Sunday, February 24, 2013

FOCUS ON: GARY CARD FOR OTHER SHOP


Oh look! Gary Card's come out with another kick ass project, this time in collaboration with 'Other Shop'. I love how Gary has started to show more of his illustration work, and particularly that he's selling more of his work. I'm still holding a resentment about the fact that I missed out on the swimming shorts he designed a few years ago for Topman.



Each t-shirt features an illustration by Gary Card, each kind of creepy and wrinkly, etched in neon/UV colours, like negative photo portraits, all based on characters from the Richard Avedon book 'In The American West'. Each costs £59 and can be bought from the Other Shop online store here




FOCUS ON: THE EVOLUTION OF LULA BY GARY CARD

Well done to Gary Card who's collection of paintings entitled 'The Evolution Of Lula' has been featured in the Fashion Illustration Gallery. The dark gouache and ink works, highlighted with sparks of colour, are really elegant and unusual. See them all on the Fashion Illustration Gallery website here


















FILM: HITCHCOCK (2012)


I'm probably the farthest thing from a movie buff that you will ever meet. Not that I dislike movies, I just rarely find a movie memorable or really impacting. I have to force myself to finish movies and rarely succeed. So I'm bloody glad I decided to go to the cinema (for the first time in nearly a year) to see 'Hitchcock'. Based around the filming of one of my favourite movies, 'Psycho', the film focuses on the director, Alfred Hitchcock himself, and his relationships with those around him which ultimately had massive effects on the outcome of the movie and his life. I thought it was amazing to see what was going on inside the life of one of film's most iconic influences, and why he was considered so scandalous at the time.


I always say that when I watch movies, I don't watch them for the plot or the acting or the camerawork, I'm always focused on the visuals and production, the costumes, the sets, the soundtrack. This film changed all of that and if Anthony Hopkins doesn't win an Oscar tonight for his portrayal of Alfred Hitchcock, then I'd rather only read reviews written by bloggers from now on rather than by the "professionals"


That doesn't mean, however, that I wasn't watching the visuals and production. For once, this movie held my attention because, even if I wasn't in a cinema, with every incredible camera shot, there was another outfit or background or angle that made me go 'wow' just about every two minutes throughout the entire film. The whole era of the 60's has always amazed me, I love all the clothes and hairstyles and even the way people walked and talked a different way, and every detailed was considered to the finest point. I'm a particular fan of Hitchcocks' trousers with the waistband coming up to his ribs, encompassing the massive gut, it's hard to believe anyone used to wear trousers like that, but well considered and researched. Also, his wife Alma's dress towards the end of the film I found really interesting, very unusual but really nice.


If you've ever liked a Hitchcock movie, or seen him in an interview, you're going to love 'Hitchcock'. Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Hitchcock is the most mind-blowingly accurate I've ever seen, or thought possible. With the aid of prosthetic features and (I'm guessing) pot-belly, the voice, the posture, the tiniest characteristics were all so perfectly replicated, I respect him so much more as an actor, and he kind of puts all other actors in the shade now after seeing it. I feel like saying 'SEE! That's how good you could be!'

See a video of an interview with the actual Alfred Hitchcock below



As for any criticisms I would have with the film, I'd say there are very few. I was very bored watching Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johansson acting, but I guess when you're put up against some of the greatest actors of all time like Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, it's probably pretty hard to measure up. A friend who I was with also said that he found some scenes, which showed Hitchcock talking to an imaginary man that represents his mind or conscience, to be boring and unnecessary. I disagreed but he had never seen a Hitchcock film before, so maybe for those unfamiliar with Hitchcock it might seem unnecessary, but for those who are fans, I thought it was a brilliant way to show just how twisted he must have been to do the things he did at the time.


Overall, I'd give this film an absolute 10 out of 10. My favourite film that I've seen in the a long time and definitely one that I would be able to watch again. I'd be very surprised if it doesn't scoop a couple of Oscar's tonight.



Watch the trailer for "Hitchcock" below

Sunday, February 10, 2013

MY PORTFOLIO: MASKS AND PORTRAITS


These are a couple of images I produced as part of an assignment to capture a series of portraits, but of course it couldn't just be a straight-on-smile-black-and-white-jeans-and-white-top kind of thing, it had to be somehow more interesting. I came up with the idea to do a series of masks the night before it was due and had 4 hours in the morning to make the masks, find models, shoot the photos, go and get them printed and have photos stuck up above my desk ready for assessment. I made the masks in about five minutes each, but had the construction methods planned out in my head which made them a bit easier. They're just made from paper, masking tape, plastic cups, foam, everyday things which is probably my favourite way to work, using unconventional materials to make interesting wearable items.


The idea came from the fact that I was so stuck with what to do for portraits. I hate images where models seem forced or like they're posing, it looks so fake and cringey. I thought about how I could distract my models, to not let them think about the fact they're being photographed, so I treated the portraits like a fashion shoot. 'I'm shooting the masks instead of you so you do whatever you want I just want the masks in the shot' took the pressure off the models I think. I love the one of Aoife (purple octopus chick), where she blinked as I took the photo, and I thought it was way more interesting than all the other photos where she was looking straight at the camera or looking at the light or some other cliche. The border images, believe it or not, were three photos that I took totally at random the day before. When I applied them to the portraits, I thought they worked so well, with the colours and composition, for example the greens in the raindrops suited the greens of the rope and the column of light worked well with the tall, white headpiece.



I have to say I'm really proud of these photos, I always get into this rut where everything I think of I say to myself 'I couldn't do that' or 'that would look crap' or 'people would laugh' and this time I was under pressure so I just went ahead and did what I like doing and I was happy with the result! It gives me motivation to try something like this again in the future.

Thanks to my models Grace, Zoe and Aoife