When we think of animation. the figure of Mickey Mouse. Bugs Bunny or Roger Rabbit is probably the first thing to enter our minds. Somehow the anthropomorphic images of beast. rodent or bird has come to dominate the medium. the end product when centuries of illustration work meets up with modern technology. However. there is another tradition. spawned from the notion of combining the more recent area of abstract art with the cinema‘s potential for imaginative movement. While Eastern European names like ()skar Fischinger and Len Lye have contributed to this strand ofthe genre. in a quite unexpected way it's Canada that has proved a hotbed for
Even more strangely. the father of Canadian animation came from Stirling. Born there in 1914. Norman McLaren first took to film-making i whilst a student at (ilasgow School of Art in the early'l'hirties. Spotted by ; noted Scots documentarist John ' Grierson. he was offered a post on
Pas de Deux by Norman McLaren
the latter's (iP() Filtn Unit. but the two men's paths were to cross again on the other side of the Atlantic several years later. Distressed by his experiences in Spain. McLaren had left for New York. and it was there that (irierson. who by now had been appointed (‘anada’s first
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Government Film Commissioner. invited his fellow exile to travel north and in 1941 set up the National Film Board of(‘anada's animation studio.
This year marks the NFBC“s 50th l anniversary. and the twin poles of documentary and animation have always been its foremost accomplishments. with McLaren‘s work probably the most celebrated the country has produced. Beginning to draw directly on to the film from the 1950‘s onwards he developed the infinitely flexible area of abstract expression through cinematic motion. and he wrote: ‘It is this motion that is the heart ofthe cinema. and that makes the film (as well as the more traditional arts of dance. ballet. pantomime. theatre etc) such a powerful medium. An international language’.
McLaren‘s film Begone Dull ( ‘are showed how important music was for him. as the collaboration with pianist Oscar Peterson created a striking synthesis ofsound and image. It‘s entirely appropriate that jazz and abstract animation should combine so well. because the ever developing forms ofjazz improvisation are a perfect musical equivalent to the performance is at the RSA MI) on motion that was crucial to McLaren‘s july 1, 2,30,)":
ONES TO WATCH - ANERVOUSBHEAKDOWN Stockwellmakesadapper
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conception of his art.
Although the pioneer died in 1987. the Quebecois film-maker Pierre Hebert continues to develop Mchiren‘s working methods and theoretical concerns. In recent years. Hebert has frequently worked with musicians like Rene Loussier. Jean Derome and Fred Frith. and it is under the auspices of the Glasgow Jazz Festival‘s Fred Frith project that the films of Hebert and McLaren are being screened. In the Eighties. Hebert has begun to expand the performance aspects of his work to present himself in front of an audience and draw on to a film loop as it runs through the projector. Live music contributes to the snowballing expression of forward motion. and Scottish audiences have the rare opportunity to observe an event ofthis kind when Hebert joins with multi-instrumentalist Frith for an occasion that can reasonably be described as unique. ('I'revor Johnston)
Glasgow l’ilm Theatre screens films by Norman McLaren on June 2 7 , 6pm; and Pierre Hebert on June 28. ()pm. The Hebertt Frith duo
highlights, on the . Desire Spanish director I0 "99”- Odeons CPmWerc'al and repenory Pedro Almodovar and Edinburgh and Glasgow mmmtS' ‘ ‘ Formula star (‘armen Maura returt "ON June 23-
comprehensive reviews and l venue details see the Film Index, while complete programme details can be I found in the Film Listings. i LAWRENCE OF ARABIA Reissued and reconstructed director's original cut sees David Lean's massive desert epic on our screens once more. Peter O‘Toole still makes a devastatingly clinical ICE. Lawrence. ()deons (ilasgowandEdinburgh j fromJune in. ' l l I l l
with an overheated comic tale of female psychosis. Edinburgh I‘ilinhouse fromJune lh’.
CANADIAN JAZZ ANIMATION Screening as part of the (ilasgow International Jazz, Festival. the animated films of Norman McLaren and Pierre Hebert display an artful fusion of music and movement. (ilasgow Film Theatre June 27. 28 62 3t).
LUNCH WITH DAVID ROBINSON Edinburgh Film Festival CU-LIITL‘CIUI revealed a host ofgoodies set for this year‘sevcnt Iixpect to see almost all the ( ~annes pri/ewinners and the newie from an old Python. while big names are being considered to sit on the jury which will decide the ( ‘haplin Award for the director of the best first or second film shown during the fortnight.
IT'S INDY FDR CHARITYAs (ilasgow ‘s ( 'antion Sauchtchall Street hosts a fiindraising pres IC“
WARLDCK Brits Richard E. (irant and Julian Sands enjoy themselves in this time-travelling tosh as a 17th (‘entury witch and his pursuer end up in the present day. (‘annons fromJune to.
HELLBDUND: HELLRAISER 2 Follow-on sequel to Clive Barker’s striking original is heavy on the ketchup. but somebody forgot to order the plot. Wide release from June 23
MARRIED TO THE MOB Jonathan Demme's mafioso caper strains too hard for zaniness. but Dean |
and [lie I.u.\t( rmuileon
June 2‘). 8pm. Proceeds to
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tickets from the cinema
WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF
The List lo Z‘Hutie 198921