We Come Anew

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A Beautiful Bubble

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Being a mom is harder than I ever thought it would be. It is a test of your patience, of your resilience, and your ability to deal without adequate sleep. It is a full-FULL time position that doesn’t get you paid. It is baby germs, stains, headaches and cereal for supper. It is immeasurable responsibility, it is a catalyst for change and it can be an isolating bubble to live within.

But what a beautiful, intimate, delicate bubble it is. It is full of laughter, discovery and unforgettable moments.

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms, grammas, aunties, teachers, mentors, sisters and ladies that influence with their maternal senses. To anyone left feeling alone on this day because they lost a mother or a child- keep love in your heart.

PS. My son is saying real words now-and he loves the word “bubble” right now.

I finished ‘Fables’ today!

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The first five volumes of ‘Fables’ was lent to me months and months ago, and I left the series untouched as I reworked my old excuse that I “have too much to read already”. A few weeks back I finally decided to pick it up, and I rarely put it down since then.

I can’t remember the last time that I felt so completely enamored with a story-let alone a graphic novel-as I am with ‘Fables’. It continues to blow my mind a bit that a story stemming from the literal roots of fantasy storytelling-fairytales-could become a dark, complex, intelligent war drama starring Snow White, the “big bad wolf” and Little Boy Blue. Besides that, the art is a gorgeous melding of bright and rustic at the same time-very reflective of this epic tale.

If you need something to shake up your reading and to give you a strange realm of inspiration, this is where you should start. It is worth the eleven (at least) volumes. You won’t even notice the time go by!

5 Robin Williams Movies That Defined My Childhood.

Only moments ago, I was hit the with the tragic and devastating news of Robin Williams passing. I know that he was a man who struggled for many, many years with his mental health and his addictions. Though my first instinct is to mourn him and ask the world “WHY!?”, instead I felt that it was necessary that I remember and honour him for what he has given to me as a person, and to the world of film.

1. Aladdin

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Ethnic diluting aside, Aladdin stands as one of my all time favourite Disney movies. Hell, it is one of my favourite movies of all time. There is absolutely no question in my mind that this is because of Robin Williams absolutely spot on performance as the Genie. I have said it once, twice, probably dozens of times: Genie is the best Disney character in my books.

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The character perfectly captured his infectious energy, his brilliant delivery, and his vast array of quirky voices. It was as if the Genie was created around him, and not the other way around. With dozens of quotes that carry me through my daily life, this is one of the most iconic roles that I will remember him for. 

2. Hook

You can ask anyone in my family about how much I loved watching ‘Hook’ over, and over, and over again in my early years. I barely watched Peter Pan, but I watched ‘Hook’ until the VHS broke. Williams may not have been the stand out character in the movie; but alongside the likes of Dustin Hoffman and Bob Hoskins, he carried the weight of the film with vulnerability.His leading role as Peter Pan was one that I believe perfectly embodies who he was in his youth. He was just a big, lovable kid. 

3. Mrs Doubtfire

Seriously, who DIDN’T watch Mrs Doubtfire every time that it came on TV? Kids and their parents alike never seemed to get sick of this hilarious tale of a single father who resorts to dressing in drag in order to see his children.

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It was crude enough for its time, but it was a playful bit of obscenity. It perfectly showcased how well Williams could handle physical comedy. It was just as heartbreaking as it was gut busting, and it was a role that could not have been played by anyone but Robin WIlliams. 

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4. Jumanji

Jumanji is likely one of the first movies that folks of my generation think of when they hear William’s name mentioned. Though it certainly has not maintained any critical success, it most definitely has a place in the hearts and memories of Generation X.

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In the time period following the likes of Indiana Jones, Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Jurassic Park, fantasy and adventure film was in a defining stage of its existence; and Jumanji served as a fun film for the whole family. Williams infectious energy carried the film and brought its story to life.

