Tag Archives: art

Artistically Astounding Animated Films

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse movie poster
image via Wikipedia

…Can you tell I love alliteration? I also really love art, movies, and art in movies! I recently watched the new animated Spider-Man film, Across the Spider-Verse and let me tell you—the art and animation was as jaw-dropping as the prequel, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.

Just like the prequel, the animation pushed the boundaries of the genre and of the silver-screen, was inextricable linked with the multiverse concept, various story beats, and character development, and visually conveyed the humour that Spider-Man is known for as much as he is for his web-slinging!

Because I’m a nerd, I’ve been eagerly exploring behind-the-scenes factoids on how the art of the film came together. Here are some fun tidbits on this movie:

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The World Through a Lens: a Photographic Perspective

The cover of Wild and Crazy

My bio hints at it, but I’ll state this fact plainly: I am a photographer. Not*1 in an “I take pictures” way, but in the “I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography” way. Yup. I was a weirdo arts school kid before being a*2 library school student. I’m also completely over the art world, primarily because of my bachelor’s. All you “I take pictures” photographers? Keep at it! It’s not a degree that makes you a photographer; it’s taking pictures. At least in my eyes.

So why did going to school for art turn me against the art world? I like taking pretty photographs*3 and trying to ascribe some higher meaning to them just to please critics gives me a headache. I’m an uncomplicated photographer; what you see in the picture is what you choose to see. I just saw something neat and framed it in a way that pleased me.

Not all photographers work like I do, though. Some have missions to complete, subjects they excel in capturing, a desire to push the medium forward, or a cause to champion. They shoot for magazinescompetitionsjournalism, or any myriad of reasons. Sometimes those photos are collected in massive books. We’ve all been in a bookstore and seen coffee table books, behemoths full of imagery to peruse while taking a break with a nice hot drink. Lovely to look through, but with homes getting smaller, who has space for them these days? This is where the library comes in*4, borrow the book, look through it for a time, and return it when you’re done, knowing it’ll be there again if you want it.

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Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story (by Bernadette Murphy)

Van Gogh's Ear

Van Gogh’s Ear is a journey to discover the truth and revisit some of the myth surrounding Vincent Van Gogh’s tormented yet passionate life. In this book, Murphy looked into forgotten archival materials, visited towns and museums, and brought Van Gogh’s world vividly to life, including some of the most important people he was involved with, such as police inspector, “Rachel” who he gave his ear to, his brother Theo, and fellow artist Gauguin.

Murphy took lots of effort trying to piece together clues that might shed light on the artist’s life and his mental state. This book can be also seen as an interesting and in-depth detective work. What amazed me the most was how often Van Gogh was in distress yet able to keep painting. Symptoms for mental illness were clear but back then the treatment for mental illness was very minimal and rudimentary. After reading this book, I can never look at Van Gogh and his painting the same way. I feel deeply sorrowful for what Van Gogh went through in his short and intense life, however,  I think the world is so much richer for what he had done.

An animated biography drama film called Loving Vincent (http://lovingvincent.com/) was released last year. It is the world’s first fully painted animated feature film about Van Gogh’s death. It was an unique experience and beautifully done. This movie is also nominated for an Oscar this year. I’d recommend this film to anyone who is interested in Van Gogh’s story or looking for a different movie experience.


Loving Vincent [DVD] ON ORDER

Loving Vincent [Bluray] ON ORDER

Van Gogh’s Ear (2016, Documentary)

Lust for Life (adapted from Irving Stone’s novel)

Van Gogh and the Sunflowers (Picture book)

Camille and the Sunflowers (Picture book)

The Artist and Me (Picture book)

Van Gogh: His Life and Works in 500 Images : An Illustrated Exploration of the Artist, His Life and Context, With A Gallery of 280 of His Finest Paintings

Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh (2005, Documentary)

Mystical Landscapes: Vincent Van Gogh to Emily Carr (an exhibition from the AGO, 2016)

Irises: Vincent Van Gogh in the Garden

Van Gogh’s Imaginary Museum: Exploring the Artist’s Inner World