Articles and, er, Particles….

Sometimes I get so immersed in researching a subject, in finding, assembling and optimising the accompanying pictures, in writing and re-writing text and checking links, that trying to do a “proper job” post ends up being a long and drawn out chore. Not a good state of affairs.
Blogging is supposed to be fun, and I suspect that if I’m not fully enjoying writing posts for Articles & Texticles, then you, the reader, probably won’t enjoy reading them much.

I realise that I need to learn to edit my material into more punchy posts, but what so often happens is that the research entangles me in a web of fascinating facts and alluring anecdote. I like this research phase enormously, because I it means I’m learning new stuff, but it slows down my output, and my posts get further and further apart.
In my view there’s only one thing that I enjoy more than a digression, and that’s another one.


When new ideas and stimulating bits of research hit me in future, I’m going to try and share my enthusiasm for discoveries more quickly, while the essential thrust of the story is fresh in my mind, and not wait around to fill out the bigger context.

I’ll still use the longer form for painters I should have known about, and some other ongoing series of articles. (And there are many more in the pipeline.)

These short, sharp pieces will be halfway between a post and an article. In other words: Particles.

I hope you will share my enjoyment….

Art & Design in The British Film #26 – Paul Sherriff

Continuing a series about Art Directors in the British film industry up to 1948, when the book containing these articles was published.

This chapter deals with Paul Sherriff (1903 – 1960).

It was in 1943 that Sheriff made his most memorable contribution to film decor when as Art Director for Laurence Olivier’s `Henry V’ he experimented with an entirely new kind of background, taking the illuminated chronicles of the period and using their naive perspective and delicate colouring as the basis for his designs.

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(Please click the thumbnail pictures to enlarge them. I thank you.)
Henry The Fifth Two Cities Films, 1944

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Henry The Fifth Two Cities Films, 1944

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Vice Versa Two Cities Films 1948 1

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Henry The Fifth Two Cities Films, 1944

Read the full text >> Continue reading Art & Design in The British Film #26 – Paul Sherriff

Footnotes for this post:____________________________________
  1. Director: Peter Ustinov. []

Day 5: Gobelins Students’ Films At Annecy Animation Festival – 12th June

The fifth and last short film made by the 2nd Year Gobelins students’ work has been shown as the curtain raiser at the Annecy International Animation Festival.

It’s titled “Jelly Sunday”. (Believe it or not)

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(Please click these images to enlarge them)

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This short seems to me to have strong influences from John Kricfalusi and Bill Wray

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The mix of different media is very striking…

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Ooh! Look! Expressionism!

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Gretchen is left to her own devices while her monstruous family scarf down gargantuan platters of food.
She opens several packs of jelly which soon take on a life of their own, leading to her ultimate demise.


The crew: Ugo Bienvenu, Julien Daubas, Clément Desnos, Florian Parrot, and Arthur Peltzer

Ze link. This film does NOT require QuickTime. It’s presented as a YouTube video, available in high definition.

That’s all folks! – Same time next year?

Day 4: Gobelins Students’ Films At Annecy Animation Festival – 11th June

DODUDINDON made its debut at the Annecy International Animation Festival today.
It’s the fourth of a series of films by students from the Gobelins School of Communication, in Paris.

The production crew, Lucrèce Andreae, Julien Chheng, Tracy Nowocien, and Rémy Schaepman, have concocted a story of a plucky young turkey who wants to woo a buxom lady turkey twice his age and more than three times his size. His pursuit of ecstatic happiness takes place in a sumptuous art nouveau ballroom.

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(Veuillez clicquer sur l’image pour l’aggrandir)

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Some beautiful lines of action on view here

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There’s some masterly physical animation in all these films, and these two mismatched fowl bend the laws of physics in a frantic chase sequence.

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The young whippersnapper is almost completely enveloped by her quivering embonpoint.

A marvellously exuberant frolic, all in all. What’s more, it sticks to the brief of making reference to dance, although any reference to Germany remains vanishingly slight.

Here’s the link to the film, which requires QuickTime on your ‘puter.


Day 3: Gobelins Students’ Films At Annecy Animation Festival – 10th June

The rays of the sun wake FENRIR the wolf from a millennial sleep in the tangled roots of the colossal tree Yggdrasil, and from its topmost branches he attacks the sun. Behind him, a hero appears ….

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(Please click these thumbnails to enlarge them)

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The action is fast and furious in this film, with some astonishing cuts and transitions between shots.

