1. The Crab Fisherman's Daughter by Drew Christie

    04:35

    from Tin House / Added

    A cousin to the whimsical adventures of Jean Painlevé, Drew Christie's The Crab Fisherman's Daughter is a love poem dedicated to the wonder and beauty of crustaceans. Christie's short opens with a familiar shot of a crab scuttling around a rocky shore. What appears at first to be the sort of science film you might have encountered in third period biology class quickly recedes in favor of something out of a European fable as our narrator, who sounds as if he recorded his dialog into a gramophone, recounts the story of a trip to the beach with his daughter. As the hypnotic story unfolds, hand drawn animation is added to the live footage to further illuminate the "beauty in the shapes and forms of the organic armor" of the crab. Like all good folklore, the genesis of the project came from a visit to grandmother's house. "This whole thing came about when I was visiting an old 1930's cabin owned by my Grandma. Her house is in Skagit County, about an hour and half north of Seattle and bound in between the Indian Reservation and the small fishing village of La Conner. The whole region is very magical and holds many memories for me. To this day, when I go there I walk the beach, up and down, searching the pebbly ground for crabs big and small." Those memories congealed to form a timeless portrait of how all of us, in some manner, will one day return to our natural states.

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    • Forest Murmurs by Jonathan Hodgson

      12:32

      from Tin House / Added

      Using a combination of personal surveillance footage, stop motion and hand-drawn animation, Hodgson takes us deep into London folklore as he explores the murky and violent history of Epping Forrest, a large wooded area which straddles the border between northeast London and Essex. The forest has been home to both writers ( Lord Tennyson, Mary Wollstonecraft) and criminals (Jack the Ripper, highwayman Dick Turpin), with the latter being the primary fascination for Hodgson, who returns to the park again and again in the hopes of finding some dark truth. Jonathan Hodgson (http://hodgsonfilms.tumblr.com/) is an internationally renowned, BAFTA winning animation director based in London. He studied animation at Liverpool Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. In 2011 he directed the animation for Wonderland: The Trouble with Love and Sex, the first full length animated documentary on British TV.

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      • Marcy's Tenderloin by Sophie Koko Gate

        02:58

        from Tin House / Added

        Sophie Koko Gate, whose films have a unique erotic tension and the good timing of dark comedy, often uses real spoken conversation to drop her characters into a world of the hyper-real. Gates says that translating real-life conversations into animated video involves a sympathy that lives inside the body: “When a character is talking on screen, I find it almost impossible to animate them without acting the motions out myself. In a way, animation can be a variant of live action. You control the ‘actors’ by the smallest of movements: an eye twitch or a slow pupil can make all the difference to the personality of a character, and give the dialogue more depth and meaning.” Her characters, often naked and sketched with a raw edge reminiscent of Ralph Steadman, feel exposed in both mind and body. “The handmade aesthetic is naturally appealing to people and can cover up bad animation or error. I'm interested in bridging the gap between short animated films, which often tend to be made for the eyes of like minded people, and animated sitcoms, which cater for the masses but with less artistic integrity. I aim to build a set of characters and slowly release short films like Marcy's Tenderloin that will introduce relationships and develop pre-existing plots.” Sophie Koko Gate (http://sophiekokogate.com/) graduated in Graphic Design from Central St Martins in 2011 and is currently studying Animation at the Royal College of Art. She worked at Blacklist in New York and now freelances and lives in London.

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        • Cactus Flower by Seungah Yoo

          02:38

          from Tin House / Added

          This week’s Tin House Reels feature, Cactus Flower, portrays a love between two men whose relationship seems defined by a settling mutual calm. Although no dialogue is uttered, animator Seungha Yoo creates subtle changes in mood by scoring the film with the smallest interruptions of daily life: a coffee maker percolating, the scratch of a television set, the ocean at the shore. Despite his protagonists consistent emotional stillness, Yoo's film is far from unaffecting. Much like the work of Maira Kalman, Yoo sketches in a style that draws out meaning from the mundane acts of city life. "There is no enthusiastic expression of their love in this piece,” Yoo told us. “But I think this is also one form of love…a couple who are so natural for each other so they don't even have to express their love loudly.” Yoo drew the characters in Photoshop, painted background textures with watercolor and acrylics, and compiled it all in Photoshop and AfterEffects. Seungah Yoo is an animator and illustrator from Seoul, Korea. He has produced work for SBS TV, the CalArts Winter Institute, and the WOW Film Festival.

