Monday, 25 April 2016

'The Sixth Sense 1999' Sense'ational 25/04/2016

Figure 1: 'The Sixth Sense 1999' Poster
This film review will focus on the film 'The Sixth Sense (1999)', the plot of the story is a little boy called Cole Sear, who has rare gift and curse, he has the ability to see dead people. When he is consulted by a doctor known as Malcolm Crowe he quickly makes friends with the small child and proceeds to help him, however the plot of this film has one of the best plot twist ending for any film. When the ending is first seen it is slightly questionable and with a few inconsistencies with the screenplay, however after going back and watching it again the screenplay is extremely well done, near to the point of flawless, it sums up the entire film with incredible beauty and perfection.

The film was released in 1999 and was directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan, produced by Frank Marshal, cinematography was Tak Fujimoto and the music for the film was done by James Newton Howard. This film was one of the most successful films of 1999, being the second highest grossing profit film right behind 'Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace', grossing over $600 million worldwide.

The entire film is really good, with very few flaws and near perfect screenplay this is a must watch, points in the film can be slightly questionable at times, the most notable the anniversary dinner scene, but apart from that this film is brilliant! "Cinema literates know when to expect the unexpected in a thriller. Without giving the slightest bit away, then, let me say that the coolest thing about The Sixth Sense is how this twisty ghost story, about a child who sees dead people all around him, circumvents all such instincts. It’s a psychological thriller that actually thrills." (L Schwawzbaum. 2002)

Figure 2: Malcolm and Cole
The plot of this film is one that can make anyone cry, the screenplay, cinematography, music and acting come together in perfect harmony. From the beginning we are given the whole film in the short space of a couple minutes, for how the movie will play out, its only when the end of the film takes place do all the pieces of this creepy jigsaw puzzle come together. The main point to elaborate is how the dead are portrayed in the film and the horror that 'shrouds' them. The first time we see one of the ghosts we can see that something horrific has happened to them, in the eyes of a child this is somewhat of nightmare fuel. Having these bodies roam empty dark hallways with no purpose being almost like zombies gives the feeling of hostility, almost like some sort of child's nightmare. This also gives Cole a reason for not only why he wants to stay clear of these guys, but why we are lead to believe how all of these ghosts are bad. If the ghost are something that can bring harm to another than surely it is common sense to stay away from the threat, which also explains why no-one would help them. "Gradually, Cole’s visions increase — people hanging from the rafters of his school, which used to be a prison, a kid with the back of his head blown away, a teenage girl from the neighborhood dying. Often, as in “The Haunting,” the presence of ghosts is indicated by frosty breath, and James Newton Howard’s score effectively builds and sustains a threatening mood." (T Mcarthy. 1999)

The main ghost to be spoken about however is the little girl who was poisoned by the mother, this is the only reason atrocity to humanity in the film, being secretly fed some sort of chemical to kill her, the way this is depicted when we are first introduced to her and how she is portrayed is very key to showing how Cole has to overcome his gift and fear. The little girl appears out of nowhere having an odd substance oozing out of her mouth, almost being overflowed with gunk, once she is spoken too though and her issue has been resolved we never hear or see from this girl again, showing that an innocent soul has been put to rest.

Figure 3: Dead Girl
Once it is also found out that Cole can see dead people some of this actions in the film can be understood, most notably when he is locked in the closet and him talking about what his school was previously used for. It must be said that for his age Cole can take extreme mental trauma very well, maybe this was why he was given this attribute? who knows. An interesting point to elaborate on however is how the world around him reacts to hearing these hard truths. When this conversation is brought up everyone judges Cole for his 'strange' outbursts, even though he is only describing what is happening, showing how delicate the human mind is for some people.

Cole's power has somewhat of a religious origin, he is found hiding in the church with his toys, playing with them. Now when the film ends the first thing to question is why is Cole not freaked out all the time, with the amount of dead people you would think any more souls would be wondering the streets, even in a church there is a graveyard usually quite close by, so why have no ghost wander into the church? That is until the conversation is had with Malcolm who says the church was a place to keep bad people out and good people safe. All of the ghosts we see have had something horrific done to them, a tragic accidental shotgun blast or been hung all of the ghost appear to have had something done to them. In this film the ghosts that are shown are not that of completely free will but have some sort of burden to get rid of, which is what Cole does.

Figure 4: Hung Victims
The ending for the film is made in a way which sums up the whole film, and the plot twist also brings up questions which would rather not be answered. The biggest shock in the final scene is about Malcolm, we saw he was shot and we are led to believe he is alive and well, helping patients, however it turns out he has been dead the whole time, which brings up the most annoying part of the film, the one question that cannot be answered and is the only real flaw with the film, Malcolm being dead. Now from the way the film opens it say's "The Next Fall", meaning that quite some time has passed ever since the shooting, so how come Malcolm doesn't know he is dead? Even if he was taken into the hospital and patched up someone would have spoken to him. It's understandable what happens for narrative reasons, but it is a massive gaping hole that needs to be ignored none the less, and the only real flaw with the film.

So apart from the massive issue of Malcolm's demise realization, the ending sequence sums up all we know so far and then neatly wraps it all up, even down to Malcolm's wife breath being cold, there were nice details put in that really pulled at most heartstrings. We like Malcolm as a character for his kind and gentle nature, going the extra mile when it is needed, then he has been dead the whole time, bombshell dropped. He then begins to understand why things had been different for him, ever since the shooting. It also explains why Cole is the only person who really talks to him and why he talks to him at all, because his wound is no visible Malcolm is not seen as a threat like most of the other ghosts, giving Malcolm an 'Inside' perspective on Cole's issue. One he accepts that he has perished he then puts himself to rest by saying goodbye to the one he loved and the film ends. "Classy, creepy and cunnningly constructed, Shyamalan's film offers melacholy pleasures and some genuinely effective scares. A quality Hollywood offering and a massive hit." (Film 4. 2010)


Bibliography

Film 4
(2010) The sixth sense. 
At: 
(Accessed on 25 April 2016)

L. Schwawzbaum
The sixth sense. (2002) Directed by Shyamalan, N.M. Buena Vista Pictures. 
At: 
(Accessed on 25 April 2016)

T. McCarthy:
(1999) Review: ‘The sixth sense’. 
At:
(Accessed on 25 April 2016)


Image Bibliography

Figure 1: 'The Sixth Sense 1999' Poster

Figure 2: Malcolm and Cole

Figure 3: Dead Girl

Figure 4: Hung Victims

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Project 3 'Fantastic Voyage!': Blue Backdrop 21/04/2016


No sound yet but the effects are looking nice, a red and purple version are also in the works but taking time to make. Just skip to random points in the video to see the effect in full action!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Project 3 'Fantastic Voyage!': Animation Test 20/04/2016

video
 
I know the animation is way too aggressive, I just wanted to get some practice in. This has given me a good idea of how to animate these rigs now.

Project 3 'Fantastic Voyage!': Intro to Film 20/04/2016

MKI

MKII

This post will be updated.

Project 3 'Fantastic Voyage!': Bacteria Evolving Effect


This is the effect for when my bacteria 'evolves' in my final animation.

Project 3 'Fantastic Voyage!': AE Tests 20/04/2016

video
Jordans LQ

Jordans HQ

video
Mayfts LQ

Mayfts HQ

The reason for there being two version of the same video is because I though it looked quite nice, could be a nice influence of the final product. This was an idea suggested by jordan, originally the background was going to be made in Maya but it killed the textures I gave it, so having the background animated in AE looks much nicer.

