"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Weekly Movie Recommendations : 26th April 2008 - 2nd May 2008

All About Eve (1950)

Genre - Drama

Cast - Bette Davis, Anne Baxter

Whats It About - Aspiring actress Eve Harrington maneuvers her way into the lives of Broadway star Margo Channing, playwright Lloyd Richards and director Bill Sampson. This classic story of ambition and betrayal has become part of American folklore.

Why To Watch It - Perfectly cast and solidly scripted, this dark Hollywood satire contains a brilliantly self-deprecating performance from Bette Davis. Smart, cynical, terrifically entertaining, and one of the greatest films ever released about the movie industry, All About Eve has retained its edge, and remains a sharp, beautifully-written gem.

Anne Baxter is also marvelous as the subtle Eve, whose glowing enthusiasm masks a cold, calculated ambition. Both actresses garnered Best Actress Oscar nominations, and the film in its entirety took 14 nominations, winning seven of them, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Consistently listed among the best films of all time, director-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz's ALL ABOUT EVE shouldn't be missed; the acting, writing, and directing are unequivocally brilliant.

A little about All About Eve, right here -

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weekly Movie Recommendations : 19th April 2008 - 25th April 2008

Crash (2004)

Genre - Crime, Drama

Cast - Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Ryan Phillipe

Whats It About - Several stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles involving a collection of inter-related characters.

Why To Watch It - Apart from the fact that it had won 3 Oscars in the category - Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Editing and getting nominated for 3 more categories - Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role(Matt Dillon) this movie is brilliant in every sense of the way.

Fantastic performances by so many of its star cast, that even though its a multi-lead role movie, each one justifies its presence and holds on its own terrificly. The way link of different parallel stories culminates towards one single chain is shown in absolute brilliance. The amalgamation of different characters and stories will involve you right from the word go.

So sit back, get that bowl of popcorn, open a chilled can of coke/beer and enjoy the CRASH !

Enjoy the trailer right here -

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekly Movie Recommendations : 12th April 2008 - 18th April 2008


Genre - Animation

Director - Brad Bird

Voice Over - Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Brad Garrett

Whats It About - Remy is a young rat in the French countryside who arrives in Paris, only to find out that his cooking idol is dead. When he makes an unusual alliance with a restaurant's new garbage boy, the culinary and personal adventures begin despite Remy's family's skepticism and the rat-hating world of humans.

Why To Watch It -
1. Its by Pixar.
2. Directed by Brad Bird.
3. It won an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category.
4. Kick ass story.
5. A new benchmark in animation.
6. The CG food shown here is absolutely mind blowing and looks absolutely delicious. Make sure you have that tub of popcorn ready besides you.
7. Absolutely lovable character with some nice inspiration messages.
8. Its one hell of a fun family movie to watch.

The fun begins right here -

A Vision Of Today's Student

I came across this at Bobby Beck's blog(founder and CEO, AnimationMentor.com) . Its a very interesting video of what education means today for students and the future of education as they perceive it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs Official Trailer Released

20th Century Fox has officially released the trailer for the 3rd part in the Ice Age series called : Dawn Of The Dinosaurs.

View the trailer here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Coke Side Of Life

Came across this very nicely done ad recently. Its for Coke and has been done by The Moving Picture Company(MPC).

Though its an old ad, it was released globally sometime in 2006. But as the saying goes, good art never dies !

Everything about this ad is good to see and hear, whether its the music, the vfx, the choice of colors, the direction and of course the overall end result.

Have a look, you wont be disappointed !

Monday, April 7, 2008

New Animation Podcast With James Baxter : Part Three

Animation Podcast has released the concluding interview with one of the best animator in the world : James Baxter in the form of its monthly podcast.

James Baxter talks about learning from the old masters, what inspires him, and his experiences on films from Beauty and the Beast through Madagascar. James was the supervising animator of Belle, Rafiki, Quasimodo, Spirit, and director of the animation for Enchanted.

