American Independent Animation: Perspective

4/29/1978 - 5/3/1978

Location: Plitt's Century Plaza Theaters ABC Entertainment Center, Century City

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Animation is a technique of synthesis which can 'breathe life into' static forms. Animation is, furthermore, a term used to identify many of the most radical visions of cinema. The first three programs of this series are intended as tributes to five influential American artists- Oskar Fischinger, Jules Engel, Robert Breer, Larry Jordan and Harry Smith --- who have chosen to realize important aspects of their creative vision through film animation. All five men have worked with live-action photography, and each has achieved recognition for his work in painting, drawing, lithography and/ or sculpture. Here, however, we pay homage to them for their brilliant experimentation with the varieties of cinematic rhythm, and for their invaluable contribution to the understanding of that which is uniquely 'filmic' in the art of film. The fourth program is a survey intended to provide an overview of other important American independent animation artists currently at work here or in Canada. The majority of the filmmakers represented in this program are young; others have long-established, well-respected careers to their credit. All have done impressive work -- and all have been influenced in important ways by the embarrassment of riches bestowed by Fischinger, Engel, Breer, Jordan and Smith. The films included in these four programs do not outline a history, or define the ranges of a genre. Neither does the selection purport to be the 'very best' work of the artists represented. Rather, the films have been chosen in an attempt to fully illustrate a number of unique artistic sensibilities, and to give some sense of an incredibly broad, important, and too little known field of cinematic endeavor which constitutes a major portion of American film heritage.[Source: FilmEx Program Notes, 1978]