Sunday, 7 October 2012

Untouchable - the must see film of the year!

It's not often that a film moves me to tears, or makes me almost stop breathing but that's exactly the affect 'Untouchable' had on me so I felt I had to share my thoughts on this little gem of a film with others!

I quite like going to see films that I know nothing about previously.. I don't read reviews of write ups as I like to make my own informed unbiased opinion, and so, although I think I'd heard of the name of the film I knew absolutely nothing about it!

In the opening scenes I thought it was possibly going to be a gangster type movie with car chases, it also surprised me that it was a French film with subtitles. It doesn't bother me but I did think it might become all deep and meaningless!

For the next couple of hours though I was drawn into the world of 2 people who were so different yet they shared a friendship that is rare to find. This was interjected with laugh out loud funny moments, amazing music (70's disco... Earth Wind and Fire... my favourite!!) and moments where I just wanted to let out a big sob!

In the words of the IMDb website this film is based on 'The true story of a wealthy, physically disabled risk taker, the picture of established French nobility, who lost his wife in an accident and whose world is turned upside down when he hires a young, good-humoured, black Muslim ex-con as his caretaker. Their bond proves the power and omniscience that love and friendship can hold over all social and economic differences.'

Directed by Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache and with the main characters played by 
Omar Sy & Francois Cluzet, it is a beautifully depicted film which to me, sums up the whole phrase 'don't judge a book by its cover'.

I don't want to give too much away as I really think it has to be seen to appreciate it fully but I was lost in a little bubble for the whole duration of the film, and tears were pouring down my face by the end!

I agree with the Guardian review 'For once, the hype is justified. This is a charming, uplifting French drama – an irreverent, humorous take on disability, closely drawn from real-life.'

You can watch an interview with the directors here. I also have to post two songs which are so very different but which I love equally. The first one here is the piano soundtrack when you needed no words, it summed up the emotions perfectly. The 2nd one is one of my all time fave disco tunes and I love it even more now.... get your boogie shoes on when listening to this!! Woohoo!!

This is SUCH a feelgood film... I want to go and see it again and again... so I think I will.. and then get the DVD and watch it again and again... and get the soundtrack too!!!

Friday, 5 October 2012

The new generation of Illustrators

So, my 1st years are about to start the 6th week of their course and they appear to be settling in very well! There are a few 'wobblers' as we call them, but I've started individual tutorials to ensure that they're as happy as they can be!

This week they all had to do a Powerpoint presentation to me on 5 digital artists of their choice... why they picked them and what they like about their work!

It's scary and I do feel for them. I remember having to stand up at uni and do a design presentation in front of the class and feeling like I was going to faint; but then I remember having to present a range to 150 buyers when I was working in industry & that practically sent me over the edge, so I do know, the more I get my students to talk in front of people, the more confident they will become!

What stood out more than anything is the amount of new illustrators who are coming out of the woodwork and a lot of them are either newly graduated or still students!

In the past my students have always talked about digital illustrators that I am very aware of, the usual suspects... Jason Brooks, Sandra Suy, Alberto Seveso etc. etc. but I am finding that there are a number of names being mentioned that I haven't heard of so I have started my own investigation!

I do feel that it can be a lot easier to be good at illustration in the digital age as software packages such as Photoshop and Illustrator can do so much now, however, I am also a staunch believer that you have to have a good understanding of the human figure to be able to convince people that you are a good fashion illustrator!

We started fashion illustration this morning and I was proud of what my students achieved in a relatively short time using the 9 heads technique!

So, getting back to these new illustrators there were a number that stood out to me. I have already mentioned Mustafa Soydan in a previous post! He appears to be an elusive character, there's not a lot of information available on him but his work is stunning! I'd like to see him work with just a pencil though and see what he achieves without his tablet and pen!

There were a number of Dutch & German artists in the mix including Anna Bours who mixes traditional with digital techniques. I love the quirkiness of her drawings and how she stylises them with patterns and colour!

Annabelle Verhoye produces very simple yet striking drawings which are full of colour.

Hilla Hryniszyn is another illustrator who produces some beautiful digital work based on traditional drawings. Just gorgeous!!!

I think, in conclusion it has certainly not only made my students more aware of what's out there and the different techniques that are used, but it has opened my eyes to how stunningly talented these new illustrators are and it makes me want to try even harder to better my own work.

After all, if we give up trying to improve then we become boring! I may have done my degree many moons ago, and regardless of me being the teacher, I never stop learning myself!