The Man Who Laughs is the forgotten silent film masterpiece directed by the German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni. It is slowly being rediscovered as the film that is credited for creating the image that Bob Kane would later use as inspiration for his Joker character from Batman.
The film is an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name and stars Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine and Mary Philbin as the blind Dea. The film is known for the grim carnival freak-like grin on the character Gwynplaine’s face, which often leads it to be classified as a horror film.
Taking place in England in the year 1690, The Man Who Laughs features Gwynplaine, the son of an English nobleman who has offended King James II. The monarch sentences the nobleman to death in an iron maiden, after calling upon a surgeon, Dr. Hardquannone, to disfigure the boy’s face into a permanent rictus grin. As a title card states, the King condemned him “to laugh forever at his fool of a father.”
Film critic Roger Ebert stated, “The Man Who Laughs is a melodrama, at times even a swashbuckler, but so steeped in Expressionist gloom that it plays like a horror film.”
Do you need some money? Do you need A LOT of money? How about a briefcase FULL of prop movie cash to enhance your crime film or action-thriller? Indy Mogul is here to show you how to make some amazing looking screen ready movie cash.
Using a front wheel hub which can be purchased brand new for just over $20 dollars, you can create a table that can easily spin several hundred pounds. I haven’t seen anyone take this approach before. Since very little force is needed to move the hub, you can use string to pull it manually. Or it can be motorized with small motors, and can even be pulled with a simple Bicycle inner tube. No matter how much weight you put on there, it moves like butter…
The history of film is a story of technology fused with the performing arts. Boston University Film student Ryan Piccirillo explores this relationship in this in depth essay tracing story and technology through the past century.
The LA Times’ Hero Complex sits down with Brad Bird, director of Pixar’s “The Incredibles” for a discussion of Pixar’s Processes, why Hollywood doesn’t have the guts to copy them and Bird’s soft spot for Sean Connery as 007.
Canon EOS DSLR Controller Android App
DSLR Controller is the first app that allows you to fully control your Canon EOS DSLR from your Android device with only a USB cable. No computer or laptop required, no root required, only a compatible mobile device, a compatible camera, and the right USB cable.
Quieting the Lizard Brain
“What you do for a living is not be creative, what you do is ship,” says bestselling author Seth Godin, arguing that we must quiet our fearful “lizard brains” to avoid sabotaging projects just before we finally finish them.
cinemetrics: visualizing movie data
cinemetrics is about measuring and visualizing movie data, in order to reveal the characteristics of films and to create a visual “fingerprint” for them. Information such as the editing structure, color, speech or motion are extracted, analyzed and transformed into graphic representations so that movies can be seen as a whole and easily interpreted or compared side by side.
Creating the Original Stormtrooper Mask
A step by step guide to the creation of the original Stormtrooper by prop maker Andrew Ainsworth. In 1976 at Shepperton Design Studios Ainsworth created the original Stormtrooper helmets and armor for the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope.
DIY DSLR Video Rack Focus With Post It Flags
In this video, Michael Andrew shows a very easy and inexpensive alternative to rack focusing DSLR video cameras using post-it flags. Michael demonstrates the technique, how to set it up and how to get it down with just a little practice.
Pixar’s Amazing Zoetrope
Zoetropes date back to the nineteenth century, but this one created by Pixar may be the coolest one ever. It is currently on exhibit inside the animation building in Disneyland’s California Adventure.
Documentary: Animated Soviet Propaganda
Vladimir Lenin declared that cinema was the most important art for promoting communist ideology. This documentary goes behind the iron curtain and looks at propagandist animation from USSR from 1924-1984.
7 Pro Tips to Surviving the 48 Hour Film Project
The advice here is based on real life experiences which haven’t all been stellar. Listen and hopefully you can avoid some of the pitfalls of this weekend of insanity. If you don’t, who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky… or you might end up putting your fist through a wall.