As stated in a post published in 2017, an artist should always strive to create “The Rich, Visual Feast” according to my printmaking professor, Lynwood Kreneck. I want to revisit this idea.
Over the holidays I saw two of the most visually compelling movies I’ve seen in a long time: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse and The Favourite. Both were complex stories, but in all honesty I would almost like to see them both again but without the sound, just soak up the movies purely with my eyes.
Of the two, I prefer Spiderman for a few reasons. Visually, it is hands down one of the finest pieces of animation I’ve ever seen. The characters had such life and volume, yet were still had that cartoony look. Almost hyper-real, like Speed Racer from a few years ago. What really got me was the dot patterns — the moire patterns — you seen in old comic books due to the poor printing quality. Those dots were overlaid on most of the movie, although they would become more pronounced at times when the light hit them the right way. In all, the effect added so much more to the overall picture. It was breath-taking.
I am not really into period pieces, but agreed to see The Favourite because my wife loves these movies. Much to its credit, it was beautiful to watch. It is one of those movies that had me feeling uncomfortable the whole time, but afterwards we have yet to quit talking about it. These sumptuous, opulent costumed people in this ornate castle not being satisfied living out these extraordinary lives, despite the reality that there was a war with France going on, and the rest of England was suffering terribly. The story was filled with this kind of duality that you only come realize upon reflection afterwards.
That is ultimately the difference between the two movies. One was an instant hit of pure visual pleasure while the other presented itself in such a way that it compelled me to not only sit through it, but I still cannot quit thinking about it. There is an interesting lesson here about how to use visuals to tell stories and how powerful visuals can be.
Now, which one is my favourite?