It was a record year at Lady Lazarus: dying is an art. I received 63,000 views, which makes 2014 my busiest year ever. Also nice to see that, according to the stats counter, the blog post that received the most visits was the one dedicated to my last animated project, Domestikia, Chapter 3: La Petite Mort. Yay!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 63,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Click here to see the complete report.
At the beginning of October, I travelled to New York City to participate in the 2014 instalment of the Video Art & Experimental Film Festival. My short animated film Domestikia, Chapter 3: La Petite Mort screened both Thursday and Friday nights, with a filmmaker Q&A following the Friday screening. Above are a few photos from the event, and below a snippet from the festival review at the Videoart.net blog:
Over three nights in early October, as the New York fall seemed to be taking its grip on the city, filmmakers, artists and film enthusiasts huddled outside Tribeca Cinemas and engaged in animated exchanges and heated discussions – excitedly picking apart the films of this year’s Video Art and Experimental Film Festival. Now in its fourth year, the festival once again presented a challenging and arresting program of short films, showcasing the diversity of moving image work being created today.
This process of breaking down unproductive delineations and creating a vocabulary with which to grapple with the question of what can be understood as video art was present throughout the festival, offering the entire program a palpable vigour, though it was perhaps Thursday night’s screening, playfully dubbed ‘Beauty, Sex, Shame’ which most captured the exciting landscape of video art today. Beginning with Rino Stefano Tagliafierro’s BEAUTY – an elegiac reimagining of classic paintings which delights in the effervescence of beauty, luring us in with its promises before revealing its inherent ephemerality and inevitable decay – the program examined the seductive nature of images, throwing light on the perpetually fraught relationship between sex and death. In its masterful re-appropriation of classic painting, Tagliafierro’s film set the tone for much of the program, as a common thread throughout the program was a kind of filmmaking which utilizes cinematic and art historical references with unabashed candor, repurposing familiar footage and well worn tropes to create refreshingly current work. With its knowing nods to the cinema of the French New Wave, Canada’s wonderfully tongue-in-cheek film, Crème Caramel, creates a highly stylized visual language allowing it to reference classic cinema, while simultaneously reconfiguring the often narrow view of sexuality and femininity which exists in these films. Similarly, Jennifer Linton’s Domestikia, Chapter 3: La Petite Mort – a surreal exploration of female sexuality – draws on a tradition of illustrated Japanese pornography often referred to as tentacle erotica, imbuing the film with an awareness of the inescapable darkness and perversion hiding beneath the glossy kind of beauty we are conditioned to consume.
You can find the full review here, and more photographs from the festival here. Oh, and in case you don’t know already, I’m the dark princess dressed all in black.
Work-in-progress photo from my animation project “Toronto Alice” (ETA Spring 2015).
Any native of Toronto is well acquainted with our large and active population of urban raccoons. What many Torontonians may not know, however, is that Toronto is unique in Canada for its abundance of these intelligent — though often troublesome — critters.
Unlike cities such as Montreal, Edmonton, and Ottawa, Toronto winters are milder and we typically don’t get buried by the kind of snow that makes it hard for raccoons to forage. The city’s network of ravines also connects neighbourhoods, MacDonald says, which offers raccoons a safe place to retreat, if necessary. And unlike Vancouver (where, historically, there have been more condo buildings in the downtown), Toronto has residential neighbourhoods with leafy backyards, garages, and easy access to garbage. Urban raccoons have flourished here because of their ability to adapt to our environment, forage in our waste, and find shelter in easy-to-break-into older downtown homes.
— from http://www.chfi.com/2013/06/13/why-toronto-has-so-many-raccoons/
While indigenous to North American wooded areas, urban raccoons only exist in large populations in the cities Washington, DC, Chicago, and Toronto (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon#Urban_raccoons).
The gigantic raccoon pictured in the video still above hails from my upcoming animation project Toronto Alice. This creature is loosely based on the raccoon/s who habitually take a large crap on my back porch [grimace].
Hello Gentle Readers. Hope you’re squeezing out every last bit of enjoyment from these last few weeks of summer. I’ve spent most my summer in my basement studio, working away on Toronto Alice — well, ok, I did go camping, too. I’m gearing up for the Fall semester at the schools at which I teach, so Alice will go on the back burner for a little while. ETA for completion is Spring 2015.
Thought I would share a few screen captures from the project thus far. Enjoy!
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.
Paper cutouts used in walking loop.
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.
Video still from “Domestikia, Chapter 3: La Petite Mort”, 2013. Directed by Jennifer Linton.
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.
Toronto Alice Indiegogo campaign.
- 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.