The city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, animation and video art.

April 13 – Animated Documentaries Part 2: Rendering the Facts (at the Silent Movie Theatre)


Monday April 13, 2009, 8:00 pm

At the Silent Movie Theatre
611 N. Fairfax Ave. just south of Melrose
Park across the street (free) at Fairfax High School

Los Angeles Filmforum and Cinefamily present
Animated Documentaries part 2 – Rendering the Facts
With several guest filmmakers!


Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience (2007)

“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.

The Velvet Tigress (2001)

Tonight we’ll look at difficult and entertaining assortment of films where the animation serves as visual reportage, representing “the facts.”  From the winsome or rough tales of the loss of virginity in Never Like the First Time to the bouncy remixed score of sweetpea growers in England in Success with Sweetpeas these films draw upon interviews and historical events.  We’ll also be including such works as the “Men in Black” segment of the Oscar-nominated documentary Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, The Velvet Tigress which looks at a 1930s murderess, and the original animated documentary, The Sinking of the Lusitania by Winsor McKay, which also raises the question of where documentary meets propaganda.  And more!

Rendering the Facts:

The Sinking of the Lusitania by Winsor McKay (1916, 12 min, USA.)

Enter Life by Faith Hubley (1982, 6 min., USA, for Smithsonian Natural History museum)

Adventures in Music: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom! (1953, 10 min., Disney Studios)

The Velvet Tigress by Jennifer Sachs (2001, 11 min, 16mm, USA)

Excerpt from Shay’s Rebellion – America’s First Civil War by R.J. Cutler, animation by Bill Plympton (2004, 45 min, video, USA)

Forest Murmurs by Jonathan Hodgson (2006, 12:30, UK)

Forest Murmurs (2006)

Success with Sweetpeas by Samantha Moore (2006, 6:30, UK)

Hidden by David Aronowitsch and Hanna Heilborn (2002, 8 min., video, Sweden)

“Men in Black” segment from Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, by Richard Robbins (2007, 6 min., from video, USA)

His Mother’s Voice (1997)

His Mother’s Voice by Dennis Tupicoff (1997, 15 min, 35mm, Australia)

Never like the First Time by Jonas Odell (2005, 14:30, video, Sweden)