Thursday, 3 February 2011

Major Project: The Picture Of Dorian Gray (Dir. Albert Lewin, 1945) and Citizen Kane (Dir. Orson Welles, 1941)

Condensing Wilde’s 180 page novel into a 1:30-2:00 minute is going to be a challenge. Typical of the era it was written, Dorian utilizes a large amount of exposition to tell its story. Superbly written as it is, for the purposes of my animation, it’s a load of fluff. Albert Lewin’s 1945 version of the film dispenses with a lot of description but still retaining the core elements of the narrative, relatively unscathed. The film is celebrated for its visual elements, in particular the transformation of the portrait from beauty to beast the and its uncompromising vision of London’s seedy underworld.

A technique I’m interested in employing is the use of a non-linear narrative, this is inspired by my recent rewatching of Orson Welle’s Citizen Kane. A genuine piece of revolutionary cinema, the film uses the storytelling device of flashbacks to paint a life picture of the films main protagonist Charles Foster Kane. Secondly Kane uses a number of interesting transitional effects to make the move from scene to scene seamless, but also to simulate the passing of time, sometimes years condensed into minutes with very little exposition.

My goal is to create a short script which lifts passages directly from the novel. Enough to tell the main essence of the novel, but small enough to create an animation around it.


tutorphil said...

I'm looking forward to seeing you 'carve this up', Tom - I think the non-linearity will be a fascinating strategy. Ethan Clements got a really performative voice-over artist to do his Poe poem for him: check it out: