Ottawa International Animation Festival 2019

OIAF Jen

Was delighted to have had the opportunity to visit the “biggest animation festival in North America”, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, late last month when they selected my short film Wunderkammer to screen in the Canadian Panorama program block. I was particularly delighted to see a still from my film act as the poster image for the entire program block (see photo above). I asked a random stranger to photograph me sitting under the monitor as we waited for the first screening.

The festival itself is fantastic, and well worth the visit for filmmakers and fans of animation alike. I credit this festival for selecting films that experiment and push the medium farther than most mainstream animation is willing to venture. There were a number of surprise “discoveries” for me at OIAF2019, and I plan to return for future incarnations of the festival.

Many thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for funding my travel to the festival.

OIAF canadian panorama

May festival update 2019

Hi Darklings,

Quick update as to what’s happening in the world of all things papercut: Papercut Pictures and Papercut Puppets.

Firstly, my latest animated short Wunderkammer will screen May 11th at the Anifilm 2019 international animation festival in Třeboň, Czech Republic in the non-competitive programming block “Midnight Animation: Body”. This feels like a stylistic homecoming for this project, since it was inspired (in part) by Czech paper cutout animation, most notably the work of Jiří Trnka Studio in Prague (who created the feature-length cutout animation film Fantastic Planet).

In June, Wunderkammer screens on Thursday, June 6th at the granddaddy of North American underground film festivals, the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

Lastly, I continue to add to the paper puppets in my Etsy shop. Check in at regular intervals for the latest additions.

Festival updates (Spring 2019)

Hi there, gentle readers. March has proven a busy month for my short animated film Wunderkammer. It has screened (or will screen, at the time of writing) at three film festivals: the Boston Underground Film Festival, the Midwest Weirdfest (great name!), and the Las Palmas International Film Festival in the Canary Islands, Spain.

Sadly, my teaching commitments + costs of travel have prevented me from attending these festivals, but below are some screen captures from the festival web sites plus a nice little mention in a blog review from BUFF. Gotta love those naughty Victorians.

December 2018 update

Hello darklings. As we approach the quiet dark of the Winter Solstice, I have two pieces of news to share with you. Firstly, I was thrilled to have my short animated film Wunderkammer featured on the Cult of Weird web site. Fans of this compendium of all-things odd and weird are the perfect audience for this project.

Cult of Weird write up of Wunderkammer

Second, Wunderkammer will have its world festival premiere at the Medusa Underground Film Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 11-13, 2019. Here’s the description of the festival from their web site:

The Medusa Underground Film Festival is a three day event in Las Vegas, NV showcasing underground/strange and unusual films created by women. Dreamt up by filmmakers for filmmakers, the goal behind the fest is to provide a space where everyone can watch each other’s movies together, get inspired and network.

Not sure what is considered “underground”? We accept all genres and if it’s strange, experimental, cult, genre mashup…or is just all around hard to define, you’re probably in the right place.

 

Yep, that definitely sounds like what I do. Can’t wait. I’m slotted into the Erotic Block. I anticipate questions, many questions.

medusa erotic block

 

Wunderkammer

SYNOPSIS:
Madelaine’s cabinet of curiosities contained a collection of wonders to both delight and horrify. One day, a mysterious item in her cabinet captures her attention. A darkly-tinged fantasy that explores the erotic-grotesque.

Directed, animated, and edited by Jennifer Linton
Musical score by Zev Farber

ABOUT THIS FILM
Wunderkammer is a 2D stop-motion animated film shot under camera using unarmatured, replacement paper cutouts. This traditional animation medium involves hundreds of individual drawings that are drawn on paper, scanned, printed, hand-coloured and cutout. These cutouts are swapped in frame-to-frame to create smooth, complex movements not possible with articulated paper puppets. The resulting film has all the hand-drawn charm and personality of traditional cel animation, plus the lovely textures and materiality of stop-motion.

Many thanks to the kind generosity of my Indiegogo contributors!

Copyright ©2018 Papercut Pictures. All rights reserved.

Female-generated erotica, lost in translation.

Recently, I tripped across an online review for my animated short film La Petite Mort on a French-language arts & culture magazine called Wukali. At least, I think it’s a review. The reason for my uncertainty is, of course, the absolutely horrendous French-to-English translation offered by Google Chrome. The author, identified as Pierre-Alain Lèvy, seems to be discussing the difference between erotica — that classy, art-directed tease who promises, but never quite delivers — and her more hardcore sister, pornography. This discussion name-drops a short list of Western civilization’s erotic art heavy-hitters, including Apollonaire, André Breton and Octave Mirbeau — the latter best known for his written anthology of sadism entitled Torture Garden — and alludes to Charles Baudelaire through his mention of Flowers of Evil.

