Sunday, November 30, 2008
THE WONDERFULLY STRANGE ANIMATION OF SUZAN PITT
$24.95 - email firstname.lastname@example.org and order using Paypal
Going on three decades, Suzan Pitt has been an internationally renowned creator of beautiful, strange and fiercely original animation. Collected here for the first time are three of Pitt’s pioneering and unforgettable masterworks. Also included is a new documentary. “Suzan Pitt: Persistence of Vision”, which explores inspirations, techniques, and more.
"FOUR STARS (Highest Rating). The title really says it all: Wonderfully
strange and surreal, indeed. This is animation with an adult sensibility,
and it takes the medium to a whole new level. Bizarre, head-popping,
delightful, and utterly one-of-a-kind." --- Todd David Schwartz, CBS
Utne Reader March / April 2007 Issue
Little dialogue graces the films created by painter and animator Suzan Pitt. Her forte is in intricate detail, emotive color, and sheer imagination, as evidenced by these three kaleidoscopic shorts compiled and released on DVD together for the first time. Disparate styles set them apart: clay animated and painted three-dimensional sets in Asparagus, stark photographic backgrounds in the nightmarish Joy Street, and the striking use of sand and scratch animation in El Doctor. Viewed in succession, though, the films, whose production spans three decades, are all like-minded works of vivid visual poetry, bursting with surreal and sometimes disturbing images. The experimental nature of Pitt's films makes for an eyeful, but a look at the bonus interview with the animator helps elucidate her bold art. -Jenna Fisher
NEW YORK TIMES “Rare, gorgeous, emotional power”
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE “”Dazzling!”
LA TIMES “In Suzan Pitt’s works girls sprout flowers and gargoyles roam the desert, but her imagery always has a witty and insightful purpose”
TIME OUT "Pitt’s work is like a dream. Things exist out of proportion, shapes shift, characters emerge and then disappear. But like any dream, they also exist with a backbone of reality, and in every way celebrate the things that make life such a mixed bag of joy and sorrow. They are amazing works of art, and for any fan of animation or unique cinematic experiences, they are not to be missed."
A dark animated poem set in a crumbling Mexican hospital. Inhabited by surreal characters including a man shot with one hundred holes, a girl who has sprouted morning-glories, and a woman who thinks she is a horse, the doctor prefers to drink.
“Tinged with elements of magic realism and Mexican culture, and told using vivid oil colors, American animation El Doctor is a dazzling, haunting and poignant evocation of a man's final moments.”
- Chris Robinson, ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE
Best Short Film, Sin Fronteras Film Festival, New Mexico
Special Jury Prize, Huesca International Film Festival, Spain
Best Animated Film, Ojai International Film Festival, Ojai,
First Prize for Animation, Morelia Film Festival, Morelia,
First Prize for Animation, Arizona International Film
Festival, Tucson, Arizona
Special Jury Prize, I Reel Film Festival, Seattle, WA
Stunning cel animation propels its blank-faced protagonist into the world of the phallus, rendered here as a field of asparagus, which she deep throats, excretes and flushes away...The film's stunning set piece occurs before a claymation audience who gape as she opens her Medusa's bag to release rare wonders. A moving work of art, ASPARAGUS remains, twenty-five years after its release, a benchmark of single frame intensity.
Pitt describes it as "a visual poem that is an erotic allegory of the creative process, in which a woman views and performs the passages of artistic discovery". Its that and much more- memory cells of mystery, awe, wonder, theatricality- joy on sinister streets. Dollhouses in the crawlspaces of the soul.
HEAVY METAL, Bob Stewart
“One of the most lavish and wondrous animated shorts ever made. An overwhelming visual experience.”
-Oscar-winning animator John Canemaker
First Prize, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen Germany
First Prize, Ann Arbor Film Festival
First Prize, Kenyon Film Festival
First Prize, Baltimore Film Festival
First Prize, Atlanta Independent Film and Video Festival
An ambitious, astonishing story of a woman's journey from suicidal despair to personal renewal, with the help of an unlikely spirit guide.
“Inventive, astonishing, and visually lush.”
-The New York Times
Sundance Film Festival
National Educational Media Network GOLD APPLE AWARD
New York Film Festival
London Film Festival
Black Maria Film Festival FIRST PRIZE
San Francisco International Film Festival GOLDEN GATE AWARD
SUZAN PITT: PERISTENCE OF VISION
By Blue Kraning and Laura Kraning
The DVD includes a feature on the artist, sharing her travels and other experiences that shaped her perspectives and unique visual style, which mixes stop-action with drawings in its surrealistic flow. An educational look at the process of creating animation.
“That documentary, of course, helps provide context for the three works by Pitt, each of them a unique artistic vision rife with stunning visuals. Incorporating everything from hand-crumpled paper to sand sculpting to the classic form of hand-painted cels, Pitt's works have a really defined look to them, with fun narrative elements. The documentary gives a good look at the time invested in each piece, an often years-long process of labor-intensive work.”
ST LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
THE WONDERFULLY STRANGE ANIMATION OF SUZAN PITT
DVD 105 minutes colour
Purchase $24.95 purchase using Paypal- email email@example.com
Also available on 35mm film for theatrical exhibition, rental $250
Suzan Pitt Films
1725 Burnell Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90065
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I recently decided to make a new film in 16mm and the process has been interesting! Most of my films were shot on a professional Oxberry animation stand using 35mm color negative film. This provides a beautiful high resolution image from which 35mm prints can be made, or the film can be transferrred to a digital video format and the work finished in video. However, the countless days and weeks required to shoot the animation meant I had to work at Cal Arts or a professional facility in Los Angeles. I've always wanted to be able to work in my own converted garage studio!
So deciding to work in 16mm and building a simple animation stand has been my problem solving challenge the past weeks. I thought I would share some of this on my blog! The format of 16mm is half as large as 35mm and so the image will have half of the resolution- but there is something beautiful about 16mm in that it shows the grain and artifacts and texture of the image in a special way. I want to make a film in which the film quality is inhabited by the images- this is different visually than recording perfectly paintings and drawings laid below the camera. I decided to shoot in black and white to further simplify the image and let the film quality show.
In investigating film stocks and local processing options I've decided to shoot in Kodak #7222 Double X negative film. I am doing this on the advice of master independent filmmaker and friend Peter Hutton. This film is ASA 200 which will give a somewhat more contrasty and grainy image than the lower ASA 64 #7231 Plus X film. I'm also going to shoot some tests of Kodak Hi Con (Kodak High Contrast Positive Film II ASA 6-8/ double perf. (7363 233 009.02) to see what the artwork looks like VERY hi-contrast. Double perf film is very hard to find these days but fortunately my Bolex can shoot single perf which is widely available. Also, reversal film is hard to find and there are only a few labs which will process it (Spectra in LA is one). I'm going to use FotoKem Film Lab in LA to process and print my negative.
As I'm not sure whether I will finish on film or video (or both) I will shoot negative and make workprints so I can see the image projected without worrying about scratching (as with projecting reversal). Then at some point transfer all the film to video (or not!). One of the things I like about the process of developing this new film is adopting an attitude of ever-evolving decision making. This is a new turn for me as I previously always planned everything in detail. Obsessive compulsive goes evolutionary!
More to follow on 16mm! animation stand, camera, lens, animation motors, etc.
For information about my animated films please visit http://home.earthlink.net/~suzanpitt
A DVD of all my work is available for $25- please email firstname.lastname@example.org