My third animated short film

#22
It can happen. All in all we communicate in a language foreign to both of us (and to many others here), so there will be no shortage of serious misunderstandings :). (I certainly sometimes see while answering something that I misunderstood a comment completely, stop my answer. So I ask myself, how often I didn't get it at all).

While i'm writing ... I hope you liked Richard's video (the guy is a professional for many years and has a very clear dictation, which makes him very easy to understand for us foreigners). Also I totally forgot to mention one of cinema's grand masters I really dig: Akira Kurosawa. You probably know some of his movies. They are marvelous examples of filmmaking (well, mostly). You'd understand the story in a lot, maybe not all of them, just watching them in Japanese without subtitles; they are not very dialogue driven. Also they are very understandable for Westerners. I prefer the old ones with Tôshiro Mifune, Only these movies are kind of hard to get, at least with German subtitles or with English ones for a reasonable price.

Easier available (I think both still on Bluray with German subtitles) are two of my all-time favorites from other Japanese directors, "Twilight Samurai" from Yôji Yamada (2002), not what one would expect from a "samurai flic", very subtle often times; the other "Sword of doom" by Kihachi Okamoto, much older, from 1966, and more of an action movie than the other, today not very well known but very, very influential, one of the scenes the best sword fight I have ever seen (kind of). (And no, I don't have that wonderful memory I admire in others. I had of course to look up the names of the filmmakers). Kill Bill (which are two of Tarrantino's movies I don't like as much as most of his others) absolutely pales in comparison (ok, of course only my opinion).

Some of the older movies, made in U.S., Japan, France or wherever, are simply defining for today's cinema, and sometimes even 30, 50 or 60 years after production have more impact than everything Hollywood produces in a year together, especially if you're able to see it in their own time frame somehow (sorry, but I could talk about movies, 3d and Jazz forever).
 
#23
(I certainly sometimes see while answering something that I misunderstood a comment completely, stop my answer. So I ask myself, how often I didn't get it at all).
It reassures me that this does not happen exclusively to me. But unfortunately it happens to me very often. :rolleyes:
(And again it shows that the theme of my film has a personal context.;))

I hope you liked Richard's video (the guy is a professional for many years and has a very clear dictation, which makes him very easy to understand for us foreigners).
I have to take a look at the whole thing in peace, because it's a bit extensive. But what I have seen so far is really very easy to understand.

Easier available (I think both still on Bluray with German subtitles) are two of my all-time favorites from other Japanese directors, "Twilight Samurai" from Yôji Yamada (2002), not what one would expect from a "samurai flic", very subtle often times; the other "Sword of doom" by Kihachi Okamoto, much older, from 1966, and more of an action movie than the other, today not very well known but very, very influential, one of the scenes the best sword fight I have ever seen (kind of). (And no, I don't have that wonderful memory I admire in others. I had of course to look up the names of the filmmakers). Kill Bill (which are two of Tarrantino's movies I don't like as much as most of his others) absolutely pales in comparison (ok, of course only my opinion).
I don't know all of them, but of course I know that "Seven Samurai" is a classic. I actually don't like samurai and martial arts movies. That's why I don't like Kill Bill that much, too. I prefer Tarantino movies like Django Unchained. For me this is his absolute masterpiece. Of course, the actors also make it. I think Tarantino and Christoph Waltz are a fantastic team. And of course it's the dialogues again that make it so special.

With the Japanese films I especially like animes (Who would have expected that?), e.g. by Hayao Miyazaki. Chihiro (Spirited Away) is just great. But I also like movies like "Memories of Matsuko" - available on Youtube in full length in German. The beginning might take some getting used to, but then it gets better and better. If you like this kind of movies....

To return to the topic of animation and short film, Daniel Nocke is quite funny when it comes to dialogues, e.g. "No Room for Gerold" (German) or "12 Years" (German or English). In general I like the films by students of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, because they are always a bit more artistic and less commercial. My absolute favorite is "Descendants" by Heiko van der Scherm. This is one of the best story ideas I have ever seen. Unfortunately, some people don't get the story right. This may also be due to Whoopi Golberg's deep voice. But obviously other, and even really good people, also have a problem with misunderstandings.

