My last animated short film, Domestikia, Chapter 3: La Petite Mort, will appear on the big screen of the Tribeca Cinemas in New York City during the Video Art & Experimental Film Festival 2014. The festival runs October 2-4, 2014. Details to follow.
Rough cut of a “walking loop” I created for my upcoming animated film “Toronto Alice”. Using the classical animation technique of a lightbox + peg-bar, I created 26 separate drawings that were then printed, coloured and cut-out. The sequence was then shot using the frame-capture software Dragonframe, swapping in the different cutouts frame-to-frame. The footage was exported into After Effects, where the background was keyed-out, and the walking looped using time remapping. A moving background will eventually be placed behind the walking character.
While all the preliminary work was time-consuming, the advantage is that the “walking loop” can be played infinitely, for as long as I need it in the scene.
Last month, Narwhal Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto presented the first ever Canadian exhibition of the reputed “Godfather of Japanese Eroticism”, artist Toshio Saeki. The exhibition was comprised of original ink drawings from 1977-1983, and a rare series of fifty letterpress prints from Saeki’s 1972 publication Akai Hako (The Red Box). This exhibition also offered a fascinating glimpse into Saeki’s work process, as detailed in the catalogue essay:
Accessing the traditional Japanese partnership employed by the Ukioy-e woodcut masters, Saeki creates his original works as black and white ink drawings which he then overlays with vellum sheets hand marked with colour plans for the visualized finished image. As an “eshi” (artist) he passes his designs to a “surishi” (printer) and they are developed into the final work. Saeki refers to his method of practice as Chinto printing.
Above are a small sampling of the black and white ink drawings featured at Narwhal Projects. These scenes are representative of Saeki’s bizarre, darkly-erotic fantasy worlds, where a woman can be seduced by a gang of life size Daruma buddhist dolls, or a man’s disembodied head will obligingly perform oral sex on another female protagonist. A motif common throughout Saeki’s work is that of the young child acting as a witness/voyeur to the strange and typically sexual proceedings which, given the artist’s statement that his imagery stems from “…his photographic memory and childhood experiences through imagination and dreams…” gives his scenes a strongly psychosexual, Freudian element. Apart from his obvious technical virtuosity as an artist, it is his ability to fearlessly delve into the unconscious mind and dredge up every taboo and dark desire that I most admire in his work.
Even though he was born in 1945, the art of Toshio Saeki is highly informed by the ero guro style of 1920-30’s Japan. That being said, Japanese art has a long tradition of shunga that combines eroticism with violent and grotesque imagery, a tradition that predates the ero guro style by a significant span of history. Saeki clearly evokes this tradition in his two colour images below (2nd and 3rd from the left), both of which feature octopuses engaged in some interspecies love with humans. The image on the top left, entitled The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife (circa 1814), belongs to the celebrated Edo-period artist Katsushika Hokusai, and is a depiction of a famous legend involving the female abalone diver Tamatori (see description below). The Saeki image immediately below Hokusai’s — regrettably, I couldn’t locate a title for that particular piece — clearly riffs off the famous shunga work by Hokusai, even as he introduces a mysterious, faceless man into the scene.
In Hokusai’s most famous shunga, a large octopus performs cunnilingus on a woman abalone diver or ama, and a smaller one, perhaps his offspring, kisses her and fondles one of her nipples with a tentacle. This print is testimony to how our interpretation of an image can be distorted when seen in isolation and without understanding the text. A recent study by Danielle Talerico (2001: 24-42) explains that this image was initially considered by Western collectors and scholars [...] to represent a rape scene. Talerico’s study shows that an Edo audience would have associated the image with the story of Tamatori. In the legend, the abalone diver Tamatori sacrifices her life to save the Emperor by cutting open her breast, where she hides the jewel she has stolen from the Sea-Dragon King in his underwater Dragon Palace. The Sea-Dragon King is accompanied by all nature of sea creatures, including octopuses. The dialogues between the two creatures and the diver express mutual sexual enjoyment (see Talerico 2001: 37, for a complete translation). (p. 161 in ‘Japanese Erotic Fantasies’ by C. Uhlenbeck and M. Winkel) — from http://www.akantiek.nl/hokusai%20p1290.htm
The voice actors have already recorded, and the creative work is well underway for Toronto Alice. Thanks again for all your support!
