19 October 2013

The Dark Knight Rises

I was reminded of how poor Dark Knight Rises was when I read Wilfrid Wong's review of it. I had enjoyed most of Nolan's previous endeavours. My hopes were very high.

Sadly, the movie didn't meet expectations. It was ponderous and tedious with lots of logical inconsistencies and improbabilities. Yes, this is a costumed superhero movie, however, Nolan had previously added a strong dose of realism in the previous one, one would expect that the script would at least respect the audience's intelligence. With this one, there was no chance.

The villains were ridiculous, the plot premise was ridiculous as were much of the other aspects of the movie. Oh well.



18 October 2013

Incomplete thought

I found this old fragment in my drafts folder.

"I had a strange dream tonight of being in the jungle with some Cambodian troops. There was a border incursion, akin to that of the recent Suluk one in Sabah, Malaysia, and the troops were detailed to..."

I have no recollection of this dream anymore.

16 October 2013

A glorious afternoon in the sun

It was a wonderful way of spending the afternoon with Sweetie. We were wandering by the quiet waterfront and riverside yesterday. A glorious afternoon in the sun. We must do this more often.

Concept art books of films

I have been looking through a fair number of conceptual art books of movies. I have read 'The Art of Robots', 'The Art of The Incredibles' and much more. When a book becomes a self-indulgent and self-congratulatory volume, it makes for tedious reading. It make one realise that such volumes are often for the unthinking believers, the sheep-like worshippers who lap up every word said.

The self-reverential tone of these 'art of' volumes for movies, especially animated ones are often shameless in that regard, and in my opinion, they do a disservice to its readers with the lax editing and often not carefully selected content.

When such a volume is conceived, the writer could consider these points:

1. What is the intended audience? Fanboys? Artists? Potential artists? Perhaps, a combination of all of them?

2. Why is this volume written? Is it intended to give people of a glimpse of the process? Is it to preserve the conceptual aspects for posterity? Is it to satisfy the fans of the movie for more material? Is it to make money and promote the upcoming movie? Is it a combination of all the factors? Perhaps a balance should be struck?

There are many considerations and none of them are wrong. For me, I know I like initial conceptual sketches, comparisons to the final renderings, and good art that inspires me. What I dislike would be the self-congratulatory tones often found in the writing of the volumes, how great this person is, how great that other person is. I don't need to know that, the work will show. Likewise, I don't need a volume full of screen captures and stills from the movie. I can watch the movie for that.

These volumes are uneven, some are great, while others abysmal. I buy them selectively and for the others, I borrow them from the library.

15 October 2013

The state of the art

She has inspired me during the creation of the most unlikely of things, my drawing of robots, mecha and powered infantry. I created over a hundred variations in the space of two months.

Meanwhile, my futuristic city series winds to an end. I have only one more drawing to complete. I had been drawing them for a year. Previously, I had draw a few but they were somewhat simplistic and not as exploratory as this set.

I am back to doing my imaginary shophouse and cityscape of Singapore series as well as my forest series. I hope to render a larger series for the latter.

I have also taken to doing portraiture studies.

14 October 2013

Fauré - Nocturne No. 6 in D flat op. 63 (Hamelin)

Fauré, Nocturne No 4 in E-flat Op.36 played by Albert Ferber

Dassault Mirage 2000 Red Flag (2013)

Her way of moving was no mortal thing
But of angelic form: and her speech
rang higher than a mere mortal voice.
A celestial spirit, a living sun
was what I saw...
Francesco Petrarca (Translated by A.S. Kline)

Techno-thrillers of yesteryear

When I was seventeen or so, I read a number of techno-thrillers. Those were really the initial years of the techno-thrillers. It was when wave after wave of such volumes had come into its own after the initial few volumes. I read the first novels of Harold Coyle, Stephen Coonts, Dale Brown, Ralph Peters and such.  I read them because of the scenario projection and the realism of the tactics and hardware described in them. I became disillusioned I found that when a lot of them were wish-fulfilment fantasies filled with blood lust. I had wanted hard realism that came with scenario projections.

Thus, after reading a number, I had turned to academic military texts and such. They were a lot more informative in my opinion.