Well, the world is full of good movies (and full of misunderstandings), so this is an endless topic ...
 
#24
It reassures me that this does not happen exclusively to me. But unfortunately it happens to me very often. :rolleyes:
It happens to all of us, and here we have at least the excuse that we're communicating in a foreign language (which is a bigger barrier than most think it is, because language imho influences very much the way we're thinking). One of today's problems, though, is simple that more and more people simply don't have the means to understand texts of some complexity which is one of the many reasons of today's problems (and those who have the means often think they don't have the time to read a whole text carefully, so often the messages get scrambled).

I actually don't like samurai and martial arts movies.
Neither did my wife, along with westerns. She also had more or less a dislike for very old movies, so it wasn't that easy to get her to watch the first Kurosawa movie (I chose Yôjinbo for that). Now, if you would ask her about her top 5 favorite directors, I don't really know the answer, but Kurosawa would be among them. And maybe "the guy who made 'Twilight Samurai'" which is a movie she really digs. The typical "samurai or martial arts flic" she still wouldn't like, along with all those run-of-the-mill westerns and most of the better ones (actually like myself). Neither did she expect to like "Sword Of Doom".

Tôshiro Mifune is one of her favorite actors :). Now. And of course she likes "Django unchained", actually probably our favorite Tarantino movie as well.

Django is a good example. It's not just a western, it's a movie that happens to be in a western setting, not something you'd expect from knowing all those old John Wayne westerns or "cowboy and indians" flics from the fifties and sixties. So the setting and some labels don't matter for a good movie. And it has it reasons that many of Kurosawa's movies were remade by European and American directors (especially 7 samurai, who spawned a Hollywood remake with several sequels, a cringeworthy bad science fiction version, two serials (I think) and a new remake a few years ago amongst others (as kid I had a comic with a star wars version of it), and Yôjimbo, whose story kickstarted the spaghetti western with Sergio Leone's "For a handful of dollars" and the minor but quite known "Last man standing" with Bruce Willis).


I don't know all of them, but of course I know that "Seven Samurai" is a classic.
Now I may sound a little bit dogmatic, sorry about that, but a lot of movie makers and probably any teacher of anything cinematic would agree that you have to know a few classics if you want to create movies of your own. All those people probably won't quite agree about which movies are absolutely "necessary viewing", but Kurosawa would be among them usually. And there is a reason that the anime series "Akira" is named after him.

While Kurosawa is best known for Seven Samurai, which is a masterpiece, that can be kind of a drag to watch. It's long and the quality of the restauration on my older criterion edition isn't that good (there is only so much you can do but it's possible that a better restauration does exist because of today's better technical possibilities). And you'd have to watch it in original length (there are to many shortened versions around, at least for a time the only one with German subtitles among them).

Yôjimbo (Yôjinbô) wasn't only remade a few times, it's very influential and often cited in other movies without you knowing it :). It's a samurai flic in that way that Django is a western. They use swords, it's violent for it's time, they wear kimonos, but it's also a mould for countless other movies, the two mentioned before but also "Miller's crossing" and in many ways the whole "Star Wars" series (which certainly doesn't belong to my favorites, but one could argue that at least the first made is essential viewing, too).

Rashômon, 1950. I knew a guy who worked as a film critique for a big newspaper and had studied film. I wouldn't go as far as he, who was of the sincere opinion that this is the best movie ever made. He saw it also as an example of his theory that a good movie should work without dialogue, at least well enough, that you more or less can follow the meaning even if you don't understand the language. Now I happen to disagree there, because there are too many tidbits of Japanese culture we westerners can't appreciate to the full degree, but the story in itself is a good one, as is the film-making. And even if it's set in times of the samurai it's not a Samurai movie at all.

By the way, @Helmut probably could make a better list of "must-sees for any film-student", because he knows much more than me about all this, but I suspect that these three would also make his list of essential viewing.

But I also like movies like "Memories of Matsuko" - available on Youtube in full length in German. The beginning might take some getting used to, but then it gets better and better. If you like this kind of movies....
Well, I'll find out if I like it.

