My Dog Tulip
Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the animated film My Dog Tulip is that people who don’t consider themselves dog people are irresistibly drawn to it. In this way, audiences resemble J.R. Ackerley, upon whose best selling memoir the film is based. Ackerley, a former BBC correspondent, adopted the titular “Alsatian bitch” on a lark, and in the most improbable way ended up finding the love of his life. But, far from sentimental about it, Ackerley’s memoir dryly notes the social consequences attendant on dog ownership—including considerable knowledge of certain intimate biological processes and functions. Renowned animator Paul Fierlinger has been working for more than 50 years and teamed with wife Sandra for the past 15 to produce wry, sophisticated animations using a characteristically beautiful, fluid style akin to watercolor painting. In fact, the team uses a computerized painting tablet to create their unmistakable style, and this film is the first-ever feature entirely hand-drawn and painted using paperless computer technology. Like all of the Fierlingers’ multiple–award-winning works, one of the film’s greatest assets lies in its ability to subtly and astutely add commentary to nonfictional material. The film opens up layers of meaning in ways subtle and humorous, giving audiences access to Ackerley’s text by novel means. In the end, this story isn’t so much about a man and a dog as about the trials and joys of discovering one’s mate.
Additional showtimes are:
Sun, Apr 25 / 6:00 PM / Kabuki / 1881 Post St., San Francisco
Tue, Apr 27 / 4:15 PM / Kabuki / 1881 Post St., San Francisco
Sat, May 01 / 8:50 PM / Pacific Film Archive Theater / 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley