The Fox

The Fox

Another post, another vintage book cover!

This timeless, stunningly beautiful Illustration is taken from a Bantam Books edition of D. H. Lawrence’s Novella “The Fox” – though the artwork was originally produced for the 1967 movie adaption starring Kier Dullea, an actor most famously known for playing a certain Dave Bowman… so there’s your Sci-Fi connection!.

D. H. Lawrence’s story of sexual identity center’s around a female couple struggling to run an isolated farmstead with it’s small chicken population under the constant shadow of a raiding fox. The couples life is then disrupted further with the return of Paul, who used to live and work on the farm, and his offer to help out and put things straight… One of the film’s tag lines is “The Fox … symbol of the male”

Though I haven’t read the book I have seen the screen adaption which I’m guessing these days would rank as fairly hard-to-find, it’s  a great film, low-key and very subtle with chilling winter cinematography.

Not a sniff of an original trailer anywhere to be found, so here’s a link straight to imdb.com as always look out for spoilers!!  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062990/

Just for the record, I’ll add that this probably one of my favourite pieces of Graphic Art ever – In fact I’m lucky enough to own an original version of the UK Movie Poster – as for the artist or (artist’s I should say) I’m pretty certain it’s Leo & Diane Dillon – but I need to dig out the poster and confirm!

2001: A Space Odyssey – Addendum

Harry Lange - 2001 Concept Art

I thought I’d add a quick post as an addendum to previous 2001 Space Odyssey post’s I featured late last year – http://www.sci-fi-o-rama.com/2008/12/10/2001-a-space-odyssey-1/ & http://www.sci-fi-o-rama.com/2008/12/11/2001-a-space-odyssey-2/
basically here’s a collection of further reading / Cool stuff.

First up some links regarding the late Harry Lange a former NASA Illustrator whom Kubrick employed due to his extensive astronautical design experience. Harry helped to produce authentic prop and set designs, a sample of his concept art is above.

Read about Harry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Lange_(film_designer) and via his official site here: http://www.harry-lange.org.uk/index.html which has a page dedicated to all the major book’s on Kubrick’s masterpiece http://www.harry-lange.org.uk/products/products.html

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Also of major interest and extremely cool: Joe Mackenzie’s nicely designed tribute site http://www.halproject.com/ which includes the chance to download your very own Hal-9000 screen saver! basically whilst running it will show random samplings of the HAL 9000 monitor animations, very authentic and strangely calming… it’s available for Mac or PC and it’s completely Free!

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And finally… I came across these well rendered 2001 Desktop Icon’s at zyotism.com… So you can now have one of the Discovery’s Pod’s as your Hard Drive Icon! http://www.zyotism.com/aesthetics/iconsets/2001/index.html

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Update: April 2009 –  More Resources / Interest at http://www.simonatkinsoncreativearts.com/ – Thanks for the tip Simon!

Les Maîtres du temps

Les Maîtres du temps

Les Maîtres du temps

Les Maîtres du temps

These spindly and fragile looking spacecraft are still’s taken from the 1982 French Animated Film ‘Les Maîtres du temps’ (The Masters of Time, a.k.a. Time Masters) directed by René Laloux and designed by Moebius. I have to admit that I’d never actually heard of this until I saw it featured over on Eric Carl’s excellent Blog.Sans-Concept.

Full post here: http://blog.sans-concept.com/?p=293 and check the full stills set at: http://flickr.com/photos/mr_carl/sets/72157612581774973/

In my opinion, pretty much any French Sci-Fi automatically qualifies as extremely interesting, and ‘Les Maîtres du temps’ certainley fit’s the bill! Also worthy of more reading; the career of Animator & Director René Laloux (July 13, 1929–March 13, 2004) most famous for ‘La Planète Sauvage,’ (Fantastic Planet 1973). Check his wonderfully bizarre 1965 Short film ‘Les Escargots’ : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiXn6d13YC0 a parable of Nuclear Holocaust?

