Castro Theatre F2F: Noir Films and Aardman Animations

I really enjoyed our trips to the Castro Theatre because I always love the environment of being around people who all love the film as an art form. The first time we went was to watch a Noir film called the “The Dark Corner.” To me, the film didn’t seem to live very much up to my expectations and it plot seemed to be a little shallow. However, I did very much like the aesthetic of the entire film. Film Noir is a beast of its own, and its visual aesthetic using shadows, contrast, and scenery is an accomplishment in its own right.

Another face-to-face adventure I admired greatly was when we got to listen to fellow Aardman Animations co-founder Peter Lord. I really enjoyed listening to him talk about the success of Aardman and the task of working on big projects, such as Wallace and Gromit films or the recent Shaun the Sheep film. I was especially captivated when he began delving into what it means to have rhythm in a joke. He mentioned that if a joke’s timing is only one or two seconds off, the joke could lost all of its impact. This notion of timing seems to be extremely difficult to articulate and seems more instinctual than anything. When discussing timing, I can’t help but think of Tony Zhou’s (Every Frame a Painting) recent video on the Coen Brothers, talking about the timing of the shot-reverse-shot. Back to Aardman, the theatre gave a film compilation of Aardman’s works. It’s always a pleasure to watch Wallace and Gromit’s “The Wrong Trousers,” and it’s just as hilarious with each new viewing. The train chase scene will always be legendary whatever direction the film medium goes.

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4 thoughts on “Castro Theatre F2F: Noir Films and Aardman Animations”

  1. This makes me wish I had been able to participate in that field trip! What an incredible opportunity to hear Peter Lord talk about these things. I would be especially interested in knowing more about comedic timing because I am in the midst of directing a play that I wrote (with Kara!) and working on comedic timing is definitely a challenge.

  2. I totally agree with what he said about timing too. I know from personal experience (mainly other people than me obviously) that timing really is everything. I found it particularly interesting how hard it must be to incorporate strong timing within an animation style.

  3. I love that you found the selfie from our field trip. I also thought what he said about timing was really interesting and definitely thought that was true when we were making our films.

  4. It’s so funny that everyone (and you) mentioned what Peter Lord said about timing because that’s the idea that stood out most to me too! It’s definitely something I want to practice. I couldn’t understand how their first animation could’ve been such a hit after being something like 10 seconds long, and then, I got it!! It was so good!!

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