Posts Tagged ‘Norman McLaren’

nfb animationA quick note that there is a superb exhibit on animation in Quebec City at one of the most innovative and inspiring museums one can find, the Musee de la Civilisation.  The exhibit, Image X Image, leads the viewer through the key technical and creative aspects of animation as it also traces its history in Canada, particularly the groundbreaking work of the National Film Board and such important figures as Norman McLaren, Ryan Larkin, Co Hoedeman, and Caroline Leaf.  It also provides numerous fully interactive areas for kids (and grownups too!) in which they can work at all aspects of creating moving images through objects, drawings, and playing with light frame by frame.  An interesting aspect of the exhibit is that it features a number of spots where one can watch numerous short animated movies — yes, just sit down and take the time to see some of the finest animated shorts of the past century or so.  Finally, I bring this up on this blog because it can lead us to a resource that is available even if you can’t get to Quebec City: the NFB site which features a wealth of information and links to many of their best movies.  One recommendation: The Sand Castle, a classic, truly amazing stop-motion short by Co Hoedeman.

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Images from PES's "Western Spaghetti."

A bunch of very fun and visually striking shorts are available on the aptly named website The Twisted Films of PES.  In particular, I would recommend Western Spaghetti, Game Over, The Deep (produced for Showtime), and the commercial Human Skateboard.

Innovative animator Norman McLaren

Here is a recent interview with PES.

In this interview, he discusses his use of pixilation; as he explains, this is a method that has been used by filmmakers since the earliest years of cinema.  One of the most important examples of its use is the classic short Neighbours, made for the National Film Board of Canada by visionary filmmaker Norman McLaren and featuring fellow animator (and performer) Grant Munro.

The works of PES and Norman McLaren can offer many interesting examples for educators as they explore questions of film forms that are raised in Chapter 5 of Moving Images Other examples will be discussed in upcoming blogs: stay tuned!

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