Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Unheimlichkeit at Dawn!

Yesterday saw the start of the next project...lots of clean slates, and students eager to get going! :)

As an introduction, we watched the brilliant original version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as good a way as any to introduce the idea of 'the uncanny' or Unheimlichkeit. This word is one I was already familiar with, having grown up with German as a second language, and in my mind it translates best as 'creepy'...so in the phrase,'es ist Mir unheimlich', you could read, 'it gives me the creeps'.
It's a different idea or feeling to fear or terror, and one which I think is all the more difficult to handle, as often it involves tricks of the mind, meaning that anyone can be overcome with a sense of Unheimlichkeit at any time! Who can honestly say that they have not been spooked by 'something' lurking in the shadows in the safety of their own home, or drawn the curtains because someone (or something!) might be out there watching in at you...? At this stage it is not terror, but how quickly that can escalate and become more than an uncomfortable feeling, leaving you with your heart pounding and beads of sweat on your forehead...
Much of the uncanniness we experience comes from a fear of losing control of something, so for example in Body Snatchers, the characters fight to maintain not only their bodies, but their individuality - what it is that makes them human at the end of the day.

It is a feeling that lurks just beneath the surface of everyday life, threatening to burst through and surround us all with paranoia. We embrace it where we can, as if by making it public, we can keep worse at bay. Take, for example, Big Brother... most of us, I'm sure, subconsciously fear being watched, spied on or stalked, and yet many millions go out of their way every day to sit down and do just that - the difference here being that the 'subjects' have opened themselves up to the voyeurism. So is it creepy to be a 'peeping-tom' or are we giving out the message that actually, there is a thrill to be had on both sides of the curtain...? (At this point, I will confess to never having seen Big Brother ! :) If you have not done so already, I would encourage you to read Raymond Carvers short story, ' The Idea' which deals with this subject...you will unwittingly become part of the story, as you watch the neighbours, watching the neighbour, who is also watching...

2 comments:

  1. 'Return of the Invasion of the Body-Snatchers' - see below for snippets from the three remakes - and, if you have time, give them a go - the 1993 version is often overlooked...

    (1978)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5prax5FsYmM

    (1993)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci3uRT3nEZM

    (2007)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s15PvvAt4lo

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  2. Hey all, I'm Liam, a third year student.

    Everyone is now using blogger on our course, and there's a nice community growing with people following each others blogs and helping each other with issues. Not everyone is linked up to each other though, and I thought a central blog for the course which everyone could post to would be a pretty nice idea. I've made one at this address:

    http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.com/

    It would also mean that rather then relying on the slow blogfeed and having to surf through the 70 odd blogs that we have between us, we can just come straight to this one.
    With a large knowledge base between everyone a lot of issues could be resolved fairly quickly, and so any problems can be posted here, and we will all have quick access to them.
    Also if anyone has found any good tutorials, has started a new project blog, has had a breakthrough they're pleased with, or whatever else, they can whack it on here.
    Just put a subject in the post title (eg. ISSUE - Blend Shapes, TUTORIAL - Advanced Rigging etc) and blog away.

    If you want to join comment in the first post with your email address (can't do it via linking) and I'll send you an author invite. If you don't want your email address published then just send me one (liamscarlino@hotmail.com) saying that you want in.
    When you've joined post saying hello, a link to your blog and whatever else you want.

    Cheers, hopefully hear from you all soon!

    Liam x

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