Improvising an Art-Book as a Graphic Novel

To view the full image, please click on the picture

Improvising an art-book as a graphic novel is perhaps a crazy idea, but after viewing the video on Keith Jarret where he talks about  “The Art of Improvisation” ” and remembering what he says:  …” improvisation is to begin a musical piece from scratch with no antecedents to be based on”…(loosely quoted from the video clip), I took the same idea to comics drawing.

My no-antecedent and from scratch comics drawing only source was the Russian movie ” Night Watch” by director Timur Bekmambetov. I remember vaguely what the film was about. Perhaps the  theme, a mystical battle between the forces of evil and the forces of good in his modern Russian version was the trigger to chose “Night Watch”.

Well  I hadn’t the slightest idea from where to begin. So I began to screen the movie on my computer and each time I was impressed by a passage I stopped the screening and draw the scene, drawing finally  a sequence of 250 pictures pictures guided randomly by my visual feelings .

With my first drawing   I was confronted with the question in what style to draw? Looking  at the art of well know artist I admired their fine artwork. Magnificent examples are the drawings by Dave Gibbons for Alan Moore’s graphic novel “Watchmen“:

To view the full image, please click on the picture

But I am not a graphic arts artist so my skills to make  something like Dave Gibbons’s drawings for “Watchmen”,  where very doubtful. It was  obvious to me that my drawings should be closer to my personal instincts: disliking ‘beautiful drawings but also appreciate them, and finding the right touch to merge   beauty and ‘bad’ drawing.

Finally, this ‘graphic novel’ was not intended to act as a graphic novel but more as an experimental art book, where what I draw was done on the fly without much correcting.

Here is a sequence from chapter 2 . To view the full images, please click one each  pictures.

WatchA4-1FLAT

For those interested in technicalities. Perhaps a bizarre choice, but I draw directly into a hardcover book by Nobel winner physicist Richard Feynman called “Feynman Lectures on Gravitation”. My drawing tools where black markers with different point size. The markers bleed through each page. Taking tipp-ex as a substitute for white acrylic  I painted  on the unwanted black  marks.  After restoring the white color and letting some black or gray spots on each page,  the original book text on gravitation shimmering through the tippex fluid serve as a canvas to draw each new picture.

An Israeli Egyptian Movie Encounter

 Beaufort

The 80th Annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2008 (today 3.00 AM Israel time 2/25/2008). Among the five films nominated to the Best Foreign Film is the Israeli film ”Beaufort’.see here.

