Occasionally, one must break the tradition of writing only about work that includes some form of animation, in order to recognize one of the giants of film.
With the loss of Chris Maker in 2012 and the loss of Alain Resnais two days ago, we may be witnessing the end of an era that will forever be inscribed as one of the most powerful and magical in the history of film, and in the history of film-informed mediums. Resnais, whose career sprung from Hiroshima Mon Amour, a film as poignant as it is inventive, often resisted labels and classifications.
Unafraid of tackling difficult topics, he directed Night and Fog, a documentary shot in Auschwitz some ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, as well as the bold and mesmerizing experimental film, Last Year in Marienbad. While his films were often perceived as French new-wave emblems, as films about the intermingling of war and memory, about subjectivity and love, about dream and loss, Resnais never made the same film twice. He was a film “auteur” only in the sense that he reinvented himself over and over again, with the same finesse, courage and fearlessness.
His film career may be one of the richest and most diverse ones of the Silver Screen. Exploring every role of production, Resnais seamlessly navigated between the roles of director, editor, writer, even cinematographer. He tackled all topics with intelligence, and tapping into the great minds of writers such as Jean Cayrol, Marguerite Duras, Jorge Semprún and Alain Robbe-Grillet. He was one of a kind.
Syndrome Studio creates the opening titles for the 2014 Pause Fest in Melbourne, Australia. Executive Producer, Monica Blackburn describes the project as “a dream project with full creative freedom” in which “we envisioned the sequence as a journey through a surreal, living art installation piece. Visually representing each aspect of the festival – start-ups, motion, gaming, web and creativity – as physical objects that combine and interlock to form a whole, the open underlines the festival’s theme, “everything is connected”.
The mixture of dated and futuristic technologies, of dusty machinery and glossy interfaces, shape this wonderful homage to the creative process, in which live action and CG merge seamlessly to form a lyrical technological dance.
Jonas Odell directs another music video for Franz Ferdinand diving deep into a classic retro graphical language.
Friday, July 19th, 2013 | Comments Off
It’s not secret that I am a huge fan of 90 Degrees West. Based in St Louis, this groups of creatives has been producing consistently strong, intelligent and whimsical work. Here’s another great “piece that even an industry full of adults with ADHD can sit through.” See full credits and context article here.
Michel Gondry and Boris Vian: a match made in heaven
There has been much talk this week about the woes of the visual effects industry. Snubs at the Oscars did not go unnoticed, including that of Ang Lee’s acceptance speech that failed to acknowledge the artists who helped him develop the look and visual flair of Life of Pi. Some think of visual effects as a tool to make the world appear believable and realistic, but it is far more than that, both in Lee’s film and in Gondry’s.
Appropriately, here is a reminder from Michel Gondry that visual effects are integral to the plot; they move the story forward, capture the viewer’s imagination and convey the author’s magical play with words. Michel Gondry’s “L’écume des Jours” is based on a classic French novel by Boris Vian, published in 1947. It is considered by many to be one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century. A love story above all else, the story evolves in a world full of poetic and dream-like imagery, a world in which surrealist references abound; a flower grows in the main character’s lungs, threatening the couple’s happiness and their house shrinks around them.
Syndrome Studio gets radioactive with this new production of Imagine Dragons. As Monica Blackburn puts it: “who doesn’t like puppets and Lou Diamond Philips??”
Thursday, December 13th, 2012 | Comments Off
Charlie Co reveals a wide spectrum of amazing work with a new reel as strong on concept as it is in execution.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 | Comments Off
RIP Chris Marker
If there ever was a “motionographer”, an artist who used film and pen with equal eloquence, it was filmmaker Chris Marker who died today on his 91st birthday. His name does not resonate with everyone because Marker was a recluse, refusing to be photographed and seldom accepting interviews and yet, he collaborated with the greatest film directors of our time, most notably Alain Resnais. Terry Gilliam brought Marker back to the attention of many with Twelve Monkeys, a film he based on Marker’s iconic La Jetée.
His films were always intensely personal and poetic, challenging the very notion of narrative, of documentary, and of memory. Marker used cartoons, graffiti, text, photographs, voice-over, and various means of image processing in much of his work, animating and ‘writing’ images with a profound sense of poetry. He will be missed.
La Verdad, directed by Juan Delcan and commissioned by Chilevision, is a few months old but well worth going back to. It is a soulful exploration of the many truths embedded in the human psyche. (A subtitled version can be seen on the Nola Pictures vimeo page.)
There is no better place to get a snapshot of the state of the industry than at the NATPE conference, the largest conference of content production in the world. Though the conference is held in a city that prides itself on its “what happens here stays here” mantra, the spirit of NATPE is more than ever about the sharing of knowledge and collaborative relationships of content producers, advertisers, distributors, and designers. As Lew Klein, President of the NATPE Educational Foundation, said it: “what happens here must go out.”
Monday kicked off the conference with a remarkable range of speakers, starting with an inspiring keynote address by David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. Zaslav, who oversees operations of content that goes out to no less than 173 countries and 1.5 billion subscribers conveyed his intimate knowledge of every single show produced on all 100+ networks in Discovery Communications’ arsenal. Zaslav attributed Discovery’s success to programming excellence and brand clarity. (more…)