Thursday, 25 September 2014

Own work - Life drawing II

Thursday and life drawing class.  Two poses today.  Here are the results.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

To the bf's at the weekend and another classic film - he must think I am in sore need of a cinematic education.  And perhaps I am.
This time it was 'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari'.  Funny, but the cultural ripples of this film, one of the most important examples of Expressionist Cinema, have been present in my life, (and probably all our lives) for years.  In particular I remember seeing a still of the film as a child/teenager when looking through our newly acquired edition of the 'Encyclopedia Britannica': an old man (turns out it was Dr Caligari himself) walking down some crazily angled corridor, the walls daubed with what looked like fragments of musical staves.  Like so many things in my life they have passed for years without me giving them due acknowledgement.  The price, perhaps, of being a carer.
Apparently this was one of the first films to frame the main action with scenes, a bit, I suppose, like a play or novel may have a prologue and epilogue.  The prologue we meet the main protagonist - Francis, played by Friedrich Feher - and the woman, Jane, (Lil Dagover) who he claims to be her fiancee.  We are immediately intrigued because of the expression of mental exhaustion on her face. Francis then offers to tell his companion (and thereby us, the audience) the extraordinary events that have lead them to this present circumstance; and with that we are plunged into a distorted, claustrophobic world.  A painted world - very painterly at that.  We are in no doubt of its artificiality.  The town is a heap of a late Medieval German city on a hill.  (The framing scenes however have a look of Symbolism.)  It is fair time in the city, and sinister Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) has arrived with his 'act' to delight, bewilder and disturb the populace.  Dr Caligari has with him a somnambulist - a cadaverous young man called Cesare (Konrad Weit) who is an almost permanent catatonic state but whom Dr Caligari can momentarily rouse and get to utter predictions.  Slowly Francis and Jane are drawn into a spiral of horror and murder as their lives unravel at the instigation of Dr Caligari.
The film, which somehow crosses definitions - it is both horror and a detective thriller - explores the thin membrane between the occult and mental illness.  Sanity and insanity.  Who precisely is what? There are themes, also, shared with other contemporary German horror films - 'Nosferatu' and 'Der Golem'.  Interestingly the somnambulist, Cesare, is a paradoxical figure being both victim and perpetrator, a vampiric figure who stalks the night at the behest of his master, but can still provoke sympathy in the audience.
I am very pleased to have seen this film - I've always been drawn to the exaggerated lighting effects such as you can find in Film Noir, or some of the films of David Lean such as 'Oliver Twist'.  It must certainly must have had an effect on the whole Neo-Romantic scene here in the UK.  However I probably have enjoyed it more had there been a different score.

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Producer               Rudolph Meinert & Erich Pommer
Director                 Robert  Wiene
Cinematography  Willy Hamiester

Monday, 22 September 2014

Own work - wrapping paper

Something I created last week to wrap a little something for the bf.

ADDENDUM 25.09.2014

I thought I'd quickly share with you a couple of images of the wrapped present.  The message is an allusion to a line in 'Houdini' by Kate Bush, from her Album 'The Dreaming'.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Own work - Life drawing

I have returned this week to life drawing after a number of years absent from that discipline. The first session was yesterday.  I had forgotten was an intense thing it could be.  Here are my awful efforts.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Own work

Day three's work.  I spent about an hour before the subject before continuing to work on it back home.  Still not happy with it.  I may leave it a couple of days before resuming work.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Own work

Day two of my mixed media piece depicting the porch at the Red Hall, Bourne.  Not quite sure how its going....

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Own work

I thought I'd share with you, dear reader a couple of things: one I've just finished on Monday and another one I started yesterday afternoon.  The former is another in my sequence taken from Serlio's 'Extraordinario Libro di Architettura', the second is mixed media drawing of the porch at the Red Hall in Bourne.