Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Michelle Saal 

BA [Hons] Animation

I’m a visual development and character artist based in Dublin. I’m passionate about telling stories through visual mediums, particularly through light and colour! My work is influenced by cafe sketching, nature and slice of life narratives.

You've Got This, Allie!

A 5-minute film about growing up, moving away and finding your people. Allie arrives in a bustling new city and while she's excited to get to college, she can't help but feel apprehensive about her new surroundings. Oh, and there's a small dog that won't stop following her.
Co-directed with Wren Petkov. I focused on character design, environment design, visual development, background art and the colour script.

The Many Hats of Kitano: Masculinity, Alienation and Auteurism in Takeshi Kitano’s work.

In this thesis, I analyse the themes of masculinity and isolation in relation to Takeshi Kitano as an auteur. I explore the methods he uses in his directorial approach to confront evolving ideas about gender roles and the human experience through his films A Scene At The Sea (1991), Kids Return (1996) and Kikujiro (1999). The characters in his films navigate rigid societal expectations during the burst of Japan’s economic bubble in the late 90s and Kitano challenges the viewer to confront their preconceived notions about traditional masculine archetypes and how the blueprint of hegemonic masculinity leads to existential angst.
This thesis aims to cement Takeshi Kitano as a leading figure of Japanese auteurism due to his innovative weaving of humour and drama, and social commentary about the lives of the isolated. The research presented here contributes to the extensive understanding of Kitano’s psyche and offers new perspectives in his exploration of masculinity and alienation.