Project 3 'Fantastic Voyage!': Text Box Concept 20/04/2016

Red Background Text Box
Blue Background Text Box
Purple Box Background

Friday, 15 April 2016

'The Wicker Man 1973' It was Wickered. 15/04/2016

Figure 1: 'The Wicker Man 1973' Poster
This film review will focus on the film 'The Wicker Man 1973', the story follows the investigation of a police officer named Sgt. Howie, who has been sent to the remote Hebridean island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl, little does he know there is much more going on behind the scenes and the film quickly turns from generic police investigation into a very dangerous game of cat and mouse. The film has a huge amount of religious symbolism behind it, even down to where the film is set decisions were taken to make sure the details all fitted together and made sense.

The film was released in 1973 and was directed by Robin Hardy, produced by Peter Snell, Harry Waxman did the cinematography and Paul Giovanni produced the music. The film was based off of the book 'Ritual 1967' which was written by David Pinner who sold the rights of the book to Christopher Lee who later turned the book in the film 'The Wicker Man 1973'.

The film as a whole can be very creepy at times, using the friendly setting of what is some sort of community where everyone knows everyone and everything gives the film a sense of claustrophobia in certain scenes of the film despite there is lots of space, but it is what else is happening at the time which can really give chills to the viewer. "On its face a horror film with shocking revelations and vice-like tension, Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man is actually study in contrasts; a treatise on modern incomprehensibility in the face of social upheaval." (Matt. 2012)

Figure 2: Animal Masks
The film heavily focuses on the religions of Paganism and Christianity almost like two opposites. There is this strange religion known as 'Christianity' that has come to the shores of Summerisle and when Sgt. Howie arrives at the island he is very quick to judge the people there, because they are not of his religion. At first he appears very hostile to all of the people in the village but as the film goes on this hostility almost completely flips by the end of the film, costing Sgt Howie his life. There are a few very clever tricks done in the film to give that sense creepiness and anxiety, one of the main techniques used in the film is showing the obvious danger but not explaining either how it came to be or what it will do.

There are no real gore moments in the film apart from the severed hand with candles, however the way the film is set up it's like something could happen at any time. A massive impact on this is the way Sgt Howie is treated in the village, when he becomes very impatient and begins bursting into homes with no authority, and even though he has not really told anyone he will do this, there are still people in the homes prepared to see him almost as if they were warned somehow which brings up the question, what do they know that Sgt. Howie doesn't?

Another creepy asset in the film are the costumes used in the parade, wearing dead animal hides as costumes and even stylizing them to look like the real creatures. Not only can we not see what is underneath but also the fact the mask almost completely conceals the face adds to the suspicion of something being hidden. When someone is wearing a mask the face cannot be seen, usually we can tell a lot about a person from looking at their face, if their happy, sad or angry. However the only things we can tell from these people wearing the costumes is that they are about to take part in a ritual where someone will be killed.

Figure 3: The Wicker Man
As state earlier there is a lot of religious symbolism in this film, but the most symbolic scene in the film is when Sgt. Howie is burned alive inside the wicker man. Now there is a lot of symbolism in this scene but lets start with the religious symbolism. The village itself is all one religion whereas Sgt Howie is a Christian, so when the villagers take Sgt Howie into custody they explain it like the sergeant came along willingly. This scene resembles that of Jesus's crucifixion, giving himself up to save our sins, in this case the villagers believe that they need a sacrifice for the pagan gods so that their harvest for the year will be fruitful. Then there is the fact that fire is used to kill Sgt. Howie, now it could be argued that the only reason fire was used was because of the material that the wicker man was built of but there is much more reason behind it.

Earlier before his demise Sgt Howie is almost thrown into the water as a sacrifice but the villagers choose not to, even the way the cliff is presented is a force nature that is brutal. However fire does have some symbolism behind it, in the sign of the cross there are three parts, the Father, the son and the holy spirit. The holy spirit in multiple descriptions is described as a flame, now when a fire is started it can consume everything if it gets out of control, so is the fire a use of demise for the sergeant or is a symbol of his religion consuming him and the reason his demise right to the bitter end.