  But as with the Middle East imbroglio, another Israeli film, The Band’s Visit [By Writer-director Kolirin] who actually  triumphed at the Israel film academy’s 2007 awards, I quote,.. “has reaped accolades at film festivals abroad  has been blocked from film festivals in the Arab world and become the focus of domestic dispute at home.”…” the film’s disqualification as Israel’s official candidate for an Oscar nomination in the category of best foreign-language film, on the grounds that too much of its dialogue is in English. According to the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to qualify for the category a foreign-language film must have a dialogue track that is predominantly in a language, or languages, other than English, meaning more than 50 percent.”…see here.
  And so here we are, with the technical ‘language disqualification’ that forced the Israeli film academy to submit its 2007 runner-up, Beaufort,” directed by Joseph Cedar and all in Hebrew, for best foreign-language film.
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  The ‘Oscar’ fate of ” Beaufort’ will be decided today in a straightforward way by receiving the award or not. But the Middle East fate of the “The Bands Visit” is more subtle. In 2005 the Egyptian director Mr. Arafa, created the movie “Embassy Is in the Building”, a movie with many similarities matching the Israeli humorous movie.   The NYT headline was “No Joke: Egyptian Comedy Promotes Peace With Israel”, see here. The release of the “The Bands Visit” in September 2007   provoked similar headlines. In ‘The New york Sun the headline was ” ‘The Band’s Visit’: What Peace Is About”, (December 13, 2007). Both movies, in their own way, stages a foreground of possible friendship and love without to much political filters between the involved people.
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The Bands Visit, Sasson Gabai
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 The Israeli movie, “The Bands Visit”, I quote,..” Crisply executed, beautifully acted, charming, and brittle, “The Band’s Visit” is about an eight-man uniformed Egyptian police orchestra that lands in an Israeli desert town, where the locals greet the band members first with total indifference, then with growing warmth. Think of it as one of the funnier Coen brothers movies, just set in a Middle Eastern desert outpost instead of a quirky American town.”…
 The Egyptian movie, “The Embassy Is in the Building.”, Amr Arafa’s hilarious take on the elegant building on the Nile in Cairo that housed the Israeli Embassy for some 30 years, transforming the structure’s social geography and the wild lifestyle of one tenant who could not have cared less about politics until his womanizing became a threat.”…
 …”In both movies, peace boils down to people doing their best under the circumstances to find common denominators. Israelis and Egyptians are victims as well as heroes. In “The Band’s Visit,” as a critic for the NYT noted, “Love doesn’t exactly bloom in this desert, but a sense of inarticulates longing does.” Ditto for the film’s Egyptian counterpart.”… see here.
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Adel Imam “The Embassy Is in the Building
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   But again, to spoil the whole situation, Egypt banned the “The Bands Visit” from The 31st Cairo International Film Festival  (Nov 27, 2007) I quote ..”A total of 153 films from 100 countries will have been shown by the time the festival closes on December 7, with the notable exception of the Israeli production “The Band’s Visit” which has been boycotted by the organisers.”…see more.
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  And here another quote on what is going on  behind closed doors ..”The renowned, award-wining Israeli film ‘The Band’s Visit’, which has garnered critical acclaim in film festivals around the world, is stirring up interest among Egyptian intellectuals as well, even though it has been officially banned in the country.”…” Behind closed doors, however, Egyptians are quietly circulating bootleg copies of the “forbidden” film, though no one would actually admit to having seeing it. Not three months ago, the film was turned away by the Egyptian Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, following threats by the Egyptian Actors'”..”The Egypt Today article goes on to state “if this sounds like a high quality movie to you, there is not doubt that this is indeed the case judging by the numerous international awards that the film had won.” The magazine also notes that ‘The Band’s Visit’ director, Eran Kolirin, is a big fan of Egyptian cinema. That being said, the magazine informed readers that the banned film will not be showing in Egypt anytime soon.”.. see here
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  Well what can I say? “The Embassy Is in the Building” and “The Bands Visit”, two excellent movies. Egypt and Israel with a Peace Treaty between them. Two good leading actors, the Egyptian  Adel Imam and Sasson Gabai the Israeli and their co-actors. An audience of people on both sides… An Israeli  Egyptian encounter between individuals ? Perhaps in the future.
The embassy Is in the Building
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More photos From the Egyptian movie “The Embassy Is in the Building”.
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“The Embassy Is in the Building”
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The Embassy Is in the Building”
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The Embassy Is in the Building”
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From the Egyptian movie, “The Embassy Is in the Building”. Dubai International Film Festival
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More Photos from the Israeli movie ”The Bands Visit”.
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From the Israeli movie, ”The Bands Visit”.
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Sasson Gabai as Tewfiq Ronit Elkabetz as Dina and Saleh Bakri as Haled
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Ronit Elkabetz as Dina and Sasson Gabai as Tewfiq 3jjj
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Saleh Bakri as Haled Shlomi Avraham as Papi and Rinat Matatov as Yulakkk
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I published this story on NowPublic and  here are the comments by  NowPublic editors and contributing members.

 

 
good stuff:korzac, I like this story. It’s good stuff.

polishd, thanks for the flag.

 

Am I missing something in this article… coz as far as the Egyptian movie is concerned, “There is no promotion for PEACE, at all”. “The Embassy is in the Building” is quite provocative actually; and by no means promote for friendship among citizens of Israel and Egypt. I haven’t seen the Israeli movie, yet. But, speaking of the Egyptian movie – although I personally disagree with its principles – I’d say that whoever wrote this article either haven’t seen the Egyptian movie, or haven’t gotten its message!!

 

 

 sara_alnashar,   you are absolutely right I didn’t seen the movie “The Embassy Is in the Building”, so I couldn’t possibly get his message. Instead I quote Michael Slackman  who wrote in The New York Times from 2005 an article whose headline was “No Joke: Egyptian Comedy Promotes Peace With Israel “, see here. I suppose he did seen the movie and the headline resume his impressions about the movie.  And from the same article here is another quote..” ‘I loved the movie,” said Reem Abdel Nasser, 19, as she left the theater last week.’ It deals with all the problems and issues we are concerned and confused about. And he presents a diplomatic solution for the Israeli-Arab problem which I agree with. We have to live with them. We do not have to be friends, but we do not have to be enemies. We should just live together.”..
If that promote peace or not, I sincerely don’t know.
I wish you the best and thanks for the comment.