ISSUE 9 January 2015
An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world. Believing in ideas, thoughts and concepts, Garde Magazine follows the principle of simplicity and honesty.
Founders Cleo Tse
Copy Editor Marie-JosĂŠe Kelly
Creators Alex Burgess Chichin Cheng
Margaux-Alix Gardet Marine Bigo
Contributors Tammy Ha David Madsen
Special thanks Karl Ă–stgĂĽrd Amanda Tong
Editorial This is the first issue ever for Garde Magazine…in 2015! We hope everyone has enjoyed the New Year and now Chinese New Year is approaching. Wow, it seems like we just can’t stop the holidays from coming! Well, at least on our side. For issue 9, one of the biggest changes for us is the new campaign: “3 in 1,” which asks creators to provide three words to describe themselves as a creator, portraying their identity and the characteristics of creativity. Apart from coffee, we’re sure “3 in 1” for creativity can also refresh your view of art. We have 4 talented people with us in this issue: Alex Burgess bringing us his digital photographic works, Marine Bigo and her very colourful and fashionably designed items, Margaux-Alix Gardet with her Fine Art project featuring a reflection on women’s status in society and Chichin Cheng’s invention on better online speech quality.
kindly provided us with photos of different steps and a detailed explanation. After some busy months, David Madsen the movieholic from Denmark returns and joins us to have a movie year review. He has nominated four movies of 2014, with the first half published in this issue. It has been our pleasure to work with so many creators and contributors. What is most exciting is that we’re still hanging in there and showcasing different creators! Although we haven’t spent the whole of 2014 with you, we are hoping for an even better year ahead, in terms of our quality, presentation, promotion and relationship with you all. Ok. Let’s cut the words and get on with issue 9.
As we keep on bringing new topics for our readers in “What is it…” we have invited Amanda Tong from issue 5 to teach us the step-by-step process of how to make ceramics. Amanda has very
Cleo & Natasha
Marine Bigo // Fashion Design
Uncommon fashion for uncommon people
Chichin Cheng // Industrial Design
Curiosity, imagination and reflection
Alex Burgess // Photography
Exploring digital worlds
Margaux-Alix Gardet // Fine Art Capturing and promoting creativity
What is it... Ceramics Ceramics 101 by Amanda Tong
Movie Review 2014 year in review I by David Madsen
Uncommon fashion for
French creator, Marine Bigo, mixes art and fashion into a clothing concept that is colourful, comfortable and inspired by everything that makes up different cultures. Growing up with a father who painted, Marine developed a keen interest in art at an early age, but stayed away from the fashion side of creativity. “I used to hate fashion actually, but then I learned about historical costumes for theatre such as hand sewing to build a corset. I then did training in pattern making to make proper garments, which in French is called ‘modéliste,’” she said. Marine started working for a fashion company in France to earn money before moving to China where she taught fashion and continued to create different things on the side using textiles. “I got so many ideas with all the colours in Shanghai and other different Asian countries so I decided to transfer what I had in my eyes to my garments,” she said. Mixing her experiences of both the art and fashion industry, Marine discovered a good balance between the two. “It became my art and fashion clothing concept called ‘Minirine.’”
concept. It is characterised by strong and colourful visuals and comfortable fabrics for practical use. Since the first collection was created in 2012, each Mini collection has developed expressive and unique prints, inspired by travelling, natural surroundings, city life and art, such as photography, painting, sculpture and street art. The garments can suit consumer moods and day to day life activities such as leisure, sport and for the night time,” she said. “My collections do not really follow the basic fashion schedule. They’re more Mid-season/ summer, but some pieces are suitable for fall/ winter too. I just do as I feel with the print ideas I have and express it on a range of products that are made for multi moments and functions,” she said. “I try to respect what could be enough commercial following seasons but I keep my identity about telling stories through my garments.”
Marine added that although she does not What is your clothing concept and what inspired think the products she proposes are absolutely it? unique, what is most special is she as an artist, her vision of the world and the results of conveying “Minirine is an art and fashion clothing
this in her prints for her garments. As for the name “Minirine,” Marine says it suddenly came up when she needed a short nickname for her creations and has kept it ever since 2004 when it came about. She is currently based in Shanghai and Paris. “My target is quite large actually. I have some clients between 20-60 years old! I focus on doing fashion for ‘all,’ but of course these people should not want to not be ‘discreet,’” she said. Now Marine’s range of clothing is growing, she says. “I have tops, raining capes, jackets, and bags. What I prefer is leggings because legs move a lot and I can have fun with prints,” she added. Marine is a vibrant, dynamic and funky girl sometimes dressed in a lot of black, but always with a dash of colour. She says she is sensitive, magic, and honest (she admits she can be annoying at times). Studying at St Luc in Belgium, ATEC in Paris and Informa in Roubaix France, Marine attended art school at the young age of 16 with a deep love for creating. Do you have any other works or projects aside from Minirine? “Yes I do! I like to collaborate with other artists and I just started to be part of an artist platform in Shanghai called ‘The Polymorph Extra’ at the end of 2014. It’s basically a reunion of different artists who build up experimental projects together. We are working on a project now,” she said. “I also used to collaborate with different photographers because we all have a different eye and that’s interesting for me.” What famous artists serve as inspiration to you? “Walter Van Beirendonc opened my mind very early on in my creations. I like his freedom in the way of showing his word. He inspired me for a “restling mask” series I did in 2008. I do like a lot Yohji Yamamoto and the fluidity and structure of his lines too. Niki de Symphale is an artist I admire for her freedom of speech and expression at the time she was creating,” she said.
Marine Bigo - Aquacity
“I grew up with an inflatable woman that was one of her pieces, called ‘Nana.’ She inspired me for the ‘woman’ shapes and free morphology. In 2004 I did a performance called ‘Chirurgie textile.’ It was about a young girl who was dreaming with her little doll to change the shapes of the doll and started to build ‘excroissance’ completely out of the
codes.” Apart from famous artists, Marine says each of her collections is a new story and is inspired by totally different things each time. “Sometimes it’s more about what I love; others are about places I visited and sometimes even music!”
What is your typical work routine? “I used to be very disorganised but kind of organised in my own mess,” she said. “Now I’ve learned to follow a proper process and schedule… it’s hard! I usually collect some ideas from words, pictures, music and then
Marine Bigo - Montenegro
some ideas then come up about a theme and a direction. I look at a lot of fabric in shops, streets in Shanghai and fairs when I’m in Europe. Then comes some link in between the directions of the themes I get. After that, I usually imagine the clothes. So it comes first with feelings and then through fabric. I start to sketch the garments after that. When I get the connections between fabric and garments, I make my paper patterns and build my first prototypes.” “When I’m happy about the shapes, fabric and style, I go for the print fabric test and try it on the garment style. Then I do a collection plan with a board of all my work. Sometimes I wear my prototypes to see how I feel in it and how I can match it with the rest of my wardrobe and how I can wear it in my daily life. I also do this to see the reactions of the people around me. When I know which
pieces I’m sure of, then the collection plan is done and I start the samples with small studios or factories. Then I do shootings in some different context to get nice pictures to work on some graphic images to communicate it on social media. The rest is about showing up and selling!” Marine’s future goals are to go international and collaborate more with different artists. She does not have a physical store and sticks to online selling, but her next exciting collection will sell in some shops in France, Holland and Shanghai, she says. One wonderful thing customers don’t have to worry about is that there is no “out of season” to Marine’s works. “My collections never die! If someone falls in love with a piece, I can make it again,” she says with a cheerful smile.
Industrial Design Curiosity, imagination and reflection
By Tammy Ha
The art that traditional artists like musicians, painters, photographers and filmmakers create are generally expressions of the artists themselves, their styles, their emotions and even their dreams. What makes them great and powerful are their skills and the precision of the creations, that are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye or to the ear, but can also evoke emotions within the audience, either as a relatable experience or a new-
found understanding of another being, for example.
is largely designed for and for whom it will serve.
