SEAT, UpcomingComments Off on Shot in the dark: hand-crafted animated shorts from around the world
Come celebrate the re-launch of the Haptic Animation Amplifier website by watching a selection of animated short films from around the world. Curator Tess Martin is visiting from the Netherlands and bringing with her a charming program of animated shorts seen at film festivals, or discovered during her monthly animation discussion event she runs in Rotterdam called Manifest: Animation Show & Tell.
On August 8, 7PM, at the Grand Illusion Cinema, she will present the work of her non-profit Haptic Animation Amplifier, show off its revamped website (which now includes profiles on PNW animators, a timeline of animation in our region, and other useful info), and she will introduce you to inspiring independent animated shorts from Poland, Italy, France, Canada, Hungary and more. These films are innovative either in their technique, storytelling approach, or artistic point of view. They are sure to generate discussion and inspiration for the animator and animation fan alike.
This event is FREE to attend and was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture.
SEATComments Off on Our favorite stop-motion films
Still from Anomalisa
Anomalisa opens in Seattle on January 15th (find it at AMC Pacific Place). This Charlie Kaufman-penned film has been hotly anticipated by film and animation fans alike, since it’s the screenwriter’s first foray into frame by frame puppet manipulation. Its release made us think about what are OUR favorite stop-motion films? Here is a sampling:
“Birdhouse, by Rich Zim, has been one of my favorites since i first saw it in college. It’s one of those wonderful combos of both abstract and narrative that absorbs you into its surreal world right away. Through the relationship of a regular guy and his new friend, we explore the ups and downs of friendship, dependency, loneliness and the freedom of release. Basically, the life span of most relationships. I think we can all find something to relate to in this short film, whether it’s from the characters, the story, or the wacky environment. A strong piece, Birdhouse is definitely worth seeing and including in any animation curriculum.”
Devin Ensz (freelance animator) picks Food by Jan Svankmajer:
“My favorite stop motion film is “Food” by Jan Svankmajer. I love Svankmajer’s radical and disruptive treatment of the human body through it’s relation to food. Svankmajer is something of an animation terrorist. Combining pixilation and claymation, Svankmajer offers a devastating critique of capitalist values while documenting the collapse of the communist system and it’s discontents. His animation is always surprising and completely original, and there is literally nothing like it.”
Webster Crowell (animator/director, look out for his live action/animation combo webseries Rocketmen) picks The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle by David Russo:
“A lot of modern stop-motion is too clean, the motion and the models are so tidy they could just as easily be CG without the bother of building all the stuff. David Russo is a filmmaker who knew better, his films are energetic and impatient, he’s a director who gets why our eyes are drawn to stuttering images. His feature film (The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle) is a project that wouldn’t function in lesser hands, and the animation/time lapse opening titles are stupefying.”
Stewart McCullough (animator/photographer) picks Street of Crocodiles by The Brothers Quay:
“I’ve always been attracted to stop motion animation, however this was the film that opened my mind to its more mature and meaningful potential. I love the symbolic, surreal, and dreamlike quality of the worlds that the Brothers Quay create. The setting, the music, the animation style, and the mystery surrounding the main character in Street of Crocodiles drew me in deeply. Their cinematic approach is always satisfying to me.”
Clyde Petersen (animator/director, currently locked in a basement producing his first feature length animation Torrey Pines) picks Jellyfish Eyes by Takashi Murakami:
“Jellyfish Eyes is a magical, intense film about life post-tsunami & nuclear meltdown in modern day Japan. Combining live-action with drawn animation, a few giant muppet-style shaggy puppets and some psychedelic wave footage, Murakami creates an incredible story from the point of view of teenagers and youth, forced to grow up too fast. Jellyfish Eyes was just released on DVD in the USA.”
“I tend to prefer flat animation techniques, like paper cut-outs or paint-on-glass, but when I do see stop-motion with puppets, I like to be able to tell that it’s stop-motion, I want to see the finger tips, the jitters. Aardman’s 1989 short film, A Grand Day Out, the first of the Wallace and Gromit series, has fingerprints a plenty, a simple yet joyful story, and adorable British-isms that fill the characters with personality. This would be followed by Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers (1993) and and A Close Shave (1995), as well as their ground breaking interview-based Creature Comforts (also 1989).”
