Friday, 1 February 2008

A lack of Francis, Bill Plympton's 5 minutes, Synergies, Tensions, Horror...and Phil Mulloy

Iain in the Projection Room creating a cool calm exterior,
while 'Paprika' plays on...

Today, Thursday, began with a screening of shorts. Hot Shorts 3 to be exact, which I vetoed instead to start drawing in the Projection Room where I've gotta tell y' folks, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that would defy any idea that things don't go to plan! (Hark at me sounding all yankee! Technically though, the word yankee is used to describe those from the northern states, and really, I've no idea what accent the above paragraph has...)

ANYway...The drawing commenced amidst Iain the projectionist's and the organisers' panicky flappings (very mildly pronounced!) about the lack of a film in it's case, some Strings, and the lack of a speaker, Francis McKee. All the while, the insanity and acid trip like state of the japanese animation 'Paprika', complete with screeching giant dolls and carnival cacophony was playing in screen 2 to a hypnotised audience. The cartoon most definitely represented the inner turmoil of those aiming to make things right in the face of adversity.

Masterclass: Jayne Pilling, Nicolas Schmerkin
and a bit of Bill Plympton

Bill's penny's worth

Francis McKee's no show was dramatically reinvented into a panel of experts comprised of Nicolas Schmerkin, producer of Autour de Minuit, Jayne Pilling, founder and director of the British Animation Awards, and a shot of Bill Plympton for good measure. Since the original masterclass was going to be about 'The Tensions and Synergies' of animations made for the art gallery, and those made for the theatre/cinema, there was definitely a bounty of concepts, screenings and opinions up for the ravenous. From the creepy little animation by Al and Al 'Perpetual Motion in the Land of Milk and Honey', to the moralistic and acidic humour of 'Rabbit' by Run Wrake, interspersed with the heart thumping computer game styled 'Do you have the Shine?' by Johan Thurfjell based on Danny and his tricycle in 'The Shining', aswell as Hendrick Dusollier's horrific short 'Face', well people, it was an adrenalin fuelled event. I've never been as spooked , horrified, intrigued or irritated than I was during this session.

Jayne questioned whether some artist's efforts were 'Pretentious Rubbish', but defended the validity of their films as animations - in particular Al and Al's when Bill Plympton felt the opposite.

Overall though, the panel agreed on the fact that a lot of animation without a linear narrative or that isn't directly funny tends to get overlooked as such, while creating good debates on whether we see the viewing experience as one to be experimented with; finally suggesting that we as the viewer should have a critical mind of what is defined as art or animation and whether it matters in our quest to be entertained by this potentially enlightening medium. The whole event ended WAY too soon, with little time for Bill to fill us with many more words of wisdom than 'All my animations are hand drawn and they're all in boxes at home, and it's all for sale!'

Then there was the Masterclass of Phil Mulloy... ('Masterclass ey? Well I don't know if you're going to learn anything, because I don't actually teach...')

Phil Mulloy - They said 'It's crap!'

Phil Mulloy - 'Look Dear, What Mr Hitler has painted...'

In his words 'You just think of the funniest stupidest things...But I try to make them poignant' which to an extent does describe a little of the mad, bleak, irritating, violent - downright pornographic at times - films. 'Rough and Raw' might describe the digestability of them, 'Punk' might describe their ethos, but nothing can really prepare you for the assault on your senses that is an animation by Phil Mulloy. You might think I didn't like them. I really hated and loved them all in the same breath. I admitted to his amusement that I had been morbidly intrigued, even a bit embarressed at times. It's up to you to decide what you think.
Try 'Intolerance' for size but perhaps not as your very first taste - 'The Christies' perhaps, or as Phil generously deposited into our laps, his version of 'The Sound of Music'.

Enough said. Apart from, 'Bring me the AntiZog!'

Drawings Copyright (c) Jenny Soep 2008

1 comment:

Barry said...

Fab drawings on these posts, they really liven things up!

I love Bill Plympton! I wish I could have been there to see him! It's fantastic to be able to read about it here though!