Industrial design is quite a complex field of art; it is different from other creative ventures in that the designer creates not rooted from the realm of his/her own emotions or needs, but for the benefit of the wider community. From the very inspiration to the strenuous job of refining the design to ensure technical feasibility, the designer works from the minds of everyday people, the mass community the product
This is exactly what the work of recent industrial design graduate Chichin Cheng aims to satisfy. She has an awareness of the trends and needs of society in which she keeps up to date with through diligent reading, ethnographic researching, and more importantly, talking to people. The opinions of different people are important to her in each step of her work process, which of course is necessary in
â€œWith curiosity, I could discover the surprise. With imagination, I would open my mind. And with reflection, I keep refining the works.â€?
The issue of this project is about how the impact of mobile phones served as portable media devices affecting users by connecting them with organic online communities. ￼￼￼￼￼￼ Users can now sending their posts by just clicking on the button in different environments or emotional states, instantly and without the ability to retract it. In unpredictable future, perhaps every post can be harmful to personal reputation. However, according to the research, there is a tendency within flourishing social applications on mobile phones and with a faster wifi to connect to the online world in the coming future. There is no a space to notice and correct the “mistakes” of the post before publishing it online. It is important to remind the social media companies to be empathetic on users’ posting and commenting tools, and encourage people to have self-awareness of their ideology, content, audience, and their reputation whilst sharing news to social networks.
Chichin Cheng - GateKeeper ’GateKeeper’ is a mobile app service which accommodates several toolkits by connecting to different social apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. In order to prevent users from sending inconsiderate posts, ‘GateKeeper’ helps to provide a break for users to reflect on their own opinions before sharing in public on the social networks. User can choose their own Gatekeeper according to their habits about using social networkings. Therefore, there are digital and physical Gatekeepers provided according to different use cases. They are not only for protecting personal reputation, but also act as a personal newsroom between users and audiences.
order to create a design that will be mass produced and hopefully, widely beneficial. ChiChin considers herself a people-person, identifying herself as a team player rather than a solo act. She prefers working in teams rather than individually, which I guess is a necessary quality for developing a user-friendly product or service. What got her into studying industrial design was largely due to encouragement from her friends. ChiChin always loved drawing and was gifted at it. She honed her skills in high school when she became bored in class and began doodling. Her doodling turned into drawings and combined with her interest in travelling and cultural diversities, ChiChin learned to be more observant and empathetic, which ended up benefiting her work in industrial design. One of her newest designs, “Gatekeeper,” is a mobile application that serves to help users think twice before
posting anything on social media, whether by reminders and prompts from the app or by a friend or family member. It was created in response to this era of boundless information sharing, where the internet has well-provided a platform for people to freely express their thoughts and ideas – but also a place for people to make careless or even malicious comments that they may regret in the future. It seems particularly useful not only for celebrities, but also for the modern age Twitter/Instagram/ Facebook influencers this day and age has produced – even amongst non-famous or influential people, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure you don’t make a statement that would harm personal relationships or professional reputations. Fresh graduate ChiChin hopes that she can create “positive value to society” through her work. I’m sure Gatekeeper is just the beginning.
DIGITAL WORLDS Alex Burgess Photography
By Karl Östgård
How do we represent reality? This is the main question in Alex Burgess’ latest work “Shift Command Three,” a creation that in some ways is a work of photography, but in other ways an exploration of photography – and reality - itself. Alex Burgess graduated from the photography course at Camberwell College of Arts in 2014, and has since been working in Hoxton as part of an artist residency. In spite of his education, he hesitates to call himself a photographer. “I would say that I choose to explore the photographic, rather than the afflictions of ‘photography.’ Although, saying that, I explore my subject through the eyes of photography, so who knows!” Alex is all bout “digital places,” as can be seen in his works. Featured on his webpage is “Another World,” a set of close-ups of obsolete console games. The worlds contained within these games are limited by the computational possibilites and the low-definition screens of that time, yet anyone who is old enough to have played these games will know that these
Alex Burgess - Maratea (Shift Command Three) “My work focuses on the point in which the digital mapping services stops documenting the sea, and instead starts generating it. The top two thirds shows the photographic satellite imagery, whilst the bottom third shows the fabricated simulation of ‘the sea’.
