My 100 favorite films. Entry #28: Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now (1979)
directed by Francis Ford Coppola
written by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola
starring Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Frederic Forrest, Dennis Hopper and Marlon Brando
country: usa
genre: war

Visuals: 10
Writing: 8
Everyday watchability: 4

Quite possibly the most gorgeous film ever on the subject of war (other contenders being The Thin Red Line and Lawrence of Arabia), Apocalypse Now is one glorious mindfuck of a movie. It may not sound it, but this is extremely high praise. Whereas other Vietnam war films may co-mingle the beauty of Vietnam with the horror of war, Apocalypse Now practically makes war itself beautiful. The opening scene shows napalm drops on jungle coastlines to the strains of The End by The Doors. Another scene depicts tracer bullets racing through the air like streamers. Yet another runs like a horrific carnival of sound and vision as a battle wages on at night, but it's hard to even tell who's fighting whom, while strands of lights dangle down like Christmas tree lights. To find such things beautiful causes the viewer mental pain, which just may be the whole point of the film.


If high-priced Christmas wishlist.

Yeah I don't really have the money to give anybody a serious gift, so instead I'm giving people thoughtful, personalized handmade gifts. What a cheapskate I am right? Also, I know I shouldn't want material possessions, but I do because they're rad. I do however much prefer utility to beauty in terms of my possessions. Here, mostly for fun, is a list of things I'd love to have.

A Centurion 12-speed touring bike in silver.
estimated price $375
I found this one on Craigslist but couldn't afford it at the time since I was moving. But dear Ford is it gorgeous. The bike's twenty years old, but it's been in a box so it's never been used. This one's also a tall frame, so it would fit me perfectly.

An Olympus E-3 digital SLR with off-camera flash and a 32mm, 50mm and 100mm lenses.
estimated price: camera $1300 + lenses
In my book, nothing beats a film camera, but if I have a digital camera, I might as well have the best and all the shit that goes with it, including a standard, wide angle and portrait lens.

A Yamaha DX7.
The DX7 is a music classic. It's such a quality piece of equipment that it has its own Wikipedia page and it's been used by everyone from Genesis to Pet Shop Boys to Underworld. That's versatile sound.

Macbook Pro with Adobe Creative Suite 4.
$1800 + $400 = $2200
I'll be getting myself this for school anyway so forget it. Like anybody would or could anyway.

FLStudio 8.
estimated price: $200
Because I really like making music. I have version 4 of this program and they've made so many changes I'm practically living in the dark ages.


Single letter project.

I realize that I haven't posted the final versions of my sigle letter project, so here they are. I'm going to bed now. Good night.


My school schedule is scary.

*edited at 01:32 11/27/08 - slight change to schedule

I finished signing up for classes this morning after I realized that I need one more for my program. It's a drawing course and I managed to find a time that fits perfectly into my schedule. I also signed up for an online course in Dreamweaver (a program that I already know a little, so I'm hoping it won't be too hard). This means that I am signed up for a total of six classes (18 credits) next quarter. I made a little schedule sheet so I could see what it looked like, and I thought that I would share it with you here.

Aren't you glad you're not me?

Art Beat.

Aren't you readers just so lucky this week. I'm back in mostly full force, scanning and uploading images and doing a small amount of writing (and of course the "redesign"). Here's some more stuff for you to gawk at. This project involves taking the same fonts we've been using all quarter (and two new ones) and making a vertical banner for PCC's Art Beat. Art Beat is a celebration of all kinds of art: fine art, theatre, graphic design, dance, music, photography, etc. The sign has to catch people's eyes and make them interested in Art Beat.

Here are my two tight roughs. I'll be turning the left one into the final version, with a few changes. I think it's going to look certifiably bad-ass when it's done.


The end of Yofty.

I got back my last assignment today, and I got an "A," thank you baby Jesus. I don't really want to talk about Yofty anymore, but you can look at the final versions.





A note about The City Limit.

I "redesigned" my blog, because, let's face it, it's a pain in the ass to read white text on a black background. It hurt my eyes to look at, so I can only imagine what it's like for everyone else. Hope you like the new look.

zelles business system.

In my last post, I showed you my gazelle logo design. The next part of the project is to design a "business system." A business system is a matching letterhead, business card and envelope. The text was already made up for us; it was just a matter of sizing it and cutting & pasting. I came up with the three different systems. I tried to make them as different as possible. Each logo has a different layout and I used all three text justifications (flush left, flush right and justified).

I can already see some problems with it, but this is only the "tight rough" phase and the final will be much more precise. As always, comments, criticism and lackadaisical nuggets of wit and wisdom are appreciated.


Buy 'zelles.'

My latest graphic design assignment was to take an animal image and build it out of "geometric shapes." The shapes don't have to be purely squares and squircles, but the animal must be made of shapes and not lines. The second part was to reverse the image out of a shape. I wanted the gazelle breaking out of a circle, and when I realized that it felt too big, I cut off the bottom of the circle. I think it turned out quite nicely and is very reminiscent of a rising sun.

Below is my rendition of a gazelle. This gazelle is going to be used as a logo for a shoe company called Zelles. At the bottom are three possible type treatments for the company name.

Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Morose allegories?


Final layouts.

I'm finished with my first graphic design project. We handed in our boards yesterday. It was enjoyable and I actually feel like I learned a lot, but I'm looking forward to our next assignment (more on that later). I thought I'd post my final layouts. I've also posted the tight roughs for comparison. Some had drastic changes, while others had minor tweaks. One appears not to have been altered at all, but I assure you that it was -- see if you can spot the difference. I think they're all better in their final incarnations and I'm rather happy with them.

square designs
rectangular designs


I didn't realize that it had already been six days since my last post. Things have been so hectic. I have school Monday through Thursday and work Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I have about 20 minutes before I need to catch my bus so I have just enough time to show you my latest typography work.

The assignment is to take a nonsense word made up by our teacher (Yofty) and use it as the name of four different drinks, each designed for a specific market. The four drink types are: Trendy, Sporty, Children's and Expensive. I came up with five designs in each and then whittled them down to two of each with the help of the professor. These are the two best designs in each category, re-rendered with higher quality. The starred selections are going to be drawn again (even larger) with some more changes for our final presentation.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Piffle?

Finally some design work.

So it's been three weeks since last I posted to this blog. I've been busy with school, starting a new job and moving into a new place so I haven't really had any damn time. Lay off! Luckily, I finally have a few spare minutes to show you what I'm doing.

We're working on our first real design assignment. It involves taking an image (I chose the bicycle) and one to five words from a lorem ipsum sheet (I chose SUMVENT IN ERAESSE). We take these two elements and combine them with our body copy to make pleasing layouts like you might see in a magazahine.

We started with thumbnails as always and I traced the text adorable old-time bike from a sheet with various sizes. I came up with the ones you see below. Those with a letter beside them were those chosen to take to the next step. The letters aren't really in any order. Don't ask.

After the thumbs, we had to blow up our thumbnails to roughly 7" x 7" to use as guides. Then we had to create full-size "paste-ups" of the chosen designs. Half of them are square...


...and half of them are rectangular.

Enjoy. And feedback is appreciated as always.