Well, the world is full of good movies
Good ones, yes; really, really good ones, no. And most are simply acceptable, no more nor less, or just bad. When talking about movies I often mention some older ones, because they are important (and still a joy to watch), but I don't believe that older movies in general are better than those produced today (if you'd look carefully at what was made more than, say, 50 years ago, you'd see that the percentage of (near) masterpieces is probably as high as today and many movies are rightly forgotten or only shown as cheap tv fudder). Only in old times they had it far easier to be original. Nowadays it's harder and harder to have an idea that nobody else had before (so some of my favorite movies are only a few years old).
 
#25
You (or your wife :)) have convinced me. I will watch it. I'll probably start with Yojimbo. I still can't imagine that I will like it, but we will see... I am curious.
 

Helmut

Well-known member
#26
* Great comments by Lydia and Hasdrubal.

* Some random comments:
* Of course, the great masters of cinematography should be mandatory education for all of us engaged in 3D modelling. From Sergei Eisenstein to Fritz Lang to Murnau to Kurosawa, Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Kusturica, Almódovar and dozens of others. Don´t watch these as a movie but as a technical manual on composition and dynamics, on colours and lights.
* As you have experimented a bit (eg low camera angles in two takes) you may want to know how major directors have used this effects. I very dimly recall Orson Welles filming Kafka´s The Trial withn extremely low persective. Shriek, I just discovered that must have been 55 years ago :oops::eek:
* Some films may not appeal to you (I have watched Leni Riefenstahl with revulsion despite her brilliant craft). Some are crap but ingenious in fragments (eg Dune by David Lynch). Of course, films have to fit your mood and not every day is suitable for Bergmann´s The Seventh Seal or Kubricks 2001. Things get interesting when you hit the stop button, exclaiming “Heureka, I know what he (or she) is doing here!”
* You may also invest time in looking at short filmlets as made for TV advertisements and music videos. This is the kindergarten of tomorrow´s cinematographers. A failed experiment does not cost x million $ / € / ¥ or £. As mentioned by Hasdrubal above, new ideas outside indie / art house movies are rare as the investment is enormous.
* Lots on composition, but also on colours and illumination, can be studied in paintings. Visual artists are experts in perception. Look at Raphael or Velasquez, view Caravaggio and William Turner, study Hopper´s Nighthawks and Jackson Pollock.
* Look at comic strips. And that includes the Bayeux tapestry and the four panels on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel (depicting Charly Brown at major failures in His early career). If possible, wander into an art university and just browse the library. Where suitable faculties exist, they will have video resources which you can access.
* However, most of that can be pinched cheaply from the internet / YouTube. You can apply your own filters to decide what is useful and what is not.

* In essence, look at anything from the point of a 3D designer:
* What facial muscles are used to reflect subtle emotions when speaking, how does the light / shadow / shade affect the plasticity of a building, how would I model a blob of intertwined spaghetti, what are the tricks in using bullet time in motion, how does Hokusai model water in The Great Wave, how do I handle Bokeh (or any blur) efficiently and numerous other bits which are interesting.

* I also suggest to reserve ample time for experimenting and brainstorming. Ignore any current project and just randomly play with tools and effects. You can´t avoid frustration and running against a few brick walls but you can prepare the tools you require for a project in small tests.
* In any case, you seem to possess enough curiosity, discipline and dedication to develop your own style. The opinion of others is always useful, but in the end, the process, the result and the joyful sense of achievement must be yours.
 
#27
You (or your wife :)) have convinced me. I will watch it. I'll probably start with Yojimbo. I still can't imagine that I will like it, but we will see... I am curious.
That's why I mentioned her and her reactions. While Helmut is right, you don't have to like those "essential" movies, I of course hope, you will do (and maybe you'll even get the sequel (sort of) which is called Sanjuro). Please let us know how you appreciated it.


About such "essential" works in general. No doubt, some of it are kind of a drag for today's viewers, but most of the time you'll end up liking it. They are masterpieces because the directors, camera people, actors and writers did most their work just right. And you will see that something in a newer film you found highly original was done years before (and often much better).

