Week 42 – Alfred Hitchcock

Many consider Alfred Hitchcock among the best and most influential filmmakers in history. If you’d ask me, I’d say he was the best. And it all boils down to one movie: The Birds.

The Scariest Movie of all Time

I haven’t seen a lot of Hitchcock’s films. Only the most famous ones: Vertigo, Psycho, Read Window, The Birds, and potentially North by Northwest. (I’m not really sure about the last one). I saw The Birds for the first time around 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve considered it as the scariest movie of all time.

As a kid, I’ve been used to watch horror movies from a quite young age, thanks to a father who has always been obsessed with horror. Contrarily to my brother, I never caught that same horror movie obsession. Maybe this is because I’ve been exposed from a young age to the horror genre and been explained I shouldn’t be afraid because it’s not real. Thus, I find most well-known horror movies to be frankly quite boring, very cliché, predictable and mostly… NOT scary. There are a few exceptions, but they are rare.

Why I think that Hitchcock and The Birds are the Best

The Birds is one of those exceptions. Watching the movie itself is not really scary. In many ways, the movie hasn’t aged well. One could easily argue that it’s a relatively slow and boring movie, with outdated visual effects, uninteresting characters and a scenario filled with plot holes. But there’s one thing that “The Birds” does better than any other movie I’ve ever seen: it builds tension to a point where it leaves you with a fear of birds.

Continue reading “Week 42 – Alfred Hitchcock”

Collectible Minifigures Seris 19 and Minidolls

It’s been already a month that the new CMF series has been officially out (and more unofficially)… Yet it seems like yesterday to me.

Because Boris received the box of minifigs late, we decided to not proceed with our usual crowd review of the series. Still, Boris asked if one of us wanted a full series to review.

My first reaction was “no”. From the images available online, I wasn’t particularly excited about this series. There were a couple of cool minifigs I wanted, but I wasn’t feeling like photographing the 16 minifigures. To me, the series was too focused on new accessories and some of the minifigures were rather “meh” once the accessories removed.

But then I thought… What about focusing on these new accessories and see how many of them I can reuse for my LEGO Elves photography? So I ended up saying yes. But somehow it still took a full month. First the Swedish or Finnish (or both?) has been slow. Then I got on the same day the Gingerbread House which got prioritized. And then it took longer than I expected to gather all the photos I wanted and come up with a (rather lengthy) blog post.

In this (rather late) review of series 19, I will focus on the accessories that inspired me for my LEGO Elves photography, and more generally to use with Minidolls. There are however quite many accessories I didn’t use. These include generic accessories that didn’t spark a flame, new ones I didn’t care about, new ones I like but don’t fit my Elves, and most animals as they actually don’t need to be used alongside another figure.

Continue reading “Collectible Minifigures Seris 19 and Minidolls”

Week 41 – Jane Goodall

For this week of SiPgoes53, our human being is Jane Goodall. She’s probably the most famous primatologist.

She is most well-known for observing the social and family life of chimpanzees and noticing that like human beings, they are able to have individual personalities and emotions. As SiPgoes53 is about humanity, Jane Goodall is an important reminder that what we consider as human behavior can also be found among other animals. In particular with chimpanzees, she also found out that they were able to make tools. This was revolutionary as at that time, the ability to produce tools was used as a separation between humans and animals.

For this week, my little Elves are playing dragonologists. Or is it the dragon playing Elvologist?

SiP Card Exchange 2019

Summer is reaching an end in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in the North, temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter fast. Last week, the first snow fell in Northern Lapland, and with a bit of luck, the first snowfall could happen in less than a month here in Oulu…

I’m thrilled and excited at the idea of winter coming. It’s for me the start of the toy photography season. I recently ordered a pair of photography gloves for winter and now I’m left waiting for winter to come so I can try them.

I’m also excited about winter because it’s going to be time for our now traditional card exchange. It’s a precious experience to spend time making a photo, printing it and sending it. And then receiving cards from all around the world.

So to occupy myself while waiting for the snow, I decided to already start with the preparation for this year’s card exchange. While there is still plenty of time, I decided to make this post so those who are as excited as I am can already register and start thinking about the photo for their card.

