Wednesday, November 5, 2008

World Animation I: Government Funded Films

Norman McLaren

A Scottish-born Canadian animator and director. His early film work impresses John Grierson, a key figure in early documentary film making. Grierson as head of The National Film Board of Canada, hires McLaren in 1941 to head the Animation Department.


Music- saw film as a way to express his feelings about music.

Surrealism- subconscious as source for artistic inspiration and improvisation.

Metamorphosis- inspired by Emile Cohl's work; celebration of movement as only film can do.

International Brotherhood- his films were geared to a world-wide audience.

McLaren's definition of animation:

"Animation is not the art of drawings that move, but rather the art of movements that are drawn. What happens between each frame is more important than what happens on each frame."

McLaren's definition of cinema:

1. Art as movement designed through time.
2. Motion and change painted with light.

Screening Room:

Boogie Doodle (1940) Norman McLaren

Creative Process: Norman McLaren (1990)

Neighbors (1952)

Begone Dull Care (1949)

Caroline Leaf

Known for her innovative animation techniques including sand on glass, finger painting on glass and etching directly on to film. She is also known for her film's emotional content and graphic style. Her method was known as "under the camera animation".

The NFB Support of her work began in 1972.

The Street (1976) was named the 2nd greatest animated film ever in an international contest sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Screening Room with Caroline Leaf & Mary Beams

The Street (1976) Caroline Leaf

Entre Deux Soeurs
(1991) Caroline Leaf

Jan Svankmajer

Born in 1934, Prague. He received training in puppet theatre. He belongs to the Surrealist Group of Prague, which has been in existence since the 1930's. His work often dwells on dreams and childhood, themes associated with surrealism. Likewise he often focuses on sex, politics and the subversion of social convention. Influenced by "mannerism" an art movement launched in the 1500-1600's as a reaction to the renaissance, valued clashing colors, emotion and bizarre themes over the renaissance's balance and gracefulness. He has influenced scores of film makers such as Tim Burton and the Brothers Quay.

Little Otik (Otesánek) (2000) directed by Jan Svenkmajer. (Trailer)

Lunacy (Sileni) (2005) directed by Jan Svenkmajer (Trailer)

Meat Love (1988) directed by Jan Svenkmajer.

Dimensions of Dialogue (1982) directed by Jan Svenkmajer.

Part I

Part II

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