My favourite love stories – short and sweet.

 

This was part of a Search Stories Series  by Google. In just 52 seconds, they manage to tell the whole romance cycle of finding love during a Parisian study abroad. This video is closely followed by Pixar’s 4-minutes life story of Ellie and Carl in Up, beautifully accompanied by Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack:

In written form, my favorite love story is in Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.

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An Adventurous Line + Free Figure Drawing Classes Info (London)

Happy Tuesday!

Firstly I thought I’d share a little video from the director/animator KAZUHIKO OKUSHITA:

It’s an animation using the simplicity of a red line to create contour figures and shapes. The film has excellent fluidity, movement, and visual design… it’s definitely one of my favourite independent short animations! It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:

“A line is a dot that went for a walk.” – Paul Klee

Secondly, I went to a figure drawing class tonight at the Vintage Emporium and Tea Rooms (14 Bacon Street, London, E1 6LF). The nude figure drawing classes are free and held every Tuesday from 7 – 9 PM. Absolutely not my best work, but I’m slowly getting back into the techniques! Here are some examples to hopefully inspire you to go to your local life drawing classes:

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UPA #2 (The Unicorn in the Garden)

UPA #2 (The Unicorn in the Garden)

More than likely, you’ve never heard of the UPA (United Productions of America) … AKA the Animation Studio that opposed the Disney Style from the 1940s to the 1970s. There was an exodus of animators from the Disney Studio in the early 40s that lead to the foundation of UPA. This is a colour storyboard from one of their most famous films, The Unicorn in the Garden (1953).

Some key visual characteristics of UPA:
1. The backgrounds were usually kept plain and minimal.
2. The movements were exaggerated and caricatured.
3. The colour could bled outside the outlines.
4. Every director was allowed to create a different style for their short film.

Click on the picture to watch The Unicorn in the Garden.

Some other ones to watch include:
Rooty-Toot-Toot
Mr. Magoo
The Tell-Tale Heart

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in Central Park … bringing back graceful dance.

This is an extract from the film The Band Wagon (1953). Notice how the music starts way before the couple begins dancing, and even then, they don’t make contact until over a minute and a half into the song. The anticipation and gracefulness is absolutely stunning and reminds me, yet again, why I love Classical Hollywood Musicals.

P.S. If you want to get into film studies and this topic in particular… you MUST check out Rick Altman’s book The American Film Musical.

“Filmed dance is doubly difficult to evoke in words, for Hollywood’s directors have become unusually adept at making the camera dance along with the actors.” (Altman, 40)

Ginger ‘Snap’ Rogers – the feisty blonde of Classical Hollywood.

This is a short extract from Stage Door (Gregory La Cava, 1937) featuring Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn. I’ve developed an obsession with Rogers: she dances with Fred Astaire, she banters with Hepburn, and she exudes a beauty beyond her platinum blonde hair. I’m a fan of fast, witty dialogue – especially when delivered by great actresses.

If you’ve never seen her films, here are some personal recommendations, from me to you:

42nd Street (1933)
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Top Hat (1935)
Shall We Dance (1936)
Kitty Foyle (1940)
The Major and the Minor (1942)
Monkey Business (1952)

“Sure [Fred Astaire] was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards…and in high heels!” — Bob Thaves 1982 © NEA Inc.

PLUS, She also has her own website: www.gingerrogers.com