Posts tagged CGI
Fantasy, Animation, Violence

A little while ago I did some work on fantasy cinema and, while I’m keen to avoid the slightly unedifying spectacle of trawling through that material again, I would like to spend a little time thinking about a couple of its omissions: animation and violence. One reason for visiting these topics now is that I wonder whether violence in fantasy and/or animation may run the risk of not being taken seriously at all, possibly on grounds of realism. If the violence is so obviously signposted as fictional through its animated or fantastical nature, aren’t we missing the point if we start talking about its meaning and significance?

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Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (Rob Letterman, 2019)

Billed as the first “live-action” Pokémon film, Pokémon Detective Pikachu (Rob Letterman, 2019) adapts some of the franchise’s core themes and mechanics. The film also continues the endeavour of augmented reality game Pokémon GO (2016) – which on release sparked a sensation that saw players from all walks of life hunting Pokémon in the spaces around them via their mobile phones – to bring Pokémon into the real world. These efforts are pursued through various forms of transmedial dialogue with other Pokémon texts.

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Review: Tolkien (Dome Karukoski, 2019)

I probably should admit upfront that I am an avid fan of J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. When Peter Jackson’s trilogy was released back in 2001-2003, I devoured the books and watched each film three times at the cinema. I marvelled at the extended DVD versions (with a complete running time of over 11 hours) and trawled through all the extra bonus material countless times over. I was even lucky enough to visit some of the film locations during a visit to New Zealand, a place that is stunning enough without CGI wizardry.

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Fantasy Animation & Costume: The Unexploited Potential of Costume Design and Costume Designer in Computer-Animated Films

From a costume design point of view, a combination of the words ‘fantasy’ and ‘animation’ directly creates an impression of visually innovative costumes. After all, in animation anything imaginative can be designed, breaking the laws of gravity (with costume) or establishing textiles which are not bound to or are replicated from the real life. What a fruitful starting point for costume design! However, unfortunately, mostly the words ‘fantasy’ and ‘animation’ are not reflected in many animated characters’ costume design in the computer-animated films.

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The Relationship Between Fashion Film and Animation/Fantasy

My own initiation into fashion film was a hesitant one, uncertain as to whether fashion films could ever be situated on the same spectrum as traditional film. The role that fashion film plays within cinema is still relatively undiscovered. Films dissected by Stella Bruzzi have often explored both fashion and film as two separate entities which combine in challenging identity and metaphorical gestures, as well as for aesthetics (1999); whilst auteur of the early fashion film, Guy Bourdin, created voyeuristic moving images which have only in recent years, begun to emerge to a wider audience.

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Review: Dumbo (Tim Burton, 2019)

It was with a degree of trepidation that I went to see the “live-action” (in reality, animation/live-action hybrid) remake of Dumbo. After all, the 1941 original, both narratively and in terms of its characters, is such that it cannot be easily translated into the hyper-real form of CG animation that is typically billed (inaccurately) as “live-action” and retain the whimsy and sweetness of the original.

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Review: Captain Marvel (Anna Boden and Ryan Flack, 2019)

Running parallel to the ongoing battles about women superheroes is another that flashes across the surface and into the depths of Captain Marvel: a fight about the status of animation within the blockbuster. Christopher Holliday (2018), Stephen Prince (2012) and Paul Wells (2008) are among those to have discussed the integration of CG animation technologies into the fabric of Hollywood filmmaking, in guises as diverse as character animation and digital grading. CG animation now skitters across the surfaces of big blockbusters – perhaps especially the fantastic worlds of superheroes - producing characters like Rocket Racoon and Iron Man, creating the worlds they inhabit and the powers they use.

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The Sounds of Silence (or, What Noises Do Animated Fantasies Make?)

The critical noise surrounding the recent release of horror film A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018) has largely served to amplify its considered (and sparse) application of sound. The film’s narrative certainly explores the implications of selective sound and image arrangement, with the complex interplay between each sonic component used in service of crafting the danger of (largely offscreen) fantasies.

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