Some silent movies like Nosferatu (Murnau), Metropolis (Lang) have their own charm (from Lang I prefer of course "M - eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder", an early talkie (1930). I didn't really get into it in the first viewing, though), others are a bit hard to watch (like Eisenstein's "Panzerkreuzer Potemkin" which probably still is shown on any film school).

The above mentioned Leni Riefenstahl really is a bit hardcore, because her two important films ("Triumph des Willens" and one about Olympia 1936) are pure nazi-propaganda. Still important to know (you see the exact same style sometimes still today (and my really very strong dislike for "300" has to do with the fact that it reminds me of Riefenstahl at her best (i.e. her worst) and not only therefore in my book glorifies fascism). Instead you could watch some documentary about her or her films (there are some good ones around) where you get the important scenes in a more fathomable setting. Another one often cited as essential viewing is "Birth of a Nation" by D. W. Griffith from 1915, falsely often seen as the first feature film (in contrast to short movies; it was the first one with a length of more than 100 minutes). Griffith used there indeed some techniques first (but I'm sure they would have been invented anyway, and some are not used anymore for decades). Here I simply recommend to skip it (or see a documentary about it) because the racism of this over 3 hour long movie is plain repulsive (years ago some of those who praised it on imdb were members of the KKK (for those it is also essential viewing)). In another aspect it's one of the most important movies of all time because before said KKK didn't exist anymore. The movie, without Griffiths intention (the worst thing about it is probably the fact that it isn't intenionally racist) inspired the second Ku Klux Klan, or at least helped it to gain wide popularity with 4 to 5 million (!) members at it's peak in the mid-twenties. (Griffith, genuinely surprised by the reactions, then made "Intolerance" (1916) to underscore that he wasn't a racist, but that didn't stop him from showing "Birth" and working on it with cuts (not really to downgrade the racism) still in the 30ies). It was the first blockbuster, made millions, but for me it's repugnant and I didn't take anything artistically from it. So my advice is to skip it.

There is a book "Thousand movies you must see before you die" by Steven Schneider which could be helpful to find those "must-see" movies ("Birth of a Nation" is listed there as well and that's the reason why I mentioned it above). I don't always agree with the selection, and there are some movies that should have made list, others that don't belong there, but all in all it's a good starting point (you don't have to watch all 1000, imho). What I like about the book, it's not just limited to Hollywood films. French, Italian, German, Russian or Japanese cinema, you name it, made the list (the majority is made in U.S.A., though, but Hollywood already churned out some 800 movies per year some 15, 20 years ago).

Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) is probably a hell of a movie and visually setting a standard not surpassed for decades, but as often I tried, I couldn't watch it. Everytime I fell asleep within 5 to 10 minutes, no matter how awake I was, even unsuccessful with watching it in parts. Usually I woke up at the end credits.

Another tip: I don't watch TV anymore, because most of the time the movies are a bit shortened, and the German synchronisation often is horrible up to a point where it changes the content of the movie. A lot of them aren't shown anyway on most stations but Arte, 3Sat and SRF (which you probably can't get because it's Swiss) often show such movies without cuts, sometimes even in original language with subtitles (especially SRF had a time slot where they did that. The ZDF helped financing some restaurations decades ago (I don't know if they still do it), so probably it's sometiemes worth it to look into their late night program). But beware of shortened versions and anything on private tv.
 
#28
Thanks again for your detailed comments, Helumt and Hasdrubal!
As I see, my homework list is getting longer and longer. :)

On the subject of Kubrik:
Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) is probably a hell of a movie and visually setting a standard not surpassed for decades, but as often I tried, I couldn't watch it. Everytime I fell asleep within 5 to 10 minutes, no matter how awake I was, even unsuccessful with watching it in parts. Usually I woke up at the end credits.
Haha, that always happened to me with "Dr. Strangelove". I fell asleep every time I saw (or didn't see) this film because it was only shown in the late show. But that was a long time ago and I haven't seen it until today. And at that time we didn't have Internet or even DVDs. (Shriek :eek:, I won't say how long ago that was exactly, Helmut) But we had a few wonderful little cinemas that showed such films. I can't remember how often I watched Kubrik films there.
I think I saw "2001" for the first time at the age of about 12 years in the cinema. At that time I was certainly too young but I still don't like it today - as a movie. For me it is more a source of optical inspiration. For example, when I made my penultimate movie, I had a look at it.
 

