Adapted Film Review // Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

The 1960's classic starring Audrey Hepburn as the airy, weightless and always classy Holly Golightly: Breakfast at Tiffany's, adapted from the book published in 1958 and written by Truman Capote sharing the same name; sojourns faithfully with setting & even at times choice script to present an overtly American romantic comedy in full Technicolour. Familiar appearances such as stuttering Mag W-w-wildwood, Arkansas. You know, hill country, the skittish Cat, slob, without a name, and Fred - Paul. 
      The ever famous opening scene of Brownstone; a bright yellow Taxi and Tiffany's (& Co) featuring Holly Golightly sets the tone for the laughable, yet sometimes droll interactions between her & Fred, however the firmly-grasping opening scene that fully encompasses the nature of a girl who can't help anyone, not even herself, and the mischief that ensues is suspect for missing in the book. Infact, as Tiffany's is shown on-screen; in print Paul -in first person - reminisces about the brownstone in the East Seventies where he had an apartment; the very same one he is seen living in as the musical score comprised of the same chord progression of Moon River plays enigmatically. - Mentioning of course that in the book version, Moon River, the harsh-tender wandering dreamboat style song was originally a melody that sung: "Don't wanna sleep, Don't wanna die, Just wanna go a-travelin' through the pastures of the sky". Comparatively the coy simplicity of  Capote's "song" is nothing more than a quick tune; and the rhyming only concretes that; as opposed to the fully composed, award winning song by Henry Mancini that still remains one of those songs hummable at any given  moment. 
      Treatment of Holly Golightly as a character transferred from book-to-film is subtle, most of her flighty nature continues on, and being able to put a face to the fondly aloof character is endearing, but as Audrey Hepburn portrays Miss. (Mrs.. depending where you're reading from) Golightly an essence of childish innocence & almost glass-like fragility becomes part of the mix; and yet simultaneously the classic ability for her to ignore the bad and continue on with miscellaneous events to tide the time such as house parties whilst she sprouts off particular French  idioms continues onward. Arguably the far more stoic and reserved nature of Holly is missing in the 1961 classic, often at times moments where she does open up to Paul feel less like a breakthrough as the two warmup to eachother. The comical rubbing of her nose when anyone pry too deeply is excluded from the film however one might assume it too obvious to be seen on screen than when someone (Paul mostly, in the book) notices it as a quirky character feature.. In the scene where Holly falls asleep next to the newly named Fred but ends up having a nightmare about the real Fred, her brother, when Paul inquires as to why she is upset, she runs off exclaiming "I hate snoops.". In such an interaction where her contrasting personality shows itself so plain-to-see, her innocent aptitude to get close to people on the first interaction is demonstrated in the film wondrously, yet her bout of coldness & "that's as close as you get" attitude appears more effective in the book. Similarly, her interest with men of extreme wealth is far further subdued (though still present) as from a choice of direction Paul is always meant to be seen as the one Holly should go with in the end.
Choice of direction as previously mentioned becomes increasingly obvious when translating Breakfast at Tiffany's from a book to a film. Firstly by the format, which is changed from first-person to more of a cinematic experience where we follow behind both Holly Golightly and Paul - but mostly Holly, as opposed to the book in which it becomes very up close and personal with Paul's thoughts as he describes his interactions with Holly from afar; which only adds to Miss Golightly's distant, though highly alluring charm. On top of this her spontaneous fondness for men she comes into contact with, such as Jose in the book (unexplored, even ignored in the film) make her come off far greater as a character doing what she wants as Paul observes from afar; only ever wishing to hope to interact with her properly.
     All in all, Breakfast at Tiffany's, whether watching or reading, is a witty romance that takes the girl next door and turns her into a character completely removed from others around her; uninfluenced by those she interacts with, a free spirit with an equally as free accompanying song. Holly Golightly's actions at times seem far-fetched yet completely comprehensible for the character. However, Paul's likability comes down to his part in the film; and depending on whether him getting the girl in the end results in a choice, then it is between the film or the book. Regardless of endings for each are slightly different, they both will always remain akin to a, at heart, American romance story with it's head in the clouds only to come down when it wants to make you feel something. 

FABULOUS ASSASSINATION / Minestrone (Greenhouse Town)

Whilst unfortunately these are inferior in their compositional value and add nothing to aid each scene, they still show eye for eye the architecture & general sprawl of Minestrone. Gotta get the composition riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiightttttttt.....

There are some key shots I need to capture !


Character - FABULOUS ASSASSINATION / Outline & Proforma of Completion

Written Outline
Two Stawberries declared by the names Parfait & Marquise, obsessed with style, fashion & chic are hired to fabulously assassinate the King. In denial of being a fruit rather than a vegetable, the Tomato King banishes all fruits from the Town of Minestrone. Under disguise as Tomatoes, Parfait & Marquise channel their style through avant-garde rhythm to overpower the King's brigade of baby tomato warriors and make their way to the grand Theatre where they seek retribution against the King & his heinous ruling; allowing the Fruit villagers to live in Minestrone once again, teaching everyone that their sense of style is most definitely in vogue.

By the end of the project I aim to have accomplished a fully realised concept from Characters, Props, Mechanics & Environment as well as delving briefly into Brand recognition in the form of Box Art or Advertisement Posters.

♢ GAME READY 3D Models of characters, (Main Characters) in both High Poly & Low Poly, textured and rigged (poseable).  POSED WITH TURNAROUNDS
♢ ENVIRONMENT ART Spanning all areas of the game that are interacted with/needed, clearly demonstrating mood, style & overall tone.
♢ CHARACTER ART (Concept) Showing style and in-game usability for reference fit for passing down a pipeline. (2D to 3D)
♢ Small Props
Game ready Character models with props aim to be highly polished & refined with a focus on optimization of textures (Single UV Map-Per-Character 1024x1024 or 2048x2048) & geometry (Keeping Characters to under specific  Geometry limits etc).

*Consideration of these more physical advertisement based assets; exploration into the style of i.e 1920's, 40's, 60's eras; composition, font & colours.

((Uploading incase this is either too much or too little! Needs a revision!))

Documentary Review // Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure (Oct - 2015)

Spontaneous in its arrival, the three part "Adventure of a Lifetime" follows Joanna Lumley on her journey from Hong Kong through to Moscow on the Trans Siberian Express. With a mix of commentary over vastly inciting camera-work used to show the environment for all its beauty, the two hours of alluring footage provide a fascinatingly honest look at parts of the world perhaps most will not get to experience, but in the off chance you do, can serve as inspiration for where to go.                                                                                                                                      Alongside sweeping landscapes with commentary over the top providing facts and information you would normally seem to find in a documentary, Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure certainly does not skimp on each place's long rooted history as well as how current affairs clash with the history. I.e the bridge between culture and modernity. Being able to find out that Mongolia is currently in decision with having its railways joined with Russia or China due to different track-widths at the same time as showing Mongolia for its rural beauty shows objective appreciation and new awareness for countries we do not often hear about in depth.
For a closer look, and one of the key reasons to watch a documentary narrated and starring Joanna Lumley is the aspect of personal feeling and especially nostalgia. It is full of nostalgic moments Joanna Lumley has experienced over her life; and as she approaches 70 she looks back on joyous occasions of her previous self. As she arrives in Hong Kong she reminisces over her experiences living there as a 2 year old and how it has changed, remarking on the differences gleefully yet not coy enough to ignore negatives. Possibly one of the strongest attributes to find fondness in of Joanna Lumley in this series is her ability not to be blind sighted by nostalgia, addressing cultural issues and changes objectively without ignoring them. Less about perfect dates and chronological order, this short Documentary series embarks on a journey of discovery through people's personal experiences; whether than be from farmers in Mongolia living off the land to wealthy Russian businessmen. Moments of pure clarity are humbly enjoyed as Lumley, often with translators converses with people from all over to find out personally their own experiences, lifestyle and opinions. Using a documentative style of interviewing that is casual, friendly and inquisitive all whilst having the utmost respect for who she is talking with, Lumley, unlike say Louis Theroux  who tends to ask seemingly innocent and passive questions in return for a domino effect of answers, comes into situations having knowledge of sensitivities knowing deeply not to overstep her boundaries. Theroux on the other hand; constantly pushing people's boundaries in order to understand the minute scale uses intelligently worded questions based on factual evidence to propose a theory, concept or question. Lumley on the other hand stays far more emotional, yet within the realms of telling it how it is. Rather than asking directly how people feel, experiences will be shared; memories revealed and the act of simply listening patiently becomes something to be admired and appreciated.                                                                                      A style of documentary that does not press for hard evidence, nor look into greater social issues, we are made aware briefly as viewers of the darker sides of the places Joanna Lumley revisists such as Hong Kong & Russia in the past. Yet in contrast what is shown in vast pastures, strong architecture and wonderfully vibrant & culturally different people gives vivid insight into life different from our own across the World with hints of romanticism back and forth to not only inspire but fully appreciate the differences and beauty from that of what may not be expected.

Film Review // Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max Fury Road Film Poster

Cars, explosions & an extreme sense of Art Direction, Mad Max Fury Road pushes its original movie franchise to the limits with a fetishized world of Cars where the elements test human endurance to the fullest. Combining George Miller's love for unrelenting violence, destruction & raw power, Mad Max Fury Road is a child-grown-up's dream world. Opposed to the original Miller uses far more feminist imagery deep within the story as a matter of base principal rather than being brash and throwing it in your face.

