Delighted to announce that Ouroboros will have its North American premiere at the 30th incarnation of the Chicago Underground Film Festival this coming September. CUFF is a fantastic festival with a solid vision for all things odd and off-beat. Here’s the blurb from their web site that best describes their mandate: ““Underground” isn’t always easy to define. At its core, it’s a fluid, inclusive, forward-thinking concept that has fueled movements and counter-culture revolutions over time. Chicago Underground Film Festival is no different. At our core, we welcome visionaries, activists and creatives, and are proud to be the longest running incubator of the avant-garde, the controversial, the cutting edge, and the transformational.”
OUROBOROS screening at Oberhausen, April 28th, 2023.
Delighted to have ‘Ouroboros’ included in the Distributors’ Screening from Vtape & CFMDC at the 69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany. The distributors’ screenings are out-of-competition screenings where “12 international distributors of artist and avant-garde films present selections from their current catalogues”. Screening will be Friday 28 April 2023; 19:45. Thank you to Vtape in Toronto for including my film in this program.
World Premiere of “OUROBOROS”
OUROBOROS is having its world premiere in Germany at the Internationale Kurzfilmwoche Regensburg (Regensburg International Short Film Week), March 16-26, 2023. My film opens the PARTYFILME program, so let’s drop that needle.
Papercut Puppets at Villianous Valentines, Feb. 4-5, 2023.
Above is an image of a few of the paper puppets and dolls that will be on offer at Villianous Valentines this weekend at Eldritch Theatre in the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto. This arts & crafts show will run February 4-5 from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Papercut Puppets will have a puppet bundle available at a discounted price only at the show. Will also have a small number of my zoetropes for sale.
Wilfred the Wizard Cat
Firstly, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy & Healthy New Year!
I have a brand new paper puppet to share with you all:
This is Wilfred the Wizard, a magical marmalade cat. While other wizards may apply their art of alchemy towards transmuting base metals into gold, Wilfred prefers to focus his arcane knowledge towards conjuring catnip and other treats.
Final size of puppet once assembled: 9″ H x 6″ W
Available as a digital download, a DIY puppet kit, and as a pre-assembled puppet.
Available in my Online Shop or on Etsy.
“Ouroboros”, a new short film by Jennifer Linton
Ouroboros spins a loose narrative of joy, grief, death and rebirth, all told through looping images printed on physical animation devices known as phonotropes. Much like the titular ouroboros, a symbolic snake that devours its own tail, everything in life is a loop.
After three years — two of which were significantly hindered by my concussion and subsequent recovery, in addition to a global pandemic and various lockdowns — my phonotrope project has finally reached its conclusion with the release of a 6-minute experimental animated short film featuring four different phonotropes and original music created by my frequent collaborator, Zev Farber. The film is currently being submitted to various film festivals worldwide, and will be released online thereafter.
Ouroboros captures my ongoing fascination with physical animation devices known as phonotropes — a contemporary update on the 19th-century pre-cinema device, the zoetrope — which uses a record turntable and a video camera to capture the magic of the animated loops. Created during the various pandemic lockdowns and shot entirely on my smartphone, this short film visualizes perpetual cycles of beginnings, endings, and the inevitable reset of the loop.
Ouroboros: Tears, 7-inch playable vinyl phonotrope
A video showcasing my limited edition artist’s multiple 7-inch playable vinyl phonotrope.
The ouroboros is an ancient symbol of a snake devouring its own tail and represents cycles of birth, death, and renewal. Much like the animated loop, the ouroboros is designed to perpetually start, end, and then restart again. While the endless repetition of a looped sequence is commonplace in the realm of animation, a deeper and more profound reading can be teased out of these loops when placed within the context of the ouroboros, which represents cycles of nature to which humanity is inextricably bound. These cycles can include waves of pandemics that recur throughout history and serve as stark reminders that “history repeats” as we collectively look back at the past for models of how pandemics tend to play out. Cycles of loss and renewal can take many forms: the loss of life, the loss of relationships, and the loss of livelihood have effected the lives of many people during this current pandemic. Even given all these various losses, the seed of hope lies buried within the ouroboros cycle itself by virtue of its very design. With every end, a new beginning must start for the cycle to reset and continue, and it is this promise of renewal that offers hope.
OUROBOROS:TEARS focuses on cycles of grief and mourning. The music on this disc was created by my collaborator Zev Farber. Interwoven within the repeating music loop of the soundtrack are audio fragments that recall electronic voice phenomena (EVP), sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices by parapsychologists (listen closely between 01:20 and 01:40).
This artist’s multiple is available for purchase in my Online Shop.
New Horizon International Film Festival, Wrocław, Poland.
I’m delighted to announce that Toronto Alice will screen on July 31st in the Children’s Films program at New Horizon International Film Festival in Wrocław, Poland. Considering that my use of paper cutouts is largely inspired by the work of Polish animators Jan Lenica and Walerian Borowyck, the inclusion of my film in this Polish film festival feels like a sort of stylistic homecoming.
Wunderkammer: Cabinets of Curiosity.
Hello, my darklings. Sorry for the prolonged absence from this blog, as I’ve begun working on my new animation project entitled Wunderkammer. This project sees the return of Madelaine, the mysterious Victorian lady from my previous short films La Petite Mort (2013) and An Unfortunate Incident Involving Her Hat (2012). As always, curious happenings befall Madelaine. In the latter film, Madelaine became the victim of a very bizarre wardrobe malfunction, and in the former, she engaged in a romantic — but ultimately tragic — tryst with an octopus. Similarly, in Wunderkammer her uncanny adventures continue.
For those not familiar with the term, a wunderkammer was a Renaissance-era predecessor of the modern museum collection. Below is a definition copied from the Tate Modern web site:
Wunderkammer or curiosity cabinets were collections of rare, valuable, historically important or unusual objects, which generally were compiled by a single person, normally a scholar or nobleman, for study and/or entertainment. […]Exotic natural objects, art, treasures and diverse items of clothing or tools from distant lands and cultures were all sought for the wunderkammer. Particularly highly prized were unusual and rare items which crossed or blurred the lines between animal, vegetable and mineral. Examples of these were corals and fossils and above all else objects such as narwhal tusks which were thought to be the horns of unicorns and were considered to be magical.
— excerpt from “History of the wunderkammern (cabinet of curiosities).”
I include here some pencil sketches of the various items and curios found inside the wunderkammer of my film (subject to change as the project evolves, of course).
Interview at Oberhausen
Whilst attending the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in Germany this month (May 2016), I had the pleasure of being interviewed by three young German journalism students. We had a brief conversation about my film in the festival Toronto Alice. They recently sent me a link to the interview, and I used Camtasia to capture it in order to share it with you, my readers. There is no video, only audio.
At one point in the recording, you’ll hear my voice mutter the word “ambiguous” over top of the interview. This was in response to — and a correction of — my previous misuse of the word “ambivalent” during the interview.