412 – Loving Vincent (2017)

spacetime coordinates: Arles 1891loving_vincent_xlgLoving Vincent is a 2017 animated biographical drama film about the life of painter Vincent van Gogh, and in particular, the circumstances of his death. It is the first fully painted animated feature film. The film, written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, was an international co-production between Poland and the United Kingdom. The development was funded by the Polish Film Institute, and partially through a Kickstarter campaign.loving vincent PortraitsEach of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 125 painters.

Rotten Tomatoes‘ consensus states: “Loving Vincent‘s dazzling visual achievements make this Van Gogh biopic well worth seeking out – even if its narrative is far less effectively composed.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3262342/

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402 – Drowning by Numbers (1988)

drowning by numbers

Drowning by Numbers is a 1988 British-Dutch film directed by Peter GreenawayDrowning by Numbers(158)The film’s plot centres on three married women — a grandmother, her daughter, and her niece — each named Cissie Colpitts. As the story progresses, each woman successively drowns her husband. The three Cissie Colpittses are played by Joan PlowrightJuliet Stevenson and Joely Richardson, while Bernard Hill plays the coroner, Madgett, who is cajoled into covering up the three crimes.Drowning by Numbers(159)The structure, with similar stories repeated three times, is reminiscent of a fairy tale, most specifically ‘The Billy Goats Gruff‘, because Madgett is constantly promised greater rewards as he tries his luck with each of the Cissies in turn. The link to folklore is further established by Madgett’s son Smut, who recites the rules of various unusual games played by the characters as if they were ancient traditions. Many of these games are invented for the film, including:

  • Bees in the Trees
  • Dawn Card Castles
  • Deadman’s Catch
  • Flights of Fancy (or Reverse Strip Jump)
  • The Great Death Game
  • Hangman’s Cricket
  • The Hare and Hounds
  • Sheep and Tides

In Drowning by Numbers, number-counting, the rules of games and the repetitions of the plot are all devices which emphasise structure and symmetry. Through the course of the film each of the numbers 1 to 100 appear, the large majority in sequence, often seen in the background, sometimes spoken by the characters. 

The film is set and was shot in and around SouthwoldSuffolkEngland, with key landmarks such as the Victorian water towerSouthwold Lighthouse, and the estuary of the River Blyth clearly identifiable.

Music

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092929/

396 – Big Eyes (2014)

spacetime coordinates: 1958 > 1970 North BeachSan Francisco // HonoluluHawaiiBig-Eyes-bookBig Eyes is a 2014 American biographical film directed by Tim Burton, written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. The film is about the life of American artist Margaret Keane—famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes. It follows the story of Margaret and her husband, Walter Keane, who took credit for Margaret’s phenomenally successful and popular paintings in the 1950s and 1960s. It follows the lawsuit (and trial) between Margaret and Walter, after Margaret reveals she is the real artist behind the big eyes paintings.

imdb   wiki

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“I think what Keane has done is just terrific. It has to be good. If it were bad, so many people wouldn’t like it.”   Andy Warhol

389 – Clash of the Titans (2010)

clashClash of the Titans is a 2010 British-American fantasy adventure film and remake of the 1981 film of the same name produced by MGM (the rights to which had been acquired by Warner Bros. in 1996). The story is very loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus. Directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Sam WorthingtonLiam Neeson and Ralph FienneswrathA sequel, Wrath of the Titans, was released in March 2012. A third film titled Revenge of the Titans was in development but later cancelled due to Wrath of the Titans’ disappointing box office performance.

