NOVEMBER 2010

NOVEMBER 2010

Postby Barry » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:56 pm

November 6th 2010

Well I fear my carbon footprint for October was a bit heavy, but maybe balanced by a very lightfootprint from the summer. And November......well it does have one spectacular trip to Russia, otherwise it is looking pretty local.

I did start this month in Canada, and surprisingly the last few days have seen me a bit jetlagged and confused...well the confusion is ever increasing. I've enjoyed reflecting on the week in Canada - it was a spectacular week - friendly and appreciative.

I've not really been able to do anything on Plume for various reasons, and there is this huge unresolved shadow lurking over everything at the moment, as I so want to finish it. Other things are lurking, and i am trying to get these things going. Tchaikovsky is starting to move into my head, but only loosely as I am sort of waiting till my trip to Moscow is done so I have a clearer idea about the music we can use. Music and plot here are a bit of chicken and egg situation but a loose plot can be filled out to the rhythm of the music I think.

Sad to see another major element of the Manchester animation scene collapse this week.....not a good situation here at all.
User avatar
Barry
 
Posts: 2126
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm

Re: NOVEMBER 2010

Postby Barry » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:28 pm

November 21 st 2010 - Home, via Bradford and Moscow.

Well here we go.
Not sure how to do justice to an extraordinary two weeks, where i literally have not had time to sit down and write a journal. Blowing my own rather tarnished and battered trumpet, I'm not sure there is anyone who travels further to talk about animation, and whilst the cultural rewards are extraordinary, the financial rewards are disastrous. If only there was someone looking out for me, counting all these events as brownie points towards a few more doors being opened.

So this month I returned from an epic week in Canada...and the suitcase is still sat here half unpacked. Straight away I was down to Stoke to talk with some students, then I raced over to Huddersfield to talk to more students about set and space design, and was interrupted by the rudest of teachers whilst in mid flow. Good job I was not a school's inspector as she certainly would have not been there the next day. And then from Huddersfield I crossed the Pennines even more for a truly action packed day at BAF. This started with chatting to two lovely ladies about their project based on the paintings of Leonora Carrington. Very exciting. Then a long filmed interview, and then I hosted the animation awards. I particularly enjoyed them this year, and there are some startling films around. I was rather publically promised a new I-phone with a stop motion app....I shall wait with eagerness. A great night at the ever friendly BAF, surrounded by many great friends and artists. I barely got home, then squeezed in the afternoon dress rehearsal of My Boy Jack at the Garrick, and the evening film screening of the O2 Les Miserables concert, and then I was off to Moscow.

Moscow I think completes the big land masses/continents, though thinking about it, I have not visited India, Greenland or the poles, but I'm not doing badly, and all this is due to my twelve inch Willie.....well it all started with Shakespeare. The journey to Moscow was surprisingly quick and easy, and easier that it ever would have been for Olga, Masha and Irina. But arriving at 2.00 in the morning, and with some flurry eyebrows being raised at customs by my puppets, was not a barrel of laughs. I was driven by Valerie through the rainy deserted streets of Moscow to a retirement home for Russian film crews. Well, it was simply an old people's home, and very basic, and actually miles away. This was the least successful aspect of the trip, and the watery salty porridge for breakfast definitely not to my taste.

However the next four days with Irina, my hostess, my glamorous hostess, was a blur of sights and sounds that will take me many weeks to process. Whilst trying to talk about our project on Tchaikovsky I was juping recklessly into cars (and out as it happens as one driver got pulled over by the police and we were left in the middle of nowhere. Irina simply hitched a lift for us at way past midnight!). I marvelled at the monumental statues everywhere - and monumental is a word that describes Moscow perfectly and in so many ways. Looking at the clothes, well there can't be a single rabbit left alive in the whole of Russia. Bling is prevalent as is faux military. I've met ministers of culture, specialists in Tchaikovsky (who are all a little reticent about talking of some aspects of his life.....mad Nina, him being gay, the hushed up child, and so forth.....), I've seen some amazing galleries including a, yes, monumental group statue of The Tsars' family sat in the pose they were in when executed, complete with bullet holes behind. Very movign indeed. My breath was snatched away by the Kremlin and Red Square at night. We do have photos but only real snaps as we were shivering from the cold. We never actually managed to get to walk round during the day but oh what a beautiful Paradox is Red Square. St Basils at one end, Lenin's mausoleum on one side, and then opposite is a department store lit up like Harrods.

