Tuesday, 24 October 2017

"What if? Metropolis" Mood board

Start of "What if Metropolis"

For the "What if, metropolis" project I will be working with Barbara Hepworth. She was an incredibly prolific and well known sculpture artist working mainly in the modernist movement of the 20th century.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Thursday, 12 October 2017

City ideas

Regular city



The city is comprised of 60 different buildings, each dedicated to a separate god. They each  have their own apartments, restaurants, theaters and markets. The architecture for the interior is mostly renaissance Italian, with the outside resembling a middle eastern bazaar. The top level and dome house a shrine to their respective god.
Like any religion with multiple deities some gods hold more influence than others and that directly affects the size and prosperity of their buildings. Most are fairly small, having less than 100 inhabitants and others are larger, boasting multiple streets and venues. Above these are the big 5. These are comparatively huge, housing over 1000 people and having their own entertainment, retail and commercial quarters. They line the ridge the city is sat on, overlooking the smaller structures and the ocean beyond them.
The most important and celebrated feature of each building is it's crystal window. These always face west and when the sun is setting its rays fracture against the crystal and spill out over the main street. It's said it's at this time the gods are closer then ever 

These are some hand-drawn ideas for the revised city that I scanned in earlier. I'm feeling better about the bazaar idea, and am drawing composition tests for it currently.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Invisible cities moodboard

(I forgot to include this with the presentation)

Life drawing (04/10/17)

The first one took a while to get going and I do think I could have done it better. I am quite happy with the last one though, I think it did a good job with the lighting and also at grounding the figure.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

The cabinet of Dr. Caligari review

(fig 1, Poster for "The cabinet of Dr Caligari)

Made by Robert Wiene, “The cabinet of Dr Caligari” is one of the earliest entries into the horror genre of movies and has left a noticeable impression that’s lasted almost a century. The film is based in the delusional mind of Francis and tells the story of Doctor Caligari and his pet somnambulist. Whilst it seems like a straightforward tale at first, it gradually becomes more surreal and by the end you’re not sure what is real or merely imagined. As Robert Ebert put it “He is making a film of delusions and deceptive appearances, about madmen and murder, and his characters exist at right angles to reality” (Robert Ebert, 2009). None of them can quite be believed, nor can they believe one another. If you are a fan of Tim Burton this film will feel very familiar to you, it combines Gothic horror and surrealism in a way he often recreates.

The set design is probably the most interesting thing in this film looking back. Instead of going for the most realistic scene possible they created this twisted and unnatural world. To quote the Moving image education organisation "Caligari can be seen in the film's use of extreme canted camera angles, exaggerated gestures by the actors and irregular distorted shapes” (Moving image education, 2016). The buildings loom over the streets with oddly placed windows and doors, the fair is an incomprehensible sea of ropes, cloth and merry-go-rounds. All of this is feeding into the fake and delusional nature of the story. The events of the story are mostly made up so having the art direction mirror that shows a certain creativity that you rarely notice in films.

(fig 2, The cabinet of Dr Caligari)

Like all early filming the camera work and acting is largely theatrical. The camera is static and the actors walk in and out of shot as needed. This does make sense, cameras at the time were large, unwieldy contraptions and ill-suited to moving about the set. This was also limited by the sets, as they were only built to work with one camera angle. It adds to the charm of the film in my opinion but it does date it a fair bit.

Another standout thing in this movie is what they did with colour. Although the film was made in 1920, firmly in the black and white era, they managed to add a bit of colour into the movie. They tinted parts of the film reel different colours to help generate a different tone. A warm orange for the daytime, a dull green during night. They use a rosy red for some of Jane’s scenes for a comfortable sense of romanticism.

(fig 3, The cabinet of Dr Caligari)

Through all of this, and more, the film accurately conveys a deep feeling of unease and sometimes madness. As the film picks up speed it becomes hard for the viewer to keep up, unsure with what is real and what is just delusional. It also deals well with the limitations of early cinema sometimes even finding a stylistic use for them. That’s not to say it’s perfect, far from it. The film is very slow, almost to a crawl in the 5th act. Also like most films of the time the acting is rarely believable and seems better suited to a stage rather than a set.

Overall, while the film has its detractions, it is still one of the most influential films of all time. It practically created the horror and German expressionist movie genre. It also firmly established movies as an art-form to rival any other, with complex stories and imaginative visuals. It also holds up as a movie that is still worth watching even almost 100 years later.


Roger Ebert. (2009) The cabinet of Dr Caligari [1920]. At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-1920 (Accessed on 24 September 2017) 

Moving image education. (2016) Expressionism. At: https://movingimageeducation.org/analyse-film/film-culture/expressionism (Accessed on 24 September 2017)

List of Illustrations

Fig.1 IMBD. Poster for The cabinet of Dr Caligari. At: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0010323/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt (Accessed on 24 September 2017)

Fig.2 Listal. Still from The cabinet of Dr Caligari. At http://www.listal.com/viewimage/553760 (Accessed on 24 September 2017)

Fig.3 Film grab. Still from The cabinet of Dr Caligari. At https://film-grab.com/2014/11/05/the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari/ (Accessed on 24 September 2017)