(Knife Hanging From A Tree by JiHee Nam)
Welcome to the arcane world of experimental animation! Dana, a Juice Media intern who studies traditional animation at Columbia College Chicago, compiled a list of wonderfully strange animations that changed what the medium meant to her.
Many of the titles are pulled from Dana’s workshop on Experimental Film & Animation at the Juice Media session on March 16th, 2021. You can view the slideshow (and a broader list of experimental films) here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1igIBDQZbQXaWqw7uGMDMi_axL69nY6ALgubwgCVH-ko/edit?usp=sharing
Here they are. Nine shorts and three features, in no particular order:
Law of Averages (1996) by James Duesing. CGI, 15 min, American.
In a strange twist of Adam and Eve, two lovers meet in a garden and are tempted by none other than The Big Ghost, an interactive virtual reality.
- Knife Hanging From A Tree (2019) – JiHee Nam. 2D animation, 3 min, Korean/American.
- An simple yet elegant film based on a traditional Korean saying which means “Let me stab the persimmon, since I can’t have them”. I like this film for Juice Media because it is simple and brief, yet so powerful.
- Quasi at the Quackadero (1975) – Sally Cruikshank. 2D animation,10 min, American.
- Be reminded that a world is what you make of it. Two anthropomorphic ducks and a robot have a day at their local amusement park… complete with time travel, telepathy, and reincarnation. A cult classic.
- Lizard Ladder (2020) by Ted Wiggin. 2D animation, 5 min, American.
- Animals being animals in between planes of existence. This animator made his own software to complete the film, and you can download it and watch tutorials on his website!
- Duet (2019) – Jeanette Fantone. 2D animation, 3 min, American/Japanese/Filipino.
- A film made by a 19 year-old. If they can do it, know that you can too. I’m inspired by the simple techniques that comprise this mirage of color.
- Hedgehog in the Fog (1975) by Yuri Norstein. 2D animation, 10 min, Russian.
- The most famous short of Russian master Yuri Norstein, whose personal twist turns animation into a dramatic and artful medium for profound tales often depicting woodland creatures.
- Dimensions of Dialogue (1982) by Jan Švankmajer. Stop-motion, 11 min, Czech.
- A celebrated surrealist’s exploration of the hardships of communication and understanding one another.
- Street of Crocodiles (1986) by the Brothers Quay. Stop-motion, 21 min, American.
- The twin Quay Brothers are an iconic influence on the “creepy” aesthetic often associated with stop motion. They often pull from Eastern-European stories and include a dash of South American magic realism. This is their most well-known short, but be warned!!! The linked video does NOT feature the original score by Leszek Jankowski!
- Roommates (2016) by Jamie Wolfe. 2D animation, 3 min, American.
- The relatable CalArts film that utilizes extremely limited animation, making the whole “24 frames per second” feat feel more attainable.
- Mind Game (2004) directed by Masaaki Yuasa. Mixed animation, 103 min, Japanese.
- https://www.imdb.com/video/vi3202136089?playlistId=tt0452039&ref_=tt_ov_vi (trailer)
- Stylistically all over the place, in harmony. Masaaki Yuasa’s youthful, raw, creative masterpiece makes for one of Dana’s all-time favorite films. Based on a manga of the same name by Robin Nishi.
- Belladonna of Sadness (1973) directed by Eiichi Yamamoto. 2D animation, 86 min, Japanese.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WkcLMapo_Y (trailer)
- https://ok.ru/video/2497662356078 (full film english subs)
- A feature film that reminds you of the graphic inventiveness of a hand-crafted world. Visually reminiscent of the artwork of Gustav Klimt and Harry Clarke, story based on Jules Michelet’s La Sorcière. .Content warning: Sexual Violence & Nudity.
- The Point (1971) directed by Fred Wolf. 2D animation, 74 min, American.
- https://ok.ru/video/2244243229270 (full film)
- Is this even experimental? You tell me. A colorful bedtime story starring Ringo Starr and Dustin Hoffman, and written and scored by Harry Nilsson.