Friday, June 19, 2015

Annecy Signal Films

The Gobelins signal films for this year's Annecy festival are turning up online.  They are all dedicated to women animators.  As usual, the art and animation are beautiful.  However, I'm a little wary of some of the historical interpretations, particularly the ones for Mary Blair and Evelyn Lambert.  The Blair piece implies that Disney heavily edited Blair.  Disney heavily edited everyone, but in Blair's case, he was always trying to get more of her look on the screen, much to the frustration of the animators.  Blair was one of Disney's favourites and there are many artists who are better examples of being victims of Disney.  In Lambert's case, the film is not very flattering to Norman McLaren.

I wish the Lotte Reineger tribute had been done cut-out style.  The film does use silhouettes, but it would have been more satisfying to me if the style was closer to Reineger's own.


David said...

One about Faith Hubley would be nice.

StephenM said...

You're not kidding about the skewed historical interpretations. In their zeal to pay tribute to women animators, they seem to have felt it necessary to show every woman oppressed by and fighting past the obtuseness of men, didn't they? I'm sure they all had their difficulties, but the result is kind of offensive even in allegorical form. I mean, the characterization of Disney is pretty tame compared to that of McLaren as a tyrannical monster. According to the obituary for Evelyn Lambert linked to on Wikipedia (obviously not comprehensive, but still), the reason Lambert left was Mclaren was moving into ballet films, and she wasn't interested in them. Hardly a wire wrapped around her neck. And apparently Claire Parker was the genius rather than Alexandre Alexeieff? Not that they both can't be brilliant, and she may well have been the one to do the engineering of the pinscreen, but the implication that he was an idiot who couldn't understand what she was trying to, when she was the one who initially came to him for instruction seems a bit politically motivated rather than historically accurate.