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All posts for the day September 29th, 2013

Eerie Errors And The Mad Scientist

Published September 29, 2013 by vfdpixie

errorsofthehumanbody

Errors of the Human Body (2012 1 hr, 41 mins)

Genetic research has always been a fascinating topic, even if you are the general layperson like myself.  I loved high school biology class mainly due to my teacher, the wonderful Mr. Shimbos, but unless there was a sci-fi movie afoot, that was the extent of my science career.  Errors of the Human Body peaked my interest again with its intense, atmospheric and complicated sci-fi story.

Geoffrey Burton (Michael Eklund) is a well-known genetic researcher who is haunted by the death of his newborn son.  He has championed research on the rare disease that robbed him of his child, and travelled to Germany to continue that research after he was pushed out of the University of Massachusetts due to what seemed to be a conflict of ideologies.  In Germany, he is reunited with his intern and ex-lover Rebekka (Karoline Herfurth), and meets various odd scientists at the lab.  One of these scientists, Jarek (Tomas Lemarquis), has strong ideas and tries to gain Geoff’s assistance with his research, but is so odd that he puts off nearly everyone around him.  Add a rivalry between Rebekka and Jarek, plus some secret experimentations and you have a complex, if somewhat long, science fiction thriller that makes you wonder what will happen next.

I loved Michael Eklund as Geoffrey.  He really harnessed how disconnected this character was after the death of his son and end of his marriage.  You had a sense that Geoff couldn’t move past these traumas and could only stay connected by calling his ex-wife who was trying to move on with her life.  Eklund really impressed me with his performance in The Divide as the crazed Bobby, and shows his incredible range as a tortured soul here.  And yes, he’s Canadian (yay!).  Tomas Lemarquis also stood out for me.  His portrayal as the awkward but diabolical scientist Jarek made you want to run from him one minute, and hear him out the next.  I must also note that Lemarquis has had Alopecia universalis since he was 13, an autoimmune disorder that makes all your hair fall out.  I too suffered from this disorder when I was the same age.  My hair grew back, but even so, I am never truly free of it, and I applaud him for doing his thing despite not looking like the status quo.  The real star, however, was the lab mouse.  It managed to survive being stolen, kept in a can and minor injury to make it to some of the final scenes.  Good on ya, mousey!

Eron Sheean, co-writer and director of the film (who also co-wrote The Divide), did a good job, but I found the film to be a bit on the long side.  He did manage create an isolation that I felt mirrored what the main character was going through, especially with the dream-like flashbacks. The cinematography by Anna Howard was also quite stunning.  It reflected the clinical nature of the story with starkness and clean lines.  There were some cool scenes of mitosis throughout the film, and the haunting soundtrack by Anthony Pateras kept the suspenseful tone consistent.

If you’re a fan of Michael Eklund and like science, check this movie out.  It’s dark and has a heartbreaking twist that will get you where it hurts.

Favourite Scene:  At a costume party thrown for all the crazy scientists.  Jarek’s lab partner is dressed in drag, beard and all, and gives Geoffrey a withering look.  Not quite as effective when he is wearing a dress and red lips.  And Geoffrey?  Have to say he looked kind of hot in the dead head makeup…yeah, I know, don’t ask…

DeadheadEklund

See? There`s something about a dude in dead head makeup…

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Face Off Season 5 Episode 7: “Living Art”

Published September 29, 2013 by vfdpixie

This episode started with Scott feeling his age.  I have to say that this is one of the few shows where ages doesn’t really matter.  At 52, he is holding his own against the younger competitors.

For this week’s Foundation Challenge, the group got a fantastic surprise.  They had to reinvent an iconic character.  Which one, you may ask?  The one and only Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, who was also their guest judge!  She looked as voluptuous and gore-gous as ever, and just being in her presence made them eager to create their own Mistress of the Dark.  Elvira’s advice to them was to create a hip, young, cool and edgy look of her style.  The artists also got a professional hairstylist to help create the over-the-top look.  Oh yes, and the prize was not only immunity, but a sweet makeup kit from Kryolan, the sponsors of the grand prize for the competition.  I love their product.  When I was a makeup artist, it was my go-to brand when I couldn’t find what I needed because they always had incredible colour ranges and palettes!

