Saturday, September 30, 2006

Alfred in the news...

This seems to be from some kind of children's news, I'll find out on monday...or maybe you know more than me.
Anyway, its about the printing of the first comicbooks and the performance of "Ente gut, alles gut" in Soest.
Enjoy, H

Sunday, September 24, 2006

German Film School, Berlin

The whole week, teaching....seeya later, H

My heart's bleeding, Terry Gilliam is in Frankfurt presenting Tideland at the Edit-Festival and I can't be there. Oh those bloody Germans and their manic sense of obligation. And I'm one of them...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Das Parfum

So, I've seen "Das Parfum", yesterday. Great pictures, great camera, great costumes, great sets but altogether very disappointing. After a gorgeous, marvellous start( The monsterbaby-sequence is great), I became less and less interested in Grenouille himself, couldn't share his obsession for a second, and how should that be possible, if everything you are supposed to believe and understand is told to you by tons of voice-over-narration. There is nothing left of the demonic Grenouille from the book, ( The baby is a hundred times scarier ), but this guy feels more like a retarded Kaspar Hauser-like idiot, and that embarrasing tear running down his cheek to conveniently redeem him in the end ultimatly kills the character for me. He should be a revolting chap,almost Gollum-like, with a fascinating, paranormal gift and the ultimate wish to be loved by everybody, for his soul, despite of his abnormity ( think : The Elephantman) but this is the big mistake the script makes : Here Grenouille doesn't want to be loved and accepted, his goal is to create and conserve the ultimate smell, in other words : the filmakers replace a quest of the heart for a scientific one of the brain.

Consequently the ending doesn't work: Instead of being loved to death by the crowds - at what should have been his execution-and that would be the only place to do it, the characters darkest hour- he causes a poonah-ashram-megaorgy , but he's not the center of it, but just a spectator... In some parts the movie wishes to play alongside "silence of the lambs", especially the -cooking the ladies-parts, but Grenouille can't hold a candle to good ol' Hannibal Lectar, who truly, in all his villainess , is a fascinating character.

Dustin Hoffman is great ( unimaginable , what he would have done with the role in his prime ) and his sequence is the nicest one to watch, he portrays a sad, pathetic character past his prime, I absolutly can identitfy with, at least he has a goal, he struggling for survival, whereas ,...ah you know what I mean, his comic death is totally out of place and destroys the atmosphere of the movie once and for all- just plain ,, bad directing.. whereas Alan Rickman's character is portrayed as a rationalist, obsessive father, who votes for a systemetical police-operation to capture the monster, badmouthing the supersticious methods of the church, but then he inconsequently leaves his palace and home, threatens to destroy his daughter's life, because of a bad dream. Why ? Because it looks good ! And here's another thing I can't believe : Grasse is a village right ? A village specialized on the perfume-making-trade , right ? They find corpses of young woman, with shaved heads and perfumer's fat on their bodis and inspite of the fact, that everybody in town is dealing with perfumes one way or the other and knows the trade inside out nobody concludes, there could be a perfumer behind it ? Maybe that strange genius that everybody knows and finds awkward,and why for heaven's sake can't they find the murderer anyway , this is not Manhattan, mind you ! And what I didn't get, did he treat the girls on the spot, I mean in church or on the marketsquare, or why is it, that they find their corpses there and their hair and clothes buried in his backyard, or could it be, that, again, it simply looks good to put a naked girl in front of an altar ? My guess is, they wanted that shot, most of the time the movie feels like its makers used the novel to create stunning pictures, rather than believable characters and a compelling story. I think ultimatly it comes down to the old problem, if people (and producers ) want to create an event , something everybody talks about, well most of the times, this is what you get). Anyway, it wasn't exactly an evening wasted, still good entertainment and a feast for the eyes, go check out for yourself, H

Friday, September 15, 2006

More sketchbookstuff from the 80's

This must have been around 85 or somewhere. I had developed the habit to listen a lot to German Chansons, what we call Liedermacher over here, probably because they were telling little 3 act stories in their songs, sometimes silly sometimes full of pathos. I was using their lyrics as a source of inspiration, I was kinda listening for cues, illustrating their songs or people from them.I was, without thinking, doing little character design studies. This again "just happend", I never thought about it as a concept, I was just desparatly looking for things to draw, and I always preferred stuff from my imagination rather than drawing existing people , mimicing styles or doing landscapes. I never was or will be a great draftsman. Anyway, this habit led, and you will witness that, as we go on, ( yes, there will be more of this old stuff, since I have nothing else to blog, being under disclosure from various projects for more than a year, now ) finally led to Alfred Kwak, a character that I first met on a record as well, he will sneak his way into the sketchbooks bit by bit.
Enough talk, enjoy, H

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It was 20 years ago today ....

...or more even.
Cleaning out the attic I found these old sketchbooks from 84/85. I was in my early 20's then. Thought you might enjoy a walk down memorylane with me. I was really, really having fun doing these, I was drawing constantly, on the train, in front of the TV, having breakfast, was like a newly discovered playground, unlike today I was drawing not for money, just for fun. This was about the time that I discovered, how much fun it was to go really wild and over the top, and that I would get away with doing roughs instead of clean, finished paintings and at the same time I was accomplishing a certain security about the whole process, not least through peoples positive reactions on things that I had kept for myself until then.
Here we go :

Does anybody remember this french version of the Jeckyll and Hyde-story,"The Testament Of Dr. Cordelier" by Jean Renoir and the brilliant pantomimelike-acting by Jean Luis Barreault in both roles ?Well, I do ...

Maggie was big back then.

Christian Schellewald LA<>SF

Christian Schellewald, art director on OVER THE HEDGE and incredibly gifted production designer, has published a sketchbook with some of his LA , San Francisco sketches. The book is available through amazon under the above link. It's a must have. Amazing artwork, simply brilliant. Funny enough, Christian and I go wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy back and even went to school together, (school, mind you, not art school,... but that too ), and we shared a studio in Düsseldorf ( The notorious MadT.Party ) for a while.

Anyway, Christian is an amazing talent, go and check his book out.

Tutto Bozzetto ( o quasi )

A nice collector's box, with the complete work ( or almost) of the Italian master-animator, incl. the masterpiece "Allegro non troppo", *Vip my brother the superman*, "The wild wild west" and the shorts, The *Signor Rossi* -TV-series is available in an extra box, pick it if you haven't already....I bought mine in Annecy and inspired an awful lot of students with it.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Remember ?
I showed you some sketches in May ?
I finally got around to do the clean up, having a day off between jobs, I'm not kidding !
( Not counting my vacation, of course )

For my younger readers : Kwak was appointed Unicef Ambassador for Austria earlier this year .

Herman sagt....

Read all about it on Herman's own Weblog under the above link.

Thank you, Stefanie for the rehearsal-pic.

You got mail ....

The German mail will send out Kwak-parcels to young families next year. I spent the last week or two doing a lot of illustrations for that.


Ich sach ma nix .
Just click the link....