Shades of Cinema
Author: Diva Del Mar
Shades of Cinema invites you to see the world of movies and television through the eyes of the make up artist. Sometimes technical, sometimes glamorous, and but always nerdy, I strive to educate and entertain. I’ll cover the spectrum from the glittery lips of John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry Inch to the matte perfection of Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, and, of course, everything you can possibly think of in between. Take a look, have a read, and if you feel a little shiny, just yell. “MAKE UP!”
In my last blog, I voiced my frustration that so many period pieces throw a modern wrench into the accuracy of the make-up in films. So, in order to balance out my critique, I’m dedicating this blog to movies that display genuine make-up artistry from the story’s perspective era.
When I was in my early 20s, many of my favorite films were all period pieces. Movies were a time machine for me, and I loved to dive into the visual grandeur of films like Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. Filmmakers relish in recreating the stage for eras gone by, and particular care is always given to the accuracy of costume and set design.
Unfortunately, many period pieces fall flat in the accuracy department when it comes to our craft. Historical figures are frequently made up using trends that were popular when the movie was being filmed, instead of when the story took place.
In movies as an art form, the rise of technology, particularly CGI has created an entire new realm of possibilities. Artists can make anything come to life, in delicious, vivid dimensions. However, there is one aspect of CGI evolution that I don’t embrace and in actuality, I kind of despise. That, my friends, is when film makers, for whatever reason, choose computer graphics over practical make up, especially when it is 150,000% unnecessary!
If you are like me, you have always held an esteemed fascination with the villains of film. My love of bad boys aside, (I’m talking to you, sexy!), I find that the villain draws upon all the hidden desires for lust, power, and seedy glory that we have been taught since childhood to be naughty and taboo ambitions. And we allow ourselves to revel and indulge in these terrible and murderous characters, because it’s just a story and the hero will overcome in the end.
In most work places, there are unspoken rules that everybody follows. They are the no-brainers that somewhere along the way you learned from peers, school, and/or from an awkward faux-pas moment.
Artistry in transformative make-up doesn’t just refer to the talent of the person applying it. Successful portrayal of a character and use of good make-up effects also relies on the film’s director of photography and in the actor. The actor, who must work underneath feature-altering prosthetics and pounds of goops and goo, has to be able to emote through the make-up. He or she must carry a performance that just drips with charisma.
Red, crimson, scarlet, rouge, ruby, vermillion, and cherry! No other color has the same impact, strength, or call to emotion as red! My personal favorite since childhood, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s belated blog to this unique and supercharged shade!
For this week’s blog on Shades of Cinema, I am bowing my brushes to the fabulous and absolutely gorgeous Lisa Cotterill, an accomplished make-up artist and make up instructor from Down Under!