ART 356 | Paper 6 – Paprika (2006)

Satoshi Kon’s Japanese 2006 animated (anime) film Paprika may seem quite familiar in that it spawned a live action adaption you may already be familiar with in the sci-fi genre. The story is not filled with the standard American cliché such as action or espionage or even tries carry linear path to an end game. Chicago Reader’s writer and critic Andrea Gronvall stated Paprika is, “The intersections between sleep and waking, memory, cinema, and the internet lead to a spectacular battle of titans who spring from the mind’s darkest recesses”. The film explores the idea of people sharing a dream and having the capability of entering somebody’s unconscious mind. This film important to the sci-fi because take on a different approach to plot, musical approaches, and public reaction that sets it apart from the American sci-fi genre.

Straightaway, there is a realization that this film’s plot takes place in these interconnected dream worlds, where the dream and reality ripple across one another. The film Paprika based on the Yasutaka Tsusui 1993 novel of the same name, follows the protagonist Dr. Atsuko Chiba, top of her field in the revolutionary new dream therapy treatment with experimental deceive called a “DC Mini” which allows her to illegally treat her patients through their dreams as her alter ego Paprika until the deceive is stolen due to opposition in order to stop the advancements of the new technology. Dr. Chiba will now work with the second protagonist Toshimi Konakawa, police inspector, and one of her patients to try to catch the thief. In Inception, the plot focus is on the thief, Dom Cobb, who specializes in corporate espionage trying gain back what was lost by performing one last inception regain his wife and children.

The film has rather dark concepts; Paprika, which is more complicated without the sense of romance. Paprika is not all misery and doom though but is a magical film and the dreams have a much more child-like. Paprika’s plot is amazing yet confusing in that it raises more questions than answering them. Paprika paints a rather vague picture of how the thief is able to enter and steal the dreams of people due to the multiple entry points that are used and not just the deceive itself. Not only does the plot contrast but also the music which shows how the mood and progression affect the outcome of the film.

Next, the catchy and yet popular techno tracks of Paprika soundtrack was composed by famous Susumu Hirasawa, a Japanese electronic artist, and composer. The soundtrack is significant for being the first made for a film to use a popular computer application synthesizer program developed by Yamaha, Vocaloid for some computer generated vocals. The second track of the film “Mediational Field,” best represents the film which is completely catchy and is repeatedly used during the parade scenes. Not only does the reputation of the music to be able to progress the films but the public reaction to the film is most important.

Lastly, the film received positive reception of the film yet the public reception that the film should really receive its deserved praise. Paprika is very vivid and unusually complex which is implied, where the lines between the dream and reality are blurred which confuses most the audiences. According to a French magazine Excessif, Christopher Nolan has cited Satoshi’s Paprika as an influence in which prompted the idea of Ellen Page’s character as a vital piece to his 2010 feature film, Inception. Chicago Sun-Times writer and critic Roger Ebert said, “Inception does a difficult thing. It is wholly original, cut from new cloth, and yet structured with action movie basics so it feels like it makes more sense than (quite possibly) it does.” At the box office, Paprika grossed in the U.S. 45,429 versus in Japan’s box office 6,789,700 yen (72,069.95 USD). It has a Metascore of 81 based on 26 critics and scored a 7.6 on IMDB.com. Later, the 2010 film Inception is even caught for using multiple scenes from Paprika like the scene where Ellen Page’s character touches the glass wall and it shatters, which also takes place in Paprika with Chiba’s alter ego. The fact that this film actually did so well at the box office and received great critical reception but only that Inception made more than double of what Paprika made and yet the audiences and fan bases are at odds when comes which made better film due to very similar visual effects that seems to be going toward Inception as their clear winner so far.

In conclusion, the film shares many comparisons yet the film does contrast in the plot, musical style and of course public receptions. Due to the cinematography and the fact that both of the films featured a device that allowed a person, or people, to travel into another’s dreams and dive into their subconscious maybe the reason why inspired films like Inception. America views of a movie are more inclined to a logical well thought out film rather than a story without much progression or unclear objective than other countries like Japan. It’s clear that this film goes in into a different direction spawning new ideas, but has a uniquely different conscience. It is clear the audience decision that this film set itself apart.


Bibliography

Paprika. Dir. Satoshi Kon. By Satoshi Kon, Seishi Minakami, Brian Beacock, Doug Erholtz, and Michael Forest. Sony Pictures Classics, 2007. DVD.

Inception. Warner Home Video, 2011. Film.

Le Vern, Romain. “Inception Par Christopher Nolan : Interview, Références, Indices…” TOUS DROITS RÉSERVÉS. N.p., 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

 

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ART 356 | Paper 6 – Paprika (2006)

ART 356 | Paper 4: Gallery Review

In this paper, I will be looking at Richard Duardo’s Artist and Master Printmaker Exhibition that is on display in the California State University Los Angeles Fine Art’s Gallery. The Gallery specializes in being an accessible place for the university community to explore and connect to the art world. The exhibition features Duardo’s amazing print works throughout his career and some of his screens are also on display. This time around it was a different experience than usual because I was attending with my classmates than with random strangers or acquaintances and it will be first time writing about art exhibition here at school. When I first walked into the gallery you can see Duardo’s logo and get the sense that stenciling was a huge part of his work but that is just one facet of his work. The whole gallery is filled with incandescent lighting, wood floors, white walls, and glass framed compositions. While walking around and taking pictures of his work I could see the lighting was not right in certain parts of the gallery even the art work seemed out of place in certain parts of the gallery. However, you can see his passion for pop culture and political figures take center stage in his pieces from Warhol to Che.

