The Optical Unconscious
Devils, ghosts, and goblins, oh my! Get your unconscious in the swing of things with three featured works that explore the boundary between fantasy and reality. Swing You Sinners was the first of Max Fleischer's utterly surreal cartoons, taking inspiration from the hot jazz on the soundtrack to suggest the structure of the film. The Brothers Quay adapt Bruno Schulz's short story Street of Crocodiles, in which a puppet freed from its strings discovers a sinister underworld where the customary divisions between objects, humans, and machines no longer apply. Jan Svankmajer's retelling of the Faust story combines stop-motion animation, claymation, and live action to create a world hidden away in the heart of a bustling metropolis. An Everyman follows a map he is handed in a Prague subway station to an abandoned building. Here, he discovers a costume and a copy of Goethe's classic text, and can't help but act out the tale.
Introduced by keynote speaker Nic Sammond.
Program includes: Swing You Sinners (Max Fleischer, 1930, print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive) Street of Crocodiles (Quay Brothers, 1986) Faust (Jan Svankmajer, 1994) plus additional classic animation shorts.
Co-sponsored by The Franke Institute, the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies, and the Mass Culture Workshop.