It is notable that most of the names mentioned in the article are 19th and early 20th-century French men (Lèvy also mentions male Japanese artists Dan Kanemitsu and Katsushika Hokusai). Conspicuously absent are the historical women artists working with erotic content. Even the most cursory glance back at the early 20th-century in France summons the names of celebrated women writers Anaïs Nin, Colette, and Pauline Réage (author of the BDSM-themed novel The Story of O), all of whom would serve as better antecedents to my female-generated erotica than either Mirbeau or Baudelaire.

That said, Lèvy does correctly detect the influence of Japanese erotic art on La Petite Mort. A tiny reproduction of The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife by Katsushika Hokusai is prominently placed within the frame, providing a strong hint at what’s to come in the narrative. As with many of my animation projects, the concept for the film began with a single image — the Hokusai print, in this case — and developed outwards from there. I asked myself questions such as: “What happened before that image? And what happened after?” The resulting animation is my response to those questions.

toshio saeki

“Masturbation Box”, by Toshio Saeki.

A similar tactic was employed in the development of my most recent animation project Wunderkammer, which grew as a response to an image by Toshio Saeki from his print series Masturbation Box. An astute reader will have already noted that both the Japanese artists I’ve mentioned are men. Regrettably, there are very few Japanese women artists engaged with this type of ero-guro or “erotic-grotesque” imagery — at least, of which I am aware (Junko Mizuno is the one name that springs to mind, though I’d classify her work as more gothic kawaii than truly ero-guro). I consider my animations as female-lensed erotica engaged in a game of call-and-answer with the content produced by these male Japanese artists. Wunderkammer expands the universe surrounding Saeki’s image to a considerable degree, fleshing out the story with my other various fixations such as cabinets of curiosity, oddities, taxidermy, octopuses, and Edwardian-style costumes and furnishings. And, of course, that mysterious box.

scene 16 blur

Work-in-progress video still from “Wunderkammer” (projected release date Fall 2018).

Below is a screen capture of the Wukali article and here is a link to the original French article, which I imagine makes considerably more sense than the translated version offered here (if you can read French, that is).

Wukali 01Wukali 02

Preview clip of “Wunderkammer”

Preview clip for “Wunderkammer”. from Jennifer Linton on Vimeo.

The entire film of Wunderkammer is under lock-and-key on Vimeo until it’s had a festival run, but you can get a taste of it in this clip. Very pleased with the original score composed by Zev Farber.

SYNOPSIS:
Madelaine’s cabinet of curiosities contained a collection of wonders to both delight and horrify. One day, a mysterious item in her cabinet captures her attention. A darkly-tinged, animated fantasy that explores the erotic-grotesque.

ABOUT THIS FILM
Wunderkammer is a 2D stop-motion animated film shot under camera using unarmatured, replacement paper cutouts. This traditional animation medium involves hundreds of individual drawings that are drawn on paper, scanned, printed, hand-coloured and cutout. These cutouts are swapped in frame-to-frame to create smooth, complex movements not possible with articulated paper puppets. The resulting film has all the hand-drawn charm and personality of traditional cel animation, plus the lovely textures and materiality of stop-motion.

Many thanks to the kind generosity of my Indiegogo contributors!

Copyright ©2018 Papercut Pictures. All rights reserved.

June 2018 Update

Hello gentle renders. It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper Lady Lazarus blog post, therefore I feel that an update is long overdue. My various teaching gigs and ongoing animation project have, predictably, commandeered my time and energy. However, I now can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

scene 16 blur

Work-in-progress video still from “Wunderkammer” (projected release date Fall 2018).

First off, I just completed all of the footage for my short animated film Wunderkammer. This project has been three years in the making, with the occasional long pause in the work flow due to my teaching jobs. That’s a fairly lengthy birth process, but I’m happy to report that this baby is (mostly) birthed. I have edited together all the footage, and am now giving final consideration to the overall pacing before I deliver the film to be scored. I can hardly wait to both see and hear this strange little short film.

indiegogo final

Second bit of news, my crowdsourced fundraising campaign is drawing to a close and –I’m delighted to report — we’ve surpassed our funding goal. I’m very, very grateful to all the contributors who offered their hard-earned cash to support this project. These funds will help pay for the music, and also help with the submission fees to film festivals. I’m hoping for a 1-2 year festival run, during which time the film will not be viewable for free online. Fingers crossed that this weird animated film finds it’s festival audience.