Flicker & Wow Kids!
March 25, 2017 · Knoxville Museum of Art · 10:30 A.M.
Free and open to the general public.
Programmer’s note: “During this hour-long program, we’re going to talk about film (actual celluloid) and projection and about the history of animation. My daughters, ages four and six, approved these selections.”–Darren Hughes
Stan Brakhage made Mothlight without using a camera. Instead, he gathered moth wings, flower petals, and blades of grass and pressed them between two strips of tape. The resulting work of art was then printed at a lab to allow projection in a cinema. Brakhage chose those particular items because they are thin and translucent, which allows light from the projector to pass through them.
Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) was one of the most important artists in 20th-century experimental film. He was a true inventor. Along with camera-less films like Mothlight, he also made films by painting directly onto celluloid. Brakhage was born in Kansas City, Missouri and spent most of his life in the mountains of Colorado.
Duck Amuck (1953)
One of the funniest and most inventive short films ever made, Duck Amuck begins as a standard Daffy Duck cartoon. Our hapless hero is introduced as a swashbuckling musketeer, but he soon finds himself alone and exasperated on a cartoonist’s blank page. Duck Amuck is joyful animation about the joys of animation.
Chuck Jones (1912-2002) was an animator, author, artist, and screenwriter best known for his work with the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts. Along with directing cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner, and Porky Pig, he also oversaw Tom and Jerry and the classic adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Blue Movement (2016)
Haruka Mitani and Michael Lyons
In Blue Movement, Haruka Mitani and Michael Lyons create a world of primordial shapes through various chemical treatments of a Super 8 emulsion. The soundtrack was made using an analogue synthesizer, with voltage inputs from light sensors on the projection screen—the images we see created the sounds we hear!
Haruka Mitani is an independent filmmaker based in Kyoto, Japan. She was raised in a traditional Kyoto lacquer-ware crafts family and received a university degree in Image Arts and Sciences from Ritsumeikan University. Michael Lyons is a researcher and artist based in Kyoto, Japan. He co-founded the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, and is active as a filmmaker and sound artist. He is currently Professor of Image Arts and Sciences at Ritsumeikan University.
Begone Dull Care (1949)
Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren
Runtime: 8 minutes
What does music look like? In Begone Dull Care, Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren collaborated with the jazz musician Oscar Peterson to try to find out. They spent four days together, writing and recording a seven-minute song, and then Lambart and McLaren painted and scratched directly onto film to create a visual representation of it.
Evelyn Lambart (1914-1999) and Norman McLaren (1914-1987) were animators, directors, producers, and frequent collaborators who are best remembered for their work with the National Film Board of Canada, where they developed a number of groundbreaking techniques for synchronizing animation with music.
Glistening Thrills (2013)
Glistening Thrills is the only film in this program that was made the “standard” way—by pointing a camera at an object. But you might be tricked into thinking otherwise. Jodie Mack, like a magician, transforms thrift-store stickers into miraculous images. The music was made by Elliot Cole, who uses a violin bow to coax additional “glistening thrills” out of a vibraphone.
Jodie Mack is an experimental animator whose work has screened at countless galleries and festivals throughout the world (including Big Ears 2016, where she was a visiting artist). She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces to Watch” and is an Associate Professor at Dartmouth College.