Rodchenko was a designer from USSR times and has become a huge influence on modern fashion.
What attracted my attention in his works are the clean colours and figures, all collages together. All the lines on the pictures are leading our eyes to the focus point.
As a joke, I sometimes call his works "brainwash worthy" because of how well they grab your attention, especially with the contrast, and how fun the texts are so it's easier to remember. Rodchenko was a huge supporter of USSR propaganda, such bold works show the viewer exactly where to look and on what to focus (usually it will be a human figure). In Graphics it is important to highlight the most important aspects and lead our eyes towards them, however Rodchenko's works don't just lead your eyes, they manipulate them. His prints represent the government at that time very well: spreading the message, not letting people to question it.
Being inspired by Rodchenko's clean and well structured designs I made a video with minimal props and background, so the eyes won't be distracted.
Charlie Brooker, News Wipe
During script writing for my news report I stubbed across the parody that is showing and laughing at all the basic news technique to tell the story that gave me exactly what I was looking for as a reference.
The most helpful part was when there were shots of a crowd, Charlie was making fun of them like "useless shots of a walking crowd" or "close ups on the overweight people with their faces cut off". This point I ended up using for my video: I did a screen recording of a youtube video of Paris busy street.
This 2 minute long video showed me how you can turn something as simple as a news report into something funny. I not only got some helpful tips on how to make the video seem more professional but also I got some samples of sarcastic humour- pointing the obvious but in a witty way.
My friend Matt, who was playing a reporter, also followed Charlie's example when he said "punctuating every other sentence with a hand gesture", but in his situation it was using his eyebrows as a punctuation.
This show reports all the faulty and ridiculous stories in the professional news form and the more strictly and seriously they take this report, the funnier it comes off. I like how I unconditionally ripped off a lot of their techniques whilst editing my own video, "Totally Real News", for example, the unnecessary laugh, creepy staring and repetitive, ridiculous intros.
Those similarities were the ones I noticed the most, as I could relate to them, however I learned something new about it as well and I wish I could have used this in my videos: they weren't unnecessarily pointing out that this video is a joke, they were just acting like this is a complete truth, which came off much funnier, as this improved sarcastic humour of this video. I felt like I needed to make the fact that those news are not real very obvious, whilst there was no need for that. From my point of view, because I grew up in Russia, if the news are ridiculously untrue, if it comes off serious enough, there will be a couple of people out there who would think it's real.
Therefore comparing my video to The DayToday, mine came out more satirical whilst The DayToday is more sarcastic.
Japanese Horror Cinema, edited by Jay McRoy
Whilst looking for something to read about cinema and film making, I stumbled across Japanese Horror Cinema. This book is everything you need to know about art of Japanese horror film making, that I found absolutely fascinating. It caught my interest because I am both horror fan and Japan fan. The country is probably the best in film industry in making horror movies.
This book touched upon aesthetics of horror, that came originally from theatre. One of those is romance, classic Japanese horror film makers love to represent things like lust, passion and desire as something evil. If you get carried away in it, this is something punishable. Some movies also represent humans' fear of commitment and intimacy.
Another point in this book that I found the most interesting is how anime is different at representing horror than films. It all came from the word that represents extreme anime fans- otaku. Those were usually men, who preferred anime women over real ones, and were in fact scared of female interactions. The classic anime representations of characters would be: boring, dorky men and overly sexualised, full of light women. Those were made to reflect Japanese social anxiety and give otakus their ideal lives. And anime horror is made to play on those people's insecurities and reflect with them on personal level. I always wondered why anime never have any jumpscares or tension building and after reading this book I realised that most horror animes are supposed to be more psychological than scary.
Reading this book made me really inspired to try and creating horror movie of my own, however it is a fact that horror genre is the most complicated in film industry. At least that's how Hollywood makes it seem to be:
"The US horror films are squeezed dry"
Therefore, America started being inspired by Asian scary movies. There started to be a lot of remakes of old Japanese movies and it keeps inspiring the industry all over the world.
