Desert Island Series--The Olympiad of Animation
compiled by Frankie Kowalski
This time 'round, I reminisced with animators who produced short animated
films for The Olympiad of Animation--Melinda Littlejohn (Breath of Seth),
Raul Garcia (Animarathon), George Schwizgebel (Hors-Jeu),
and Jonathan Amitay (The Spirit of the Olympics).
Melinda Littlejohn's desert island picks...
"I love the idea and energy behind the Olympiad of Animation. It built
up to a wonderful frenzy of animators and artists descending upon Los Angeles
from all over the planet. We closed a few bars and opened a few breakfast
joints before it was over--alot of those people still remain my dearest
friends and networks! I think the funniest thing that happened was when
the sound track failed on a rather politically graphic European film and
the animator kept yelling CONSPIRACY! (that guy went on to work for Disney--embracing
the LA lifestyle wholeheartedly".
1 The Rainbow Bear by Bill Melendez
2 The Bead Game by Ishu Patel
3 Anything by Oskar Fishinger
4 The Ladykillers by Alexander McKendrick
5 The first hour of The Black Stallion by Carroll Ballard (produced
by Francis Ford Coppola)
6 Anything by Emory Hawkins (especailly the candy monster in Raggedy
Ann & Andy)
7 Burden of Dreams by Les Blank
8 The Ghost of Rome by Antonio Pietrangeli
9 Anything animated by Bill Littlejohn (especially Snoopy flying his dog
10 All or Nothing by Frédéric Back
Olympiad of Animation film,Breath of Seth by Melinda
Raul Garcia's picks...
"When I was invited to participate in The Olympics of Animation
I felt really honored and decided to make the most amazing animated film
ever done--Hollywood here I go, ok back to reality. I ended up with the
longest animated film that $150 can buy. Two minutes and 12 seconds and
a cast of animators worth of a feature film. Necessity is the mother of
all inventions and having no money to produce the film, I asked every friend
working in animation to animate a scene. I shot the whole film by using
the studio I worked at as an animator in the middle of the night and using
leftover film and tails from my part-time job as a cameraman. When the film
was finally finished, I had an opportunity to come to L.A. and present it.
It was very exciting."
1 The Tell Tale Heart by Ted Parmelee
2 Pas de deux by Norman McLaren
3 One Froggy Evening by Chuck Jones
4 Little Red Hot Riding Hood by Tex Avery
5 Anna & Bella by Borge Ring
6 Creature Comforts by Nick Park
7 What's Opera Doc by Chuck Jones
8 Getting Started Richard Condie
9 The Man Who Planted Trees by Frédéric Back
10 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick
George Schwizgebel's picks...
"Je ne pratique pas beaucoup de sport mais je suis impressionné
par la beauté des mouvements des athlètes, les ombres portées
et la couleur du gazon. C'est cela, et aussi l'idée naive que l'on
choisi toujours son équipe quand on regarde un match, qui m'a incité
à réaliser Hors-jeu".
(I do not practice sport very much but I am impressed by the
beauty of athletic movements, the shadows that they projects and the lawn
color. It is for this reason, and also because of the naive idea that one
always picks a team while watching a match, that I decided to make Hors
1 Tango by Zbigniew Rybcynski
2 The Tale of Tales by Yuri Norstein
3 Damon the Mower by George Dunning
4 Le jeu des anges by Walerian Borowczyk
5 Dream of the Sphinx by James Gore
6 Refleksy (Reflections) by Jerzy Kucia
7 The Comb From the Musuems of Sleep by the Brothers Quay
8 Creature Comforts by Nick Park
9 Blinkity Blank by Norman MacLaren
10 The Passing by Bill Viola
Back to the Table of Contents
Amitay's Spirit of the Olympics, done for the Olympiad of Animation
Jonathan Amitay's picks...
"Spirit of the Olympics"... wow! 1984. And it was my first film
to be shown internationally. I had no idea of the importance of such events.
While making the film for the Olympics I used sand and shot the film with
a very old animation camera that was on it's last sprockety legs. It would
jam, oh would it ever jam, and mostly on the most important jobs. By the
time I'd finish almost ANY job with that camera, all I was left with was
the feeling of relief of having managed to make the deadline. Other than
that I was too frazzled to think about anything else. Even today I find
it difficult to watch my works from that period seeing the jump-cuts and
remembering that dreaded "click," and then opening the camera
body and the film spilling out like bloody spaghetti!"
1 The Mighty River by Frédéric Back, for it's awesome
beauty and grand execution.
2 The Street by Caroline Leaf. What can I say ... it's so fantastically
3 The Yellow Submarine by George Dunning
4 Ivan The Terrible by Sergei Eisenstein. A grandiose film and you
don't have to understand a word of Russian to be mesmerized by it. It's
like "watching" a Rembrandt, a J.S. Bach or a Beethoven.
5 Se7en by David Fincher --it's opening title which I found to be
a unique piece of artistry and "branded itself" on my artistic
6 The Electric Blanket by Asi Dayan, which is gut stuff and Israeli
to it's last frame, and contains a controversial and unforgettable scene
about dying and death.
7 Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media by Mark Achbar
A film that will leave no doubts in the minds of the mad dogs on the island
(and even islands have their mad dogs) as to my political/social leanings.
8 Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul, which is a piece
of the most brilliant reasoning.
9 For music... There's so much...! On the spur of the moment I would probably
grab any one of Mozart's piano concertos. His "Heavenly" music
contains every possible human emotion.
10 I must admit that I would take one of my own films, Nukie Takes A
Valium to remind myself that I'm not as lousy as I make myself to be
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