Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sonic Sunday: Tanya Tagaq

Since the cobwebs have overtaken the light coming in from the Rose window of Sunday Inspiration, I have decided to stick the electrodes back into the specimen to hear the spasms that lie within. A couple of months ago I was driving home when I was overtaken by the sounds of Tanya Tagaq performing with Kronos Quartet. Night had taken over but the colours of the percussive voice of Tanya mixed with the Titan power of Kronos (quartet) illuminated the slow descent down the throat as I was consumed by the sound. The playful interaction of the throat singing and the instrumentation was almost primal in nature and drove me closer to the center of something inately familiar. It was of course something that I had heard before and later realized that Tanya has collaberated with that otherwordly nymph, Bjork. I had picked up the soundtrack to Drawing Restraint 9 and Tanya performs on one of the tracks on it. (Aside) ironically, Matthew Barney is someone I have been meaning to feature on Sunday Inspirtation...go here to see the trailer. The mesmerizing voice of Tanya certainly matches with the texturally rich imagery of Matthew Barney. Expand the mind and unnaturally splay open the throat to the earthy sounds of Tanya Tagaq!! Now if only they would release the performance with Kronos Quartet. Check out her MySpace audio stuff. Sonic headtuning!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Joseph Feltus

Today we fire up the giant hot air bunny balloon head and take it high up where the lack of oxygen makes us giddy! Joseph Feltus along with brother Tobias hover in the stratosphere of emptiness and regret with their latest offering Solo Duets! Beautiful puppet animation that delves into memory, reflection and longing. I would love to see this in it's entirety but we are just given a teaser and plentiful pre/production photos to give us enough air to want more. Definately, these two float between the realm of art and animation and their creative voice shines through on this graduate film from the Edinburgh College of Art. Also, check out Joseph's other films on his site and the italian duos siamese hybrid connection of FeltusFeltus.
So take another gasp and fly high on this flashback of broken dreams. Munchies optional.
(Aside) sort of looks like the Brothers Quay when they are old and retired.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fimfárum 2

I have no idea what this film is about but I know I like it! Crazy puppet animation that looks like Rankin and Bass on crystal meth! What is it you say? Why it is Fimfarum 2 done by Jan Balej, Vlasta Pospíilová, Betislav Pojar and Aurel Klimt and it took Best Feature Length film at Anifest. Go and explore this world of big teeth, little tom and hunchbacks! Pull the string and chuckle til you run out of cord.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Regina Pessoa

Well, may a horse kick me up the arse and lodge a horseshoe up there as maybe that would give me some luck. My bleedin' computer is acting up again and that is why there has been sparse leaves to chew on from the bigheaded bunny patch. So this is just a quick post before radiation treatment on the hard drive. Maybe there will be a happy ending to this if you watch Regina Pessoa's short! Tragic Story with a Happy Ending can be seen on Arte France and received a Special Jury prize @ this year's ANIFEST! I haven't experienced the short with sound but the film itself gouges into visual terrain. The style magnifies the tragedy while Regina's design and camera moves us through the grain of the story to come out on the mossy side of the tree. Enjoy. I will have more from the Anifest when I have excavated the downfall of my civilization. Trojan horse fugged again!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Out of Picture

A book that I am looking forward to crack the spine on is Out of Picture! It is a veritable chiropractic exercise of comix creation by artists that met at BlueSky Studios. I normally shy away from the big animation house production but I get tied into knots when I see the personal expression of these unsung animators get printed onto page. Monkeysuit is the first book of this type that I wrestled with. They have soothed readers to the Nazi pain buster of Rex Steele and rubber-armed them to the stylings of Enrico Casarosa's Mia. They too are also having a lauch party @ Mocca, the place to be! Also, E-ville press's Afterworks is another neck-cracker (I said neck!) of a book to check out as they are on their second volume. So, man handle your way to Mocca and message the egos of these fine manipulators of pens and pencils. Just don't forget to breathe.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Guilherme Marcondes Part Grrrr!

Early this morning I believed I awoke to haphazardly check my email only to find a nice notice by Guilherme Marcondes alerting me to his newest animation burning bright on the screen. "Tyger" is an urban jungle romp through the hyghways and byways of Sao Paulo using a clever use of photography, puppets and animation. In a semi-awakened state I half dreamt this beautiful short that shows the ferocious leaps and bounds that Guilherme's talent has improved to tackle this project. The black and white characters that transform into various creatures in the wake of the Tyger was designed by Samuel Casal (great stuff) and the animation was done by Birdo Studios. The amazing puppet of the Tyger was made by João Grembecki and I love the fact the puppeteers were included like ninjas that stalked the city manipulating the predator and giving it life. The city (like Detroit) is reclaimed to nature with every passing stride and we become the prey in the shadow of this luminous beast. As I have said before, the oven of Brazillian animation, like this one, is on red hot and searing itself to the flesh of this innovative digital body of work that has become it's feeding ground. Thanx Guilherme!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


One more slice of the knife and the post-mortem on this cadavre will bring us right up to speed on all things cool. Twitch films puts the chalk marks around Anders Morgenthaler's feature film debut Princess! Here is the synopsis:
The story of August who loses his beloved sister Christina, a former porn star known as The Princess. He adopts Christina's five-year-old daughter Mia. Weighed down by grief and guilt, August breaks down and with Mia in tow, he embarks on a mission of vengeance to erase Christina's pornographic legacy.
It looks sort of like 'The Professional' meets the Movie Channel at midnight. There is an Adult Accompany rating to go here to see the trailor. Leave it to the Danes to manage to pull off a Manga inspired porn action thriller at Cannes. I am sure zee Inspector will luv eet! Now I am caught up and will open the mouth wider to dig at the morsels that I have found lately. Starting tomorrow.

