Category Archives: Favorites

Animation monday : The Doodle Project

The animation in itself is crazy, beautiful and fun, but the process leading to it is cardinal :

Doodle project. Original sketches next to the artist's drawing it inspired.

Pictoplasma-related artist Dante Zaballa created a simple (yet already quite crazy and well done) 216 frame looping animation. Gave a handful of frames to 62 different artists all over the world for them to redraw them with their own characters and styles. Then asked 14 different musicians to each create a track accompanying one of the animation loops.
The result looks like something out of a cognition-reading machine connected to a cyber-collective unconscious-generated I.A.

The Doodle project

Animation monday : Gloam

Created by David Elwell & Gareth Hughes.
The peaceful wandering of an odd wood creature.

I love that they didn’t felt the need to add any actual action to the movie. Keeping it focused on the actual subject : The creature. Pure, unadulterated love for the creature.

I confess, maybe my fondness may have something to do with a passing resemblance she bears with the take on the Sasquatch I did for the “missing link” pictoplasma exhibition.

Animation monday : Azúl

A dream-like journey. The story of someone out of place in his own way, lost in a stranger land he is passionate of in his own way.

I love the poesy of it. The unusual imagery it convoke. The certainly huge amount of work for visual documentation behind it.
Created by Rémy Busson, Francis Canitrot, Aurélien Duhayon, Sébastien Iglesias, Maxence Martin and Paùl Monge, from Supinfo com.

“Dust”. Ecological quest in a post-apocalyptic world.

About this movie I don’t know anything but what I saw in this trailer. And that it is was crowdfunded via Kickstarter.
Seems poetical and promising ! I’m wishing for a Mushishi type of film, where obstacles are overcome by courage and understanding rather than the use of brute force. The later part of the trailer does not show that direction, but I cross my fingers. Maybe the creature is looking for something in the guy’s pocket and she’s going to leave by herself once he’s going to figure that out ? And the plot will move on, in a totally not Pitch Black-like direction ?
Because -cheech !- there is little to no big issues, ecological or else, that are solved with guns. Isn’t it time that fiction began to reflect that ?

Guillermo Del Toro, about his fondness for Kaiju

“There is something very pure and very full of love [nb : for the creatures], in monster movies. Even more so in Kaiju movies”

And, oh, does he love his creatures !
In a decade overall populated by rather dull monsters (yes, you read that correctly. I will show it maybe in a future article) -to the greatest despair of monster-lovers like myself- Del Toro’s really did stood out for their originality and personality.
Of course the fauna of El laberinto del fauno jumps immediately to the mind. But even back in Mimic could you feel that he didn’t shaped his monsters to just fill the need of something non-human for the good guy to shoot at, run away from and destroy in a gigantic explosion in the end.
Ok, that’s exactly what happens in Mimic but .. still !

Pacific Rim is no exception and his Kaiju are very neat.
-By the way. Small moment of pedantry : “Kaiju” doesn’t mean “giant monster”. As the actress Rinko Kikuchi explain it in the interview above, it means “monster” (“strange beast”). The word for “giant monster” is “Daikaiju”.
And while we are at it, “Jaeger” doesn’t means “hunter” in German either. My personal theory is that it’s a hidden reference to “Jet Jaguar” (“Jetto Jagā” in Japanese), a giant robot hero from Godzilla vs Megalon.-

First, they are quite diverse. As some of the protagonist points it, no two Kaiju are alike. Crab kaiju, shark kaiju, lizard kaiju, strange knife-headed kaiju … A real effort was put in there, even for creatures that only appears on screen for a split seconds.
And then, they are original in their own right; very well animated; somehow believable (no spoiling, but later in the movie we get a glimpse of WHERE actually they came from; and Del Toro managed to create for them a coherent background. A feat which no previous Daikaiju film ever managed to make quite right -save maybe for The Host).
Only sliiiight disappointment : not much play around the colours. I guess they wanted to keep a constant colour scheme in order to give them coherence despite the diversity of shapes, but doing this they cut for themselves a great deal of creative possibilities and it was not really needed.
I mean : they are giants and they are monsters. That’s all the unity we needed. What could we have mistook them with ?

