April 29, 2007

On Wednesday of last week I was invited to NYC to attend a private screening of Stardust as part of the Tribeca Film Fest. Not an offer I was prepared to forgo. So last night, with friend and art pal, Michael Kaluta I found myself working my way through a hotel lobby full of bright young things and soon arrived at the Stardust screening room. Posh seats for, at most, 50 people. Filling those seats were several of the movie’s stars (Robert DeNiro, Clare Danes, Charlie Cox), producers (Lorenzo di Bonaventura, etc.) and many faces both recognizable and not. Matthew Vaughan , the director, introduced the film and the lights went down. Nervous couldn’t half describe how I was feeling at that moment. What if I found myself cringing at what had been done to “my” story. What if everyone started walking out? What if, what if… But all of that ‘noise’ quickly dissapeared as the story began to unfold on screen. And over the next two hours everything that I could have wanted was all there; action, humor, romance, a touch of horror, special effects that were there in service to the story being told, an epic scope as well as many wonderfully intimate quiet moments. Matthew and co-screenwriter Jane Goldman have managed to capture the essence of the novel and then have skillfully edited as well as extended plot and characters where needed to transform those elements from one medium to another. For those of you who love the original novel there are indeed changes aplenty, so prepare yourself. But there were just as many scenes and little moments that come directly from the book. As to the visuals, they are very different from my own conceptions but just as valid for the story. The pirates flying galleon is particularly brilliant! The Lilum’s hovel/castle is grand and decadent, bespeaking of older times when all three rulled in their glory. The landscapes from the extensive on location shooting are gorgeous and other worldly. Later, I found myself sometimes thinking, as I replayed the film in my head, “I wish that I’d thought of that!” It will be, I think, a lovely antidote for all the bombastic summer movies that will surround its release. I hope that you all will enjoy it as much as I did.

Best,
Charles

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April 10, 2007

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I’ll be in NYC on May 2 to present a lecture at the Society of Illustrators on the art of the fantastic. The Society houses an amazing collection of work by its founding fathers (Rockwell, Leyendecker, Harvey Dunn, Mead Shaffer, etc.) as well as being THE showcase for contemporary illustration. Needless to say it will be both a thrill and an honor to be there.

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CHARLES VESS
Part Seen, Part Imagined
An informal visual survey of three predominate threads of the fantastic in the arts: the english fairy painters, the american pulp tradition, and the visionary artist.

Wednesday May 2nd, 2007
6:30 PM
$10.00 / $6.00 students
Society of Illustrators
128 East 63rd Street
New York, NY 10021
212.838.2560
info@societyillustrators.org

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The images above will be a small part of the lecture and presentation.
The new deluxe reissue of the hardcover edition of Stardust will go on sale that same Wednesday so I’ll be signing at Jim Hanely’s Universe (across from the Empire state Building) on that Friday (May 4th) from 6-8pm.

http://www.jhuniverse.com/page/rvel/Events__amp__News_at_JHU.html

I hope to see some of you at either or both of these events.

Best,
Charles

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