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posted by: Ian on:
June 23, 2011 @ 11:41 am
Robert Morgan slips between animation and live action, and is well known for creepy short films like The Cat With Hands and The Separation. It’s been a while since his last ‘proper’ short, but judging from the trailer for his new 23-minute stop-frame opus his work is still pretty creepy:
Elfin Saddle are a Canadian duo on Constellation Records who play mystical folk with a touch of post-apocalypse. As well as music they make films and art installations, and their latest release Saddle includes a half-hour called animation Wurld.
It’s basically a potted history of civilisation, filmed in a Bagpuss style in their back-yard over several months. We’ll be showing the full film at the Hare and Hounds next Sunday.
Next week sees the DVD release of A Town Called Panic (aka Panique au Village), the demented Belgian toy animation which we screened at Green Man Festival earlier this year. This touching tale of Cowboy, Indian, Horse and 50 million bricks is being promoted by UK outfit Hammer and Tongs (Son of Rambow), who also happen to have their own DVD coming out – a collection of their inventive shorts and music videos for the likes of Pulp, Vampire Weekend and Supergrass.
Both are eminently ownable, and if you want a copy of each for £0.00 just write back to info [at] 7inch.org.uk with PANIC in the header and the answer to this question…
Q) The directors of Town Called Panic first made their name with a TV cartoon in the late 90s. What was it called?
Five winners will be revealed at the end of November. (Yes, we realise that Google has made this form of quiz pretty much redundant. But what the heck.)
**Update** Last chance to enter – we’ll be fishing five out of the hat on Monday 22nd Nov.
This 1999 animation by Jonathan Hodgson is showing at next week’s Footnotes event, part of a clutch of shorts adapted from poems or short stories. It’s based on a Charles Bukowski tale and features the melt-making tones of Mr Peter Blegvad.
We’ll be up at Press Play in Newcastle this weekend, taking part in their closing do along with People Like Us and Warp Films. Seeking something playful to fit the bill we encountered the work of Al Jarnow, a self-taught animator who has been plotting his own special path from a Long Island attic for over thirty years. His first commercial gig was a ‘Y For Yak’ film for Sesame Street, and he went on to make over 100 films with the Childrens Television Workshop including this futuristic 1979 riff on Powers of Ten (please excuse the pixelvision):
Alongside the public TV commissions Jarnow continued to make his own work, informed by a deep fascination with maths and geometry, and like the best experimental films each one follows an idea to its natural conclusion. Celestial Navigation begins by charting the movement of sunlight across his attic wall, and winds up on Salisbury Plain exploring the shadows cast by Stonehenge. Shorelines creates visual music with hundreds of seashells, and Cubits is a head-spinning fugue for lovers of logic built around one rotating cube:
We’ll be showing some contemporary work in a similar vein as well as a couple of earlier films that helped to pave the way, including the mixed-media sketches of Robert Breer, and there’ll also be a flipbook competition on the night with a chance to win a fabbo dvd of Jarnow’s work recently put together by US label Numero Group.
We lost two brilliant Japanese filmmakers within two days last month, one of them far too soon.
Kihachiro Kawamoto (born 11 January 1925, died 23 August 2010) made atmospheric puppet films. He was inspired by Eastern European animation and apprenticed with Jiri Trnka in the 60s, but his work was heavily immersed in the culture and mythology of his home country. One of my favourites is The Demon, a chilling five-minute short from 1972 based on an ancient folk-tale (below). A selection of Kawamoto’s work toured the UK in 2008, and if it doesn’t return it’s well worth hunting down one of the short film collections on DVD – either from Kino or the slightly more extensive Japanese release.
Satoshi Kon (born 12 October 1963, died 24 August 2010) was one of Japan’s most distinctive anime directors, steering well clear of the genre’s cliches to create elaborate but very personal films including Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers. He tended to jump between gritty Tokyo reality and bizarre dream worlds, most notably in Paprika – one of the best things we showed at Flatpack no.2 – and was making robot fantasy The Dream Machine when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May, aged only 46. He wrote a candid and very moving letter shortly before he died, published posthumously by his family.
Today we went for a curry in the Big Bulls Head with artist and animator Ian Emes. He is best known for creating the visuals for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon tour, but his jumbled CV also includes Oscar-nominated short Goodie Two Shoes, Comic Strip film The Yob with Keith Allen and most recently kids TV series Bookaboo. Ian grew up in Erdington and studied at Birmingham College of Art where he was turned on to the likes of Oskar Fischinger. It was matinee encounters with Flash Gordon at the Odeon Kingstanding – one of the stars of our recent bus tour – which turned him into a filmmaker. Look out for a selection of his work as part of a 70s show at Ikon Gallery this summer.