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          • A Field Guide to Salmon by Abigail Warren and Scout Cuomo

            01:53

            from Tin House / Added

            This week’s feature from Tin House Reels, A Field Guide to Salmon, is the sort of collaboration between visual and verbal artists that we get excited about—a playful interaction between words and pictures that changes the spirit of both. Looking to collaborate with a painter, poet Abigail Warren found Scout Cuomo at an art show: “Scout and I went to Smith College 15 years apart, but we both live and work in Northampton, home to Smith College. Scout loves fish, and all things under water. She did a series of paintings of underwater scenes, which I saw at a show she did. We were both competitive swimmers growing up; when I saw her water paintings, I thought, she's got it, she really understands it—i.e., being under water. I went up to her and said we have got to make a video about a poem I have about the life of salmon.” Their collaboration followed through a series of charcoal drawings: “[Cuomo] focused the video into sections, following the three stanzas of the poem: sunlight, laying eggs, growing light, swimming downstream, the return, and the final stanza that draws in the human element. She sent me various versions over several months. I went to her studio and she demonstrated the process, a Zen-like progression in which a new picture needs to be created as soon as the last is done.” “I gave feedback,” Warren said. “We pulled in a soundtrack person for the underwater sounds we both thought were needed. We played around as to when my voice should come into play in the video. We negotiated where each stanza in the video needed breathing space.” The result is a mobile sequence full of feeling. Abigail Warren (http://www.abigailwarrenpoetry.com/) has a BA in English and Philosophy and an M.Ed. from Smith college and teaches at Cambridge College. She is a recipient of the Rosemary Thomas Poetry award. Scout Cuomo (http://www.scoutrcuomo.com/ ) was born in 1984 in Dallas, Texas, has a BFA from Smith college, and paints in Northhampton.

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            • Le fiamme di Nule by Carolina Melis

              07:44

              from Tin House / Added

              Tin House Reels is excited to share the work of Carolina Melis this week. Melis’ short film Le fiamme di Nule combines live footage and animation to tell the story of three weavers, Anna, Rosa, and Maria, competing in a contest in the Sardinian village of Nule. When all is revealed, the women create three very different tapestries, the result of which is as surprising to the characters as it is to the audience. Drawing from her past as a choreographer, Melis transforms the making of the textiles into a flamenco like dance, giving the women's labor a hypnotic quality that draws out the grace of their movements. Animated sequences of black silhouettes, as well as stark photographs of the village broken by textile patterns, give the short a feeling of cinematic folklore, with a tinge of high fashion. Given this combination, it is not surprising that the rich grayscale cinematography and high contrast lighting calls to mind such Italian black and white classics as Il Posto, The Bicycle Thief, and the oeuvre of Federico Fellini. The story was inspired by Melis’ visit to Nule, where she became fascinated with their traditional textile-making techniques. Melis often works on projects with fashion companies like Max Mara, Prada, and Chloe, so she pays special attention to fabrics, pattern, and collage. After making the film, Melis started to be commissioned to design tapestries that were then made by artisans in Nule. “I almost feel like I’m becoming part of my own film!" she said. This film was made in conjunction with the Istituto Superiore Etnografico Della Sardegna.