Alex Burgess - Sermersooq (Shift Command Three) The hyper composite images are constructed manually, by overlapping a series of screenshots, similar to howÂ panorama is made (Sermersooq for example was over 1000 screenshots). I did this to give me enough pixels to print these images at scale. I also like the contrast from the dense amount of detail to the low fi falseness of the generated sea. They are then composed to be reimagined seascapes, with the imaginary sea becoming the horizon.
worlds can take on a strong sense of reality. Questions like these – reality in relation to the medium it’s being shown in – permeate Alex’s works.
map, a story in which the map covers entire countries and block out the sunlight, causing the farmers to go up in arms,” he says.
“Shift Command Three” delves into the digital map. As Mac users will know, the name comes from the key combination to produce screenshots – and that is also what this series of pictures are. In these ocean pictures, we see a mysterious effect that is only found in digital maps - the gap between different resolutions of imagery. One side of the picture might have crisp and detailed waves, while the other is a featureless blur. Still, both pictures claim to show reality – which raises questions on the relation between the map and the mapped.
“I love the idea that the digital metaphor for our own world is both representational and at the same time, a completely new world on its own. These digital mapping services change from being the perfect ideal for a simulation (a drawn up or rendered version of our own world, detailing the like for like, generating a perfectly manufactured imitation of a section of our planet), to an extension of our world (only viewable through the small rectangles which frame it).”
“The ‘digital map’ is forever getting closer to Jorge Borges’ or Lewis Carroll’s poetic analogies of the 1:1 scale
has to be created. “To create an image with enough resolution to print these at the scale they are (the largest one is around 60” wide), I created a laborious process in which I take multiple screenshots of the area I want to record and then stitch them together manually in Photoshop to build up an image which can be printed at scale.” “The piece called ‘Sermersooq,’ for example, is comprised of well over 1,000 screenshots and took many hours to construct,” he said.
Alex is currently working on more editions of the The process behind the series and is also collaboratpictures is a laborous one, with ing with Camberwell Press to Alex scouring miles and miles release the work, along with of virtual coastline in order to new projects, into a book. In find “worthwhile” moments. the future, he hopes to be able Once these situations have to continue his exploration of been found, the picture itself the digital worlds.
Alex Burgess - Truro (Shift Command Three)
By Marie-Josee Kelly
Margaux-Alix Gardet Fine Art
Capturing and promoting creativity
Through photography, in its entire potential, visual artist Margaux-Alix Gardet questions our perceptions of reality and the relationships that form between her camera and her subjects.
The amount of work that was put into this was insane: a lot of sleepless nights and break downs, especially since I was working alone. But it was all worth it; it was like a dream come true.
Margaux’s first photography exhibition, Between You and Eye, came together following a soul-searching trip she took to Sri Lanka in 2013.
GM: Was the photography you did in Sri Lanka any different from your other work? Margaux: Yes, very…prior to this trip, I was used to manipulating photographs, through the use of light, angle, perspectives and even Photoshop. In this series of portraits in Sri Lanka, it was simply the relationship between soul and camera. I was very interested in studying how we react to machines we are unfamiliar with. Many of the people I photographed during this trip had never seen a camera before, their vulnerability glows in the images, the curiosity, the doubt and even the amusement. I just loved how each person had a different reaction. I decided not to manipulate the images and to just have the faces speak for themselves. This was kind of challenging for me, as my practice is usually oriented towards staged imagery and occasional landscapes.
Inspired by the people she encountered, she began working on a portrait series. Upon her return to London, Margaux founded the “Bethlehem Project” to raise funds through her exhibition to reconstruct the “Bethlehem Orphanage” in Wanathamulla, Sri Lanka. Garde Magazine speaks to Margaux about her work.
