Touch of Evil

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Likability may be the currency of movie stardom, but most actors agree that the juiciest, most memorable roles often belong to the villains. The 13 performers featured in this year’s portfolio have distinguished themselves in 2011 by playing nice, noble, tragic and heroically patient characters — as well as many who defy easy description — but as a rule they have not impersonated monsters, killers, thugs or other figures of malevolence. So the magazine offered them the chance to try on the black hat.

Some of these villains are inspired by specific icons of unpleasantness. Others tap more generally into the primal fears that remain a potent source of pleasure and discomfort at the movies. Cruelty. Seduction. Rage. The ability of these actors to disturb us with a gesture, a change of expression or a simple stare only serves to make us like them more.

A.O. Scott




Cinemetrics - Frederic Brodbeck

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cinemetrics is about measuring and visualizing movie data, in order to reveal the characteristics of films and to create a visual “fingerprint” for them. Information such as the editing structure, color, speech or motion are extracted, analyzed and transformed into graphic representations so that movies can be seen as a whole and easily interpreted or compared side by side. read less … Being someone who really enjoys movies and cinema, I always notice little things about the style of a movie, so film and its characteristics were an interesting starting point for this project.

Frederic Brodbeck - website


Furthermore my thesis is about generative / computational design and what role writing code plays regarding new approaches in (graphic) design. It was clear that for my graduation project I would use the methods I described in the thesis and that it would involve a certain amount of programming in order to visualize data. However, today there are already a lot of information graphics using meta-data related to film and cinema (budget, box office data, awards won, relationship between characters etc.). That’s why I wanted to use the movie itself as a source of data, to see what sort of information can be extracted from it, to find ways of visualizing it and to create the necessary tools to do this. Since motion pictures are a time-based medium, they can only be seen one image at a time – only as a fraction, never as a whole – that’s why it’s hard to capture and display them in their entireness. Taking this as a challange, the goals I set for this project were the following: Measuring and visualizing movie data to reveal the characteristics of movies and to create some sort of unique “fingerprint” for them. Extracting and analyzing information – such as the editing structure, use of colors, speech or motion – and transform them into graphic representations, so that movies can be seen as a whole and easily be interpreted or compared. Working experimentally and presenting the work both in print and digital media. This is especially interesting when putting two or more movies side by side and to be able to immediately see the similarities and / or differences: original vs. remake movies of the same genre / series different epochs of film-making all movies by one director Not only cinema enthusiasts and people doing film studies might benefit, but also for regular people an alternative way of looking at movies could provide an interesting new way of choosing movies based on formal criteria. For instance: “I don’t want to see the dark one with lots of motion, that colorful one with the great amount of spoken words looks much more interesting to me.” cinemetrics is an experiment to find out if the data that is inherent in the movie can be used to make something visible that otherwise would remain unnoticed.