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There’s careful attention paid to the colour palette and compositions too.

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The sound design is superb, and Gerard Labady deservedly has a full screen credit

The animation crew consisted of: Nuno Alves Rodrigues, Oussama Bouacheria, Alice Dieudonné, Aymeric Kevin, and Ulysse Malassagne

This is the third Gobelins student film to be shown at the Annecy International Animation Festival where it serves as an opening for all the main screenings of the day.

The films are all supposed to reference one or two common themes; Germany and/or dance. Students being students, the references have been stretched to near snapping point so far, and I reckon that the team of Fenrir have abandoned any pretence at including visual allusions to Germany or Dance in this submission!

Can you see any link?

Click here to see the film. (QuickTime required)


Extreme Typographic Fandom & A Curiously Star Struck Dog

You probably have at least one favourite typeface, and I’m pretty sure that you’re likely to favour a dozen or so others that you can happily deploy depending on context and use, of course.

Now some of your stable of old faithful faces will eventually amble quietly out to pasture beyond your studio door, either because they have become over familiar and tired, or because times have moved on and their stars have simply waned.
Those faces will inevitably be replaced by stellar newcomers from freshly published collections, crackling with energy and wit, alongside others that sail through the window promising radical new twists on classic themes.

In typography, nothing stays still for long, which makes it very difficult to answer the question of which is your absolute all time favourite face.

This dilemma is even more tricky if you have to choose a typeface to express something very long lasting.

Such as a tattoo, for instance….

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(Click these small images to enlarge them, please)

The typeface used on this guy’s arm is Burgues Script. It was designed by Alejandro Paul (below), who is one of the founder members of the Argentinian type design house Sudtipos. The typeface is based on the late 19th century American calligrapher Louis Madarasz’s work, whose legendary pen has inspired schools of penmanship for over 100 years. His talent has caused some people to call him ‘the most skillful penman the world has ever known’.

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Spline City: The master typographer at his workstation.

Burgues Script seems to lend itself easily to the traditional aesthetic of tattoos with all its hairline swashes and wild cursive extenders.

There are other fans who recognise how stylish Burgues Script can look when applied to the skin.
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Shame about the technical quality of that picture…1
This one is better, in so many ways:

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Nearly nerfect, in fact.

Click the link to the right if you want to read the rest of this article: >> Continue reading Extreme Typographic Fandom & A Curiously Star Struck Dog

Footnotes for this post:____________________________________
  1. It looks as if someone has used a telephone to take the snap with. How crazy is that? I expect you will tell me that in the future we will talk into our cameras and expect people to hear us. []

Gobelins Students’ Films At Annecy Animation Festival – 9th June

The second Gobelins student film to be shown at the Annecy International Animation Festival has just been released.

It’s called Le Lac Gelé – The Frozen Lake.
It was animated by Jean-David Fabre, Fabien Guillaume, Sébastien Hary, Paul Nivet, Vincent Verniers.

An old man is led by a strange dog to a frozen lake in a vast cavern, and he ventures out onto the ice….

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(Click the images to enlarge them, as usual)
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All of these student films are constructed around the theme of dance, or Germany…
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This film plays with the idea of the mysterious shapes dancing beneath the ice.

Here’s the link to the film. (QuickTime required)


Gobelins Students’ Films At Annecy Animation Festival – 8th June

Ye it’s that time of year again, when the 2nd year students of the Gobelins School of Communication in Paris put their films on show at the Annecy Animation Festival.

The students work in small crews, concentrating only on the production of their group film. No essays, dissertations or other academic distractions. There is intense competition for places on the course; most of the applicants are already proficient animators.

The Annecy shorrts films are made to a very high standard, and are typically 60 – 90 seconds long. One was nominated for an Oscar last year.

The films are released one per day, to be shown at the beginning of each session of screenings. The first to appear this year is the story of a lamplighter in a tropical glasshouse who is beguiled by mysterious sprites. It’s called “Monstera deliciosa”, which is the botanic name for the Swiss Cheese Plant.

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(Click these pictures for the big versions, please)

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I love the beautiful treatment of the backgrounds in this film

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There’s some very daring character design on view.

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Someone took great care with the layouts and compositions.

Crew members are: Jérémy Macedo, Julien Perron, Ornélie Prioul, Rémi Salmon.

Here’s the link. (Requires QuickTime)

Another Gobelins post tomorrow, no doubt…

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