Meeeerry Christmas @allycharms!!! I was your secret santa for @mlsecretsanta :DD You asked for a couple in the love square and here is some christmassy Adrienette for all your needs! Post-reveal as you can see ; > And yes Adrien decided to ruin his Christmas sweater with flour >v<’
Oh since I noticed you like Pokémon I put a little easter egg (eheh) in it for you. Hope you really like it and have (had?) a great Christmas with whom you love and have a wonderful New Year later on!! : )
The Symbolic Use of Special Effects in Snowpiercer
written by K.K
The use of special effects in film has long been a highly debated area in the film industry. Resentment for special effects largely stems from the idea that it distracts the audience from the narrative of the film and thus threatens the realism that the film presents. Therefore, digital technologies makes filmic images fraudulent by imposing the artificial on the real.
Snowpiercer is a 2013 science fiction film by South Korean director Boog Joon Ho. The film follows a self-sustaining train that circulates the Earth yearlong at a constant high speed. It was created and developed to withstand the extreme temperatures that inflict the Earth in this apocalyptic world. The last of humanity is situated on this train as the consequence of the Earth entering a world-wide ice age. This was caused by an experimental substance that was launched into the atmosphere 17 years ago in the hope to neutralise the Earth’s climate that had been destroyed by environmental damaged. Interestingly, the train embodies an even stricter and more apparent classist hierarchy that had been modelled from pre-apocalyptic times. The first few carriages of the train are for the 1% that managed to secure their spot through hefty initial payments. The end few carriages are reserved for the ‘free loaders’. They are required to give up their labour, skills, children and livelihood for the running and maintenance of the train. Upward mobility is strictly prohibited. The plot follows the uprising of the end carriage and their attempts to force their way to the first carriage.
Upon first glance, Snowpiercer appears to be only about class struggles and the perils of capitalism. However, Snowpiercer also tackles notions of simulation, hyperreality and the relationship between the real and the artificial as defined by Baudrillard (1994). As a modern science fiction film, it also physically showcases a range of technologically advanced special effect features.
As a large quantity of the film is set inside the train, Snowpiercer displays incredibly advanced CGI to produce a seamless image of a constantly moving train. It is only half way through the film that the viewer catches a glimpse of the outside world through a window in the middle carriages. This glimpse is dramatised in two ways. As the story follows the members of the last carriage, the viewer is placed to directly experience the visual images of these characters. As the last carriage members push their way through the tight security driven nature of the carriages, a sudden drop in music occurs when they suddenly come across windows. The dusky tones of the dank, diseased driven and morbid last carriages in the first half of the film is contrasted with the icy and bright tones of the outside world. The dramatisation of this serves not only to visually and sensually please the viewer but also highlight the real and the artificial. For many of the characters in the film, they have not seen the outside or ‘real’ world for 17 years. Other characters do not even know the outside world as they were born on the train. The importance of this fact is emphasised through the constant referral to ‘train babies’ and the portrayal of their naivety. One such train baby character exclaims, “In the whole wide train?” in response to an adult bribing him for his protein snack. The train is a metaphor for the hyperreal. The realism of the hyperreal is only put into question when the characters are able to distinguish between the real and the artificial - the view of the outside world and the inside of the train. As this scene suggests, the real is realised only through the juxtaposition of the artificial. In this way the real is produced only through a pre-existed hyperreality.
Notions of the real and the artificial are explored further through the film. The aim of the tail carriage passengers is to reach the first carriage and demand equality within the train. They have no intentions of entering the ‘outside world’. The train, the copy of their pre-apocalyptic world, is their hyperreality. Their mission is very much linear. This is emphasised literally as their physical journey through the train is also linear. However, two characters, father and daughter, push past the linear mentality of all the passengers by seeking to exit the train, thereby exiting the artificial reality the creator of the train had produced and reinforced.
The final scene is the biggest twist in the film; the train eventually fails and is destroyed by the upheaval caused by the passengers. Through a series of frantic events, the film ends with two train babies escaping the rumble of the train as the sole survivors. The daughter of the security technician and a little boy who was forcibly removed from the last carriage in order to physically provide his body to upkeep the movement of the train, are the survivors. To their shock, they entered the ‘real’ world and are not killed by the atmosphere and intense cold as described by the adults on the train. The ice is melting, the Earth has renewed. This twist in the film takes an interesting spin on the real and the artificial. Is the train really the artificial? Is the outside world really the real? The outside world does not resemble what it once was, nor do the two surviving characters have any knowledge of the outside world. As train babies, the real world to them was the supposed hyperreal. The real and the artificial do not have distinct set boundaries, they are undefinable.
As suggested above, Snowpiercer embodies the concept of the real and the artificial in its narrative. Interestingly, digital technologies are used to create special effects to aid the narrative. Both the outside world and the inside world uses CGI to enhance the images captured on camera. Therefore visually, both the real and the artificial are indistinguishable in terms of visual manipulation, thus symbolising that the real and the artificial are too indistinguishable. It is interesting to note however, that much of the outside world, as seen through the windows in the train, have been totally computerised. This encourages the viewer to challenge preconceived notions of the real and the artificial. The special effects in Snowpiercer do not detract from the narrative of the film, but in turn strengthens it.
Bong Joon Ho’s, Snowpiercer, cleverly showcases the way digital technologies have enabled filmmakers to explore powerful new forms of images through special effects. Most importantly, the rise of digital technologies and the subsequent debate surrounding the jeopardy of the ‘purity’ of film has enabled filmmakers, like Bong Joon Ho, to create powerful and artistic commentary on the notions of the real and the artificial.
Ahhh beautiful child I love your colors!!! He was really fun to paint although I had a few problems deciding how to draw him since I’m so rusty… Anyways, exited about him because I wanna see what awaits him now that I began reading about his journey~~