Aliens Storyboards (1)

[nggallery id=2]

Before I start I’d like to point out all material is sourced via this amazing Aliens tribute site: http://aliensarchive.tripod.com/home.html. Though it doesn’t appear to have been updated for a some time it’s still extremely extensive, with script revisions, FX info and costume design and detailing – a must read!

So with regards to this post… here we have a small selection of storyboard frames from everybody’s favourite “Vietnam in Space” movie: Aliens – (Directed James Cameron, 1986). Theses samples are taken from across several drafts I believe and were illustrated by artists Roger Dear, Maciek Piotrowski and Denis Rich, apparently these scan’s are taken from the films Laser Disc Release, although full versions (copies?) of the storyboard do crop occasionally on ebay. The first thing you notice is just how close to the final film print they actually are, you can almost hear them! I’ve tried to arrange them in chronological order from top left and across –  I’m not sure the final “fueling” thumbnail (bottom row) made it into the film.

As for the film itself, well I think there’s a fair chance that if your reading this you’ve probably seen it more than once. Better than Ridley Scott’s original? well it’s hardly worth arguing over as both will forever be tagged as visionary film making. As for the sequels? Alien 3 nullifies the events of it’s predecessor and ultimately pails into insignificance, though Fincher’s effort does have it’s merits including some great sets and very nifty camera work. Ressurection as with 3 is best enjoyed when you remove all thought’s of the first two movies, it’s watchable nonsense which is more than can be said for you know what….

Here’s a funny clip giving you a insight into James Cameron’s thoughts on that which is unmentionable: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aKnS7CGWNmU

Ridley Scott’s Storyboard for Alien is here: http://www.sci-fi-o-rama.com/2008/08/26/alien-storyboards/

2001: A Space Odyssey (2)

2001: A Space Odyssey - Star Gate

2001: A Space Odyssey - Star Gate

2001: A Space Odyssey - Star Gate

Another 3 shots from Kubrick’s Masterpiece, this time from the simply astonishing “Star Gate” sequence. These stills hardly do it justice, and neither does a youtube clip, however here’s a quick reminder http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=m6yAEvnoCPs

The special effect to create this animated sequence was of course mechanical (not digital) and is called Slit-Scan Photography, I’d never heard of it before either!

Here’s a link to a Wiki overview http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slit-scan_photography and an article on how to achieve the effect with a large format camera http://people.rit.edu/andpph/text-slit-scan.html

2001: A Space Odyssey (1)

Bowman in pod

Frank in the pod

Poole Helmet Reflection

A selection of 3 screen grabs Taken from Stanley Kubrick’s genre defining 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 40yrs + it’s never been bettered in terms of artistic merit or design, for me this will always be THE Science Fiction Movie, a spectacle indeed, though not always riveting entertainment in the mould of so much other classic Sci-fi, it is however a brooding experience like no other. Personally I feel it’s almost better to watch and marvel the drawn out acts separately rather than one long sitting, make your own remix…

Warning – Possible Spoilers!

The above images relate to Franks Poole’s ill fated attempt to replace the broken/not broken AE35 Unit, I didn’t realise until recent re-watch that Kubrick used the famous helmet reflection trick on both astronauts and not just Dave Bowman – so here’s a little tribute to Franks last EVA. Interestingly though if one follows Arthur C Clarke’s Canon, 2001, 2010, 2061 and 3001 – the final book actually see’s the 1000 year frozen body of Poole being plucked from deep space, defrosted and brought back to life ALA Buck Rogers! now there’s a plot device…

2001’s greatest scene? a tough one of course, but for me, well it’s Bowman’s psych out trip – “My god it’s full of stars” – chillingly punctuated with brief flash’s of the terrified astronaut, 500 million miles alone and utterly helpless, a rabbit caught in the headlights of oblivion. Suffice to say, 2001 is as supremely powerful and otherworldly today as it was upon release in 1968…

One final note for a test, whats the primary font used to for Status/Error messages on all consoles?… clue is: its visable in this post……