July 25, 2012

7 25 12

Uh... more of the same. Studies... sketches... yeah. Cyclops down there at the end. In other minor news, I've decided to work towards getting fit for the first time in my life..


quick study

self portrait

cyclops for my wonderful boyfriend.. lol

Oh yes, and... movie reviews! .. Will put in the actual review content tomorrow.. I'm sleepy, maybe you can tell ahah..
Just doing one liners today for no reason

In the Realm of the Senses (1976) 4 / 5
This extremely graphic movie is a study on obsession and sexual lust that shifts slightly with each scene and makes for a fascinating character study.

Du Levande (You, The Living) (2007) 4.5 / 5
You, the Living is a cynical tribute to the banality and desperation of life that is marked by great moments of clever, bleak humor. 

Friday the Thirteenth (1980) 2.5 / 5
A campy, predictable flick that somehow became a horror classic.

Wild at Heart (1990) 3.5 / 5
With a good amount of action but shallow depth, Lynch's Wild at Heart is not my favorite film but nevertheless still provides entertainment.

I Can See You (2008) 3 / 5
A movie whose surreal, startling ending doesn't quite make up for the hour and forty minutes that came before.

and... that's all for now..

July 19, 2012


I avoid drawing from imagination a lot, which is stupid. But I do it because I'm always frustrated and vaguely ashamed at how bad I am at it. Which again is stupid because I'll never improve this way... so I drew some figures this week from my head. Didn't feel like scanning my studies on paper, I'll do it next week. But umm... they were all pretty terrible. At the same time, this is the only way I'll actually improve haha. But it's just painful to lay down marks and have it look terribly wrong, all the time.  I guess it just shows me what I really need to work on, which is about a million different things. But I'll get less shitty, I will, I willl....

hey it's erik ^^^ 

Oh yes, and... movie reviews for the week :0

Belle De Jour (1967) 4.5 / 5

Belle De Jour is a subtle, enthralling movie that explores the divide between lust and love, elegance and depravity. There is a mystical sort of enchantment that carries through the film, which is boosted by its well placed surreal moments, which are always harkened by the tinkling of bells. Very well directed; the story is crafted with masterful skill.

District 9
 (2009) 4 / 5

For what it is - an action sci-fi thriller - District 9 does an excellent job of staying away from cliche and the expected. Though as with all action movies, there was a bit too much frenzied shooting for me and some of the plot 'twists' were a bit predictable, all in all District 9 provides a realistic portrayal of its content, and in addition places the characters in a very foreign environment (Nigerian slums) which gives it an added level of interest. 

Groundhog Day (1993) 3.5 / 5

Groundhog Day is a movie built entirely around its premise, which is introduced early on in the film. That being said, by the half way point, this movie begins to drag, and the implication that he must keep redoing his actions in order to become 'perfect' and impress the girl he loves irks me. Nevertheless, the movie doesn't fail to be charming in a few points and Bill Murray plays his role well. A simple, light romance/comedy flick.

Twelve Monkeys (1995) 3.5 / 5

Not as clever as Brazil, Time Bandits, or other original Terry Gilliam fare, this movie suffers from a plot  device that is easily recognizable and overused - the "everyone thinks he's crazy but he's really not, and he needs to save the world, quick, but no one listens to him", or the 'boy who cried wolf' plot. The main characters had very little chemistry, and the ending was overdramatized and unsatisfactory. However, Brad Pitt gives a splendid performance as a mental ward patient that is worth watching to see.

Silent Hill (2006) 1.5 / 5

A confusing mess. This movie is maybe forty minutes too long, and seems... indecisive. It feels as if the  movie was sincerely split between portraying the gameplay elements/atmosphere of the Silent Hill series and the central story. Though the visuals were surprisingly excellent, and the soundtrack, which highlighted music straight from the Silent Hill series, was pleasing, this movie all in all fails to deliver any sort of satisfaction to watch. Dialogue was also terrible and corny. At one point the main character is mobbed by a party of Silent Hill 'nurses' that all look like they're in a rave and partying hard. Also, the husband's role in this is completely useless. A disappointing (well, actually I didn't really expect much better) movie that fails to live up to its potential.

July 11, 2012

Mini Movie Reviews + A Tomato

Anyone who knows me knows that I watch a lot of movies... and my favorites tend to be surreal and weird cult films that no one I know has ever heard of, so I tend to just keep them to myself. But I've decided to post mini movie reviews of movies I've watched recently... One of the things I want to do is get through my ~90 item folder of movies that I need to watch that have been sitting there for a looong while. So maybe even more for myself to keep track of all the movies I've been watching, I'm going to start putting up mini movie reviews on this blog. :) My goal is to watch ~ 5 movies a week, one every day if possible, so at most 7 movies a week. I'll be posting these little reviews along with my weekly art updates. Anyway, here are some movies that I recall watching fairly recently, in the last two weeks or so. :D

Strange Circus (2005) - 4.5  / 5

Pretty awesome movie. Strange Circus teeters between moments of shock and insanity. The film's subject matter and themes in themselves make for a dark, lurid atmosphere, but Sion Sono knows when to push it and when to step back. Though the unraveling of the story at the conclusion was a bit too literal, frenzied and over-the-top for my taste, Strange Circus holds it together with a great acting cast that makes even the most exploitative points of the movie compelling and believable. There is a carnival metaphor that stretches throughout the movie that I thought was unnecessary, but other than that this movie had me glued to the screen; I was never was bored. Definitely recommend.

