Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Great Gatsby branding

Baz Luhrmann's version of The Great Gatsby seems to have got middling reviews, but for my part I think its his best effort since the seminal Romeo + Juliet. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with his films as I adore his production design and branding, but don't get on with their unrelenting theatricality. The latter is reigned-in for Gatsby, so its a happier combination for me.

I was struck by the branding as soon as the film's posters emerged. However, it wasn't until this week just gone that I got to actually see the film. A quick google thereafter led me to Like Minded Studio's Behance page detailing their excellent work on the project. Below is a small selection of the images they have uploaded, but I implore you to click through and take a look at the whole set.

Their exploration of the deco style is reassuringly comprehensive and some of what I assume are early proposals are wonderful. The rectilinear gilded architectural detail which was eventually chosen is very apt and in the film's titles it is broken down and used playfully by the motion graphics team.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

rekall - a tumblr to die for

First off apologies for the slow posting of late. There are lots of exciting things afoot here in Nottingham and I hope to tell you more about them when things have calmed down a bit.

In the meantime a friend has just linked to the tumblr rekall. I can basically just delete my Cyberpunk1984 Gimme now because this is a hands-down more awesome collection of 80s sci-fi than I could ever hope to assemble.


Sunday, 16 June 2013

NSFW: The Man Whose Mind Exploded

Yesterday I was at the Sheffield Documentary Festival to see a film a friend had mentioned. The title immediately grabbed my attention, and the trailer is equally compelling. Be warned, even the snippets below include some graphic images and language.

The Man Whose Mind Exploded is an intimate tale of the friendship between filmmaker Toby Amies and the late (and self-named) Drako Oho Zarhazar. Drako was known to many in his home town of Brighton as a colourful local figure with his makeup, tattoos and flamboyant sense of dress. He would cheerfully tell anyone who would listen about his life - modelling for Salvador Dali and his career on stage and in underground film. However, these tales would be staccato and repetitive because Drako had severe memory problems as a result of several serious accidents. Robbed of his short term memory and with patchy long-term recollections he lived in the present. His coping strategy was to construct a spiritual mantra of "Trust. Absolute. Unconditional." This meant he would trust everyone who he came across.

This trust is at the centre of the film. His barriers, particularly about his homosexuality, were nonexistent. He would happily let people into his flat, which was plastered with a mixture of pornographic images, photos from his past and notes to himself to call the doctor. The latter were more often than not ignored, which leads to Amies' growing frustration as Drako's health gradually fails. Indeed, Amies is increasingly a character in the film, which is no bad thing as we see Drako through the eyes of someone who cares and worries about him.

Amies was on-hand for a Q&A after the showing and his answers were very revealing. He chose to focus on Drako's last years rather than his fascinating life story because it reflected his subject's unique state - to live in the 'now'. In a poignant introduction he asserted that a true artist is someone who makes you see the world in a different way. This is what Drako did above all things with his unfailing good humor and implicit trust in those around him.

Saturday, 15 June 2013


Just returned from a day trip to watch a film in the city's annual documentary festival. I was amazed at the quality of the architecture and design about the place. 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Lostboat by

Below are stills from a wonderful project by Inkstudio. Using coloured paper, plants and stones they have created a tiny microcosm - a hybrid of an Ewok treehouse and Tom Ungerer's The Three Robbers.

I love the way the work is honest about the materials used. They artists do not try and disguise any of the components by painting, plastering or trompe l'oeil. The paper remains paper, dirt is dirt and the string is just that. All the while the whole remains beautiful and evocative.

Disguise is increasingly a big bugbear of mine. I find myself siding with the Arts and Crafts movement and their mantra of 'Truth to materials'.

Friday, 7 June 2013


Awesome graphic designer Kilian Eng has been working as a concept artist on the new film KOYAKATSI by Ayoub Qanir. The trailer for the film went online this week and I must say it looks stunning. It features fashionably geometric dystopian architecture, retro cars and a robot cat that looks like he snuck out of a Roger Dean painting. Eng's work is clearly visible in the set designs, although his typical use of 80s electro hues is replaced by a very desaturated palette.

KOYAKATSI from Ayoub Qanir on Vimeo.