Friday, December 07, 2018

Crazy 4 Cult 12 Preview 2

Here's the second piece I did for the Crazy 4 Cult 12 show opening tonight at Gallery 1988. "Mosura praegrandis" based on Mothra (1961) and numerous Godzilla films. 3-D cut paper.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Crazy 4 Cult 12 Preview 1

Here's a look at one of the pieces I did for the Crazy 4 Cult 12 show opening tomorrow night at Gallery 1988. "The Bear Suit", based on The Shining (1980). Cut paper.

I'll preview my second piece tomorrow before the show opens.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Next Month...

I will have two cut paper pieces in next months annual Crazy 4 Cult show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. I'll be previewing them a few days before the show opens on December 7.

In the meantime, Gallery 1988 still has a few pieces of mine, including inexpensive postcard prints, if you are looking for gifts. You can find them here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

io9 Looks Back On Xombi

Evan Narcisse at io9 takes a look back at both incarnations of Xombi, and the world building and sense of humor that I infused them with. He also properly credits the rest of the teams for their outstanding contributions. You can read the article here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 31 - Movie

For Halloween itself I decided to revisit the best horror movie of the year, and one of the best of all time. I saw Hereditary (2018) opening day during it's theatrical release, and left the theater, stunned, amazed, and possibly a bit traumatized. There's one image in the film that fused onto my retinas, so that every time I closed my eyes for days after i saw the movie it was there. I can still conjure it forth with too much ease.

Without getting too much into the plot and spoiling this film, which I saw only knowing what I'd seen in the trailer, the film is pretty much about coping with grief. In this case a maternal figure with a complicated relationship to her daughter and grandchildren dies, and the surviving members of the family watch their lives unravel after that. There are suggestions of inherited mental illness, and for much of the film the viewer is made to wonder if that might be all there is to what's transpiring on screen, until one scene happens, and you know for sure.

Writer/Director, Ari Aster, makes one hell of a feature film debut with this. Everything about this movie is pretty perfect, compositions, the often time excruciating pacing, the music by Colin Stetson, the foreshadowing, art direction and cinematography are all top notch. What really sells this movie though are the performances, especially the four leads who really display some emotionally traumatized characterizations.

I saw this movie with a friend who will watch much more extreme material than I will, and afterwards he declared he was going to have nightmares for a week. This movie may be more intense than some people can handle, but it is really worth the experience.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 31

Halloween is allegedly the holiday people spend the most money on every year besides Christmas. My guess is that most of that money is spent on candy and costumes, since many retail outlets often have their Christmas stuff going out on the floors at about the same time their Christmas stuff does, with not a lot of lead time for Halloween and more and more for Christmas. I have a hard time believing that billions of dollars are being spent on Halloween decor since I've noticed that the houses that put up any outdoor decorations for Halloween have become pretty scarce.

Because of that, I've always made a real effort to make the outside of our house a beacon for trick-or-treaters, the one magical house in the neighborhood that gives them their real sense of "wow" for Halloween Night.

The catch though is that I don't put any decorations out until the last schools has passed through the neighborhood on Halloween day, and I take them all down in the middle of the night some time after the last trick-or-treater has long gone to bed. This way it's as if the decorations have all magically appeared and disappeared.

Our yard got to be pretty spectacular for a few years. Lately, because of logistics of the way our yard is (with no trees out front, and no outside outlets on the house to plug anything into), it's a little more sparse. But there's still something out there to ad a bit of holiday magic to the street.

Photographing our yard in the heat of setting up and attending to trick-or-treaters ends up being pretty spotty, at best, but you can see the way our yard has looked in the past beginning with 2006. Images and commentary can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 30 - Movie

A family scavenges supplies, makes their own home and grows their own food, performing everything carefully and with a need to move as silently as possible. The consequences, as we learn quickly, for making any sound are terrible. There are monsters lurking in the spaces around them; incredibly fast moving, lethal,  monsters with outstanding hearing. The complicate things, the mother of this family is pregnant and will give birth any time now.

In a nutshell A Quiet Place (2018) is a family drama about surviving against incredible odds. Except for one element ( a nail that's existence and location is highly improbable and rings false), everything in the movie is presented with precision. The family involves a deaf teenage daughter which allows everyone to already have a means of communicating without verbally speaking. Their carefulness and ongoing emergency preparedness allows for a horror film that doesn't require its characters to make dumb, logic defying, decisions in order for the horror to work. Most of all the film, especially through its silence, really pulls you into the family so that you are fully engaged with them and care about their survival. The cast is outstanding, especially Millicent Simmonds, who is deaf in real life, who really commands the film. This is one of the best genre films of the year, and one of best of any kind of film this year.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 30

Before you or your little ones go trick or treating tomorrow, you should review some important safety tips which can be found here and here.

Monday, October 29, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 29 - Movie 2

A woman hires a naturalist to hunt down the wolves that she claim took away her son. When the naturalist begins his investigation her uncovers a much stranger and more sinister truth, and a bloodbath is unleashed upon the small Alaskan community caught up in the secrets uncovered.

Hold the Dark (2017), based on the novel by William Giraldi is a mersmerizing, intense, and not easily ingested thriller. Every thing is delivered in a very low key, matter of fact manner, and you leave the film with more questions than answers, which is something I really liked about it. It's the kind of film that invites further examination, and really makes you work for what you can extract from it. The cast is uniformly outstanding.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 29 - Movie 1

A girl unknowingly frees a devil imprisoned by a blacksmith hermit. The devil's recapture leads to more trouble as a mob of townspeople, led by a disguised devil, descend upon the blacksmith's fortress. The end result has the blacksmith crashing the gates of Hell in order to bring the little girl back to earth, and life.

Based on a Basque folktale, Errementari (2017) is a visually striking fairy tale much like Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) and Viy (1967) where the story is presented in a non-naturalistic, heightened manner, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I found it, even with its really simple story to be a pretty rich viewing experience. The movie also boldly features a Hell populated by pointy talked devils armed with pitchforks which was a big plus for me.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 29

The Halloween Parade in New York City is a huge event now, but it used to be more of a neighborhood event and part of one of my favorite Halloween memories. You can read about it here.