06 March, 2013

What I Watched Last Month…

What I watched last… 
September 2012

The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy (On DVD)
I thought these were enjoyable to some extent, but I wasn't as blown away by them as I thought I'd be from all I'd heard about them. 
By the time I was watching Bourne 2 the handheld camera was getting to be too much. Much too much. That and all the fidgety little zooms. Why do I need to feel like I'm watching a documentary? Why draw attention to the fact this is captured n film? It's definitely not like there actually is somebody surreptitiously capturing all this action to deliver as documentary footage, and yet that's how the entire story is presented to me. I don't get it. 
And by Bourne 2 the whole cut cut cut style of editing was too much too. 
There's a parallel to this visual style in the dialogue of some scenes as well. It's full of what I call fluffy, hyper-frantic panicky jibba-jibba-jabba-jabba. 
All that being said, the strength of these two movies is obviously the character of Jason Bourne himself, and his unstoppable nature. Watching his indefatigable journey through these movies is half the thrill at least. 
In the end though, the bottom line is I don't think I'll be watching these movies again. 

Taken (On DVD)
Having a break from the Bourne films I snuck this one in and enjoyed it so much more. 
I like the solitary nature of Liam's journey through the movie with the singular purpose of his mission. I like his minimum reliance on high-tech gimmickry, instead using detective and physical skills, wits and total disregard for everything and everybody around him. Sure, a lot of Liam's breakthroughs and progression during his search were pretty convenient, but I was able to dismiss most of that as shorthand to be efficient in getting through lots of plot quickly. 
Taken's not a masterpiece or a stroke of genius, but it knew what it was and did its job very well. It was a good, tense, no-nonsense thriller, and I really enjoyed it. 

The Bourne Ultimatum (On DVD)
At best I was non-plussed by this conclusion to the trilogy. At worst I was again annoyed by all the things that annoyed me in the first two. 
Is this 'naturalistic' camera style supposed to counteract the 'on the nose', affected, over the top acting and frenetic cutting. It doesn't feel like I'm watching a movie but a news report documentary reenactment instead.  
Unfortunately the actual character of Jason Bourne becomes less and less likeable throughout the three films, as well as less compelling as he finds out most of what his back story is. The mystery of his past was his most interesting aspect, now mostly gone. As such I cared less and less to keep following him and his story. The plot this time was not terribly complex or hard to see through either. 
So what do we have left? We have the action and spectacle to keep us watching. With the hyper frenetic cutting, pseudo doco handheld camera, amateur looking mini punch zooms, it became an unwelcome chore to have to struggle through watching the action and spectacle. That doesn't leave much reason to watch. At this point this movie runs mostly runs on "Oooh, he's so amazing!" and that's not enough for me. 
Finally, it stupidly left a number of plot threads open. Why'd he join up in the first place? What didn't he actually remember about the girl? That first question is probably the most needing of an answer. Yet nothing. 

02 March, 2013

Current work: Liedekijn

I'm working on two non-Greener Pastures comics projects right now, one of which is a group gallery exhibition opening soon in Canberra. The interesting thing about the exhibition is that each piece of art involved is a single page in a narrative that makes up a complete story, The Song of Heer Halewijn

The show is called Liedekijn and it has been organised by the seemingly indefatigable Emma-Jean Stewart. The story is a medieval Dutch/Flemish fairytale originally written in a poem. The translated poem was split into 23 plot points and those points were handed to the artists to illustrate. Some pages, like mine, are in the traditional comic book format of sequential panels, while others are single illustrations. Each page progresses the tale though, the tale of Machteld and Halewijn, a tale of seduction and murder. 

There's a full colour art book to go along with the exhibition so that the story can be read once the show is over. 

It's a very interesting project to be a part of and I'm really excited to be going to the opening night. Feel free to join us there on Thursday the 28th of March. Many of the artists will be in attendance. Details below. 

By way of cajoling you into either viewing the exhibition or ordering the book, I present the pencils for my page below. My page appears about halfway through the story as Machteld and Halewijn meet for the first time. To see my finished inks, and to find out what happens next, you'll have to get the book. With a pre-order price of only $12 it's a steal!

Here are the details: 
Venue: The Front Gallery. Shop 3, 1 Wattle Place, Lyneham, ACT.
Dates: 26th March - 8th April, 2013. Opening night: 7:30pm, 28th March 2013.
Exhibition website: liedekijn.com
Gallery website: www.frontgallerycafe.com
Opening night Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/389157271170276
Order the book: emmajeans.bigcartel.com/product/liedekijn-artbook-preorder