Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aahzion



This is my solution for a recent design problem. This particular project is for a friend of mine. His problem is that people are often misspelling his name when they hear it or they mispronounce it when they read his name. The description was left open because the kind of art and work that he does is too wide to describe in one or two words.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Boys Beware!

That old balding man with the mustache and a bow tie who wants to hang out with little boys might not have the best of intentions? It is hard for me to believe that people were just this Naive, that it was on the government's shoulders to tell kids not to talk to strangers.

Some friends and I found this video years ago when we stumbled on a site of public domain videos. It's initially very funny with the "Mayberry" type of approach to pedophilia. Then the more you watch it's quite offensive. The fact that at this time homosexuality was seen as a sickness and on the same level as being a sex offender in this country is quite disturbing. We sometimes like to think we're far removed from the time when Oscar Wilde was jailed for "homosexual activities", but it's videos like these in our own parents lifetimes that force some people to completely hide a large part of their lives. I sometimes take for granted that I am able to act however I want without fearing that people will judge me about a part of who I am. I guess that being stereotyped as a person who likes fashion and the miss America pageant is better than this stereotype of a person who has a creepy mustache, balding, bow tie and carries around pornographic playing cards.

video

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Roman Holiday


Roman Holiday is a movie starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in an unforgettable story of romance. Hepburn plays a princess who feels trapped and held from a world of freedom, so she escapes. In an inebriated state (from medication) she is found by Gregory Peck. Peck's character also feels trapped, but by a lack of money and that debt has kept him held from his dream to return to New York and become the news man he thinks he can be.

At first Peck is very upset that this nuisance has fell on his doorstep, and that he is really unable to get rid of her. The next day he has an interview with the princess of all people. He awakes late for the interview and plays an intellectual game of cat and mouse with his boss where he finds out the princess is told to be ill, and that the woman sleeping on his couch is the very same princess! He enlists the help of his photographer friend and a plan is put in motion to get very candid details of the princesses life, the very thing that could free him from his debt.

Audrey Hepburn, as always, plays the roll of the whimsical young girl masterfully. She is unaware of Peck's plan as he flirts with her to get the interview he feels like he needs. Over the length of the movie the two fall in love (and it is great to see Hepburn fall in love with someone who appears to be closer to her age).

We have watched a string of Audrey Hepburn movies, and this one has to be my favorite. Gregory Peck is one of the great Actors, Hepburn is forever lovable and the setting of Rome is ideal for two people to slowly fall in love before our very eyes.

I chose the Necker cube in my illustration to show that though both people felt trapped, these two love birds may not have been trapped in the way that they had perceived. Sometimes life is not as easy to categorize as we sometimes think. One day you may feel free as a bird and other days you may feel as though you're caged and held from your dream. Both days belong to the same person and the same life and the same dream. Sometimes we just have to focus our eyes on one thing and then maybe our lives will appear as we like or as we hoped they would when we were younger.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gran Torino


Gran Torino is a movie directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The movie takes place in a neighborhood that has changed a lot since Walt (Clint Eastwood) had started living there. Walt's wife is dead at the beginning and you are lead to believe that she was the one shining light in his life, the one thing keeping him following a good road. Walt is a troubled man that fought in the Korean war and has many demons because of it. He's also a racist man who can't come to terms with the way his neighborhood is changing.

Walt owns a vintage mint condition Gran Torino, coveted by everyone who sees it. His neighbor Thao unwillingly tries to steal it because his cousin, who is in a gang, forces him to. Walt fights back and so their stories connect. Later the boy is in trouble with that same gang in Walt's lawn and Walt scares them off with a gun to protect his lawn. After that, even though Walt fights it all he can, his life and lives of the family next door are forever connected. Walt tries to protect his new friends from the life that they must inevitably become part of with intimidation and a lack of caring that only can belong to someone who's seen the ugliest side of man in others and himself (they reference the war often).

Most of the acting around Clint Eastwood was pretty weak. The actor who played the priest and the actor who played Thao in particular were very very bad. Clint Eastwood just grunting and sneering at people made for better acting than most of the characters in this movie.

Another problem for me was the way that Walt's character was used. I was a huge fan of Clint Eastwood growing up and I thought that he was one of the most imposing actors around. In this movie Eastwood masterfully plays the role of an old man who is behind the times and doesn't really fit in modern society. He was once a war hero who is now a feeble old man who refuses to admit that to himself. In a way you feel bad for this racist bastard because of what he's had to go through in his life and the way he is treated by his loved ones (though most of that is his own fault). With all of this built up, we are lead to believe that Walt (because he's Clint Eastood) can strike fear into the hearts of gangs with "old-fashioned" guts. We are also lead to believe that this racist old man not only befriends an Asian family next door but comes into their home as a welcomed guest and still calls them racial slurs to their faces. I wasn't necessarily offended, I think the movie thought that it was more groundbreaking racially than it was, I just found it hard to believe.

In the end this movie falls flat. It leaves you wondering what their message really was and if you really care enough to try and think about what it was. The ending felt like an odd mix of Joe Schumacher's Falling Down and a old Adam West Batman show.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Virgin Springs

The Virgin Springs is a film by Igmar Bergman made in 1960. This movie is about jealousy, rage and repentance. A young beautiful virgin who is loved by her family is given the chore of a right of passage for the church. Her jealous step sister wishes that the god Odin will harm her, but as danger looms she becomes wary of the wish she had made.

As the two travel to the church alone, an old mystic man gives the jealous sister an omen. Out of fear she tries to stop her step sister but the virgin, who knows nothing of her fate, brushes it off and continues on. The young virgin is raped and killed by goat herders, while her step sister secretly watches. The step sister is horrified and yet a part of her believes that her step sister deserved this. Her family begins to worry when she does not return and her religious mother fears for the worst.

The murders (along with a child that follows them) decided to hide out in a family's home, not knowing that it's the home of the very same girl that they killed. Clues surface and the father, who was a carefree but hard nosed father in the beginning, must come to terms with intense feelings of rage. He must decide between the primeval want for vengeance and the forgiving teachings of the Christian church.

I really enjoyed this film. It was a little easier to follow than most of Bergman films. The story line was closer to what is in our movie vocabulary, as far as character development and a climax goes. Every pure emotion could be seen in each of the characters' eyes. I would suggest this movie to any person looking to get into Bergman films. After this I would suggest The 7th Seal.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Beginning

I have started my own blog, Bucease you lkie to raed ohetr ploepe's bolg.

I will update this blog with drawings of whatever inspires me. It may be designs, movies, books or just life.