Helmut

Well-known member
#29
...but I still don't like it today - as a movie. For me it is more a source of optical inspiration.
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* I think that is the very crux (de:Knackpunkt, nicht zu verwechseln mit Knackwurst) of learning: Whatever you observe is just one of the many possible options. Use as an inspiration, but not as a model to be followed slavishly and dictatorially.
* Maybe mathematics is an exception, and - presumably - sticking to conventional grammar and syntax also helps. On the other hand, James Joyce, who selectively did neither, was a noted linguistic 3D modeller.

* In this context, I highly question @Hasdrubal´s hypothesis that language determines thinking, aka Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. As a semi-retired IT professional I admit that is has value in coding languages. However, such musings on linguistic relativity have no place in this forum.

* Surprisingly, this does nicely loop back to my initial statement: Neither 3D composition, nor multidimensional linguistic constructs (nor concepts of any other human activity) are limited by learned preexisting samples.
* No doubt. the Bard knew of Beowulf, Beethoven knew of JS Bach, Picasso had heard of Michelangelo and Einstein was dimly aware of Isaac Newton. None of those limited their thinking to the tools of the dead masters.
 
#30
* In this context, I highly question @Hasdrubal´s hypothesis that language determines thinking, aka Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. As a semi-retired IT professional I admit that is has value in coding languages. However, such musings on linguistic relativity have no place in this forum.
"imho influences" isn't the same as "determine", it's for me one of several factors, probably less important than the cultural one (and sometimes it's not easy to see a difference); translations are indeed a good example, as is "Swiss German" which doesn't know a real past, or Orwell's "Neusprech" (for which I can't remember the original term at the moment, but it's certainly true that you can't convey or even form a certain thought without the necessary words). If something like this has a place in this forum, I'm not so sure, because we often try to convey meaning and / or concepts through pictures and animations as 3d artists (or artisans). Here the cultural differences are certainly more important (like the meaning of "orange" (which could have changed in the last 3 1/2 years anyway)), but as a theme it's something that any kind of artist at least should think about.

So it's not just important to get inspiration from old masters (be that painters, sculptors or the not so old masters of film making), or to learn approved techniques, it's also important because they understand and even helped form our cultural pictorial language that we have to know to be able to (better) understand and use it as means of communication. In many cases artists don't really know what they convey through their art because a lot of it is subconscious anyway. But still.

On the other hand, James Joyce, who selectively did neither, was a noted linguistic 3D modeller.
There is this concept that you should know the rules to successfully break them, and Joyce certainly knew them (but to be honest, while I liked Ulysses, "Finnegan's wake" was certainly way over my head and sometimes I'm not so sure if such things really do have a meaning. As you probably guess, my approach would rather be to make things as easy understandable as possible (well, maybe one can hide a few things between the lines or in 3d between some pixels). Anyway, Joyce certainly knew the rules. It seems just to be the case that he didn't care that much if others get the meaning.
 

Helmut

Well-known member
#31
* Fortunately, great thinkers have invented religion, football, nationalism and MAGA for those who want a simple reality. Not that Augustine of Hippo or Thomas Aquinas are particularly simple.
* As to Joyce: most of us use language at the very idiot level and never much progress from advanced kindergarten simplicity.
* As Lewis Caroll pointed out in his Jabberwocky: “T´was bryllyg, and the slithy toves did gyre and gymble in the wabe”.
* James Joyce, in Molly´s soliloquy, said much the same in just 8 - but rather lengthy -sentences.

