Friday, April 10, 2009

Having a "Shape" Moment

I've taken to walking the last mile to home from the light rail. It's a good time to collect my thoughts (or, more frequently, make another go for the high score on Bejeweled). There's one lonely stretch of the walk that's always a bit disconcerting -- walking along the half-mile of yellow concrete that marks the boundary of the country club. Not only is the walk visually monotonous, but it's also poorly lit and there's occasional cul-de-sacs from which any nightmare might leap.

Tonight as I walked along, a quarter mile in and a quarter mile to go, I heard a laugh some distance behind me. I noticed it particularly because of its unusual range -- it began high and ended low. I also noted it because it wasn't a laugh of mirth, but of mischief. I turned and looked behind me. There was no-one there. I thought. I didn't see anyone and yet it felt like there must have been. I turned again and although the scenery did not change one iota, there was clearly another person trailing me by about half a block. I had seen them the first time, but somehow I failed to register them as a person.

Somehow, this caused me to think of John Carpenter's Halloween, a film unsurpassed in its ability to create tension from the absence of its villain in a shot. I recalled being fourteen years old, having just seen the movie for the first time, and imagining Michael Myers was there every time I didn't catch him out of the corner of my eye. It's a powerful movie, one of my favorites, and it's good to know that it still has a hold on my overactive imagination on a brisk April night.

Monday, April 6, 2009

All Hail the Quad!

I'm prepping a post on Alan Parker's Angel Heart (somewhat slowed by the fact that I returned the DVD to Netflix before realizing that I needed to write said post), but here's a diversion in the meantime.

I'm working on a minor update to's design at the moment and I've been looking to poster art for inspiration in how to lay out the site's header. For the pure dimensional resemblances, I've gravitated towards posters that use the British "quad" design -- 40 inches wide by 30 inches tall (standard American posters are 27 inches wide by 40 inches tall). Clearly I'm not going to use that exact ratio, but the best examples of this type of poster are great lessons on how placing static words and pictures on a horizontal canvas properly can create a dynamic feel.

Here's some of the neater quad-style posters I've run across in my research:





Some of these posters come from Wrong Side of the Art, a fantastic cult cinema poster blog.