25 Oct surrealist cartoons
last week I had the pleasure of going to a special screening at LACMA of “Surrealist Cartoons.” a selection of odd and interesting animation from 1908-2003 were selected and introduced by Jerry Beck – who the internet tells me is an animation historian, among other things. he was very knowledgable and it was clear has a deep love and affection for these films.
the program filled with visual puns, laughs, beautiful animation and some down right confusing symbolism. and thanks to many of the films being in the public domain, I’m able to share some of my favorites from the evening.
first up is FANTASMAGORIE a silent French animation from 1908. the version we saw was a beautiful restored print that was free of all the dust & scratches in this version. but regardless I think the playfulness and creativity shine through.
one of the great things about an institution like LACMA putting on the screening is that they were able to get film prints of all the animations. the overall image quality was really remarkable.
next is BIMBO’S INITIATION, a 1931 film that deals with “secret societies.” I’m not sure if it’s referencing any particular institution or if it’s just a send up of them in general… either way there are some really fun scenes.
there’s actually another animation from the same studio as BIMBO’S that I have a bit of a plan for… it should be a pretty fun project. stay tuned for more!
finally, here is the classic Warner Brothers film, DUCK AMUCK. this is a wonderful film that plays with the character of Daffy as well as the medium of animation as a whole.
it was a delightful evening of cinema and reminded me how many great screening there are in Los Angeles. I’ve got to make an effort to see more of them!
(in caes you are curious, here are some of the screenings coming up at LACMA.)