The Maker: The Beguiling Preciousness of Life and Love

The Maker: The Beguiling Preciousness of Life and Love

The Maker is an acclaimed stop-motion animated short film directed by Christopher Kezelos, which has screened and wan major film awards at a number of film festivals. The film has recently been nominated for Best Animated Short Film in the 2013 Short of the Week Awards, with winners to be announced beginning February11, 2013.

The Maker is set in a dimly-lit fantasy world, where a strange rabbit-like creature races against time, as he attempts to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life. Freud more than once implied that what is fundamental to our sense of happiness is the ability to love and work. Similarly, director Kezelos describes The Maker as an exploration of “the preciousness of our moments on earth, the short time we have with loved ones and the enjoyment of ones life’s work and purpose. In their fleeting existence our characters experience joy, love, hard work, purpose, loss and loneliness.”

The Maker: The Beguiling Preciousness of  Life and Love

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Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Asparagus is a stunning animated short film created by Suzan Pitt, a matted-cel work that film critics have hailed as a visionary masterpiece and one of the most lavish and wondrous animated short films ever made.  Asparagus is the now classic film that assured Pitt’s reputation as a major American animator.  After taking four years to make, Asparagus, completed in 1979, won awards around the world, including First Prize at the Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany and awards at Ann Arbor, Baltimore and Atlanta Film Festivals in the United States.

Pitt went on to produce a number of other animated projects, as well as to design the first two operas to include animated images for the stage (Damnation of Faust and The Magic Flute) in Germany.  In addition, she created large multimedia shows at the Venice Biennale and at Harvard University.  A former Associate Professor at Harvard University, Pitt has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship and three production grants from the National Endowment of the Arts.  She presently teaches in the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Asparagus is designed like a Pandora’s box, opening up visions into the depths of a woman’s inner world, merging sensual and surrealistic imagery conceived in the form of a Freudian dream.  Its mythical visual narrative and dreamscape focuses on erotic metaphors and intellectual references that reflect a thoughtful manner of artistic creativity deeply imbued with the vital nexus between formal experimentation and the exploration of the obscure, dark forces that lurk behind human psyche and praxis.

Defying analytic efforts since the 1980s, Asparagus, arguably Pitt’s finest work, is a deeply symbolic reflection on issues of female sexuality, art and identity, and that’s probably as far as one can go.  The visual narrative is as lavish and vibrant as it is elusive and hermetic, and Pitt’s claim that Asparagus was not designed with an intention to be reflected upon but rather to be emotionally experienced seems reasonable in the face of immense interpretive difficulties raised by the struggle between its unstoppable flow of onirical but culturally familiar imagery, as well as our equally untamed desire for exegetical decomposition.

Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Slide Show: Asparagus/An Erotically Surreal Dream in Pandora’s Box

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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