As a film, the newest addition to the Mad Max series quickly pulls you into a world of baron grandeur and spectacular vehicle design. It holds nothing back in it's show with utmost respect for the audience to speedily grasp swift zoom-ins of details and accelerated developments. Scenes are long; shots are in rapid-fire succession, and often leaves you at a crossroads for wanting to pause and admire small details on steering wheels or a character's dust-covered armour, or continue on without interruption for fear that you'll ruin your immersion into the rotting world. Possibly one of the most interesting aspects of Mad Max Fury Road is just how humble it is with its design. Design is used to emphasize the world and tie everything together. The mashed up post-apocalyptic styled vehicles together with reminiscently 80's-clad villains prove highly original in their variety whilst staying true to it's roots from all the way back to 79' with the original Mad Max.

A script kept to the bare minimum is questionable as to whether Mad Max Fury Road needs one or not. Extremely light, the characters themselves only speak up when a major decision or arch is being made. The key here is that the lack of a normal length script is overshadowed by everything else going on and fades into the background going unnoticed. Anything that is said tends to aid towards massive character development; and often drops shrouds built up around them. The more they say, the more we know about them; yet Mad Max Fury Road does an incredible job of keeping Max not only ambiguous but hints at a more ambivalent main character. Throughout the two hour display of paroxysmally profound madness it is understood that Max as a character would not side with Immortan Joe yet at the same time we can never be so sure. Similarly, he could side with Furiosa and the escapee wives, but we can never be so sure. 

Having mentioned character development however, it is important to understand that every character, aside from War Boy, the empirically misguided, simple-minded yet overtly soft-hearted soldier of Immortan Joe's army comes developed fully. The dying world is filled with adults who have seen it all; experienced so much and still we only see so little. Incredibly complex characters are whittled down to instinctively simple creatures foraging for water, hope, and redemption. We join Furiosa with her motives already set in stone as she takes the War Rig on a detour in search for the "Green Place" alongside the wives of Immortan Joe used for breeding. Max on the other hand has no end; a character that comes and goes on his own inward terms. He finds new experiences and leaves them at the end similarly to how as an audience it is watching Mad Max Fury Road. Following Furiosa from the Citadel in search of the Green Place and all the way back again, as Furiosa and the survivors of their exploits find some serenity in the world whom someone killed, Max continues on by himself. 

Film Review // His Girl Friday (1940) - B Movies

figure 1. His Girl Friday - Film Poster
"A B Movie?! With Cary Grant in? " you might say, but as His Girl Friday releases under Columbia Pictures with Grant's early career in 1940 the all too familiar romantic comedy with a hint of drama is set to stage with a twist. Originally actually based on The Front Page, a play from 1928 by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur His Girl Friday had to remain faithful to it's origins; just as Walter Burns (played by aforementioned Cary Grant) toys with Hildegard "Hildy" Johnson (played by Rosalind Russel) and her quarrel with staying true to her new marriage and divorce with Walter - ultimately failing. 

figure 2 - Walter, Bruce & Hildy share lunch..
 A Male & Female lead coupled with being a romantic comedy, His Girl Friday surely makes no great strides to be different; sticking to a predictable structure of conflict in the middle with a safe though awfully heartwarming resolve at the end and a script that does not dare go below the horizon line. Being lead to believe that His Girl Friday is yet another run of the mill film similar to that of Roman Holiday (1953) & Charade (1963) whilst partially correct does begin to show it's real colours eventually. The black sheep of His Girl Friday appears in the form of Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), a bland insurance man who plans to wed Hidly the next day and settle down in Albany with her. Walter, gratuitously played by the ever-popular choice for this type of role, Cary Grant, had not yet come into his own and his soon-to-be style of quaint cockiness has only just begin to arise yet regardless as the film progresses the conversing with Hidly only gains hilarity. Often, before 1950 a clash of culture, class, and generally what is considered humour can be lost on newer audiences, yet in the case of His Girl Friday it manages to surpass all these barriers and still be a pinnacle of laughter. As Hidly tells Walter about her new fiance and his willingness to hold doors open for her, or carry her bags (implying that he Walter himself did not), only then for him to demonstrate a "and I will continue to not to!" and do none of what she described sets the tone for the whole film. Walter consistently tries to sabotage Bruce, Hildy being fully aware, nay expects it, and tries to prepare for the inevitable but eventually Walter's cunning breaks through, landing Bruce in jail several times and getting his Mother into a car accident.

An abundance of timeless shenanigans with a witty script in copula, His Girl Friday has no tricks up it's sleeve regarding maquettes or special effects, and unlike more typical B Movies such as The Giant Claw (1957) with it's garish bird monster or Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and it's use of a rubber suited fish creature which exploit the unexplained monster genre, His Girl Friday exploits the effortless structure that comes with romantic comedy films of the time, and such a formula that still holds up today. Having said this it can unfortunately be perceived in an extremely safe manner that, bar the ending, feeds off of already existing acts and roles to create a film that does not add anything new to the table - then again neither did it try to.