Lets also take a look from the villagers perspective, up until this point they have been informed of everything that is going to happen. Another thing to take into consideration is some of the sergeants last words, "What if your crops fail this year?" now this is a reasonable statement, if the crops failed then that would mean the religion they all believe in is false. It is also stated that the reason for the crops failing is because of where they are grown. So these all seem like logical reasons however due to how strongly the entire village believes in their religion they overthrow the sergeant and give him a "Martyrs Death".

Figure 4: The Stone Circle
The last point to touch on is how females and males are portrayed in the film, there is a large amount of talk in the film about the way both sexes treat each other. Males do have some sort of a dominance in the film but females still possess a large amount of power. A strong scene of this is when Willow MacGregor strips off then begins slamming against the wall next to the sergeants, causing him to become frightened. The main man at the center of it all however is Lord Summerisle who as a character can summaries the entire plot by just being a character, deceptive and calm. "Christopher Lee's imaculately polite performance as the pagan ringleader Lord Summerisle, patiently explaining to Howie the very trap into which he’s being lured, holds up splendidly, as does Woodward’s prudish brand of Christian martyrdom. They’re essentially playing Dionysus, god of ritual madness, and Pentheus, stuffy voice of repression, in the only reimagining of Euripides' Bacchae where you also get Britt Ekland jiggling around nude. There are moments that still prompt shivers — the banally hideous sign of the Green Man pub, a missing photo of last year’s harvest festival on its wall — and the famous climax holds on to every shred of its unmatched, infernal power." (R Tim. 2015)

Females are shown as sex objects quite a lot in the film, dancing naked in fields and learning about the male genitalia (Which would not have been ethical for when the film was set.), even the game that the boys play with the ribbons and pole is shaped to look like a penis. Then there is the way females interact with all of these ideals, almost worshiping them? It is unclear about the villages thoughts on reproduction apart from that babies were sometimes used in sacrifices, but other than that no real hints are given in the film that reproduction was a major thing. The village believes in the reincarnation but not resurrection once again going against this strange religion known as Christianity.

The film as a whole works really well, not having your typical horrific sights like blown out brains or bleeding victims, but yet even with small things like the dismembered hand candle and the animal masks really sell the ominous atmosphere. The film can drag on slightly near towards the end but not to a degree where the film is held back. The film is still very creepy, even with all of the bugs with its restored footage and sound, it's still able to shine, "Most importantly, The Wicker Man retains its occult power, and remains as bizarre and bewitching a fable as when it first appeared four decades ago. Once seen, never forgotten" (D Stephan. 2013)

Bibliography

Dalton, S. (2013) The wicker man: The final cut: Film review.
At:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/wicker-man-final-cut-film-635790
(Accessed on 15 April 2016)

Matt (2012) THE WICKER MAN (1973).At:
http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/13213/the-wicker-man-1973/
(Accessed on 15 April 2016)

Robey, T. (2015) 'The wicker man: The final cut, review'
In: The Telegraph 11 June 2015
[online] At:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/10336602/The-Wicker-Man-The-Final-Cut-review.html
 (Accessed on 15 April 2016)

Image Bibliography

Figure 1: 'The Wicker Man 1973' Poster
http://www.best-horror-movies.com/image-files/the-wicker-man-poster-2.jpg

Figure 2: Animal Masks
 http://nuovocinemalebowski.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/The-Wicker-Man-Nuovo-Cinema-Lebowski-2.jpg

Figure 3: The Wicker Man
http://40.media.tumblr.com/5bbabd0164844ca8c46d7c065918703b/tumblr_mxdvm3Lz7d1s6ozp1o1_1280.jpg

Figure 4: The Stone Circle
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YaAcVW1BRy4/VjPaSOMUvXI/AAAAAAAACaw/Q8QwbnDE-AU/s1600/WickerMan.jpg

Project 3 'Fantastic Voyage!': Leaflet Design 15/04/2016


So it turns out I still remember how to use InDesign, I quickly came up with and it looks pretty clean.