Richard Duardo is an Angeleno with a legacy of being the “Warhol of the West” of producing and introducing pop culture to the next generation.[1] He attended UCLA, was a self-made entrepreneur opening up his own studio called Centre de Arte Publico or “Public Art Center,” as well as, being a part of the Los Angeles Chicano movement scene.[2] Actually, when you see this exhibition you may think Duardo is still alive and well but he died in his sleep not long ago on November 11, 2014, according to the LA Observer.[3] Durado’s background and art work make me think of another famed artist by the name of Firooz Zahedi, who actually worked with Warhol also encouraging him to go into media artistry. I was able to see Zahedi’s works in Culver City at the newly remodeled Kopeikin Gallery. Both artist’s work is display in the same manner in glass frames showcasing portraits or collages of text and image with famous pop culture icons and political figures. However, Richard’s works seem to come in a group of three with similar themes like Frida and the game Loteria.

First, when you entered the gallery you see Frida’s portrait a sandwiched between Che and Warhol. Here they become prominent political icons of the art world not just for movements; Frida is of the Feminist art movement; Warhol’s pop (culture) art movement; and Che is a prominent figure in the art as a revolutionary political icon. The 41”x39” serigraph portrait of Frida was made in 2003 is called “Frida Grandisima/Loteria,” which was “Made for a promotion for the film, Frida placing her in front of a Loteria Card.” Frida is one of the favorite female artists because her work displays her abstracted feelings and life experience of what women go through on every day from sexuality, society, and man versus man or woman vs woman mentality. Her image is displayed here is taken from a natural or minimalistic background and is placed before a board game I used to play in elementary. The composition suggests that Frida’s life was like board game filled with all sorts of life chances.

Next, the piece to follow is made in 2014 is called “Loteria,” which is like the game Bingo but sometimes you play with pennies or dimes where winner takes all. When I’ve played with substitutes for coins is another fun alternative to Bingo. The composition was placed in the next adjacent room in the gallery. According to the gallery summary “Loteria is a mainstay in Mexican culture; everyone gathers around to participate in the game of chance.” Here it is life size 31”x45” version of the game where if you are familiar with it then want to say or shout out “Loteria!”. Unlike the game Bingo, which is all numbers, this game includes watercolor images and text of what the image is in Spanish. As a kid, the game seemed so ominous like they give a tarot card look and feel to them especially with that death card.

Lastly, we have the 33.5” x 47” “Selma as Frida” in a black frame instead of the gold frame like first two. The 2003 HPM serigraph piece was placed in the last room of the gallery on the far right corner of the gallery. I was getting the feeling that frame is saying this not real; this is an imitation of the real thing. The image is of “Selma Hayek as Frida” as the title of the image is similar to the first piece that has the game Loteria but it looks like a knock off or another version of the game. The gallery summary says, “The hand painted, signed and printed was Commissioned for Selma Hayek’s role in the 2002 film ‘Frida’.” Looking at all three pieces’ dates now suggested that this the original inspiration for “Frida Grandisima/ Loteria” that both were used as promotional material for the movie. However, all three of artwork’s theme correlate with one another as a complete set.

In conclusion, I think this one of my favorite exhibitions because Duardo and is from Los Angeles like myself.  And, we share similar political and pop culture icon that we look up to, admire such as Frida and even the ones we all like to forget. I can relate to him as an artist because I like doing similar work such collages, using washes of colors, and taking photos and manipulating into creating something new.  In addition, just like I would like to meet Frida and Zahedi, I think if Duardo was still alive I would have loved to have met him because I feel like we always look up to the artist but we never really get met their legacy in most cases. Although the gallery lighting and artwork placement were little off putting at first, the art work spoke for themselves and had me wondering around, and actually look at every single piece instead of just glossing over them.


[1] “Fine Arts Gallery.” California State University, Los Angeles. N.p., 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016. http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/art/gallery.php.

[2] @LinkTV. “Richard Duardo – Owner & Master Printer, Modern Multiples.” KCET. N.p., 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016. https://www.kcet.org/shows/departures/richard-duardo-owner-master-printer-modern-multiples.

[3] By Kevin Roderick | November 12, 2014 1:35 PM. “Richard Duardo, LA Master Printmaker and Artist, Has Died.” LA Observed. N.p., 12 Nov. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2016. http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2014/11/richard_duardo_la_artist.php.