Gingermamma and Gingerpappa are waiting for this year’s card exchange while enjoying a subset of the cards we received last year from Natasja, Stacy, Caro and Mathieu, Elena, Bennett, and Sacha.
Continue reading “SiP Card Exchange 2019”

The Gingerbread House

A few weeks ago, Boris told me about the opportunity to review a LEGO Creator Expert set part of the Amusement Park series. I was a bit surprised as these used to be released in spring, and after the Roller Coaster, I wasn’t expecting something else in that series.

Nevertheless, I decided to accept the challenge. I had no idea what the set was, and was afraid it would be another set too big to easily transport outside. But I thought that if that was the case, then it would force me to take some indoor studio photos for a change.

Fast forward one or two weeks later, I get a shipping notification from our friends at LEGO. Two hours later, once back from work, I see on multiple LEGO news websites the official announcement for the new Creator gingerbread house. So it meant the set that had just been shipped from Billund was actually the gingerbread house.

I was partly disappointed (no new amusement ride for my city) and partly relieved (no struggle finding a place a place for it in the city). I was also partly excited (winter is coming!) and partly scared… It will take a few weeks before the first snow comes here in the North. This meant I had no choice and would have to put my (rusty) indoor photography skills to the test.

Continue reading “The Gingerbread House”

Week 37 – Nicole Kidman

This week’s human being of SiPgoes53 is Nicole Kidman.

This week I realized how much time has passed since we came up with our list of human beings. To be honest, I couldn’t really remember for which reason we chose her.

Without a doubt, Nicole Kidman is an iconic Hollywood actress… But trying to think about photo ideas, my memory failed me. I had a hard time remembering in which movie she played in, despite a rather long list of movie appearance on Wikipedia. I could remember her in Betwitched (in my opinion, a quite forgettable movie) and as the bad gal in Paddington (that one I can warmly recommend). And of course Moulin Rouge.

So my idea for this week was to have my little Elves open a cabaret in the forest and start dancing cancan… But somehow, no matter how much they tried, it seems no minidoll could figure out how to do it.

No cancan for Aria but at least she found the proper clothes for dancing. Now she needs to figure out how to move her legs…

The Elves’ Treehouse

Last month, I got the chance to take part in a photo collaboration with LEGO on the new LEGO Ideas Treehouse. Thus, I got the opportunity to build and photograph this beauty before it was publicly unveiled. And it ended up being quite a surprise. (That said, it wasn’t the total surprise I was excepting. Like most people, I saw the leaked images that were circulating online while the set was on its way to Finland.)

Continue reading “The Elves’ Treehouse”

The Best of the LEGO Jurassic World 2019 sets

I went to Denmark with a rather detailed (and long) list of the sets I wanted to buy while visiting the P-Shop. On top of that list, the complete series of new Jurassic World sets. I’ve spent my summer with all of them in my backpack. I even went on a road trip along the coast of Helgeland with them.

One of my first photo with the new Triceratops, taken during our fun challenge #ToyPhotographersDoItBetterTogether on the last day, in collaboration with @gehrkesven.

In this post, I want to share what inspires me photographically in the following sets:

I won’t go into all the details but focus on what I liked to photograph. If you’re looking for a full-fledge review, you can probably find one on Brickset which list both text and video reviews.

Continue reading “The Best of the LEGO Jurassic World 2019 sets”

Week 28 – Isabella Andreini

Isabella Andreini is one of the most famous actresses from the Italian Renaissance. She entered the troupe “I Gelosi”, performed in front of the nobility of Italy and France, and eventually led the company. The stock character “Isabella” of the commedia dell’arte was named in her honor after her death.

Why Isabella?

When we came up with the list of human beings for #SiPgoes53, Isabella was one of the last to make the list. As the list was almost complete, we were still missing a few names. We wanted, in particular, to add diversity to the list. One art form that was missing in our list was the more traditional acting. We had plenty of cinema actors, but no actor from before the age of the cinema.

The first two obvious choices would have been Shakespeare and Molière. Having always preferred comedy over tragedy, my personal preference leaned towards Molière. But then, I thought about the commedia dell’arte which was a major source of influence of Molière. Moreover, Isabella was among the first female comedians, something rare at that time as it was considered disgraceful for a woman to act and female roles were usually portrayed by men.

Continue reading “Week 28 – Isabella Andreini”