Margaux-Alix Gardet - THE THIRD IMAGE: Nudity, Time and Displacement. The desensitization of the pornographic industry, the objectification of the fashion industry or the sexualisation of the advertising industry, has brought up a generation on brutal, violent imagery of women. I attempt to create a complex, visually literate body of work both in terms of technical execution and multi-layered exploration of ideas. Through the art historical references, I aim to playfully seduce the viewer with familiarity of style, while subverting his expectation of traditional narrative.
Garde Magazine: Can you tell me how you started the Bethlehem project? Margaux: I fell in love with Sri Lanka, the trip taught me so much about myself, about acceptance, tolerance, and understanding… and about life in general. I wanted to give back for everything they had taught me. I got in touch with a small local orphanage and told them I would fund the reconstruction of their premises by selling portraits of a tribe that lives far out from civilisation. Their expressions were so fascinating. When I came back to London I put together a series of work I had done there and put together a fundraising event.
GM: You explored in a series the human condition from a female perspective; can you talk about more about the inspiration and meaning behind this? Margaux: I am interested in concepts of misplacement, non-belonging and alienation. I question ideas of reality and wish to connect the individual viewer to a better version of oneself through
While tackling social, political and culture issues, the digital handling of these images are created with care and specificity, while exploring different aspects of the tortured female body, the degradation of her image, providing a counterfoil to the conscious theatrical staging of the composition. By combining two images, I create a third one. I am layering my own contemporary portraits of staged modern women with nudes from old master Renaissance paintings. The juxtaposition of classical and contemporary elements, aim to never allow the audience to get too comfortable, while enigmatically focusing on a scene beyond the frame. I have been working towards building a certain tension in these works, whilst having their real beauty lie in the quiet elegance and fluid nature of association, which imaginatively expands the mind of the viewer along multiple pathways of interpretation.
the use of imagery. The female body is very present in most of my work because I cannot speak on behalf of the male condition. I wanted to try and discuss what it is like to be alive in this world now as a woman of my generation. We experience the world is such unique ways but all relate to each other as human beings. I like to photograph women from angles that might not be the most faltering, from a perspective that distorts her body, the same way the media does, still looking beautiful and confused, slightly oppressed and grandly elegant.
props I can find and I use different angles to shoot from. I don’t use artificially lighting or anything like that. I use Photoshop for some of my images I like to layer, distort, deconstruct/reconstruct and manipulate. That’s how I get to what I want to see in my photographs.
GM: What have you enjoyed working on most and why? Margaux: The photograph that uses the hamburgers is probably one of my favourites… it kind of just worked right away.
I would also like to contribute to the educational system’s approach to creativity somehow. The problem is our education system decreases our ability to think differently. As children we are instinctively creative but over time, we lose the ability to think outside the box. Governments fail to properly support creativity outside of schools, in places like colleges, universities and workplaces. Museums and institutions should be free too, so that everyone could have access to cultural education. The government needs to support designers, architects, curators, artists and scientists by listening to them. By spending money to protect the creative arts, governments can also
GM: What is your work philosophy? Margaux: I don’t think I have one… I just question everything, search for meaning in what is, and I guess I try to understand the world around me through my practice. Is that a philosophy? GM: Can you explain the techniques you use in your photography and art, and why you use them? Margaux: I usually use what is at my disposition. I use daylight, I use the outdoors, I use whatever
GM: Any future plans? Margaux: I would like to keep creating layered imagery. I have recently found it to be a good way to depict my thoughts and ideas and it’s something I would like to explore more.
preserve traditions, customs and behaviors that are part of a country’s history. The fruits of creativity exist all around us but we need active politicians that understand how creativity can flourish and solve things – they would be surprised! We need to allow our people every opportunity to create, innovate and inspire. I feel there as so many creative people out there who don’t have the chance to express themselves.
I hand picked items of the past, and by layering them with elements of the present, transposed them into a world where confidence has been lost; where the spiritual beliefs which once bound man to nature, and through nature, to the divine, fail to connect. I create a visual dialogue between the past and the present, celebrating and emphasizing the unclothed human figure, which to me represents a timeless ideal of humanity. I give you no answers, but raise questions about the loss and search for identity in a difficult modern world.
