Quad Cinema has an impressive lineup of experimental animation programs for the coming weekend, called “Independent Frames: American Experimental Animation in the 1970s and 1980s.” There’s four different showcases, all themed based on their content and style. It’s an impressive set of films that have had both slight echoes major, direct influences on modern cartoons, animations, filmmaking, and art as a whole. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance to discuss the work as well.
Program 1: Exploded View, Friday 2/2 at 7pm
The pop art scene and the psychedelic expansion of the late 60s/early 70s guides the first program, Exploded View, which features ten shorts and a showcase by Francis Lee/Fred von Bernewitz. Fred von Bernewitz himself speaking on the work. Bruce Conner’s “AMERICA IS WAITING” is featured, a piece tugging at the patriotism of the American heartland, as well as Fred Mogubgub’s “The Pop Show.” Richard O’Connor, a specialist on the work of Mogubgub, will be in attendance to discuss the work as well. Program 1 features work that is dazzling and fresh, inspired by a major change in American society: baby boomer counter culture. Check out this spacey, earth-crushing clip “Science Friction” from Stan Vanderbeek, who’s short “Oh” is featured in Exploded View.
You can see a full list of the shorts/creators and buy tickets for Program 1 here.
Program 2: Shape and Structure, Saturday 2/3 at 1pm
Short animations inspired directly by the birth of abstract modern art are the focus of Program 2: Shape and Structure. Those who grew up surrounded by Perfect American Household Advertising were quick to rebel against perfection and reality, exploring the use of line and shape to create something other worldly. There’s a list of shorts ranging from the 10-second “TEN SECOND FILM” by Bruce Conner (again) to the 18-minute “Saugus Series” by Pat O’Neill. Bill Brand will be in attendance to speak on his 1972 short “Zip-Tone-Cat-Tune.” Check out Standish Lawder’s spooky exploration of lines and structure through a dark hallway in his short “The Corridor” below, and delve into his other work during Program 2.
You can see a full list of the shorts/creators and buy tickets for Program 2 here.
Program 3: Underground Cartoons, Saturday 2/3 at 2:45pm
Abandoning the Saturday morning cartoon, these 70s and 80s animators delved into the use of animated characters to create explosive, sometimes adult, scenarios and odysseys. Filmmaker George Griffin will be in attendance to discuss his work, including the featured short “Puttin’ on the Fur.” Other animations include “Curious Alice,” a piece by the United States Information Agency, and three different shorts by animator James Duesing. Bizarro-childhood warper Sally Cruikshank’s “Quasi the Quackadero” will be on display, but you can check out her work (and even hold a discussion with her in the comments) on her YouTube channel. Check out her story of psychic intrigue and havoc in “Make Me Psychic” below:
You can see a full list of the shorts/creators and buy tickets for Program 3 here.
Program 4: Introspection, Sunday 3/4 at 1pm
The politics of the self are the focus of this set of animations, where the animator turns the pen and frame inward. Maria Lassnig’s “Self Portrait” is featured, collecting her expertise in portraiture and expanding it onto the moving image. There’s a collection of shorts by Jane Aaron, and a discussion with its curator, Skip Blumberg. There’s an additional collection of Mary Beams’, and Jeff Scher’s “Milk of Amnesia,” which he will be discussing in the Q&A. Check out Maureen Selwood’s “Flying Circus” below, which breezes by like a Shel Silverstein poem come to life.
You can see a full list of the shorts/creators and buy tickets for Program 4 here.
Program 5: Bodymania, Sunday 2/4 at 3pm
Sexuality is a major theme of the final showcase, exploring the body and body parts through the created, animated, and “un-real.” From actual bodies convulsing in sexual pleasure in Lisa Crafts’ “Desire Pie” to bizarre, inhuman bodies morphing in “Dissipative Dialogues” created by David Ehrlich, this program wants to deconstruct and reconstruct the body in any way possible. Lisa Crafts, whose work is shown in a number of the showcases, will be in attendance to speak during the Q&A for Program 5. Check out featured animator Adam Beckett’s “Dear Janice” below, which will have you feeling like you’re swimming through a bowl of Lucky Charms:
You can see a full list of the shorts/creators and buy tickets for Program 5 here.
Further reading on the Independent Frames curation here.