5. Dead Poets Society

Anyone that I went to school with watched ‘Dead Poets Society’ in English class at least once. You will remember feeling a little warm and fuzzy instead, and you will remember feeling incredibly sad. 

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 The movie that inspired decades of “Oh Captain, My Captain!” references and copious amounts of “Carpe Diem” tattoos, Dead Poets Society touched endless volumes of people. It made us believe that there may be educators out there who were as passionate and caring as Robin Williams, but it mainly made us want Robin Williams to be our English teacher. It made us want to lose ourselves in the arts.

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Though words are not enough to express the feeling of sorrow throughout the world over the loss of Robin Williams, his work will live on in my heart, and in the hearts of so many.

May he Rest in Peace. 

The Dying Art of the Movie Poster

Think about some of the most iconic movie posters of the past century. 

Now, ask yourself if any of those posters are for movies from the last decade. My thoughts are, they are probably some of the iconic images from Drew Struzan, Bill Gold, Saul Bass or John Alvin

The older I get, the more that I delve into my appreciate of the arts, and the more that I respect the talents of artists. Though I will never dispute the amount of skill, patience and technique that goes into digital editing, computer generated imagery (CGI) and things like motion capture technology, I still find myself opposing the use of digital editing in photographs and artwork.

Case in point: movie posters.

Remember when posters looked like these?

1980, dir. Stanley Kubrick

Art from 'Blazing Saddles' by John AlvinWhat began as the manipulation of film photography and hand crafted masterpieces slowly ventured into the world of digital editing, as the technology began to show itself in the movies as well. “Mixed Media” began to surface.

 

Art from 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' by John Alvin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was often about creating an image that would elude to the themes or plot of the movie. It was about simplicity, yet also about great detail.

And now, everything from the most pitiful to the most reveled modern movies start to look like these:

 

I would never go so far as to say that the medium is dead, but I can certainly see it dying away in mainstream Hollywood. Simplicity is now replaced with support propaganda-from critics reviews, to heavily retouched celebrity visages, to blatant name dropping. Unfortunately, the market is so saturated with directors, producers, actors and the like that a poster is now a retail advertisement moreso than it is the cover of a story. We need to know who made it, and what else they made, and who is in it, and what they look like. We need to see the entire cast of the film standing around one other, either looking straight at you, or all looking dramatically over their shoulders as they float in different layers of the background.

Every once in awhile, I am still impressed by a promotional poster, no matter what medium or method that they use. The majority of Judd Apatows films use a very simple, very repetitive and very straight forward technique, but they always manage to catch your attention. Plain background, actor, funny tagline. I can get behind it. 

Comic book adaptations-lookin at you, Marvel!-are some of the worst culprits for these Photoshop-soaked clusterf*cks that we see in recent years, especially since so many of their movies are ensemble casts. However, once in awhile, when the focus is on particular hero, we see a simple, beautiful image that has a little nostalgic ring to it.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for The Wolverine

 

Luckily, when it comes to these types of films, something as simple as a symbol is enough to tip off the audience and tantalize their curiosity. Still, when the situation does not require something complex, the studios can’t help themselves. One of the most obvious culprits comes from XMen-Days of Future Past.

Some of the best movie posters that I have witnessed in the last few years was more than enough for me to see to become instantly excited about the movie, when there was at least 6 months remaining until the movie was released. Then, when it came close to the time of release. they felt the need to hit us with this:

Look familiar? It should, because it looks like EVERY OTHER MARVEL POSTER!

Yep, there are a whole lot of people in these movies. They are all different sizes, some of them stand in fire and look into the distance, and none of them are aware of one anothers existence on the poster. 

Poster art, much like digital art, is like a steak. There is a fine line between rare, medium and well done. Some people like their steak raw, and some hard as a rubber band. Though everyone has the tools to cook a steak, not everyone can cook one. Art is very subjective and difficult to define, and this is all just one nerd’s opinion on the issue, but I want to see less Photoshop and more photos, less digital and more drawn, less computer and more coloring.