Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ATLAS SHRUGGED PART III



Here's the trailer for Atlas Shrugged part III. I saw it this afternoon and I'm glad I did, in spite of it's many flaws. The film is a ringing endorsement for capitalism, and business men are portrayed as heroes. How rare is that?

The characters are somewhat wooden as idea-based characters usually are, but that limitation is intrinsic to the category and I made allowance for it.


BTW, since we're on the subject of film...what do you think of this photo of Peter Bogdonavich and Orson Welles? Someone made the comment that Orson has his lunch, but what about Peter?



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

EXPLORING THE INTERNET






I thought I'd do a quick and dirty survey of the adult internet sites. Theory Corner covered this a few years ago but the net's changed since then and it might be interesting to see how things are different now. 

I'll start with a category I'm already familiar with...the one devoted to hairy nerd girls. I'm fond of this category myself but don't ask me to explain why....we're all play things of the gods. Anyway, this group hasn't changed much. 


Here's a category I'm not familiar with, but I'll give it a shot. It's about girls flicking cigarette ashes on guys' heads. This girl (above) is remarkably friendly, a clear departure from the tradition that says only mean girls should play this role. I know I'll appear like a prude, but I admit to being disturbed to see a venerable tradition of meaness set aside like this. 


This (above) is from a foot site that specializes in dirty feet. Yes, there is such a thing, and maybe that's new. Are those ants on the girl's feet? YUCK!!!!


Another constituency that's still with us is the tramplers. Some men still like to be walked on.


I can''t explain why that is, it just is. 


Men are hard to understand.


Anyway, I promised to talk about new categories, and there is something new on the scene. I speak of the practice of adding "mature" to everything. If there used to be sites covering fat girls in miniskirts, now there are additional sites covering "MATURE  fat girls in miniskirts."


Matures have moved into every category: there's rubber suit matures, verbal abuse matures, blowing smoke in your face matures, naked hitchhiker matures.....there's mature everything.


 You can laugh but there must be big money in this stuff, because there's a zillion sites like that. I guess that's the Baby Boomers doing their thing.


Maybe that's for the best. Thanks to Boomers we now have a choice. You can still get verbal abuse from a mean twenty-something, but that's boring.


Now you can also get it from an elderly, more nuanced abuser...somebody who's been around, who knows how to juggle vowels and consonants. Now you get to choose.

Interesting, eh?


Sunday, September 14, 2014

PEREZ PRADO: GENIUS


This (above) is the very best version of the very best recorded Mambo that I know of: Perez Prado doing "Que Rico El Mambo." I don't the name of the terrific female dancer, but the guy is Resortes, the comedian Cabral did so many fine posters for. Que Rico catapulted Prado into international fame in the early 50s, but it only lasted for a few years then Rock and Roll came in and swept everything else away.



While he was in the States Perez somehow got sidetracked into American Easy Listening/Bachelor Pad-type music (above). It was a step down in my opinion, but he did help to kick that genre into a Golden Age of its own before he decided to get back to his roots South of the border. Cuba by then was a communist dictatorship so he bailed into Mexico, which must have been a real shot in the arm for that country.



Here's )above) the Dolly Sisters, who are Hungarian Americans I think. Anyway, they do a great job on Perez's Mambo. Wielding castanets in the background is ace vocalist Benny More.

BTW, I like Prado's use of Las Vegas-type show girls. Maybe that's because he came from Cuba with its influences from American hotels and casinos.

BTW: Thanks to Steve for turning me on to "Que Rico El Mambo."

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Also BTW: "Atlas Shrugged Part 3" is in the theatres now. Fans of the book haven't had much good to say about it. It was made with a miniscule budget and apparently it shows. I'll see it anyway. If you intend to do that too you better hurry. It probably won't be in circulation very long.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

ANIMATING MIME EXERCISES


I'm not working right now so I spent part of my day yesterday animating on my ipad mini and reading notes I took on a book about mime. I'm not thinking about becoming a mime...I just wondered if they might know some things that animators could use.  Anyway, it occurred to me that I might combine the two things by animating a couple of standard mime exercises on the ipad. I could do it rough, with stick figures...it might not be much trouble.



Is it a good idea? Probably not. Even so I'll try one or two. If they don't work out there's always the "delete" button.



If anyone reading this has studied mime maybe you'll recognize this exercise:

Let your attention go to a particular part of the body. It's a soloist. Let that part do something people might like to watch, and keep the rest of the body relatively still.  Gradually let the body join in, in the role of a chorus or a counterpoint. 