I’m delighted to announce that my previous animated short film Domestikia, Chapter 3: La Petite Mort will be screening in the Late Night Horror: Canadian Feature program at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto. Screening will be on Saturday, June 21st, 11 pm – 1 am. Q & A with directors to follow the program. Canadian horror directed by women — yes!
If you’re in the Toronto area, come check it out. The festival has a great line-up this year! http://www.femaleeyefilmfestival.com/#!sat-june-21st/c1vaa
Hello, gentle readers. Many apologies for the fact that I haven’t been keeping up with my blog posting lately. As you can read in the previous two posts, I’m currently involved in a new animation project which is commandeering all of my “spare” time. Below is a screen capture from a lovely little write-up I received a couple of months back on the Dangerous Minds blog. I submit this for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.
Toronto Alice has become a very popular girl, indeed. She’s received some love from the Toronto Film Scene blog, from the Canadian Animation Resources blog, and from the fun-loving culture-geeks at Boing Boing!
Many, many heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to my Toronto Alice campaign! In just twelve days, we’ve not only met my goal of $3,000, but surpassed it! If you’d like to get in on the “perks”, there’s still time to do so. You can get a private Vimeo link or Blu-Ray DVD of the completed film, Toronto Alice paper dolls and/or original artwork. This film won’t be released to the general public until after its run in the festival circuit, so this will be your only opportunity to see it till then.
- Are you a fan of the funny — and slightly creepy — animations of Terry Gilliam? Or perhaps you’re more of a devotee of Surrealist animation from Poland? Or maybe you just enjoy weird, off-the-beaten-path stuff? If you answered “yes” to any of these (or, like me, to all three), then you’ll probably enjoy the unique style of cutout animation I create at Papercut Pictures.
- My name is Jennifer Linton, and Papercut Pictures is my production company. I’m an interdisciplinary visual artist working with animation, installation, drawing and printmaking. I have exhibited my art for the past 20 years in galleries across Canada, and internationally with exhibitions in the U.S. and Italy. My animated films have screened at festivals such as Animaldiçoados Film Festival 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) Showcase 2013, and the Boston Underground Film Festival 2014. I’ve received numerous awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.
- This campaign is to raise funds for my next animation project, entitled Toronto Alice. The character of Alice from Lewis Carroll’s famous children’s novels is transported to contemporary Toronto where, like many native Torontonians, she takes a ride on the streetcar. As with many trips on the public transit, she encounters a succession of strange characters who engage her in (equally strange) conversations. The dialogue is borrowed directly from Through the Looking-Glass, but given a fresh & funny new twist in this stop-motion animation.
What We Need & What You Get
- I will create all of the visuals for this film: the artwork, the puppets, and the backgrounds. I will also handle all of the stop-motion animation. What I need help with is the audio component — and that’s where YOU come in!
- I need three separate audio components for this project: musical treatments, ambient background sound fx, and voice actors. While I can handle all the visual stuff, I need to call in the professionals to create good quality recordings of ambient sound. Animation takes a great deal of effort and a very long time to create, so you don’t want great visuals to be undermined by inferior audio.
- Listening to my voiceover in the pitch video should prove, without a doubt, that I should never, ever do voiceover work! Your contributions will allow me to leave this important task to the professionals!
- I’m offering a range of “perks” to sweeten the deal, from DVDs to paper dolls to original, framed artwork! It’s win-win! You help me make this project the best it can be AND you get limited edition art in return!
- You’re a fan of animation. Specifically, you enjoy independent animation that advances the art form, or that simply stands out as different from everything else. There aren’t many animators out there working with paper cutouts and stop-motion. What I do is very boutique and kinda retro. Different is good.
- You’re Canadian, or you have an uncle who lives in Canada (hey, maybe I know him). No, seriously. It’s good to see your own stories up there on the (big or small) screen. We gotta represent. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to see Alice wearing a Hudson’s Bay coat.
- You’re a fan of Lewis Carroll and his Alice novels. There’s a timelessness and universality about Carroll’s characters that allow us to visit and revisit this wonderful material. Young and old, we all love to slip into Wonderland.
- You want that swag. A custom Toronto Alice jointed paper doll? Sweet.
Other Ways You Can Help
Spread the word!
- Like what you see? Help get the word out by using the Indiegogo share tools! It’s good karma.