Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Things I should start caring about.

Not the movie so much, although I am interested in seeing it, but makeup. 

I have never truly sat down and appreciated the effect makeup can have on a film.  I frequently find myself writing it off as merely an adaptation of what has been done before.  For instance, I just assumed that once people created the stereotypical look of a zombie (rotting, slack jawed, dead eyed faces) that every other makeup artist just did what they could to recreate that look with a few minor touches.  It never really seemed that complicated.  I appreciated that it was a difficult task, but this was their job, and people who are good at their jobs can often do difficult things easily. 

Nowadays I'm starting to think more on the idea that a movie with bad makeup is a bad movie.  If something doesn't look natural in the setting of the film it will constantly keep viewers from truly immersing themselves in the world, regardless if it's a realistic world or a world with a Great Pit of Carkoon in it. 

While the previews for Warm Bodies didn't stick out to me, it was clear that one important focus of the film was the gradual increase in humanity, and this seemed to be greatly reflected by the makeup.  Therefore, if the makeup is bad one of the major plot points of the film will be difficult to believe or get emotionally involved in.  Now I'm interested in seeing the film purely based on how the makeup looks as the movie progresses.  I have never experienced that before, but I'm excited about it.  Expanding my focus as an audience member.  Cool beans.


  1. I'm glad you pointed this out, Aidan. I, too, have never really given much thought to the use of makeup in movies. It's always been something I have taken for granted, kind of like the actors memorizing their lines.

    I think you're right in saying that makeup can provoke emotion or speak to a film's larger themes. Thinking back on Django Unchained which I reviewed for class, I'm realizing how makeup played a huge role in my connections with the characters. Seeing the whip lines, bruises, cuts, etc... on the slaves' bodies, provoked an emotional and physical reaction in me. Without the use of expertly applied makeup, that reaction might not have happened. I wonder if, like you suggested, I would have noticed the makeup more if it had been done poorly.

  2. This is one of my favorite things about writing and reading about the arts. It makes us pay attention to details we often don't otherwise notice. There's so much that goes into creating art, and how great it is to teach others to become aware.

  3. I also enjoyed this aspect of the movie--before and after watching it and reading your comments. Not only does the make-up create character we aren't used to seeing, but it revitalizes and challenges visual tropes.

    Nice note.