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              • About Haruki Murakami

                10:40

                from Ilana Simons / Added

                9,182 Plays / / 12 Comments

                film about Haruki Murakami

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                • And Then We Were Jumping by Jordan Bruner

                  04:20

                  from Tin House / Added

                  Taking a Eve Ensler poem as its source material, “And Then We Were Jumping” is a warm mediation on justice and the ways we both heal ourselves and those around us. The film tells the story of a daughter who takes on her father’s depression as her own. Ensler and Bruner mine the daughter’s psychology, describing how harmful and disorienting it can be to take responsibility for pain that isn’t yours. The creative process was a collaboration with the poet and a team of diverse artists. "Eve Ensler sent me her poem and we began bouncing ideas back and forth," Jordan told us. "I made rough storyboards and sent image references, and then we met up and I got further clarification of her intent. My friend Nelly Kate began experimenting with music around that time as well. I made another round of storyboards and an animatic with really rough sound, and from there began designing style frames. Animator extraordinaire Greg Lytle started animating as I was continuing to make the style frames, and my brother Barry Bruner, an amazing illustrator in his own right, assisted Greg with the animation and mapped out the landscape for the end scene. Once all the frames were completed, more animators came in to help out and I began compositing the project in After Effects. We animated the entire project in Photoshop and After Effects." The sense of community that went into making the project is illuminated in the final frames of the film. The closeness that initially seemed capable of destroying the father and daughter takes them to a rich, humane recognition. Bruner and her team come by the emotions in the film honestly, allowing the audience to jump along with the characters on screen. The short film and the poem were created as part of the One Billion Rising For Justice campaign (http://www.onebillionrising.org/), which demands for an end to violence against women and girls.

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                  • The Gardner's Dream by Valeriy Kozhin

                    09:00

                    from Tin House / Added

                    Valeriy Kozhin transforms Lewis Carroll's poem "The Mad Gardener's Song" into a surrealist adventure that maintains the spirit of the poet's work and incorporates a wildness that is all Kozhin's. The film conveys an abstracted conceit of a logic game. Using paper cut-outs and puppets, porcelain dolls, and minuscule objects, Kozhin draws on images of childhood. Using a color palate rich in natural pigments, his work also feels like more classic animation--a mixture of Marc Davis era Disney and Jan Svankmajer, one of Valeriy's favorite filmmakers. "I see a new world with my eyes when I am inside a film," Kozhin said. "I think that cinema is a young art. We have the great opportunity to make more than we can imagine in animation." That imagination, which seems to be equally enamored with the romantic and grotesque, has created an alluring lullaby for those boys and girls who still read under the covers after the lights have been turned off.

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                    • Babboo’s Moving Pictures by Noah Saterstrom

                      03:09

                      from Tin House / Added

                      Noah Saterstrom knows that wonderful things can often come from rushed processes. In 2010, he challenged himself with a “Work-a-Day Page”, his blog on which he posted a new painting every day or so. “The discipline of daily [postings meant I was presenting] works that I might be tempted to see as too incomplete, peculiar, half-baked or difficult. Of course, some of the most poignant imagery falls into these categories.” Four years later, Saterstrom has posted more than 800 works on his blog. He is in the process of carrying a similar notion--of expressing instincts before they are codified by too much technical deliberation--into filmmaking. Using tools like animation software, which he is not formally trained in, he is making art that is a little rough around the edges but rich in impulse. “A lot of new media work now,” Saterstrom said, “is made by artists whose natural medium is non-video-related, who speak in the heavy accents of their native medium, whose technical abilities are poor, but enthusiasm high. I don't know how videographers and animators feel about it, but the flood of new media work is exciting to me." “As a painter, I long to make images that seem to move as time passes. But what I actually make are still images.There is a similar longing for writers, I think: They use language, alone, to cast images for the screen of the eye, or wall of the mind, or however Ezra Pound put it. Movement is outside the bounds of painting in the same way that images are outside the bounds of writing, but the longing for those qualities are there, strong and nagging.” “Creating the movie was trial and error," Saterstrom told us. "I tried chalk boards, dry erase boards, and different stop motion apps. Since each frame was being painted on the same surface, there was no room for mistakes. If I got something wrong, I'd trash it and start a new painting.” “Babboo's Moving Pictures is primitive. I painted an image, say, of a cannon. Then I photographed it. Then I painted over the image on the same canvas, photographing twelve shots per second of film. The whole action is finally captured in a single painting. I find that very romantic.” Find out more about Noah's work here: http://www.noahsaterstrom.com/home/

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