Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tippoo's Tiger

I'm fascinated by this Figurine of Mr Hugh Munro being mauled by a Bengal Tiger (1792).  It can be found in the British Army Museum.  I don't think I've seen such a violent incident depicted in earthenware before.  Tippoo's Tiger in the V&A shows the same gory scene in life-size, and I plan to make a special visit soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jeff Keen

Rayday Film, 1968 - 70 +1976, 16mm, 13 mins

I was very sorry to hear that Jeff Keen has died.  William Fowler has written a good obituary in The Guardian here.  Nearly this time last year I was involved in a panel discussion in which we chose  works that had influenced or inspired us, and I showed CineblatzWhite Lite and Marvo Movie (1967/8).  Both for the films themselves, which are political, humorous and exciting and also for his attitude and methods.  GAZWRX is a very good box set of his films, and his painting and graphic works have been showing here and there around the world.  I hope they will come here soon to spread the word about this wonderful artist.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Something Very Far Away

This lovely fellow is Johannes Kepler, who travels in his rocket ship So Far Away into the Universe that he finds it still Under Construction.  He is trying to look back at life on Earth, to a time before his sweet Tomasina perished in an accident with a performing horse at the circus.

Something Very Far Away was a 35 minute show for children, performed at the Unicorn Theatre. It featured the puppets of Matthew Robins, the creator of Fly Boy, and was written by Mark Arends.  It was similar to the work of Paper Cinema in that the mechanics of the work is privileged, and that's where the magic lay. Nearest the audience were four live cameras, lots of cables, the puppeteers, their puppets in a row, a mirror ball, a guitar, sparklers waiting to be lit and a holey bucketful of water.  It's performed on a small scale, but the theatre was also tiny so we could see clearly what's coming and how they were doing it.  The projection of the story, mixed from the cameras was almost secondary to the absorbing spectacle of the clever performers and their carefully timed tricks and changes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Here I am!

My present preoccupation is this Muray 16mm film viewer and all things 16mm.  I'm really pleased to be off to Austria again, thanks to the Tricky Women Animation Summer in St Polten at the beginning of July.  I am leading a workshop in cameraless film, which is something I do a little bit at Anglia Ruskin. But there we have four Steinbecks, so I am working on a portable viewing solution (see above).  I'm really enjoying thinking about what films to look at over the three day workshop, and for inspiration, we will be studying the late Helen Hill's amazing compilation of 16mm 'recipes' gathered from practitioners around the world.



The Jump Cut filmmakers totally rose to the challenge of a two day metamorphosis crash course and made some beautiful, lively animation.  They will be editing the animation onto the live action that they shot earlier, then premiering the film in Cambridge in July.