Omnaris on the March


When I first saw John Lasseter’s Toy Story when it came out, I must admit to being rather bored until the sequence when Woody sends the toy soldiers out on a reconnaissance mission; all of a sudden, the film came alive and I realized that, yes, computer animation had (artistically speaking) arrived. Obviously, the people making the new Omnaris nasal spray commercial posted below felt much the same way and modeled it on the very same sequence.

For an analytic look at the Onmaris spot, check out this article in The Christian Science Monitor by Marshall Blonsky, “a cultural critic who teaches semiotics at New School University.”

3D Cinema is Art’s New Renaissance

James Cameron's Avatar

While part of the animation blogosphere has been agitated by the apparent resemblance between James Cameron’s Avatar and Marc Adler’s Delgo (see here and here), Jonathan Jones’ On Art Blog for The Guardian uses the film’s impending release to make a rather bold statement on the importance of stereoscopic movies. He feels that the technology’s ability to provide an “unprecedented depth of field it creates and the convincing sense of looking not at a flat screen, but into a world of solid forms in real space” is a artistic revolution comparable to the Renaissance.

In the 15th century, artists discovered how to paint bodies and landscapes as if they had depth and solidity. Painting triumphed over the flat surface to create the illusion of a real scene glimpsed through the square enclosure of the wooden panel or canvas, as if you were watching a play on a stage.

The effect was just as dazzling, just as unexpected as 3D cinema–and it has lasted a lot longer than the gimmicks of 1950s science fiction. Visitors to the National Gallery stand fascinated by the illusion of a real room, with real shadows, depth–even real air–in Jan van Eyck’s painting the Arnolfini portrait [see below].

Arnolfini portrait by Jan van Eyck

The Animation of Alexeïeff DVD

The Animation of Alexeieff DVD cover

A new DVD release of interest from Facets The Animation of Alexeïeff  featuring  the pinscreen films of Alexeïeff and his wife Claire Parker, including such famed shorts as Night on Bare Mountain (1933) and The Nose (1963), along with commercials and documentaries, including The Pinscreen (Norman McLaren, 1973), as well as Jacques Droulin’s Mindscape, a National Film Board of Canada film made using Alexeïeff and Parker’s pinscreen (which ended up at the NFB). The set, in English and French, appears to be the same as now out-of-print ones previously available in the UK (Animation Works of Alexander Alexeieff ) and France (Le cinéma épinglé), which are both now out-of-print.