Comics and animation go together like peanut butter & jelly, am I right or am I right. Which is why SEAT has always had an animation tent at the SHORT RUN Comix & Arts Festival. We are going to have a mixture of animations from SEAT members, SHORT RUN exhibitors and an excerpt from Bruce Bickford’s Cas’l, plus Jim Woodring’s 3D slides, about 80 minutes of visual delights! We also have a late additional to the program, a collection of visual poetries called WRIT LARGE curated by FICTILIS, that runs about 30 minutes. Did I mention the festival is free!
11 AM : SEAT Members’ Shorts
NOON : Exhibitors’ Shorts
12:30 : WRIT LARGE
1:00 : Bruce Bickford’s CAS’L’ (6 min. excerpt)
1:30 : Jim Woodring’s 3D Slides
2:00 : SEAT Members’ Shorts
3:00 : Exhibitors’ Shorts
3:30 : WRIT LARGE
4:00 : Bruce Bickford’s CAS’L’ (6 min. excerpt)
4:30 : Jim Woodring’s 3D Slides
5:00 : SEAT Members’ Shorts
5:30 : Coldbrew Collective’s Horror Film Video-Mix
The Seattle Experimental Animation Team has been working really hard that last few days on our new gallery show at the Archer Gallery in Clark College in Vancouver, WA, outside Portland, OR. The show is called Sequestered Together: The Dangerous and Lonely World of Animation and the opening is tomorrow, February 17th!
The opening is Tuesday, February 17th, 5PM-8PM and at 5:30PM a guided walk by some of the animators will take place. The show is up until March 14th! Here is the Facebook event. What a great opportunity for the Portland area animators to mingle with the Seattle animators!
And check out this post from the Phoenix, the Clark College Literary & Art Journal, about the show.
Back in April 2013 we premiered our second collective film at Zeitgeist Coffee in Pioneer Square – this one was based on the 1960 Little Shop of Horrors! It’s finally made its way online. Enjoy this animated re-interpretation by, in order: Eric Ostrowski, Tess Martin, Charlie Daugherty, Timothy Firth, Tim Miller, Stefan Gruber & Aaron Wendel, Clyde Petersen and Salise Hughes.
SEAT, UpcomingComments Off on Britta Johnson in the back room…
SEAT animator Britta Johnson has work up in “In the Absence Of…,’ a group show at Greg Kucera gallery in Seattle. The show goes through February 14th; this Saturday there’s a performance/art talk which will include music by Nat Evans and John Teske and discussion with other artists (including Britta) in the show. More info below:
Since that fateful day the program, comprised of 10 animated shorts from Drew Christie, Stefan Gruber, Britta Johnson, Clyde Petersen, Webster Crowell, Tess Martin and Bruce Bickford, has screened in Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam (twice!), Brussels, Oldenburg and Ljubljana. Programmer Tess Martin has been able to present the program at every screening so far, and in some cases she has curated a short Act 2 of local films to complement the film. This has ensured that lots of local animators and fans have attended the screenings and been introduced to the Seattle scene. Here is a full list of the screenings so far:
Below is a selection of documentation of the European screenings. To keep up to date with Strange Creatures news, check here or with the portion of Tess’ website devoted to it. Email Tess at tess[@]tessmartinart.com to bring this program to your venue!
In this interview for the Animateka festival Tess Martin talks about the differences in animation scenes between the US and the Netherlands, SEAT, the Strange Creatures program, and specifically Bruce Bickford!
Animateka International Animated Film Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia, December 2014, Photo courtesy of Animateka
Tess Martin answering questions about Strange Creatures from Animateka festival director Igor Prassel, December 11, 2014. Photo by Andrej Firm
Strange Creatures film details in the Animateka program, Ljubljana, Slovenia, December 2014.
Strange Creatures programs and zwergWERKchen program at the CineK cinema in Oldenburg, Germany, Nov 30, 2014
Poster for Amsterdam screening, sponsored by A/V Club, April 13, 2014 (Poster by Helena Sanders)
OT301, venue for the Strange Creatures screening in Amsterdam, hosted by the A/V Club, April 2014
Cinema Nova, Brussels, Belgium, host of a Strange Creatures screening in April 2014
Strange Creatures information in the Cinema Nova program, Brussels, Belgium, April 2014.
A map of locations on Tess Martin’s March 2014 tour – she presented Strange Creatures in Vienna, Budapest and Prague.