Ottawa 98 Tributes

Retrospectives | Tributes | Feature Films

Igor Kovalyov
The time is right for the first ever retrospective of this acclaimed Russian animation. Not only is Kovalyov a member of the Ottawa 98 jury, but his work is in many ways very Estonian influenced. Kovalyov is a founder of Moscow's celebrated, Pilot studios and he currently works at Klasky-Csupo. The programme will include a look at Kovalyov's independent films (Hen, His Wife, Bird in The Window, Andrei Svislotski) and his work with Klasky-Csupo (Real Monsters, Rugrats).

Charles Thorson (curated by Gene Walz)
"After a twenty year career as a newspaper cartoonist and graphic illustrator, Charlie Thorson left his hometown of Winnipeg to find work at Disney studios in 1934. From then until he quit the animation business for children's book writing and illustrating, the peripatetic Thorson worked for virtually every _animation factory' in the US. He was much in demand as a character designer, creating hundreds of cartoon kids and anthropomorphic animals. Among his favourites were: Elmer Elephant and Little Hiawatha (Disney), Old Smokey (MGM), Bugs Bunny, Sniffles The Mouse, Elmer Fudd (Warner), and Twinkletoes (Fleischer)."

Alexei Karaev (curated by Otto Alder)
Born in Sverdlovsk in 1954, Karaev is a graduate of the sverdlovsk Institute of architecture with degree in industrial art. He designed new forms of industrial equipment for engineering works and consumer goods, made illustrations for text-books had humourous cartoons published in the daily press.

In 1981, graduated from the Fedor Chitruk Studio of the Moscow advanced courses for script- writers and film directors, and has been working at Sverdlovsk film studio since 1982 as an animation artist and director of animation films. He is a participant and prize winner of many festivals around the world. Karaev developed his unique artistical style and belongs to one of the most interesting contemporary Russian animation artists. He has a international reputation in the field of animation art.

Currently he makes advertising films. Karaev is a merited artist of the Russi federation and state prize winner. His films include: Welcome, Inmates of the Old House, I Can Hear You, As You Like It.

Stefan Schabenbeck (curated by Chris Robinson)
Despite being one of the finest animators to emerge from Poland, Stefan Schabenbeck remains a virtual unknown internationally. In fact, this is the first international retrospective of Schabenbeck's work. The combination of a short career (he stopped making independent films in the 1970) and the emergence of such acclaimed talents like Walerian Borocwyxk, Jerzy Kucia, and Piotr Dumala has led to the unfortunate oversight of this talented artist.

The common thread of Schabenbeck's films is the alienation of modern society in an increasingly technological world. And while on the surface, this theme seems somewhat overdone today, Schabenbeck's films are unique in their grace, wit, and despite the somber themes, an ultimately positive view of the future. This retrospective will feature all of Schabenbeck's personal films including: Everything is a Number, Exclamation Mark, The Stairs, The Drought, The Wind, and The Invasion. Mr. Schabenbeck will be in attendance to introduce the programme and discuss his career.

Paul Driessen: (curated by Marc Glassman)
An on-going fascination with the elements that make up an animated film places Paul Driessen more in the camp of Michael Snow than Walt Disney. His characters continually butt into and out of the frame, often questioning the meaning of the stories they are in. Driessen's masterpiece, The End of The World In Four Seasons, presents a storyboard gone awry: divided into four mini-screens, his seasonal creations are buffeted by events taking place above, below and beside them.

This philosophical Dutchman became acquainted with the National Film Board while animating Yellow Submarine in London for Canadian expatriate George Dunning. After a five year stint at the NFB in the early _70s, Driessen began to divide his creative time between Holland and Canada, making provocative animated works in both countries. It's a practice he continues to this day. This retrospective will feature such characteristically extraordinary works as Oh What A Knight, Uncles and Aunts, and The Same Old Story.

Frank Tashlin (curated by Mark Langer)
Frank Tashlin had the rare distinction of being a seminal figure in both animation and the live-action film. Beginning with his employment as an office boy at the Out of the Inkwell Studio, Tashlin's animation career touched on almost every major studio in America. His most important work took place in the 1930s and 40s, when Tashlin wrote, directed or produced films at Warner Bros., Disney, and Columbia. One of the key figures in the aesthetic and narrative revolution in studio animation of the period, Tashlin's films experimented with Eisensteinian editing techniques, modernist graphics and scathing social satire. Later hailed by directors from Jean Luc Godard to Jerry Lewis as a major influence on their work, this OIAF retrospective salutes the art of this seminal American filmmaker.

Live-Action Tashlin (French)
In conjunction with our Frank Tashlin animation retrospective, we will be presenting a special screening of two of Frank Tashlin's most "animated" live action films, The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Seeing Sound: The Animated Films of Mary Ellen Bute (curated by Wendy Jackson)
Mary Ellen Bute (1906-1983) was one of the first abstract filmmakers in the United States. This programme will showcase several films including Rhythm in Light (1934) which was screened at Radio City Music Hall; Spook Sport (1939), created in collaboration with animator Norman McLaren; and Abstronic (1952), the first film to use electronically-generated images (tracing sounds waves on an adapted oscilloscope). Cecile Starr, author of Experimental Animation: Origins of a New Art, and the leading authority on Mary Ellen Bute, is scheduled to introduce the films and to share rare footage of the artist, from the collection of The Women's Independent Film Exchange.

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Animation World Network - OIAF 1998