Classic Movies

Ballpoint pen, ink, colour pencil, correction fluid pen on paper · 2 Oct 08
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Classic Movies — Art by Karthik

About this drawing

This is the second "mashup" drawing I've done (this was the first), and the theme this time is Classic Movies.  I was initially going to call it "Top 250", and have it exclusively feature movies that were on the Internet Movie Database Top 250 List, but then I started it with a drawing from The French Connection, which I later realised is not on that list!  But then again, that movie is a Best Picture Oscar Winner, so that justified its inclusion.  So the theme became "Classic Movies", and all the movies featured in this drawing are either in the Top 250 list, or Oscar winners, or both.  There are 18 (count them — 18) movies featured here, and below is a list —

  • Sin City — Pictured at the top left is Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan from Sin City, which is a movie adapted by director Robert Rodriguez from the comic by Frank Miller.  This could be considered a modern classic, and it gained praise for its unique look and approach to filmmaking.
  • The Dark Knight — For a time after its release, this movie occupied the number one spot on the IMDb Top 250 list!  I guess that is because many people (myself included) rated it a 10/10 on watching it.  In the drawing you can see Heath Ledger as The Joker, from the movie.  The movie itself is a great one, and Ledger would probably get an Oscar nomination for his performance in this role.
  • The Lord of the Rings — Pictured at the top (next to Jessica Alba and above the Joker) is the " One Ring" from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings adaptation.  All the three movies that make up the adaptation of J R R Tolkien's work are high on the Top 250 list, and the final film even won 11 Oscars.
  • Return of the Jedi — Out of the original Star Wars trilogy, 1983's Return of the Jedi is my favourite.  So, here is Jabba the Hutt from that movie.
  • Pulp Fiction — Quentin Tarantino's classic and one of my all-time favourite movies.  This had to be on this picture, and right next to Jabba, there is Samuel L Jackson as Jules Winnfield from this movie.
  • Fight Club — David Fincher's classic and another one of my all-time favourites.  This also had to be on this picture, so here's the bar of soap from the movie.  By the way, the idea of using the bar of soap to represent this movie in promotional materials came from the advertisement agency Wieden+Kennedy, who are responsible for Nike's "Just Do It" tagline.
  • Oldboy — Next to the soap is the character Oh Dae-su (played by Choi Min-sik) from Park Chan-wook's movie Oldboy, the South Korean revenge drama.  The movie is known for its unusual story, the acting and direction.
  • The French Connection — The centre of the whole piece is a picture of the bad guy from the 1971 police thriller The French Connection.  The movie is a Best Picture Oscar winner and is notable for many reasons — the gritty realism, the acting, but most of all, the exhilarating car chase sequence where Gene Hackman's character is in a car on the road, and the man he wants to capture is getting away on an elevated train.  An excellent movie too.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey — In a piece like this, you have to include movies from various genres, and when you think of science fiction, one true classic is the Stanley Kubrick/Arthur C Clarke collaboration 2001: A Space Odyssey.  And the image I chose to draw is a striking picture from the movie, featuring Keir Dullea as the character Dave Bowman.  This is from a scene near the end of the movie where the artificial intelligence HAL9000 that is controlling the spacecraft has to be deactivated, and the final purpose of the mission is revealed.  A stunning SF movie — "Oh my God!  It's full of stars!"
  • Donnie Darko — A cult movie that had to be included here is Richard Kelly's 2001 film Donnie Darko.  Featured here is the bunny-rabbit Frank, which appears to teenager Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) and tells him that the world is going to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds.  The rest of the movie is a countdown to that end of the world, though it's most likely one of the most unconventional movies you'll ever see.  Time travel, wormholes, romance, predestination, comedy, religion — these are all touched upon in this unique movie.
  • Die Hard — Well, this is really no contest, is it?  Die Hard is probably one of the best action films of all time.  And featured here is Alan Rickman as the criminal Hans Gruber from that movie.  The idea of terrorists taking over a location (a building, hospital, submarine, bus, whatever) with one lone cop left to save the day, became a template used by several action movies for years to come after this.
  • The Terminator — Who can forget the line "I'll be back"?  Arnold Schwarzenegger immortalised the role of the killer cyborg from the future in James Cameron's classic 1984 movie, that later led to one of the biggest sequels of all time (a classic in its own right), Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  Of course T3 came out a few years later and Terminator Salvation is coming out in 2009.  We can't predict how good that movie will be, but no one will deny the quality of the first two films in the series.
  • The Silence of the Lambs — Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Hannibal Lecter became legendary, and this movie is also notable for the fact that it won Oscars in all the top five categories (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay).  A chilling adaptation of the Thomas Harris book, this is an excellent thriller.  Pictured in my drawing is Jodie Foster as FBI rookie Clarice Starling from the movie.
  • The Big Lebowski — This is one of the funniest films I have ever seen.  The structure of this film is a kind of a prelude to the "clusterfuck" orchestrated by the Coen Brothers in their recent film Burn After Reading, but Lebowski is probably my favourite Coen Brothers movie.  Jeff Bridges is amazing as the central character of "The Dude" but I loved John Goodman's character of the high-strung Vietnam veteran Walter Sobchak, so that's why I put it in this drawing.
  • Aliens — Another James Cameron movie!  If Alien was a classic science fiction horror movie, the sequel, Aliens outdid it in every sense.  It is a breathtaking action-horror movie and introduced the concept of the Alien Queen, which is drawn here.
  • The Exorcist — Ask a random person about what they feel is the scariest movie of all time, and chances are, they'll refer to this movie (though they may not have seen it!).  1973's classic horror movie is about the demon Pazuzu taking over a young girl, and the story of the priests who have to cast the demon out.  Shown in this drawing is a picture of Linda Blair as the posessed Regan from the movie.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — I haven't watched many Westerns, but one that I did, and I will never forget is the classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  The name of the movie, the signature tune by Ennio Morricone, are known even to people who would not have seen this movie.  This is a superbly shot masterpiece from director Sergio Leone, and pictured here is the character Tuco Ramirez (Eli Wallach) from the movie.  This is of course, from the scene where he finds out that a huge cache of gold is hidden in the cemetery Sad Hill — but only Blondie (Clint Eastwood) knows the name of the grave where the gold is buried!  It's a defining moment in the movie.
  • Taxi Driver — "You talkin' to me?"  Robert De Niro with the mohawk hairdo, portraying the cab driver Travis Bickle who decides to take matters into his own hands and rid the streets of scum.  This is from Martin Scorcese's 1976 classic, written by Paul Schrader.