The top looks for me were Miranda and Tate.  Miranda created a beautiful gothic looking creature, or as Elvira put it, “Elvira meets Metropolis”.  And Tate created a character called “Nurse Cutter”.  She had a nightmarish, doll-like nurse look that Elvira loved because it still had an element of humour to it.  The winner ended up being Roy once again.  She loved his take on Elmira, her bat inspired cousin, and the spooky, sexy and humorous look he created.

On to the Spotlight Challenge, where their artistic talents were really put to the test.  They met resident judge Neville Page and McKenzie at the Pacific Design Centre where they had to choose from 5 different art movements in order to create a character that could live within the art:  Surrealism, Cubism, Expressionism, Pop Art, and Constructivism.  This was a great challenge, and close to my heart.  My father was an artist and I would spend hours as a kid looking at all his art reference books while he painted.  He was a huge fan of Impressionism, his favourites being Renoir and Monet, but definitely had a love for Cubism and Expressionism as well.

Alana and Frank picked Constructivism.  Alana really didn’t grasp her choice, and struggled until Mr. Westmore did his walk through.  Her look was interesting, and the judges thought so too, which kept her safe from elimination.  I really loved Frank’s contribution.  His art piece was a man holding an iron beam.  It was colourful, graphic and the judges loved the forced perspective.  It got him a ticket to next week.

Laney chose Pop Art.  How fitting, as I always think of her as the cute anime girl.  She created a living piece of social media’s effect on women and the judges loved how she represented the art movement concisely despite them questioning the execution, and there being too much red concentrated on the face.

Tate and Scott went with Surrealism.  Their looks got them a spot in the bottom three.  Tate had a terrible accident.  His gigantic, heavy mold fell on and cut his hand, which required him to be rushed to emergency so he could get stitches.  What was really impressive was when the other artists came together to help clean out his mold and start a layer of latex for him while he was away.  He would have done the same for anyone else.  What a great bunch of people!  His look ended up having too much going on with a crumbling fortress and a sprite in it.  The judges thought it looked like a costume and wasn’t very surreal even though they liked it in general.   Scott created a personal character representing his alcoholic father.  Unfortunately, it missed the mark for the judges as the volcanic head-piece representing his temper ended up looking like a tree trunk.  They felt he struggled to put his ideas together, and the makeup lacked attractiveness, simplicity and softness.  I thought it was a tad confusing myself, but admired his attempt.

Miranda and Laura both went with Cubism.  Both did exceptionally well, but Miranda had little confidence in her work, despite the judges glowing review of her sorrowful guitar playing woman.  Aside from her forgetting to address the arms of her model, they loved it and thought she made ugly look beautiful.  Laura really showed her artist’s skills this time around.  She thought artfully about this project, and created a man in a top hat.  The judges fell in love with it and raved about the construction and “immaculate paint job”.

Eddie went for Expressionism, using Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” as inspiration.  He got the feel of the movement, but despite Mr. Westmore’s warnings, the paint job ended up being too red, and the judges didn’t like some of the shapes of the makeup and  felt it was too mask-like.

Finally, Roy also went with Surrealism.  He created a person being squeezed by the pressure of the world and their head exploding.  Sounds weird, but it actually looked really good, and the judges like the construction of his design.

Eddie, Tate and Scott were in the bottom looks, and Miranda, Laura, and Laney made it to the top.  Laura won this challenge with her artistic ability.  I’m glad she won, since she is really blowing the judges away with her talent.  Unfortunately, Scott had to leave the show.  He felt ok about it, and was glad to be a part of the show since he came away with so many good friends.  He has some great skills and I think this experience will help him refine them.  Onwards and upwards Scott!

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