Time Bandits (1981) - 4.5 / 5

Like 'The Goonies', which I reviewed below, Time Bandits is a vaguely campy kid's adventure film. Probably the most accessible of Terry Gilliam's work, Time Bandits is a charming movie and very, very funny in its own right. I've always been a fan of Terry Gilliam's brand of humor, and Time Bandits is no exception. It is a flight of fantasy that caters to both adults and children alike.

Cold Fish (2010) - 4 / 5

After watching Strange Circus and loving it, I decided to tackle another one of Sion Sono's films. Just like Strange CircusCold Fish was a movie that never got boring. This film was a little more straightforward, dealing with a meek fish shop owner who gets mixed up with a serial killer and his wife. This film is not up to the level of Strange Circus in my opinion, but still provides some extreme and shocking physical as well as psychological moments. The conclusion to the film is also just as suspenseful and exciting.

Altered States (1980) - 4 / 5

Altered States boasts a very fascinating premise that it uses fairly successfully to its advantage. The surreal moments in this movie were the star moments in the film, and that's when I felt that Altered States really hit its stride. In some other areas, though, it was less successful. The main character's twenty minute rampage through the city was one of those moments where I felt like it was a bit oversimplified. That moment in Altered States is vaguely reminiscent of David Cronenberg's The Fly, but it its other areas is unique enough in its own right and for that matter, enjoyable enough, to stand alone as an iconic movie - I finally understand the South Park reference.

The Goonies (1985) 4 / 5

The Goonies is a classic campy, corny, cliche 80's adventure comedy movie (yee alliteration). Everything from the cast of characters, each with different "traits" - Chunk being the fat kid, Mikey as the cute main character/leader who rallies the others, Data as the kid with all the gadgets - and the silly "booby traps" they encounter on their journey, from falling boulders to spiky pits and sticks of dynamite, screams cliche. But inexplicably, this movie is charming and enjoyable. Though the movie gets a bit loud in some places, with all of the characters constantly arguing and speaking incoherently, there is a sort of base sense of glee that comes about when the Chunk and Sloth save the day, or when Data narrowly avoids death thanks to his inventions, not to mention the very satisfying end of the film. The Goonies is one of those rare films that truly harkens back to childhood, and it does it with unabashed energy and glee.

Szamanka (1996) 2.5 / 5

There are a few things I can say about this movie. They are: Sex, talking shaman corpse, and she eats his brain. But mostly sex. And a crazy woman. But there is just.. a lot of sex in the film. There is so much and it all just follows the same routine that eventually it gets grueling and boring. To be fair, I downloaded a subtitle track to this movie that was pretty inferior, so only half of the movie's dialogue made sense to me, which is why I'm giving it an extra half star here. I can tell that the director was trying to get at something with this movie; it really feels like he is trying. However, this movie was just not enjoyable for me, and did not sit well after I finished watching. I must say though that the soundtrack to this film is pretty amazing, though the director's use of the sound in the film gets grating and annoying - the music will start getting really loud and then just complete disappear. After about an hour of this though, it gets tiring to watch. At two hours, it is lengthy and frustratingly repetitive.

Ohh, also, an obligatory still life tomato. Here you go.

July 9, 2012

Learning how to learn...

My thought process when it comes to improvement in art is this: If you work really hard towards improvement then you'll get better. If you're not improving, you're either not doing enough work or you're not doing the work right. I'm constantly battling between my head in figuring out how to approach studies, what to do to improve, how to apply it to anything I do... I've been largely unsuccessful recently; in the past year or so I've hit another plateau where I just can't seem to improve and I've been trying to chisel away at it from doing things from all sorts of different angles. It's really frustrating... honestly for now and for a long time improvement's been the only thing I'm really aiming for in my work, which is why I've just been doing so many studies after studies after studies. And when improvement is really minuscule or doesn't seem to be happening at all when I'm obviously doing a lot of work, it is even more frustrating because all that means is that I'm not working at it in the right manner. And I think that that's an important sort of struggle for all artists... the struggle between you and your own brain, because everyone learns in different ways, and learning how to learn might just be the most difficult ongoing challenge artists ever have to face. I did a lot of studies this week, mostly anatomy. Honestly I don't really think that more than maybe 2% of what I did will stick and carry through to when I work from imagination, and the fact that I know this just further proves that I'm not approaching it the right way. But I'll figure it out eventually, I'll break through it. Have to improve, there's no other option..


this week on my drafting table..