Sunday April 5, 2009, 7:00 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Animated Documentaries Part 1 – Portraits
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas. 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10 general, $6 students/seniors, cash or check only at the door. We’ll be selling tikcets at a table in the courtyard. Tickets are NOT available through the website for the Egyptian Theatre.
“Animated documentaries” – isn’t that an oxymoron? No longer! Documentary has now moved past the notion that it needs to be an exact representation of reality, although many in the United States still resist the expansive concept. And animation has long included more than kids cartoons, although most people only know the films they see on Saturday morning television.
But now is the time to break through the bounds of the real, to get into the minds of real people in real situations, to find visuals for events that weren’t documented, to raise issues of perception and experience and reality. Why are most animated documentaries linked still to an acceptable aural interview – an illustrated radio documentary? Where does animation fall short, and what objections does it raise? And where does it open up the realm of the possible, and provide a new way to visualize truth?
Join us as we survey the remarkable and burgeoning genre of animated documentaries.
Tonight we look at the range of possibilities of portraits – biographical moments, short profiles, and pointed interviews. Going beyond the filmmaker (we’ll look at autobiographical films later), these play with external representations to bring out key aspects of the personalities of the subjects. Sometimes it’s a more traditional biopic, as in McLaren’s Negatives by Marie-Josee Saint Pierre. Sometimes it’s a more impressionistic portrait, as in Yurico Murakami’s Talking About Amy or the influential Kid Stays in the Picture (with its use of stills manipulation) by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen; others illustrate sharp political points through the tragic tales of interviewees, as in Sheila Sofian’s Conversation with Haris or Samantha Moore’s The Beloved Ones. Bob Sabiston’s popular work is represented by the fabulously humorous tale of Ryan’s trip to the amusement park in The Even More Fun Trip, and Helen Hill mixes family films, imaginative fancy, paper cut-out animation and traditional drawing in her delicately sad film of her grandfather’s death, Mouseholes. What do you do when an interviewee doesn’t want himself shown on screen? Animation is one strategy, as seen in Liz Blazer’s Backseat Bingo, which brings the humorous views of senior citizens on sex, or in Ellie Lee’s harrowing depiction of abuse in Repetition Compulsion. And we’ll see how students today are using such materials in new portraits, with Sahar Alsawaf’s tale of her Iraqi relative, Uncle Ma’an.
Part 2 coming on Monday April 13, 8:00 pm at the Silent Movie Theatre, co-resented with Cinefamily. For details, check out the Upcoming Shows tab.
Tonight’s film will include:
Talking About Amy by Yurico Murakami (2006, 8:20, USA/Japan)
McLaren’s Negatives by Marie-Josee Saint Pierre (2006, 11 min., Canada)
Backseat Bingo by Liz Blazer (2003, 5:25, USA)
Repetition Compulsion by Ellie Lee (1997, 7 min., 35mm, USA)
Excerpt from The Kid Stays in the Picture by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen (2002, 93 min, US)
Conversation with Haris by Sheila Sofian (2001, 6 min, 16mm, USA)
The Beloved Ones by Samantha Moore (2007, 6 min, UK)
Mouseholes by Helen Hill (1999, 16mm, USA)
Uncle Ma’an by Sahar Alsawaf (2007, 4 min, video, USA/Iraq)
The Even More Fun Trip by Bob Sabiston (2007, 20:45, video, USA)