Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Soak up some culture

When one is forced out of one's daily habits, there might occur all sorts of reactions. You could develop an eating disorder - exemplified by, for instance, buying loads of chocolate coated TimTams. Or you might sit around in your living space and stare blankly at the wall or, horror! Turn the television on and actually watch it - including the advertisements! It's also possible that you go out for walks about town, have some food and just ask passing people to sit down with you and have a chat about nothing in particular, resulting in interesting and sometimes peculiar situations. But the best is deciding that it is time to soak up some off line instead of online culture!

That's why on Sunday I paid a visit to the New South Wales Art Gallery. Preparing myself for yet another one of my famous pep talks to convince the person behind the counter to give me a student discount, I was pleasantly surprised that the gallery was free for the public! Good start! The gallery had a fairly interesting 'old masters' section, but it was nothing special. The Australian contemporary art section however, was very interesting! Inspired by the same tendencies that inspired "European" and mid-century Popart, it does have interesting differences and influences, mainly by the Australian landscape and Aboriginal culture. Of course I should have scribbled the artists and titles down on something, but I only had my phone with me, so the pictures will have to speak for themselves!

This and the following 2 pictures are from a really large work by Brett Whiteley called Alchemy. It's an autobiographic work with scenes which are inspired by his own experiences, it was really impressive and beautiful to behold in it's entirety!

One familiar piece though: one of Marini's 'Rider' statues!

On Sundaynight I went yet again to the movies, this time with Dan, a really nice guy I've met here. He had a Dutch boyfriend once, so he knew quite a lot of Dutch expressions, very funny. A Scanner Darkly was the feature of that night. Weird is the word I would use. It was something really different from what you've ever seen. The movie was made with an animation technique called rotoscoping. What the filmmakers basically did was shooting the actual film itself with the real life actors first. After that and the initial edits, the animation process starts. Using Rotoshop software, the animators 'painted' the film frames over with the software, giving them a so-called 'cel-shaded' look, which some of you may recognize from certain games which use this technique (Zelda: the Windwaker on the GameCube, or XIII on the PC)

Keanu Reeves completely rotoshopped.

Where the use of cell-shaded graphics in games is fairly easy (You basically leave out certain texture and bump-map filters) it is entirely different for film footage! The animation process of A Scanner Darkly took loads of time and it has been postponed several times, but it's here now for all of us to enjoy.

Although turned into a rotoscopic animation, Keanu is still smokin' hot!

The plot of the movie by the way is about the near-future where a new highly addictive and dangerous drug gets the best of people, letting them see hallucinations etc. Megalomaniac enterprises want to exploit the drug for profit, provoking all sorts of questions, but giving no answers. I told you it was weird!

Monday then was pretty slow, been working, had some dinner in town, c'est ├ža!


GJ said...

Damn you, seeing this!
We get to wait til the DVD or something.
Lucky bitch ;)

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