The next film in the series is John Huston's Treasure of the Sierra Madre from 1948. This on stars Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt, and Walter Huston. It's mostly a classic pulpy adventure about treasure hunting, with comic book style genre stereotypes (Mexican Bandits, surly treasure hunters, superstitious but noble native indians). What makes the film more interesting though is the tension that hovers beneath the surface. Suspicion and greed are the main themes of the movie. The film was also meant as a Marxist critique on American capitalism shown through Bogarts portrayal of the paranoid and sociopathic Dobbs (considered one of Bogarts best performances) and his pursuit of wealth. With this one I was trying do away with as much line as I could, building the image mostly out of flat shapes and bold colors as to play up the expressionistic atmosphere and psychological component of the film, and also as a bit of an homage to classic Hollywood posters.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The latest Illustration for my film series is from the movie The Misfits (1961) directed by John Huston, and starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift, and written by famed play write Arthur Miller (Monroe's then husband) The plot revolves around Monroe's character moving to Reno the get a divorce, where she falls in with local cowboys, and struggles to accept the ugliness and brutality (the unromantic realism) of the world as she sees it. The film itself is fairly flawed, the writing is subtle and intelligent, but overstated and over dramatized by big Hollywood actors.
As well, Houston was more suited for pulpy genre flicks like Key Largo, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. That said the film looks great, with many stunningly shot scenes. What is more interesting about the film is the back-story. This would be the last film that Monroe or Gable would make, the both died within the year (Gables wife would go on to blame Monroe for Gables death due to the stress she brought to the set via her struggle with drug addiction at the time). When Marilyn was a child, she would claim that Gable was her father. (She was and orphan.) One of the main themes of the plot is troubled marriage, Miller wrote this for Monroe specifically, and during production their own marriage was failing, they would be divorced before the films premier. In a final twist, years later on the night Clift suffered a heart attack and died, The Misfits was playing as a late night movie on television, which his secretary had earlier invited him to watch.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
This is the new piece from my ongoing film series. This image is for the1963 horror movie, The Haunting (not to be confused with it's
awful 1999 remake of the same name) The plot is a basic haunted house story, but the tension is built around psychological drama, and the tension between the characters. The ghost never makes a physical appearance, but reveals itself through sounds, and bizarre events that may or my not be an actual ghost. So, classical means like dramatic camera angles, deliberate pacing, and character development are at the heart of the tension, basically
making an early blueprint for movies like the shinning, a film which also relies on indicating the supernatural as a way of enhancing the personal drama, rather than revealing it by means of dazzling special effects. In the illustration I focused on the mirrors, as the director put in almost every room large mirrors, and in many shots the action can be seen playing out between the characters, but also in the reflections of the mirrors, as if the house was reflecting their own anxieties back to them in the form of the supernatural.