The drawing was not planned, and I used various materials in making it.  It was primarily done with ballpoint pen (Reynolds Jetter, black and blue), but I also used a Rotring Isograph pen (the one where you have to fill ink), and a white correction fluid pen for highlights and some effects.  In some places, colour pencils were used to add some, uh, colour to the picture.  The drawing wasn't planned in advance — I kept adding stuff in the empty spaces on the paper and gradually filled up the entire thing.  In some parts of this picture, you can make out that I'd have drawn something, then "erased" a portion with correction fluid, and then drew something else over that (for example, the Queen Alien or the Exorcist).  The drawing was done over the course of four days, and I'm very proud of the way it turned out.  Going by the concept and the artwork, I think it's one of my best drawings overall.

Okay, now for some extras!  First, here is a video that I recorded at a few stages during the creation of the picture, with me explaining what I was drawing.  It's a little over four minutes long, and you can watch the video on YouTube by clicking the image below.

Classic Movies Drawing by Karthik Abhiram — Video Description on YouTube

I think this image makes for a very nice poster, so I have put up a printout of this on one cubicle wall at office.  And also, it functions well as a desktop wallpaper.  So, if you are interested, here is the official Classic Movies wallpaper for your desktop.  It's available in two versions — one is a standard 4:3 resolution wallpaper at 2560 by 1920 pixels, and the other is a widescreen 16:10 version at 2560 by 1600 pixels.  Click on your choice below to get the wallpapers (each one is a JPG around 2 MB in size).

Classic Movies Wallpaper — Standard Resolution Classic Movies Wallpaper — Widescreen Resolution

By the way, a little bit of trivia about the video — the way the opening title appears on screen is inspired by Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas!

Date added 28 Dec 08

Comments for this Drawing

14 Feb 15 · 03:01 PM
Past alcohol and drug addictions are just like any other regrets you may have,
and you need to not obsess with them so that you can move forward
inside your life.
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

Email: karthik82 -AT- gmail -DOT- com
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