Saturday, December 13, 2014

Crazy 4 Cult: Back In LA

Gallery 1988's annual "Crazy 4 Cult" show opened last night at their gallery at 7308 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. I contributed the piece below, based on They Live (1988). The show runs through December 28, 2014, and the rest of the art from all contributing artists should be available to look at and purchase at the Gallery 1988 website soon.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass

As promised, here is a look at the four pieces I did for "The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass" show now on display at Creature Features in Burbank, CA through January 4. Each is 3-D cut paper. Contact Creature Features for purchasing information. 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rudolph Turns 50

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the beloved Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which debuted on this night in 1964, Creature Features, in Burbank, CA, is hosting "The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass" a group art show featuring some very talented folks.

I have four pieces in the show, which I'll share here tomorrow.

The show runs through January 4th. If you can, you should definitely stop by and check it out.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Ask Me Anything #44

After a much needed month long break, things will be returning to normal here. There will be some updates in the days ahead, but in the meantime, the first Monday of the month means it's time for "Ask Me Anything."

You can ask me any questions you'd like, whether it's about my work, opinions, influences, favorites, least favorites, holiday gift suggestions, or anything else you think I might have an answer for. Questions can be posted in the comments section below, and I'll either answer them there, or in a separate post sometime later in the month.

Please take the time to view the previous questions so that we don't wind up with a lot of repetition. I've been asked a lot of good, thought provoking questions in the past as well as some really banal ones, all of which I tried to answer. You can see the previous questions by visiting Ask Me Anything  #1#2 ,  #3#4#5#6 , #7 , #8#9,  #10,  #11,  #12 , #13#14,  #15 , #16#17 , #18 , #19,  #20,  #21#22,  #23#24#25#26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35#36#37#38#39#40#41#42, and #43.  Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month under Ask Me Anything.

Now ask away. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monday, November 03, 2014

Don't Ask

This is the first Monday of the month which normally would mean it's time for "Ask Me Anything." However, I have a heavy schedule this month, so I'm putting it on hiatus.  This month you can expect some posts pertaining to things I did not post during October so that they would not get lost amidst all of the Countdown to Halloween material.

"Ask Me Anything" will return the first Monday of December.

Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 31 - Movie 2

Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer) is convinced by his psychiatrist (David Cronenberg) that he has been murdering people during blackout periods. Boone seeks refuge among the Nightbreed, a civilization of monsters that live beneath a necropolis called Midian. Boone learns he's innocent, and in an attempt to rejoin his girlfriend in a normal life, accidentally leads humans, intent on destroying the monsters, to Midian. 

I've been waiting for the director's cut since I saw the movie opening night at a movie theater in New York City and noticed that scenes from the trailer were missing from the actual movie, and subsequently learned about the studio interference which led to reshoots that completely reversed the intentions of the film, which were to portray the monsters as heroes and the humans as monsters. The director's cut is not much longer than the theatrical cut and there aren't any "holy crap" new scenes added to the movie, but more time is spent on cementing Boone's relationship with his girlfriend, Lori (Anne Bobby) and turning the movie's perspective back to one in which the monsters are definitely the sympathetic, peaceful, people that Clive Barker intended them to be. I always hated the exploding bloodbath that was the climax of the theatrical cut, but here a lot of nuanced scenes are woven into the fabric of Midian's apocalypse, that the feel of the climax completely changes. The restoration of the newly reintroduced footage is pretty seamless, especially considering the poor quality of some of the footage when it was rediscovered. I also sprung for the deluxe edition blu ray which has lots of extras in the form of making of documentaries, still galleries, and further deleted scenes that were not reintroduced back into the movie. I have only tapped the surface of the extra features, but it's a treasure trove I look forward to diving into completely.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 31 - Movie 1

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) is Hollywood's second spectacle based on Victor Hugo's novel.  The 1923 version, starring Lon Chaney, was a hard act to follow. In terms of spectacle, this version matches its predecessor. The sets are glorious, the crowd scenes populous, the cinematography beautiful. This time Charles Laughton plays the titular character, Quasimodo under Perc Westmore's impressive make-up. Laughton's Quasimodo is less animated and acrobatic than Chaney's, but is able to get across a great deal of pathos in his reserved performance. Cedric Hardwicke makes for a nasty Frollo, and Maureen O'Hara, while not quite convincing as a Gypsy girl, makes for a beautiful Esmeralda.

It's an excellent movie, but not quite at the level of the 1923 version. The script hits all of its notes really broadly, and practically underlines key bits of exposition and dialogue to make sure the audience doesn't miss them. There's a much more optimistic feel all the way throughout that doesn't really match the situation unfolding on screen, even ending with a happy, if bittersweet ending, not true to the source material. It's somewhat like the difference between the 1943 Phantom of the Opera and the 1925 original. The silent versions were energetic, dark and mysterious. The romance was tinged with doom. The sound versions were too busy trying to cement themselves as audience pleasing costume melodramas, and completely blunted their dark edges. This remake of the Hunchback excels where the remake of Phantom didn't. Even if it were only for Laughton's performance, this movie would be well worth seeing.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 31

Barbara Britton, Ella Neal, Eva Gabot, and Katherine Booth, 1941.