Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Colorful Live-Action Expressions?

Thanks to Cartoon Brew’s recent plug there is still some traffic on my blog, even though I haven’t even been able to keep up posting once a month recently. I’m not running out of topics, however.
While this will always be first and foremost an animation blog, I might post more analyses of live-action films in the future, simply because I find more substantial inspiration in live-action films these days and because analyzing live-action films happens to be part of my current work.

This, of course, by no means implies that I have lost interest in animation. In fact, I’m still looking forward to having the time to analyze the color work in one of the Mary Blair features (Cinderella, Alice or Peter Pan) or write about current animated films I’ve been enjoying.

But as an animator and film scholar, I learn many a thing by digging deeper into storytelling decisions and devices by live-action directors with unique stylistic visions*. And I truly believe that our animation should be inspired by what we find in other media or art forms, be it live-action or painting or most of all our personal lives.

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a companion blog primarily on live-action films – but obviously this would mean that I’d have to divide my time between two blogs which doesn’t seem to be very reasonable.

To cut a long story short: I hope you keep reading my posts even though articles exclusively concerned with animation may be interspersed more sparsely. As always, I'm interested in your thoughts about this decision. So if you feel like leaving a comment, I'll be happy to read it!

*After seeing Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom a few days ago, I’ve been struck by how the director even seemed to be able to translate the perfected mechanics of the animated Fantastic Mr. Fox into a live-action film. Whatever I have written on the style of Mr. Fox is still valid for Moonrise Kingdom

Upon first viewing, Moonrise Kingdom might be the quintessential Anderson movie - as self-contained and auto-referential as can be. Whoever succeeds in mixing Hank Williams and Benjamin Britten must be a genius (Randall Poster and Alexandre Desplat have outdone themselves once again). And yes, Tilda Swinton would make a wonderful live-action Maleficent.