* As to Finnegans Wake (no genitive / apostrophe!), this is not a (de)construct to be read silently. When working my - very laborious - way through this I not only read loudly, but I also recorded and listened to my voice in play back. This is partly hilarious stuff which I did not even perceive at conventional reading.
* Reading Joyce is a bit like sitting in a museum and shifting your view from Raphael to Hieronymus Bosch to Jackson Pollock without blinking.
 
#33
* Fortunately, great thinkers have invented religion, football, nationalism and MAGA for those who want a simple reality.
Sometimes you're even more cynical than myself.

As to Joyce: most of us use language at the very idiot level and never much progress from advanced kindergarten simplicity.
If you don't write on such a level, the majority of the readers isn't able to understand you anymore in German, the newspaper writing with all the grammar errors and the spelling below 6th grade level (we talked about that before several times) already to complex, words I'd like to use not known by the majority, because they are too old (funny thing is, the only examples that come to mind is the "Oheim" or his daughter "die Base", which aren't particularly words I'd like to use for ), too easy to overread ("keinesfalls"), too long or whatever. And I really, really like long sentences (already in school, where we had a teacher who plain forbid them for anybody else but me (the exception given after the first essay we had to write where I deliberately disregarded his rule in the extreme), which you can't do if you want to be understood. Already in the late 70s or 80s a study said that sentences longer than 12 words are not understood anymore because most readers forgot the beginning when reaching the end. Now we are on a level where some 20 % of the adults don't understand simple texts anymore. Because of that they want to use more "Leichte Sprache" in our country, something created for people with mental deficits, and it has to be written by certified translators. For me it's ok if that's an alternative like other languages, especially as there are foreigners who understandably have difficulty with understanding German. But some want it to be the standard for anything official... And for me, reading such stuff is like being hit on the head every few seconds.

It is not possible with this kind of language to express complex ideas, irony, any deeper meaning etc. And it looks very much like Orwell's Newspeak, only created with very good intentions (and don't get me wrong. I find it important that something like this exists for those who would otherwise be excluded). In the end we actually could reach a level where we end up in a few decades with language in which nobody will be able to express him- or herself or even understand some of the more complex concepts.

Even modern literature got simpler imho and so is most of the time anyway not much to my liking (the Austrian Glavinek is one of those few whose simple style actually works), but James Joyce on the other hand is the written equivalent of abstract art. I don't think a faithful translation is possible, and my English isn't good enough, my knowledge of other things probably not big enough to really get something out of Finnegans Wake, Ulysses being the upmost I can get something off. Reading it aloud may be a good idea, but my pronunciation (I don't sound very Swiss, though, but it's still to often wrong). Maybe I'll try it out with an audio book.

* @Lydia: I apologise that we (Hasdrubal and I) have hijacked your thread to waffle on about totally unrelated matters. Sorry :sick:
Well, I do also apologize but actually am quiet sure that Lydia will give us absolution.

But for me this is related (well, at least to that part after I hijacked the thread to "essential viewing" etc), because in all this flood of images more and more people genuinely don't see much difference between an artistic, really worked and thought through composition and a snapshot. And even those who call themselves 3d artists (usually not on a professional level, though) don't understand composition beyond the rule-of-thirds or the golden ratio (just a few weeks ago I read some comments where some cried out because the motive wasn't at the golden ratio-intersections, and therefore it was bad, bad, bad (following slavishly a very simple rule). A soap opera has the same artistic merits for some as some cineastic masterpiece, of course much more than old movies who nobody watches anymore. And too many aren't able anymore to sit through a longer movie anyway. Outside a 3d forum I would recommend films like "Rashomon", "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Citizen Cane" only to a view people because too many wouldn't appreciate them or for the wrong reasons.

So it is stuff we have to think about, especially question ourselves which simple target group we want to reach (and with what).
 
#34
I apologise that we (Hasdrubal and I) have hijacked your thread to waffle on about totally unrelated matters. Sorry
Well, I do also apologize but actually am quiet sure that Lydia will give us absolution.
Absolution granted. ;)
You can hijack my thread as much and as often as you want. I have no problem with that. :)
(But I won't pay any ransom, even if you threaten to talk my thread to death. - No, just kidding! Of course, that's what keeps the thread alive!)
 
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