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

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Tancho: A Surreal Portrayal of Rivalry Between Conscience and Desire

Tancho: A Surreal Portrayal of Rivalry Between Conscience and Desire

Tancho is a 3-min. animated short film by the young filmmaker, Oscar Sheikh from Hong Kong. The film received the Animation award at the Hong Kong School of Creative Media’s 2009 Media Arts Showcase. Tancho attempts to illustrate with surreal visuals the world of the unconscious and its random behaviors. The film takes place on an imaginary island, a small world which shows the struggles between desire and decency. The symbolic rivalry between basic drives of the appetite and conscience is portrayed through the interactions of a Tancho Crane, a Tancho Koi and the Tree Island with its desirable insects. Both the Tancho Crane and the Tancho Koi are considered to be sacred in Japan, with their blood red spots (Tancho). The Tancho Crane, which is caught in a struggle between its “true self” and its desires, chooses to follow the path of its conscience (the Tancho Koi) at the end of the film.

Tancho: A Surreal Portrayal of Rivalry Between Conscience and Desire

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Photos of the Day: Remains to Be Seen

Photos of the Day: Remains to Be Seen

A somewhat benign perspective about the dead, or being in the presence of the dead and about cemeteries, is that ” great cemetery feels like a world unto itself: a kind of theme park of the departed, where everyday life is left behind at the gate. A certain mood overtakes you when you visit. You are simultaneously overwhelmed by the sense of being surrounded by the dead, and seduced by the beauty of the place. This creates a special flavor of melancholy, the inevitable feels present and one’s own life all the more fleeting, as in Memento Mori, Remember that you are mortal.”

There is, on the other hand, a more malevolent perspective about the dead and cemeteries. This viewpoint is based upon more internal motivations, which associate death with or as the outcome of our aggressive drives. Here, ideas about the departed are permeated with a fear of the presence or of the return of the dead person’s ghost. It is a fear that the dead will return to inflict retaliation for past grievances that it holds against the living.

It is exactly this fear that leads to a great number of ceremonies aimed at keeping the ghost at a distance or driving it away. Specifically, in cemeteries the headstone is placed upon the grave to weigh it down as an attempt to prevent or block the spirit of the departed one from rising up.

Remains to Be Seen

A Short Film by: Jeff Scher

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Train of Thoughts: A Languorous Ballet of Motion

Train of Thoughts: A Languorous Ballet of Motion

The tableau of the landscape racing past a train’s window can be in concert hypnotic, nurturing and energizing. Every display of the scenery alfresco seems to be vigorously animated simply by the train’s speed. The optical illusion of the closer objects appearing to move faster than the farther objects creates a ballet of motion perspective. Power lines along the tracks can seem to undulate urgently, while distant buildings glide by with elegant languor. A train that passes by from the opposite direction becomes a soaring and dreamy blur of motion.

Capturing video impressions now can be as spontaneous as writing or drawing. This animated film was shot with a digital still camera in the “movie mode” and it’s remarkable that nowadays something as small as part of a bar of soap can produce motion pictures. It is a notebook for the eyes or a kind of external memory hard drive with stereo sound, simultaneously both a way of seeing and remembering. The music was composed by Shay Lynch, an arrangement of 15 tracks of his guitar playing, which is an ideal evocation of the film’s trance-like quality, while also leaving you the liminal space to follow your own train of thoughts.

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The Animated Life: Train of Thoughts

Animation by: Jeff Scher

And Deeply Wishing to Further Evoke a Sense of Calm for You:

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A Beautifully Calming Island Sunset

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The Place of Agency and Norms in Psychoanalysis

The Place of Agency and Norms in Psychoanalysis

The Place of Agency and Norms in Psychoanalysis

The present role of agency and norms in the field of psychoanalysis is the topic of this Philoctetes Center Roundtable Discussion, with Jorge L. Ahumada, Akeel Bilgrami, Arnold M. Cooper, Garrett Deckel, Peter D. Kramer, and Bernard Reginster.

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My Faves for Saturday, December 08, 2007

“Photos of the Day: Vintage Christmas “Found Photos.” This is a set of vintage Christmas “found photos.” They range from the humorous, to the downright strange. My personal favorite is “The Most Unfortunate Midnight Mass Ever.”

For a good chuckle, take a look at these. Best wishes and Happy Holidays to all!!

[tags: Photos of the Day, vintage Christmas photos, photographs, Christmas, Xmas, Santa Claus, Santa, hoiidays]


“There are times I worry about what happens to our country,” Oprah Winfrey said, addressing a sea of people in an 80,000 person capacity stadium in South Carolina. “For the very first time in my life, I feel compelled to stand up and speak out for the man who…has a new vision for America.”

Includes photographs and the video of Oprah’s speech.

[tags: Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Oprah campaigns for Obama, celebrities, politics, photographs, video, South Carolina]


This is an animated film by Jeff Scher, a portrait of his son from infancy until he was a few years old. The film came from the notion that his son wouldn’t remember these years. The more Scher drew, the more he realized that he didn’t recall them clearly either.

The article includes colorful prints, as well as the animation video. Enjoy!!

[tags: art, photographs, animation, video, animation video, music, music video, children]

See the rest of my Faves at Faves

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