ART 356 | Paper 4: Gallery Review

Art 220| Design Post 20

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This is 8gb usb hard drive, also known as, a thumb drive by Ativa. Unfortunately, it does not work anymore. The last it was working was last year. The reason it has “stopped” working is because the manufacture stop updating them for newer windows updates. The still can be seen by the computer but are not readable. They come up as a driver with a totally different or new name. However, the design of this hard drive is so so different than what is out the market today. The usb can move 360 degrees around the sliver plastic casing. Also, another great thing is that is has 8gb of digital space but of course is it unusable now. Because it is a off brand it will be very hard to find something like this in market. This usb  came out years ago where it was  an upcomming 8gb that most people with  computer with limited amounts of space needed but was to expensive. But as time went on space got cheaper and a lot the old went out. It clear that usbs have only a limited amount before they become obsolete. In world where we waste so much precious materials like this we need be designing usb with longer shelf life than this. However, The font is incorporated in the design of the silver casing and seem permanent. The only problem with design is that the silver casing does come off and it usually causes the usb to malfunction after a certain amount of uses. But it can be manufactured to where it can stay together properly without messing it up and losing all your hard work.

 

Art 220| Design Post 20

Art 220| Design Post 19

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This is no ordinary key change. This key is fun on solar energy and can be seen in gift shops around Las Vegas. This keychain was bought last year in a gift shop in on the Northern part of the Strip, also known as, Downtown Las Vegas. On the front as seen above displays your name. When there is no strong light source around it flashes your name. On the back it has a holographic image of the iconic Las Vegas sign and a aerial image of a part of Las Vegas Strip. The one problem with this Keychain is that is made of plastic and does show noticeable wear and tear. However is inexpensive gift to buy if you’re a tourist in LV. In future who manufactures this name keychain can put little plastic buffers on the sides so that if it does fall or drop or hit other things that it wouldn’t get badly damaged. The font used for the name i seem oblique and  is very uniquely designed than what you would see from other keychains and it doesn’t fade away like those other key chains either. Purple background is also very different from what you normally see from a keychain like this too. This design nice but just need that plastic buffer to keep the keychain from get too banged up.

 

 

Art 220| Design Post 19

ART 220 | DESIGN POST 18

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The is a plastic package that advertises the Lock Wallet  which is shown here in black. It contains a lot room to keep personal information like credit cards, ID, and award cards. The wallet is meant to be used to keep those personal and financial information from being illegally wireless taken. Also, because of the recent changes to current card technology which now uses chips which apparently aren’t safe from theft either. This probably the biggest problems for credit card companies. Well, this wallet is suppose help with it “nano secure” material to keep those frauders away from stealing your identity. The material of is basically made with mainly plastics and a metal liner, which helps to stop wireless fraud from happen to you if brought one sole for the functionality. However it does contain a lot space for hold your cards and is small enough to fit into your pockets or bag which makes is to carry around. The design is simple and clean and can be used by anyone and is it very inexpensive. However, there a lot of these types of wallets or accessories like this that can be easily bought from online storefronts at cheaper price. But if you’re at place that sale “As seen on TV” you can always take it back if you are not happy with it.

 

ART 220 | DESIGN POST 18

ART 220 | DESIGN POST 17

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This is the wireless keyboard Logitech K360 in black and white. It comes with a small usb numb in black that needs to plugged into one of the computer’s usb socket in order to receive the single while the computer is on. The keyboard is also adjustable from laying flat to being raised to a 30-45 degree angles.The cost the keyboard is inexpensive and functions are slightly different to a standard keyboard. For example, if you want to take a screen you would simply press the stand alone PRTSCR button but on this keyboard it is a dual button which, is the Home button. So, would have to press the FN key + Home/ PrintScr to use the screenshot function. The keyboard is great for instant use or a backup for just in case you still use an older motherboard. It also great for platforms like playstation or Xbox for fast and easy accessibility which would hard to do a control. The battery life isn’t bad either but, it requires content us. However, the wireless numb that comes with it is really hard to pull out of the usb sockets if you need move it. Also, keys on the board are raised which be concern for be people who prefer swallowed keyboard. This a great recommendation for anyone because logitech has made their wireless keyboards line with nifty design. This keyboard actually can match some of unique ATX out on market if you’re looking for uniformity.

ART 220 | DESIGN POST 17

Art 220 | Design Post 16

 

This the  Blender bottle that is BPA Free. The bottles come in different colors and sizes and it a great replacement to cheap plastic bottles of water. And just like the name is used for blended drinks like shake, smoothies, or fused water. It also comes with a aluminium ball whisk for really think smoothies or shakes. The top is a twistable that has a snap on lid for consumption. The major problem is the tops aren’t all the same for this size bottle so, it makes it very hard to carry it around if you’re in college or live an active lifestyle. Some of the top do come with a hook that is attached to the lid to make it easy carry around. This type of top would be great for cool storage of drinks or food but not for carrying around campus or hiking. The bottle however carries 20 litters of any beverage so you won’t go thirsty any time you take this bottle with you. The bottle are for the most part clear and easy to spot because of the bright colors. The logo is usually on both the top; horizontally engraved;  and bottle; is in color in a vertical position. Although the this top doesn’t have to the hooked lid, you can always mix and match top with this bottle so don’t have settle.

Art 220 | Design Post 16