What is it..
If you still remember Amanda Tong from issue 5, you should also remember her beautiful ceramics series: The Perfect Imbalance. Garde Magazine is happy to invite Amanda back with us to teach us how to make ceramics step-by-step.
Wedging Before throwing and doing any clay work, it is a MUST to wedge the clay thoroughly to get rid of the air that may be trapped inside to prevent explosion during firing. At the moment, I am concentrating on two clay bodies: black stoneware and porcelain, creating a marble pattern as I wedge.
Turning (my favourite part!) After letting my pots dry overnight, they are ready to turn! This is basically to create the bottom part, usually a foot ring but in this case I am creating a knob for it to be unbalanced. First, I secure the pot on the wheel with 3 pieces of clay, and then I use my turning tool to take off the excess clay at the bottom. It is important be careful and to know when to stop to prevent making a hole at the bottom! This is my favourite part because you get to see the final shape of the pot.
Throwing (the fun a As my Perfect Imbalance pieces are rel the hump from a big chunk of clay to sa a small ball for each individual piece). Fi open the clay up with my thumb
Burnish After turning, burnishing with a wooden smooth is necessary. Especially when I am make sure the pot is nice to touch
and messy part) latively small, I tend to throw off ave time (without having to wedge irst, I center the clay on the wheel, and start to shape the pots.
hing n tool to keep the surface nice and m not glazing the exterior, I have to h and comfortable to handle.
Scraping off the layer of slip While adding water onto the clay to keep it nice and slippery to prevent friction with the fingers, a brown layer of slip is created from the black stoneware clay and covers the marble pattern of the pot. This step is essential to scrape off the brown layer of slip with a kidney tool and reveal the hidden pattern underneath.
Stamping Finish it with my â€˜atâ€™ stamp at the bottom!
Loading the kiln for bisque firing The bisque firing for stoneware and porcelain is between 900-1000Â°C. The heating process takes about eight hours. I have to make sure the pots are all bone dry before putting them into firing to prevent explosion. Loading the kiln is like a stacking game: works are put onto the kiln shelves with 3 posts set around the perimeter, and then another layer of shelving placed on top and so on.
Sanding (the not-so-fun part) Sometimes if the surface is not smooth enough or I want to reveal more of the marble patterns, I will have to sand the surface with sanding paper. This step must be carried out with extraction and a dust mask to prevent breathing in the hazardous particles.
Glazing (the annoying part) After sanding, I make sure the pot is clean and ready for glazing. I mix different raw materials together to create my own transparent glaze. What I do is pour the glaze into my pot for virtually two seconds and then pour it out. It is important to make sure that itâ€™s a very thin layer of glaze, which requires many instances of trial and error...
Glaze Firing (the anxiety-provoking part) This time the temperature has to be brought all the way up to 1250Â°C, which takes about 14 hours. Opening a kiln is like opening Christmas presents â€“ there can be moments of happiness, surprise or sadness (when either the glaze has failed or the work has cracked).
10 Glaze pieces in the kiln The clay body has turned black after high firing.
Amanda Tong - The Perfect Imbalance It is an interactive tableware series that reflects the importance of the Eastern philosophical concept of Yin and Yang. Each of the ceramic pieces have different mixtures of black and white, symbolising each of us having an unbalanced Yin and Yang energy within us. They are designed to be unbalanced and presented on a wooden seesaw platter that allows the bowls to tilt depending on their weight and allowing diners to take control and adjust its balance.