Last note about this movie. A handful of years ago I heard about the adaptation on the big screen of a board game called Monsterpocalypse which featured giant monsters (some of them somehow familiar …) fighting other giant monsters and robots. Never heard of the project since, but I suspect it may be among the hidden inspiration behind Pacific Rim. Seeing the board game isn’t credited, it’s entirely possible they decided to run(away) with the idea cutting the “middle man”. It would certainly not be a first for Hollywood who hate intellectual property thief only as long as they are not the robbers.

The Underwater Invasion

conquering the volcano

It began with the sudden appearance of strange geological formations.

magic mushroom

The authorities quickly sent a team of scientists to investigate …

toxic eggs

… which soon discovered that the formation was organic in nature and spreading at an alarming speed !

hermit crab attack !

The situation spiralled out of control, creating panic among the population !

bobbit worm

Armed forces were used to try to resist the ongoing invasion .. but in vain !

sewer workers

Not a single hole in the ground could be considered safe.

 train inspectors

Fortunately, with a bit of dialogue, the underwater creatures managed to reach an agreement and earn enough trust to be able to live peacefully together with the little people invaders.

Jason Isley is a photographer specialized in wild life and especially the oceanic fauna. Inexplicably, he grew tired of classic shots and came up with a nice twist by creating little dioramas using train miniatures (the like of Slinkashu) and the complicity of the sea creatures. I love it !

Tiny Worlds in Bottles

Jellyfish in a tiny bottle
By Akinobu Izumi.
Check out his Etsy page, there is plenty more where that came from !

On a related note
Etsy .. Don’t you love being in a time where anyone can have access to lovely handmade and incredibly creative affordable pieces of art from all over the world ?
Well I do. It’s the best demonstration that art, just like human emancipation (as a form of emancipation), can be for the masses by the masses rather than something intrinsically directed toward a so-called elite.

Little wooly Icelandic landscapes

Wooly Sagas“, is a wonderful tribute to the subtly strange beauty of the Icelandic landscapes, handmade by Eszter Burghardt, who’s clearly in love with this country.
The tampering with forced perspective and depth of field is admirable.
The choice of scale and medium gives to the work an inward and sentimental feel : A plush geology.A volcanic diorama made of wool and imagination.

A nice Nordic river

Ice block floating in a creek

River lined with green

Stop pokemon abuse !

In Pokemon Black and Blue, Pikachu decide to struggle for emancipation against mistreatments inflicted to the pokemons by unprincipled trainers !

I only ever read negative reviews about that initiative from Peta.
A bit unfair, if you ask me.
The realisation is rather good, way beyond what you would expect from a game intended to be a little opinion tract.
Plus, it’s crawling with sharp references and never take itself too seriously. Typically the work of a true fan rather than the typical pamphlet built around hearsays usual in video-game critics.

Overall, nothing but one of those spin applied to a pop-culture icon the internet is getting us used to. One built around the hypothesis : “Eh, what if we looked at pokemon as games featuring actual animal fightings ? With a dark and violent side previously silenced ?”.

Which, of course, doesn’t mean Pokemon boils down to some sort of “sadistic game that should be banned”. Only stupid book-burning censors could fail this hard at understanding the subtle ambivalence of art.
In the present case, for me, Pokemon on the contrary is an excellent initiation animal and nature-loving : Spending hours looking for new creatures, trying to know and understand their life-cycles and behaviours in order to complete one’s collection … Quite the naturalist’s spirit !

Beside, the series gave rise on N64 to one of the best and most creative narrative non-violent game ever made : Pokemon Snap.
Where victory is achieved through the contemplation of animals living in freely in the wild rather than by capturing them.
A sleeping Snorlax from Pokemon Snap

Pokemon Black and Blue, a peta parody