Monday, November 28, 2011

Punch & Judy

Today at Anglia Ruskin we looked at Swankmajer's Punch & Judy, 1966, 9'55",  as well as Cordell Barker's Runaway,2009, 9'10".
I was thinking about editing and Swankmajer has the magic.  Of course it's also hard to resist a film in which a guinea pig is pampered in turn by two violent puppets.  Cordell Barker's Runaway is a virtuosic piece of animation, it really rattles along, no baggy bits.  We also saw Wisdom Teeth, 2010, 5'55" by Don Hertzfeldt, one long, slightly shrill, crazy joke.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hampstead Heath

or Hamster Teeth as it's known in our house.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fairy tales

Here are some stills taken from four experimental sequences that I made in Vienna.  I'm going to start putting them together and re-filming some of them.  They are a little bit like performances, they get better every time I film them, and they're never the same twice.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kerry Baldry's One Minute Vol. Programme

Kerry Baldry has programmed many volumes of one minute films, and she works hard to get them shown all over the place.  My Little Skipper (shown below) is happy to be included in Vol. 4, and it's going to showing with 3 & 5 in Sydney at Peloton this week and next. Thank you Kerry.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This was a little animation I made of Poppy and I a couple of summers ago, in Vienna. It's not rotoscoped, but I did use a video reference, sort of by eye.  I've been looking at my old hard drives and I was pleased to see that I'd saved more than I thought I had.

Friday, November 18, 2011

crobinson the pimp

is back.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More treasures

I've been teaching a little bit on this module at Anglia Ruskin this semester and I've really enjoyed thinking about films that the students and I can watch together.  Today we saw Yuri Norstein's film Tale of Tales, 27", 1979.  Voted as the 'best animated film of all time' by a poll at the Zagreb Animated Film Festival in 2002, I would have voted for it too.

I've seen it many times, (not as many times as Clare Kitson!) and it always seems different, both in structure and in the ideas suggested.  This time I noticed the rhythms of the movements that weave through the film, from the cradle, to the dancers, and the bull who flicks and turns the skipping rope.  It's so simple and so complicated all at once and has such sincerity, goodness, if I'd seen Tale of Tales as a student, maybe I would have felt a little bit daunted?

Last week we saw Ruth Lingford's Death and the Mother, 11", 1997.  It's based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale 'Story of a Mother'.  I've admired the wonderful animation, the spare design and the gravity of the film before, but I had forgotten how very sad it is.

Plot treasure and Autumn

We unearthed a lot of treasure from our allotment, not all of it edible.  Here it is washed and on display.

and here is Londonfields looking so splendid and golden this autumn.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Your favourite ever British Animated Character

This is quite a challenge. British Animation Awards are inviting nominations on the above topic.
I made my own shortlist and realised that it included many characters invented by Oliver Postgate including Jones the Steam from Ivor the Engine, Bagpuss and Noggin the Nog.  The Sagas of Noggin the Nog, are perhaps less well-known of his creations but totally engrossing, with fantastic baddies, (Noggin's black-hearted Uncle Nogbad the Bad) and properly gripping sticky situations for Noggin, who is wise and trustworthy but innocent too.  You can buy the DVD here.

But in the end, I chose Nanny Plum from Ben and Holly. Oliver Postgate would win all five top slots for me if it were favourite series, but for favourite characters, faulty, irreverent, bossy Nanny Plum, voiced by Sarah Ann Kennedy is my role model at the moment, and she needs to be on that list.

Who are you going to chose?

( I forgot to add that you can see everyone's nominations here)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Museum of Childhood - Magic Worlds

©V&A images

This wonderful poster is called 'Dragon', it's by Wayne Anderson from 1974 and advertises an exhibition at the Museum of Childhood called Magic Worlds, on until 4th February 2012.  I've been. Oh yes. But I can't recall anything about the exhibition other than this beautiful fellow, because my young companions took it at such a lick.  I did note that the show was full of treasures and magic and I plan to visit a second time asap.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Forking Paths Mirrored Chambers

This is the title of a course about animation within Artist's Moving image led by Adam Pugh at Lux for Animate Projects.  I couldn't make every Wednesday but I was glad to get a slice of the action last week thanks to Kim's trip to Dublin.  I'm an animation anorak (DayGlo, sweaty) so this was pretty exciting.  Adam has done a lot of thinking and each week he leads the group through a screening of works on a theme, with many literary references and related thoughts to accompany the films that can be mulled over or read later.  The group seemed very sparkly and interesting too.  Last week was about space and place.  I especially enjoyed seeing Robert Breer's '69', 5", 1968 and Greg Pope's succinct film Moon Walk, 1", 2001.
Breer was brilliant to show in the context of other films relating to spaces and places because he is able to crisply delineates what space is and isn't, whilst also meddling with time in the same way.  It's so playful and simple and every time I watch it something else occurs to me.

A still from Robert Breer's '69'