(From left to right) Turning tool Needle tool Wooden turning tool Cheese wire Kidneys (metal and plastic ones) Sponge-stick
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2014 Year in Review Part 1 By David Madsen
To be completely honest, 2014 was kind of a by-the-numbers year as a whole for the movie industry, both representing what we have come to expect from the medium in terms of big releases and what we’ll probably be in for in the next couple of years.
ten or fifteen newly released films in 2014 and most of those are wide release blockbuster films such as Captain America 2, Gone Girl and The LEGO Movie. The reason for that is mostly, that I live in Denmark, where films that get a wide release or a release at all are mostly big Hollywood productions or Hell, I’ll even go so far as to produced in Denmark. If you want say that at least the blockbusters almost to watch more niche stuff, you either played like a trailer to next years’ big re- wait for the DVD release or seek it out leases: With The Amazing Spiderman 2 in smaller theaters. Also, most movies being nothing but a glorified teaser for are released later in Denmark than Sony’s upcoming and never asked for they are in America. So, I didn’t get to Sinister Six franchise, Captain America watch The Wind Rises and The Wolf 2: The Winter Soldier setting the stakes of Wallstreet before 2014, even though for The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron and both are 2013 releases. I won’t be seeGuardians of the Galaxy proving that ing Foxcatcher, Birdman or Big Hero 6 Disney can produce a Star Wars-film, before early next year. because let’s not kid ourselves, that’s the only reason why Guardians exists. Godzilla That it is a damn well made and ex In a year where pretty much evciting popcorn flick to boot; it almost ery major release was of a known qualseems irrelevant at this point. ity, Godzilla was an absolute delight. Sure the trailers and marketing around Still, while the good releases the film was well handled, at least were both few and far between and promising a movie that looked sigsomewhat of a known quality, the nificantly better than that awful Rolan movies that did manage to stand out Emmerich abortion of a Godzilla-film were quite stellar. In this article I’ll from 1998. Yet I was still surprised highlight some of the very best movies and delighted at just how good the end of 2014. result was. That’s mostly due to the way director Gareth Edwards handles the Now keep in mind that this in titular monster and the general pacing no way represents a complete list of all of the movie. the releases of 2014. I’ve maybe seen
Godzilla (2014), Legendary Pictures. Directed by Gareth Edwards. Wikipedia
Few films manage to successfully build excitement around its main attraction the way this film does. Whereas most big monster films either show their cards way too early or just botch the main reveal, Godzilla manages to keep the audience hooked by methodically teasing the appearance of Godzilla and then, in the final showdown not only deliver, but blow the roof off the building with a radioactive laserbeam. I understand and partly agree that the general lack of ethnic variety in the cast is disappointing, especially considering the Japanese roots of the series, but the human drama is never the less well acted and helps emphasise the scale of the fights that occur throughout the movie from Hawaii to San Francisco. It’s an audiovisual tour de force as well far surpassing the CGI riddled mess that is The Hobbit: The Five Armies both in spectacle and fidelity. Godzilla and the two other monsters look real. The destruction of San Francisco looks real. My bones shook to
their very core when I heard Godzilla’s iconic roar and felt a sense of both wonder and pure terror when I watched the massive monster fights from the point of view of a tiny, insignificant human perspective. As a pure spectacle film, Godzilla is the most impressive film of 2014 by a mile beating both Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hobbit: The Five Armies. I absolutely adored every second of it. The Wind Rises Like I said earlier, The Wind Rises was technically released in 2013, but it wasn’t released in Denmark until late in 2014 so to me, it counts as a 2014 release. Besides, to not highlight this film would be an absolute crime especially considering my admiration for Studio Ghiblis movies or more specifically, the filmography of Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises is special not only because it is a Miyazaki film but because it is reported to be his last. That’s right. After 30 years of directing, writing and animating
some of the very best animated features to ever grace the silver screen, from 1984’s amazing Nausiscaä and now to this film, Hayo Miyazaki is ending his career. And what a way to go out this is. It would be hyperbolic of me to call The Wind Rises Miyazaki’s best feature film, but if there ever was a film to end his career with, this is it. It embodies every theme, every visual tendency and every characteristic of his expansive filmography. From his love of planes, the strong female character who suffers from a (near) fatal illness, the lack of a villain, the amazing artistic design of every character, building and landscape, the lovingly crafted animation and the incredibly world-building and sense of childlike wonder. More than that though, it is a movie very specifically about Miyazaki himself. It is about creating something beautiful for the sake of creating it and about the artist behind that creation and the struggles one most go through to achieve something profound.
The Wind Rises (2014), Studio Ghibli. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. blogs.indiewire.com