Ilya Kabakov, Labyrinth, My Mother's Album
This installation is of a never-ending corridor that collects a lot of old photographs on and each of them have a small story to tell. I was lucky enough to see this art piece in real life, in Tate Modern during an exhibition "Not Everyone Will Be Taken Into The Future". Although, I can say with certainty that it did leave an impression, however I wouldn't call this piece the most memorable one, at least not after the room this exhibition was named after.
It took me a while to get into, may be because I entered through the exit. Looking at all the pictures was quite overwhelming, it kept me distracted, even though I love atmospheric spaces. After some time in the labyrinth I approached one of the photographs and read the paragraph underneath it and that's when I was blown away. It contained an immersive short story about his mother, each photograph did.
"In Samarkand I lived with my mother, but later, when the Leningrad Academy and its school was evacuated to Zagorsk. I lived in the dormitory in Zagorsk. Then I moved to Moscow Art School, and all that time, mother kept renting "corners". Thus the homelessness was double - it was not only me, but my mother: I knew that my mother had nothing, ever, that she was suffering for the sake of being with me, that she had no propiska (permission to live) in Moscow, and that she was there illegally, sleeping in her coat so that if the police came to check, she could say she was merely visiting friends. This is a very sad story, described in "Album of My Mother". This leads to an incredible psychic load on a person. Living in the dorms, I fully blended in to the horrible collective of boarding kids. It's a different animal from a school kid."- Ilya Kabakov, 2009
Such a delicate collection and detail- that's what touched me the most. He expressed his love and admiration for his mother so vividly, it made me think of the labyrinth as a symbol of his eternal feelings for his mother. I wish to be able to express my appreciation for mine as good as Kabakov, as she has also have been through a lot.
Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechichet
I have just finished watching a French film made by Abdellatif Kechiche called Blue is the Warmest Colour and I loved it too much, I had to write about it. What drew my attention about it are beautiful stills of the film. I noticed that a lot of French film have very beautiful visuals and big psychological impact, other French film I watched is called Breathe by Melanie Laurent that I was obsessed with and rewatched many times throughout my school years. When I say "beautiful visuals" I don't mean beautiful people. Hollywood grabs our attention using good-looking actors (Victoria secret models as women, and muscular men) therefore seeing the main characters and how "normal" they looked was very refreshing to me. But most importantly, the main character was illustrated so well, at the end I found her prettier than any of the actresses in American movies, because she was so alive.
Her name is Adele, she is the protagonist of the story that is struggling to find love. I could really relate to her as the movie depicted so well how uncomfortable it is to be so intimate with a person, how incredible it is to actually find someone you feel comfortable with and how difficult it is to maintain such relationship. I followed Adele's clumsy footsteps to find happiness and experienced her sorrow when she and her lover, Emma, have broken up.
I found it incredible how well film-makers and actors have been able to capture such strong emotions just by close-ups. When Adele went on a date with a guy who liked her a lot, I felt her discomfort but eager to give it a chance and at the end- break up. When she then met Emma, you could feel the steam between them, how scared but curious Adele felt and how gentle and amused Emma was. Most of the time we don't even clearly see the surroundings the main characters are in, it is an unnecessary information. However, when we do see the surroundings, those are very beautiful shots.
Throughout this film Adele was my focus point, but I also really enjoyed the analysis of Emma in this film. I read other people's opinions about Emma (in the link bellow) out of curiosity and really enjoyed the detailed analysis. Reading about them made me realise viewer's favouritism of one character over another, depending on their personalities, this develops a really close bond with them. Both characters were depicted very realistically and that gave life to this film.
I know this film doesn't relate to anything I am doing at the moment, but I still wanted to write about it. It made me realise how important the close-ups are in creating mood and atmosphere in film, may be even the most important part. My French used to be very good during GCSEs, however, I stopped taking classes and forgot everything. Both French films that I watched (Blue is the Warmest Colour and Breathe) made me want to take classes again and go to France to learn how to make films.