Monday, July 9, 2012

Into the Wild

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"What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams." Werner Herzog

I've been watching the making of Hellboy and a lot of interviews - mostly with Guillermo del Toro -about monster design, development and concept art. It's a world I find both fascinating and incredibly enticing, the birth of creatures so creepy, yet familiar and beautiful, at the same time. Carl Jung once said, “I deliberately and consciously give preference to a dramatic, mythological way of thinking and speaking, because this is not only more expressive but also more exact than an abstract scientific terminology, which is wont to toy with the notion that its theoretic formulations may one fine day be resolved into algebraic equations.”

Here is my attempt at capturing a tiny part of that experience; my monster/mythology wish list:

1.       Emborgification – to emborgify. The act of transforming a being of (essentially) flesh and blood into a partly mechanical/robotic entity, resulting in a technologically enhanced creation, i.e. a wizborg. Take Gandalf the Grey, with a hardy spirit of fire, but – to some capacity – a mortal’s body, emborgification into a ‘wizborg’ enhances Mithrandir’s powers whilst compensating for his weakened anatomy with a combination of synthetic and organic materials. The result is neither Gandalf the Grey, nor the White, rather Gandalf of Steel, a magician of the elements.  

2.       Nanobic Ziggurat – the plague-like morphology of funghi and the mystique of Martian meteorites are combined in these miniscule, nerve centers of power. At just 20 nanometers in diameter, the Nanobic Ziggurats would be the smallest organisms known to humanity, allowing communication with the Gods of the cosmic mountain, sans desert trekking. Their rarity would ignite battles between good and evil to determine either their extinction, marking the end of mankind, or the rise of a higher authority, multiplying their numbers in search of a foretold nirvana.

3.       Odyssire – pronounced: oh-dee-sire. Humanity’s historical, Biblical recklessness with the concept of an eternal, saving love is tested via these winged creatures of the night. Used by murderous, militant dictators in the inevitable War of the Worlds to weaken the leaders of the auratic New Age Resistance (NAR), the Odyssire’s inject a potent elixir into the pericardium using crystallized fangs, some reaching a length of 4 inches. Latching onto the victim’s chest, the Odyssire’s poison surrounds and overtakes the regular functions of the human heart, instilling feelings of loss and despair leading into an endless journey of loveless suffering and, eventually, death.  

4.       Molokhiaite – pronounced: moh-loh-khee-ayt. Barren, desert landscapes are this predator’s salvation as the shrub-like organisms grow under the protection of the shadowed Jordan Rift Valley. The only known living entity within a 650 mile radius of the Dead Sea (also known as the sea of  death), the Molokhiaite feeds off the extreme salinity of the earth around the lifeless body of water, readying itself for attack. When provoked, the Molokhiaite launches itself into any crack or crevice in the human body, seeping into the blood stream and procreating by the second, fuelled by the chemical reactions of high sodium levels and oxygen. The final stages of a human life post Molokhiaite invasion is that of internal herbal solidification, and death, combatted only by the golden droplets harvested by the Dew Collectors of Levantinople, from the leaves of the Black Iris of the Jordan River.

5.       Dune Guard – from the blazing pits of the Saudi Arabian desert, a creature from the long-forgotten ancient texts of the Middle Eastern mythology awakens. A mass of neither gas, solid nor liquid, but all three combined, the Dune Guard serves as the feared protector of the banished peoples of desolate lands. The Guard’s body is constituted of millions of vibrating granules of sand and star dust, growing in size – and hence, power – with every meteoric deluge that paints the barren landscapes. A thermogenic phlebotomizer at its core, the shimmering, immortal being mutates into bio-domes of resistance against the forces of nature and human foes alike, shielding its subjects with a vibrating wall of unbearable, searing heat and cosmic confetti.

Note: Find a different edit of this article on the Doha Film Institute website, here.

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