Thursday, August 30, 2007

david lynch on worldbuilding in film and nature and culture

"A sense of place is so critical in cinema, because you want to go into another worl. Every story has it's own world, and it's own feel, and it's own mood. So you try to put together all these things-these little details-to create that sense of place."

"When you see an aging building or a rusted bridge, you are seeing nature and man working together. If you paint over a building, there is no more magic to that building. But if it's allowed to age, then man has built it and nature has added to it-it's so organic.

But often people wouldn't think to permit that, except for scenic designers."

-David Lynch in Catching the Big Fish

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

beauty and final truth

"What Capa's photograph shows is a truth-a common, terrible, and therefore important truth. But again, does this mean the picture is beautiful? Is Truth Beauty and vice versa? The answer, as Keats knew, depends on the truth about which we are talking. For a truth to be beautiful, it must be complete, the full and final Truth. And that, in turn, leads me to a definition of beauty linked unavoidably to belief."
-Robert Adams, Beauty in Photography

I like what he says here: beauty is final truth. Beauty is eschatological truth, what all of nature groans after, the world as it should be, and as it shall be.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 13, 2007

Simplicity and humility in photography

(Photo by David D, click to see flickr page)

I recently found the book Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values by Robert Adams. The title alone was enough to pique my interest, but I've heard it recommended somewhere, anyway, I just started reading it, and I highly recommend it.

"To remind ourselves of the significance of grace in photography-of the importance of seeming to do the job easily- we need only to examine a copy of a mass circulation photography magazine. Most of the pictures suggest embarrassing strain; odd angles, extreme lenses, and eccentric darkroom techniques reveal a struggle to substitute shock and technology for sight. How many photographers of importance, after all, have relied on long telephoto lenses? Instead their work is usually marked by an economy of means, an apparently everyday sort of relationship with their subject."

My friend David's photo above is a good example of the 'economy of means' Adams speaks of in this passage.

On the same subject is an essay by the late Ingmar Bergman's Cinematographer Sven Nykvist, excerpts are read in the latest Image Method Podcast. He was a strikingly humble man, though his work is outstanding. This is refreshing to see in the century of the self-deified artist.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ernest Adams on RPGs

"You may have heard John F. Kennedy’s joke that Washington D.C. is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm. Well, in my opinion most RPG’s combine the pulse-pounding excitement of a business simulation with the intellectual challenge of a shooter. I play games of medieval adventure and heroism to slay princesses and rescue dragons; I don’t play them to spend two-thirds of my time dickering with shopkeepers. I want to be a hero, but the game forces me to be an itinerant second-hand arms dealer. Earning money by robbing corpses doesn’t make me feel all that noble, either."

-Ernest Adams in his 1998 "Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!" article.

Labels: ,