Stephane Ricard and Book of Numbers

Leave it to Fous d'Anim to get the gerbil back on the wheel and spinning convulsively. Stephane Ricard is a new specimen for me to stuff in the jar and label "genus absurdis". For it is on the shelf of dada and surrealism that his animation is set. Tonight when you sleep go and visit his site and let the giant granules of sand lodge themselves in the corners of your eyes.
Also, just a fun Gilliam-esque site is The Book of Numbers. This is done by the dynamic polish duo of Artur Stefanski and Kasia Michalska, a.k.a. Bubblynumbers. Flip the pages on this animated collage fest o' fun while carelessly wasting "the Man's" time and pretending to work on that final report about bottom line profits and other signs of the Apocalypse.

Badgered and Peurs du Noir

This is some loose hair ends that I have been meaning to put up in an excruciatingly tight pig-tail...
Badgered is a nice animated short done by Sharon Colman . Lots of cool sites have already posted about this Oscar nominated short, but, I just wanted to put this up for all the students that are finishing up their first or second year to show this simple but effective film. It is also nice to have Daniel Greaves as your mentor too! Enjoy.

Okay, another film that has lurked around that is of special interest to me as it crosses both the comix and animation boundaries is Peur(s) du noir. There is now a nice teaser on the site that gives us more of an illumination of this impesta nocte (dead of the night) film. I hop around like a drunk bunny with a small bladder when thinking of this film. With the likes of Blutch, Charles Burns, Lorenzo Mattotti, Dupuy and Berberian contributing to this film how could you not want to wet the bed just like when you were a kid and afraid of the dark. Too bad I'll have to fly to France to see it. Tabernack!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

First Second

Okay, let's get the M.R.I. fired back up to look past the nasty parasitic souvenirs I brought back from Havana and slice up the sequential layers of the churning publishing belly of First Second. A great new haven for parasites and comic geeks alike as their catalogue is a veritable tropical breeding ground of the W.H.O.'s who of visual plagues. From the virulent European strain of Lewis Trondheim, Joann Sfar and J.P. Stassen to the Asian variety of Lat, First Second has it all. The best is their blog that features guest artists such as Eddie Campbell and Grady Klein sharing drawings and page previews. Shake and stir this new cocktail strain and become infected with the new world fever.
UPDATE: I just noticed that most excellent specialist of everything cool, Chris Butcher, beat me to the radioactive go here for his review of Trondheim's A.L.I.E.E.E.N.!!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Jeana Sohn

Another artist that caught my eye as I was wrestling with the Giant Robot whilst sipping my latte is Jeana Sohn. Seeing her work reminded me of Genevieve Castree's (see post below). Neutral backgrounds with the figure entangled in the detail of nature. Jeana's world is more graphic (almost cut-out) than Genevieve's but the scenes and subject matter are very close to one another. Put the two under the microscope to see the creepy similarities. Forboding goodness for everyone.

One man's JUNC is another man's muse

On sifting through the internet space garbage I came upon this morsel from JUNC gallery...
Genevieve Castree and Allison Cole. I first wrote about Genevieve in my first few experimental inquiries here and have been making charts on her rise in the field of comics since. Her drawings have become more detailed, isolated vignettes of dark matter wrapped in warm wool clothing. Uncomfortably silent (wordless) and thought provoking. Genevieve's drawings are then contrasted nicely to the cutout style of Allison Cole. Bright colouring book pictures belie the seven deadly sins that are captured in this series. Allison's work masks the human condition of lust and greed under a rosy pane of glass while playfully waiting for the ball to break it into the shards that lie within. So go and check out this Junc and deviate from the norm. Be sure to look at Genevieve's art (one shown above on my wishlist) @ the Beguiling. Also, while you are there you can view Jordan Crane's exhibit, who is an undying stalwart of indie comix. Drain the red ink out the viens and become one of his minions.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

An Tain

Well, it has been a slow circle chase of the tail to get comfortable again in my virtual cage. But, here is something that has dilated my pupils and got the foam to the mouth again...An Tain! Me sheep lovin' mate at Cartoon Saloon, Barry Reynolds, has finally got something for me to show the rest of the class (and not just a rash either). He sent me the pencil sketches for An Tain awhile ago and they looked smash up but now with the added colour by Adrien Merigeau and words by Colmán Ó Raghallaigh it all makes sense now...if ya can read Oirish!
Anyway, go and check out this graphic novel and buy it just for the crackin' art but don't tell Barry that as his heead is big (hydrocephalic) enough. Oh and visit Tomm' blog, The Blog of Kells, to keep up with the round of pints of production of the Saloon's feature film. Snap Craic'in Poop.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Back from Holidays

Hola! I am back from a well needed vacay away from everything. And boy, did I find that in Havana. Beautiful decay sums up our expedition into the belly of the whale, where rum is cheap and smoke belches out like a green cigar. I am just trying to settle back in and digest the adventure and will resume the regularly scheduled menu of tropical fruits and rants shortly. So sit down and suck back a mojito as the heat lamp goes up to feral on the HB channel and Hemmingway does belly flops in the cranial pool.