In a gallery an exhibition had been hastily, but most impressively by Misha, arranged to accomanyy my talk. The stills looked amazing, and I shared the gallery space with a jet lagged Bill Plympton, and Terry O'Neill. His photos are still sumptuous and gorgeous with celebrities looking fantastic or caught off guard. My talk went down well I think, and i had some lovely artists, students, and very interesting people, including the charming, oh so charming, Ivan who seems to have wandered in almost by mistake. All very new to him. After all these events, the late night coffee shops of Moscow were fantastic, with a suitable array of cakes. Yes, thank goodness for the cakes as I did not really warm to vodka nor caviar. Sorry.

And oh, the Metro. Each station a dazzling work of art in itself, and not a single advertisement on the walls, and all scupulously clean. A joy to witness. Take note grubby overpowering messy Tube in London.

I did a long indepth interview with Irina on film, but perhaps not the persoanl depth she was after. I did not realise quite what the interview was about, but pearls of wisdom were nonetheless beign flung about.

And so to the Bolshoi. Well not the Bolshoi itself as the theatre is beign renovated, but the monumental Kremlin Palace. A 6000 souless building, where you could almost hear the echoes of rallies. History witnessed by every seat. Swan Lake, well what joy, but as I feared, the production values were very dull. A set of no more than beige smudges, but there is no doubting the precision and sharpness of the dancing and patterns. The poor jester slipped over in mid flight....hmm, I fear I can hear the backstage recriminations. The orchestra were amplified which was surprising and sounded full but tinny. But oh to see all those swans in such precision, well that was the epitome of classicism, but not really much about drama. Give me Bourne's boys any day, which works as pure theatre and moves me in a way the Bolshoi didn't but I still held up my hand in admiration. Strange audience conventions of rushing on stage at the end, and the artists bowing after every number, and even doing encores. Yes, the drama and storytelling went out of the window. But I guess that is not what it is about.

One last day, and I think we saved the best till last. A very early start with me joyously leaving the sanitorium. We headed off to Klin, which was some way out of the city. It rained all the day, and we were all in need of sustinence by the time we got there....Macdonalds supplied that. From the Bolshoi to Macdonalds in a few hours. klin was the location of Tchaikovsky's last house, where he lived for eight years, and is now a beautifully preserved and presented museum, with an amazing amount of objects and possessions. A lovely friendly guide saw me getting increasingly overwhelmed as I walked from room to room. I rather wanted to be by myself to take it in. There was his piano, his single small bed, his desk where he wrote Symphony no 6, his collection of Dickens, his gloves, shoes, top hat, and in a little quiet window filled verandah room his teacup. A lovely calm warm house, but with space for him to be by himself. I certainly got the measure of the man, though visiting this house has confused my ideas for the film. A major rethinking is required, But to be so close to the man, to touch the same wood and walk the same floor was indeed a privilege, and made me cry actually.

That I can go round the world like this thanks to animation is remarkable. And I never once take it for granted. Drivign from Klin to the airport we stopped at a truckers pull over, and had a great cheap and cheerful meal - all of us a little silenced by what we had just seen. I wish all this travellign paid the bills, but how lucky am I to have this chance. After Klin I think I definitely peaked and was ready to go home, and ten hours later I was, and with no immediate heavy shadow of a long journey lurking over me.

I didnt get to go in one single shop, and the airport had no shops airside so I have come home physically empty handed, but not mentally. I am overflowing with images, but I should have bought some presents and a big hat. All this has travelling has made easier by the company of Stephen Fry in book form. I do fear, no I celebrate that I think Tchaikovsky and Stephen Fry are my smarter more talented long lost brothers.

What a fortnight. Thank you. And guess what.? This week is just as busy but London and Cardiff are not perhaps as exciting as Moscow. I could be wrong.
User avatar
Barry
 
Posts: 2126
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm

Re: NOVEMBER 2010

Postby Barry » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:11 pm

November 29th 2010

I was surprisingly tired and drained by last week's activities in moscow and this week has been to some extent about catching up - on so many things really. I might finally have put away my suitcase from france, though I keep expecting that I should be going to paris for post production, but I am still here.

Anyway I did manage two masterclasses this week, one for the Cheadle and Gatley film group and one for the Chapter Arts in Cardiff.....both were exceptionally welcoming. We had a bigger more mature audience in Cheadle but Cardiff was rather thin on the ground. I put that down to a big rugger match and much snow rather than face a reality that maybe no one in interested. Still both were good talks and I think I certainly gave value for money, having come away with good reactions.

I'm still working hard on writing the next film, but have had a lot of distractions this week, and at the moment I am a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of life and work from P.I.T to condense into such a short film. I've been looking for the narrative eureka moment, and by the end of the week I think I found it. It certainly wasn't writers block I was fretting about, but just which of many angles to approach this hugely complex subject.
User avatar
Barry
 
Posts: 2126
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm


Return to Diary 2010



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron