow on one side of a box.  I think as you draw more, your brain learns to make connections between things more easily, so mundane observations of the world can quickly turn into grand ideas or give you an answer to a problem you’ve been chewing on for a while.

I still have plenty of days where things don’t go how I want them to or I hit a wall with an idea, but there’s almost always another idea that can quickly take its place.  You shouldn’t ever be afraid to scrap something if your intuition tells you its not working, but at the same time you shouldn’t be afraid to follow an idea into the ground even if it feels like it might not work out.  I think the key is to just try your best to be a keen observer of the world, compare, contrast, and critique everything you see, take lots of mental notes, and keep an open mind!

This is nice.

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grizandnorm:

Tuesday Tips - Power ShadingHere’s a technique I use often when attending life drawing sessions, especially nude sessions. I feel like it gives an energy and direction as well as clear volume to the figure. The more i know about underlying muscles, bones and general body structure, the more I can express through this technique. It’s kind of like a classic brush work when dealing with ink. It’s just more forgiving when using a Conte stick, by varying the angle and pressure of it.Try it out!Norm

techniques

grizandnorm:

Tuesday Tips - Power Shading

Here’s a technique I use often when attending life drawing sessions, especially nude sessions. I feel like it gives an energy and direction as well as clear volume to the figure. The more i know about underlying muscles, bones and general body structure, the more I can express through this technique. It’s kind of like a classic brush work when dealing with ink. It’s just more forgiving when using a Conte stick, by varying the angle and pressure of it.

Try it out!

Norm

techniques

(via animationtidbits)

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#vscocam titmouse mural

#vscocam titmouse mural

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#vscocam from a few weeks back

#vscocam from a few weeks back

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5heads, WIP, photoshop

5heads, WIP, photoshop

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#vscocam r + d

#vscocam r + d

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Men In Black 3: SPOILER EDITION

Some general themes:

I recall the first one addressing themes of master-apprentice a’plenty, of passing the torch, and finding someone worthy of upholding the responsibility to serve the public good.

I forget the 2nd one. Maybe I didn’t see it!

The 3rd one goes for the emotional jugular: emotional matters of the past that shape who people are in the present; and in particular: romantic love, and father-son relationships.

I really liked the various ways in which they addressed these themes. The action was a nice icing, as a lot of them were fun but not very memorable or all that well choreographed (just a lot of explosions and projectiles and IMPACT, but not very memorable in terms of exchanging skillful toe-to-toe action-drama).

That’s about it.

Might as well go for favorite scenes/arcs.

SPOILERS

One moment I “enjoyed” was watching the villain’s past and present collide, and the first thing that comes out of the villain’s mouth is self-loathing, destructive criticism, shaming, blaming. And the past and future selves have no harmony, and are not “one,” and in many ways, are just seeking after their own gain, and viewing the “other” as merely a tool to use to better themselves for. It’s not a “my life is in fact your life,” but it is “if you help me, you will gain in this way, while I gain in that way, so it is win-win for us ‘both,’” as if the two selves from different time periods are separate and unrelated. There’s a clear lack of unity within the self. Was very “true” to the “villain” archetype, and it was comically done without being too spiteful or bitter about the bad-guy-being-bad. As in: the writers and storytellers didn’t seem to hammer it home that the bad guy needs to be seen as really really hateful, and that it could be observed in a funny and true way without casting too much judgment. Maybe I’m projecting.

I think I like this in films that pull off time-travel in a skillful way, which ultimately comes down to: who is information-superior and who is information-inferior, and watching the information-superior try to be as gentle and understanding towards the information-inferior’s situation, and to try not to “blow their cover” or try to game the outcome. If the information-superior knows too much, then the film just becomes a “follow everything I say” type game, and MiB 3 did a good job of making Agent J not know too much, so that the partnership could still be organic and have the characters just be, rather than following steps to ensure the restoration/improvement of their future.

The all-seeing demi-god type character was also really lovable. Really quirky, seemingly harmless, seemed really good natured, and vulnerable, in that despite being able to know all possible outcomes, this figure never really used it for self-gain, and in a lot of ways, was just an observer of the human condition, in all iterations. If we want to go off in a tangent, I feel like this is the type of religious deity figure that is actually appealing to many science-as-religion-folks. As in: the filmmakers did a great job of making this character non-offensive to modern audiences, while at the same time, not being able to exercise too much of a deux-ex, and speaking in clues that lead, rather than orders that the protags must follow like automatons.

Really well done!

It’s a nice way to tie the knot in the MiB franchise, as well, and to be honest, I have no idea how they took that storyline, and opened it up and rejiggered with the elements so that a story of master-apprentice and passing-on-the-torch became one of in-fact-this-isn’t-a-partnership-and-was-actually-a-father-son-relationship-all-along, to end on that emotional-core-level that is so very universal to the human experience.

And they used “sci-fi cartoon space adventure secret agent protectors of the earth tropes super skillfully,” at that.

Might not be the cinematic experience that transforms modern society as we know it, but it does an excellent job at using modern filmmaking tropes, archetypal themes, and sci-fi action adventure elements to tell a really tight, focused story that anyone can relate to, if you’re so inclined to embrace such themes.

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kalidraws:

Seniors & ‘The Internet of Everything’, for a special edition supplement for WIRED readers. With thanks to my art director, Ryan Vulk.

My illustration accompanied info about advances in connectivity and technology that could benefit seniors—one of which may be cool helpful robots! As you can see, some bits and pieces got changed from the original sketch, and I also had the sudden realization that a table with ONE chair is infinitely sadder than a table with TWO chairs.

When it came time to figure out the final, I had no clue how the lighting would actually work. I searched the internet without success until I realized that my stupid hands could actually make a rough lighting model—way more efficient! My final isn’t 100% accurate, but the general idea is there.

inspiring, and not in that swelling emotionally effusive kinda way where you think you need to change the world. but more like, “hey, i can probably mockup lighting scenarios in frickin cinema 4d, and just use free obj models that exist on all those sites. let’s do it!”

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Another Crono iteration, photoshop

Another Crono iteration, photoshop

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theanimationarchive:

David Vandervoort’s character design/model sheets were based off these original character design concepts by Robert Valley. On each drawing are notes from the shows creator Chris Prynoski.

Source: David Vandervoort

awesome resource

(via ibelievepracticemakesperfect)