Get the mp3 version here.
( 25.7MB, 55:39 minutes)


Get the enhanced version playable only with Quicktime, iTunes, or iPods here.
(Includes pictures and links in addition to the audio.)
(26.3MB, 55:39 minutes)

Weekly Movie Recommendations : 5th April 2008 - 11th April 2008

Genre -
Drama, Mystery

Cast - Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten

Whats It About - Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Why To Watch It - CITIZEN KANE is Orson Welles's greatest achievement--and a landmark of cinema history. The film's protagonist, Charles Foster Kane, was based on a composite of Howard Hughes and William Randolph Hearst--so much so that Hearst tried to have the film suppressed. Every aspect of the production marked an advance in film language: the deep focus and deeply shadowed cinematography ; the discontinuous narrative, relying heavily on flashbacks and newsreel footage ; the innovative use of sound and score ; and the ensemble acting forged in the fires of Welles's Mercury Theatre . Every moment of the film, every shot, has been choreographed to perfection. The film is essential viewing, quite possibly the greatest film ever made and, along with THE BIRTH OF A NATION, certainly the most influential.

This movie is among the top favorites of each and everyone who has an inclination towards cinema, whether its people who make them (Directors, Writers, Actors, Animators and so on) or whether its the general audience like you.

One of the finest films made in the history of Hollywood and film making.

Have a preview right here -

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eventful last week, another term ends and another term starts.

Last week was super busy and super fun. Class 2 - Body Mechanics came to an end and last week we just had to upload all our assignments for that class for archive purpose. So to an extent it was a much relaxing week compared to other weeks when we had to submit an assignment.

The timing of the term end couldn't be more appropriate what with my sister, brother-in-law and my sweet angel 3 yrs old niece coming to India on their annual holiday from abroad. Since there was no assignment submission i was able to spend all the time with them. It was just amazing and so much fun. Quality time with our family or near and dear ones definitely supersedes all other kind of happiness. They were for about a week and those 7 days were nothing short of nirvana, absolutely absolutely pure bliss.

Almost all the time we are so caught up with other things like job, money, career, paying bills and so on that we forget to devote time to those things which are our biggest source of happiness. No matter how successful you are in your career or how ever rich you are, if you don't have a close family to share your life with, you are just not living the true life. Money can buy you luxury but it cannot buy inner peace which only your near and dear ones can enrich you with.

Its been hardly 2 days since they went back and i am already looking forward to their next trip ! Family definitely comes first ! :-)

This time there was no break between terms. Last time i almost had 10 days of break between classes to energize myself. But this time unfortunately because the way the schedule is set up, we just had about 2 days of free time before we dive in on the next class. Class 2 - Body Mechanics was a lot of fun and loads of work at the same time. Its one of the most important class here at Animation Mentor, which provides us the foundation for our career in animation. So a week break before starting next class would have been awesome. Anyways schedules have to be adhered with and sometimes its not what we would have wanted but we would have to live with it anyways.

So Class 3 - Intro To Acting here i come !

Even though there was no break the energy and enthusiasm of everyone here at Animation Mentor was nothing short of contagious. I was eager to get my new set of class mates and most importantly my new mentor with whom i would be spending my very important next 3 months of my learning time.

And my mentor for Class 3 is .....MICHELLE MEEKER !! I could barely contain my excitement to have her as my Class 3 mentor. A little about Michelle -

" After graduating from CalArts in 1993 and 1996, Michelle has worked on both U.S. coasts and abroad in New Zealand and China. Her animation credits include Shrek, Antz, Lord of the Rings and Geris Game. She started off working for Sesame Street Interactive amd then moved into studios such as Pixar, PDI, and Weta Digital. Mixed in with the bigger projects have been stints with E-greetings, Maxis (Sims), Stormfront, Vidlit, and Little Airplane. For the past 4 years, she has also enjoyed teaching animation at the Art Institute of California, San Francisco. "

I had attended a couple of make up qna in Class 1 and she was absolutely fun to interact with. Though this time my weekly mentor QNA is very late at nite - 2 AM, because of the time zone difference between India and US, i am sure it will be worth every minute with my wonderful mentor.

I am raring to go for this class and attend my first qna with my new class and mentor !!

This is the class where the real magic of animation begins to unfold in terms of acting, emotions and so on !!

I am truly having a ball of a time here at Animation Mentor !

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Weekly Movie Recommendations : 29th March 2008 - 4th April 2008

Been really busy..more on that in my next post.

For now enjoy this weeks movie recommendation.

Genre - Action, Adventure Drama

Cast - Christian Bale, Steve Zahn

Whats It About - A US Fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Why To Watch It - Its a true story wonderfully crafted in cinematic excellence to show us the real meaning of endurance and survival, no matter how bad things are going on in your life. All the struggle and pain will certainly pay off in good time. If you feeling it cant go worse in your life and planning to give up, see this movie and you will realise how lucky you are. And to top it off, Christian Bale is absolutely terrific and dissolves himself completely in the role.

Have a peek here -