imdb: clash // wrath

386 – Nightwatching (2007)

spacetime coordinates: 1640s Amsterdam nightwatching-posterNightwatching is a 2007 film about the artist Rembrandt and the creation of his painting The Night Watch. The film is directed by Peter Greenaway and stars Martin Freeman as Rembrandt, with Eva Birthistle as his wife Saskia van UylenburgJodhi May as his lover Geertje Dircx, and Emily Holmes as his other lover Hendrickje StoffelsReinier van Brummelen is the director of photography. James Willcock, known for his esoteric sets, is the art director. The film features Greenaway’s trademark neoclassical compositions and graphic sexuality. The music is by Włodek Pawlik.The_Nightwatch_by_RembrandtNightwatching is the first feature in Greenaway’s film series “Dutch Masters”. The following film in the series is Goltzius and the Pelican Company.rijks_nachtwacht13872_statement_themahttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446750

345 – Pacific Rim (2013)

spacetime coordinates: 2020 – 2025 Alaska // Hong Kong // Manila // San Francisco // Pacific Ocean //  Tokyopacific_rim_coverPacific Rim is a 2013 American science fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Charlie HunnamIdris ElbaRinko KikuchiCharlie DayBurn GormanRobert KazinskyMax Martini, and Ron Perlman. The screenplay was written by Travis Beacham and del Toro from a story by Beacham.Pacific-Rim-Quad-PosterPacificRim_DOM_RGB_3200x1600.inddThe film is set in the future, when Earth is at war with the Kaiju,  colossal sea monsters which have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers,  gigantic humanoid mechas each controlled by at least two pilots, whose minds are joined by a mental link. Focusing on the war’s later days, the story follows Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori as part of a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaiju.

Knifehead, the first Kaiju to appear in the film, is a tribute to the plodding kaiju of 1960s Japanese films, and is intended to look almost like a man in a rubber suit; its head was inspired by that of a goblin shark. Leatherback, the bouncer-like Kaiju which spews electro-magnetic charges, is a favorite of del Toro, who conceived it as a “brawler with this sort of beer belly”; the lumbering movements of gorillas were used as a reference.  The Kaiju Otachi homages the dragons of Chinese mythology. The director called it a “Swiss army knife of a Kaiju”; with almost 20 minutes of screen time, it was given numerous features so the audience would not tire of it. The creature moves like a Komodo dragon in water, sports multiple jaws and an acid-filled neck sack, and unfurls wings when necessary. It is also more intelligent than the other Kaiju, employing eagle-inspired strategies against the Jaegers.  Onibaba, the Kaiju that orphans Mako Mori, resembles a fusion of a Japanese temple and a crustacean. Slattern, the largest Kaiju, is distinguished by its extremely long neck and “half-horn, half-crown” head, which del Toro considered both demonic and majestic. 

Gipsy Danger, the American Jaeger, was based on the shape of New York City’s Art Deco buildings, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, but infused with John Wayne‘s gunslinger gait and hip movements. Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, was based on the shape and paint patterns of a T-series Russian tank, combined with a giant containment silo to give the appearance of a walking nuclear power plant with a cooling tower on its head. Crimson Typhoon, the three-armed Chinese Jaeger, is piloted by triplets and resembles a “medieval little warrior”; its texture evokes Chinese lacquered wood with golden edges. Striker Eureka, the Australian Jaeger, is likened by del Toro to a Land Rover; the most elegant and masculine Jaeger, it has a jutting chest, a camouflage paint scheme recalling the Australian outback, and the bravado of its pilots.

Rather than popular culture, the director drew inspiration from works of art such as The Colossus and George Bellows‘s boxing paintings.

The classic Japanese woodblock print  The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai was a common motif in the ocean battles; Del Toro recalled, “I would say ‘Give me a Hokusai wave’… we use the waves and weather in the movie very operatically.”  The director asked that Knoll not necessarily match the lighting from shot to shot: “It’s pretty unorthodox to do that, but I think the results are really beautiful and very artistically free and powerful, not something you would associate with a big sci-fi action movie.” Del Toro considers the film’s digital water its most exciting visual effect: “The water dynamics in this movie are technically beautiful, but also artistically incredibly expressive. We agreed on making the water become almost another character. We would time the water very precisely. I’d say ‘Get out of the wave [on this frame].'”

The_Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Rim_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/

Pacific_rim_poster