Debate Craft

Presidential debates amount to little more than performance art.  They aren’t likely to reveal how effective a President this or that candidate would be, only who is better (on a given night) at the craft of Presidential debate.

Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Story of WWII GIs

In fact, the title of this post should really be “The Story of G.I. Joe,” since that’s the name of the 1945 film that inspired it.  But, I didn’t want a cursory glance at the title to conjure images of the popular toy franchise (or recent action flicks) of which this film has no association whatever.  There are a few reasons why I wanted to share this movie with you.  The secondary reason is that among the many WWII films that came out around the time of, and shortly after the war, this one stands apart as offering a more sober look at what many of the ground troops endured.  Rather than glorifying combat or individual heroics, the focus here is on the hardship and daily toils of an infantryman in 1943.  A couple of historically significant battles are featured as well.

Another thing, and probably the main impetus behind this blog post, has to do with borrowing of artistic elements.  Most critics and creators of content understand that art (almost invariably) borrows from art.  How truly original is any work of art really, be it film, video games, architecture or painting?  Close scrutiny of just about any creation reveals that at least some elements of it were probably borrowed or inspired by someone or something else.  Oftentimes there is cross-pollination among the various art mediums as well.  And I think most would agree this is an acceptable and natural order of things.  The challenging part is to navigate the gray areas such that consumers and critics can identify the critical difference between ‘borrowing’ …and outright theft of an artistic vision, subject or style.

Why bring this up?  It’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for some time; and I’ve actually got much more to say than will end up in this post.  But here seemed a good place to start.  When I have time in the future I’d like to explore the subject in even greater depth, in the realm of film and video games.

In any case, I’d like to set the tone here by presenting “The Story of G.I. Joe,” directed by William Wellman, as something that likely inspired many later films.  One in particular that comes to mind is the modern classic “Saving Private Ryan.”  If you enjoyed that 1998 movie, and appreciate the process of filmmaking, it’s worth watching “The Story of G.I. Joe” just to notice the various sets and shots that appear to have inspired the latter film.  If I am right in judging that some of these elements were borrowed then the manner in which they were used (I think) offers a good example of how to borrow an element and reuse it appropriately for a new (and original) artistic creation.

As a noteworthy aside, it’s worth pointing out that Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” went on to inspire many other films (even non-conflict films) with its creative use of visual post-processing/D.I..  And so the cycle continues.

When I find the time to explore this topic further, I’d like to look at examples in various mediums where borrowing and reuse were either taken right up to the invisible line, or crossed altogether.  There are certain to be specific examples wherein someone else’s original work or idea was clearly stolen without license or due credit.  And I happen to think for the sake of content creators and consumers this is no good.  When this happens, the offender should either show they have properly licensed the work or idea, reveal that proper credit was given, apologize for any theft and make amends… or face public ridicule and shame.

More on all that later.  (Perhaps).

See Also: Fessic’s list of Favorite Movies

Published in: on April 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Art of Life

“The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure much”

William Hazlitt

Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 9:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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vladstudioDesktop Wallpaper is a little like music; it can set the mood as you toil away.  And if you spend a lot of time in front of the computer it can also serve as a fun, refreshing or inspirational diversion as you move from one task to another.  I’ve been a wallpaper connoisseur for years now but few artists have captured my attention like Vlad Gerasimov.  His works bear a distinct art style that just gushes whimsy and (in many cases) genuine emotion.  Explore new worlds with a gamut of cute little characters.

High quality versions are available to subscribers, though you can still get slightly lower quality images for Free.  A variety of screen resolutions are supported as well, including most modern widescreens.  While you’re over there you can check out some of the neat extras as well, such as Wallpaper Clocks, E-Cards and physical posters of some of his more popular works.

Visit Vladstudio

Published in: on January 4, 2009 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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The World of Mr Toast

world-of-mr-toastMr Toast lives in a simple world, with simple problems, pleasant pastimes and a fun cast of endearing characters.  It’s hard to resist the charming art style of Mr Toast and friends as they go about their lives in nicely illustrated single-frame comics, brought to you by the talented Dan Goodsell.  A visit to the website will instantly transport you to another world reminiscant of a children’s book (that’s fit for all ages).  I recommend starting out in the Comics section, which takes you on journey through the many adventures of Mr Toast and his good pal Joe the Egg, who meet up with several other interesting characters along the way.  From there you can explore some of the other art, animations and offerings featured on one of the most pleasant landing pages I’ve seen in a while.

Published in: on December 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Art of Silence

“Better to remain silent and to be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”

Abraham Lincoln

Published in: on September 5, 2008 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Analogy of an Artist

“In his work, the artist should be like God in creation: invisible and all-powerful.  He should be felt everywhere and seen nowhere”

Gustave Flaubert

Published in: on August 13, 2008 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Drawing the Line

“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere”

G.K. Chesterton

Published in: on August 6, 2008 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bennett Robot Works

The robots are here.  Not to take over the world, but rather to decorate it…for now.  These cleverly designed artistic sculptures depict the kind of robots you might imagine tooling around our homes thirty years from now taking care of chores and walking the dog.  They don’t actually function mind you but if you ask me these little guys are some of the most endearing little robots around.  Each one is hand crafted by Gordon Bennett and comes with a custom Plate ID tag.  While you may not be able to afford an original it’s a lot of fun just browsing through the collection.  Which one would you pick?

Visit Bennett Robot Works

Published in: on July 21, 2008 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beauty and Age

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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