This Animation Extravaganza will soften even the most hardened of hearts – featuring a mash-up of international and local artists in a tasty stew of the old and the new, these films employ techniques ranging from drawn animation to cut-out to stop-motion to painting-on-glass to direct animation to optically printed special effects. It should be remembered that Animation is Magic, and each film screened here dutifully embodies that sentiment. Curated by Providence’s own Jo Dery and featuring the world premiere of her new film!
Featuring: Mt. Head by Koji Yamamura (2002, 10 min, 35mm), Linear Dreams by Richard Reeves (1997, 7 min, 35mm), Motion Painting No. 1 by Oskar Fischinger (1947, 11 min, 16mm), Jamestown Baloos by Robert Breer (1957, 6min, 16mm), Babobilicons by Daina Krumins (1982, 16 min, 16mm), Grace by Lorelei Pepi (1998, 10 min, 16mm), A Single Tear by Amy Lockhart (2004, 2 min, video), Mystery Surprise Movie by Meredith Holch (2005, 5 min, video), Echoes of Bats and Men by Jo Dery (2005, 7 min, 16mm)
Mt. Head by Koji Yamamura (2002, 10 min, 35mm) After a stingy man eats some cherry seeds, a cherry tree grows on his head and he gets into a lot of trouble.
Linear Dreams by Richard Reeves (1997, 7 min, 35mm) Hand-made images and sound, scratched on film, and heavily indebted to Norman McLaren. Having said that, Reeves has learned well from the Master — producing rushing lines that transform into stellar constellations, to semi-realistic animals, and back again, slowing down now and then to give the eyes a few seconds of rest. Dazzling colours and a thumping heartbeat give the film a joyous feeling.
Motion Painting No. 1 by Oskar Fischinger (1947, 11 min, 16mm) “The oil-on-plexiglass technique of MOTION PAINTING NO. 1 has been described in the main text. By all odds so delicate and difficult a process for a ten-minute film might well have resulted in a failure or a weak film. At one point, Fischinger painted every day for over five months without being able to see how it was coming out on film, since he wanted to keep all conditions, including film stock, absolutely consistent in order to avoid unexpected variations in quality of image. Thus it is a tribute to Fischinger’s skill and artistic vision that MOTION PAINTING NO. 1 turned out, in fact, excellent.
“Volumes could be written about this film which stands in length and complexity as Fischinger’s major work. It is perhaps the only one of his films which is truly and completely (or purely) abstract (or absolute). Its images are actors in a complex being which modulates and transforms itself before our eyes, an object and an experience at the same time, something we must feel and contemplate, and meditate through.” – Dr. William Moritz, Film Culture
Jamestown Baloos by Robert Breer (1957, 6min, 16mm) “Mixing photographs, newspaper clippings, and quickie paintings of an insolent taschisme, he ran them together as fast as racing cars. The eye absorbs them imperturbably, as if they constituted a coherent sequence. It is the succession of different images itself which comes to constitute an illusory form, comparable to that of solids in movement, and which reduces every attempt at analysis to a simple ‘impression.’” – Benayoun, Positif
Babobilicons by Daina Krumins (1982, 16 min, 16mm) “Daina Krumins’s 1982 BABOBILICONS is a spectacular special-effects study of molds, mushrooms and similar vegetation.” – Richard Shephard, The New York Times
“Daina Krumins’s BABOBILICONS is a truly surrealist work in terms of both its process and product. Krumins takes time to make her films. It took her nine years to create this remarkable animated short, yet her method is in line with the surrealist affinity for chance operation. She cultivated slime molds on Quaker five-minute oats in her basement, planted hundreds of phallic stink-horn mushrooms, and put her mother behind the camera to film them growing. The results are sexual and bizarre. She combined ordinary objects – wall sockets, candles, and peeling paint – to get unnerving, dreamlike images. Porcelain fish jump through waves; mushroom erections rise and fall. Her Babobilicons – robotlike characters that resemble coffee pots with lobster claws – move through all this with mysterious determination. Anyone who orders 10,000 ladybugs from a pest control company to film them crawling over a model drawing room definitely possesses a sense of the surreal.” – Renee Shafransky, The Village Voice
Grace by Lorelei Pepi (1998, 10 min, 16mm) GRACE is an experimental animation constructed in four parts – an exploration of flesh and soul, spirituality and sensuality, the search for solace, understanding, redemption and a union which is only found through the process of death and rebirth. GRACE uses such as stop-motion, pixillation, optical compositing, projections, and re-photgraphy and frame by frame manipulation of materials. The entire film was created in camera without the use of computer assistance (old school!). Materials included items such as plaster, mink oil, christmas lights, felt, liquid latex, magnifying lenses, flashlights, alginate, plywood, ace bandages, hair, dirt, foam, wire and more…
A Single Tear by Amy Lockhart (2004, 2 min, video) A SINGLE TEAR is an “epic” adventure featuring a diamond guy, a dog fish and a boot. Watch and see what happens! Audacious, bold, and somewhat bewildering, director Amy Lockhart uses cutouts, drawings and collage (captured and manipulated as digital multi-plane animation) to conjure up her whimsical world and to tell her magical environmental fairy tale.
Mystery Surprise Movie by Meredith Holch (2005, 5 min, video) Toy action figure “Futura” (of Ghostbuster fame) leads a pack of sexy half-girl/half reptile hybrids to the rescue in this goofy tale of chance, peril, evil, and killer blenders. This video was conceived, animated, and edited in just TWO DAYS!
Echoes of Bats and Men by Jo Dery (2005, 7 min, 16mm) The night shift begins with a musical history lesson sung by a chubby skunk. Tonight we learn about Rhode Island’s industrial evolution through the midnight flight of a little bat, and his many friends.