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 One could easily argue that it’s a relatively slow and boring movie, with outdated visual effects, uninteresting characters and a scenario filled with plot holes.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”

Week 14 – Robin Williams

For the first week of April, our human being is Robin Williams. Comedian and actor, he has played in many iconic films.

The comedian

He started as a stand-up comedian in the Bay Area during the 70s. Then began performing on TV and in movies in the 80s. It’s with Good Morning Vietnam, for which he got a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor, that he became a renown actor. He won and got nominations to the Academy Awards for many of his appearances in movies in the next years. Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Good Will Hunting.

Other well-known roles in Hollywood blockbusters include Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Flubber, the Bicentennial Man or Night at the Museum.

Besides his career as a standup comedian and an actor in live-action movies, he also performed as a voice for animated characters. Most notably, he is the iconic voice of Aladdin‘s Genie. He also gave his voice to the robot of one former attraction at Disneyland, the Timekeeper.

The man

Besides being an incredible comedian, Robin Williams also had a life with struggles. Before becoming a movie star, he developed an addiction to cocaine. Following the trauma of the death of John Belushi from an overdose, Williams decided to stop drugs. He started cycling and developed a passion for it. Later he admitted it saved him.

However, in the 2000s, he started drinking again. He was also someone suffering from severe depression which led him to end his life in 2014.

Robin Williams in SiPgoes53

To me, Robin Williams is one of those iconic actors from the 90s. It’s one of the persons on our list that yells “nostalgia” at me. As much as I love Dead Poets Society (try to not cry before the end of the movie), if I had to choose a single of Robin Williams’ roles for toy photography, it would be Hook.

Directed by Spielberg (another human being of SiPgoes53), the film act as a sequel to Peter Pan. Williams portraits an adult version of Peter who has forgotten about his past life, is married, work and has children. However, he has to go back to Neverland to save his children kidnapped by Captain Hook, portrayed by another fabulous actor, Dustin Hoffman. A wonderful critique of adult life and a story about how much we need to keep our inner child alive.

In addition to the great cast (which also includes fabulous actors such as Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, and Maggie Smith) and a beautiful soundtrack (composed by no one else than John Williams), the movie is visually stunning. It has that kind of atmosphere screaming “Adventure!” that makes me want to play with my toys in front of a camera.

But what will you create this week? Will you also take inspiration from one of Williams’ roles? Or maybe the more serious aspects of his life? Or you will look for something more remote, like the name of his daughter inspired by a famous video game princess?

In any case, don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Robin_Williams!

Week 7 – Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson is a well-known American filmmaker and I’m really excited we have his name on the list of SiPgoes53. For me, he is one of the greatest directors of the beginning of this century.

He’s the director (and the writer) of The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel. A lot of actors are coming back in a lot of his movies: Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Andrien Brody and Rob Balaban. Watching a new movie of Wes Anderson is like going on a joyful family meeting once a year!

Isle of Dogs

He makes movies with real actors but also stop-motion movies, that is close to the toy universe (from my point of view at least): Fantastic Mister Fox and Isle of Dogs, released last year. If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend you watch them, no matter your age, you will probably love both movies.

Continue reading “Week 7 – Wes Anderson”

Week 4 – Marilyn Monroe

From last week´s natural scientist and great observer Charles Darwin to this week´s person for our challenge, it may seem a long way- yet it´s just a week. Let´s put our hands together for an actress, a singer, a model and a film producer.

Welcome Norma Jeane

Human being of the week for #SiPgoes53 was born as Norma Jeane Mortensen in 1962. Many will know her baptismal name, Baker, better. And probably everyone will know her as Marilyn Monroe.

Continue reading “Week 4 – Marilyn Monroe”

A Tour of Ninjago City

Disclaimer

According to Admiral Ackbar, the new Ninjago City set is a trap for AFOL. I’ve personally been hooked with Ninjago two years ago when LEGO released the Temple of Airjitzu as part of its big scheme to conquer the world make Ninjago appealing to adults. As soon as I saw the first official pictures of the Ninjago city, I knew I wouldn’t wait long before buying it. So do not expect this photographic review to be objective. Continue reading “A Tour of Ninjago City”

the anxiety

tiesoverthebay HAVE YOU FELT IT ?

or …have you seen the trailers, the commercials, the action figures, the clothing, the cereal, the coffee creamer, the toothpaste, the mouthwash, the toilet paper !?!!!

The Force  is going to awaken, not too long from now actually, and I couldn’t be happier. It seems as though the entire world is anticipating the movies release and it’s been nothing short of amazing to kind of sit on the sidelines and watch the excitement build.

The trailers have been extremely inspirational as far as my toy-photography goes. I’ve been watching the original trilogy non-stop when time allows. The theme music has been on “endless loop” in my head and I have my tickets to the premiere stashed away in a very, very safe place. Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to December 18th.

BUT…

I have a problem. Right now, anytime I feel the need to immerse myself in the Star Wars universe, I can do so. I can plop myself down in front of my gigantic television, mash a few buttons on a remote and TAH-DAH, instant Star Wars!

I can watch any of the six movies anytime I want! I can watch them back to back, I can watch them the way they were released (IV, V, VI, I, II, III) or I can sit back and relax, just knowing that if I want to visit Darth, Luke and the gang, I can. Until the 18th of December that is.

After that I will have to make the arduous trip from where I live (a small island two hours away from any real theater) to where “they” keep the new episode hidden away. Now “they” will only show you the film after you’ve handed over the official “view the greatest movie ever released in your lifetime” fee. Now “they” control access to what may go on to be known as “THE MOVIE THAT BROUGHT WORLD PEACE, ENDED HUNGER and MADE EVERYONE INCREDIBLY HAPPY”.

How am I supposed to live that way?

 

Dear Captain Phasma, Please be more like Boba Fett and less like Jar Jar Binks.
Dear Captain Phasma,
Please be more like Boba Fett and less like Jar Jar Binks.

Additionally, what if The Force Awakens and it looks like it’s hungover? Like…. like it’s been on a thirty year bender?  What if it’s (gasp) terrible? What if J. J. Abrams has completely lost his mind and is about to unleash an episode that will go down in history as the worst movie ever seen by anyone ever? I can’t take another Jar Jar Binks. Enough said about that.

I’ve been using the hashtag “inJJwetrust” in my toy-photography and I sincerely mean it. Mr. Abrams and I share a love and enthusiasm for a movie we both saw in 1977. I’m POSITIVE that his love and enthusiasm will shine through on December 18th and I hope to feel like a nine year old kid again around 7:05 p.m. that evening.

But still… the anxiety.