Here's another one:

Posit that you have a safety zone, a circle about two feet in diameter. It might be a place of fun while the outside world is one of drudgery, or it could be a place of relaxation while the rest of the world is full of high tension. When you're in it you're safe, but you're allowed to stay in there only for a few seconds then you have to leave.




Interesting, eh?




BTW: The pictures illustrating the end of this post are all of pantomimists, which makes them mimes of a sort. Pure mime is more stylized than pantomime. It's like ballet in that it requires a beautiful silhouette and graceful, silent actions. Pantomime isn't as physically demanding but it's funnier and may allow an occasional spoken word.

Shown are Mr. Bean, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, and Red Skelton.



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

FUTURE FASHION

Fashion has been funny for at least four decades and it shows no sign of abating. The big trend in recent times is clothes that fit but don't don't fit.  Here the model wears a tailored version of the kind of felt costumes that puppets wore in TV shows like "Fireball XL-5." Maybe there's a hint of anime in it, too.


Stiff bras are funny and for that reason I predict their return. They'll keep their shape even when the girl reclines, with the result that girls will recline more often.


Nerds are everywhere nowadays and they've influenced fashion. Girls usually combine the nerd look with other things. This girl (above) starts with nerd but uses tattoos for a hipster accent and bare feet for a touch of hippy.


Here's (above) an interesting picture. It has nothing to do with what the girl is wearing, it's about the pose she's taken. She's deliberately emphasizing the line of her jaw and of the back of her neck, something only professional photographers used to do.

I'm guessing that came about because of the latest trends in bathroom design. Modern bathrooms have two large mirrors, one in front, and one in back. The result of that is that a greater number of people than ever before have an awareness of what they look like from the back and side.  That's bound to effect fashion and even the type of poses people strike in public.


   In my opinion the muscular look for women will soon go out of fashion, but that's probably just wishfull thinking.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

FUNNY FASHION MODEL WALKS



 For the animators out there, I thought I'd put up some funny walk reference. In this case it's fashion models who fall on the runway. Sometimes the fall is the funny thing, more often it's the walk on wobbly feet that precedes the fall.



I feel sorry for these girls. I'll bet models who fall don't get asked back. Add to that the impossibly high heeled shoes, the rule against looking down, and the thin and slippery Mylar walkways. You can fall through those runways and it's just like falling into a manhole. Add to that all the trouble it takes just to get the gigs and a diet that consists of carrot sticks and coffee. Yikes!

[HAW! I told this to Mike and he disdainfully said something like, "Oh, those poor, poor supermodels who get outrageous sums of money because they have the rare skill of being able to walk and turn around. Gee, I sure feel so sorry for them!" Hmmmm. The man lacks the proper respect.]



Even without accidents model walks are really funny. They practice walking "fierce."



Here's an interesting video. The coach is on the right and the student is on the left. The student has all the moves down, but she lacks the casual elegance of the coach.  I wonder if that quality is teachable. Maybe you have to be born with it.


Somewhere in the videos a model talks about the way to do big strides in ultra high-heels. The trick is to avoid putting weight on the heel, to lift the leg high, and to have all parts of the shoe touch the ground at the same time. Wait a minute...that describes a march...only the march can't be allowed to look like a march. Disguising it takes a lot of practice.

Not only that, but a flat foot and a straight up body implies that the model's walk isn't a controlled fall like they describe in animation class. The forward leg has to use muscle power to drag the rest of the body forward, and somehow the model has to make this look effortless. Geez! It sounds like a tough life.





Right now funny model walks are the domain of a small number of skinny women, but you have to wonder if it'll become more general someday. The future may not value the casual look the way we do today.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

HALLOWEEN MASKS 2014

It's HALLOWEEN season...well sort of...I'm getting an early start. Once again Theory Corner is poking around, trying to locate the best masks for its readers. I'll open with one you probably saw on the shelf last year. You'd have had to buy a whole costume to get it but the discount stores were selling them cheap.  


Here's (above) one I've only seen on the internet: a cartoony Indian mask...or is it a Flapper? I can't tell.


How about a TV game show mask (above)? Man, I'd LOVE to have one of these on my wall. 


I love old time paper masks. Some of the best ones came on the back of cereal boxes. 


This Halloween I'll try to make most of the masks I use. I might start with something a little like this (above).


 Wow! Everybody's had a teacher that looks like this (above). I love masks that make fun of ordinary, every day reality.


I'd sell my children into slavery to get a pair of rubber feet like this (above)! Er...if my kids are reading this...I'M JUST KIDDING! The buyer would have to throw in a game show mask to get me to consider it seriously.


Nice, very nice.