Stop-Motion Explosion III - Thur. Aug 15 - 8PM

Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter bring you Stop-Motion Explosion III, a program of mind-blowing stop-motion animation from the 1930s to the 1980’s. In a world saturated with CGI, Oddball Films opens the vaults to celebrate when historical, fantastical and anthropomorphic creatures were hand-sculpted and manipulated into “life.”  Everybody's favorite little green shapeshifter gets into even more delightful trouble in a whole new batch of original 1957 Gumby Shorts.  Oscar nominated Clay, Origin of the Species (1964) by Eliot Noyes Jr. offers Darwinian metamorphosis through modelled manipulation.  Featuring handmade seal fur puppets, the beautiful Inuit short The Owl and the Lemming (1971) is a hypnotic rendering of a classic Eskimo folk tale.  The Czech's chime in with a puppet tale of keeping up with the Joneses in Duet (1960s) and with A Christmas Dream (1946), in which a little girl's toys come to life and even dance on the piano.  Will "California Raisins" Vinton brings us a claymation concert gone awry with Mountain Music (1975).  Bretislav Pojar's Nightangel (1986), made for the National Film Board of Canada combines stop-motion with breathtaking pinscreen animation to create an ethereal dream world.  Eggbert the egg learns a lesson in Courtesy: A Good Eggsample (1976).  And because no stop-motion show would be complete without a George Pal Puppetoon, we will be bringing back the stunning Art Deco marvel Cavalcade of Music (1934). With more stop-motion madness for the early birds, it’s a night millions of minute movements in the making! 

Date: Thursday, August 15th, 2013 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Gumby Shorts (B+W, 1957)
Everybody’s favorite little green shape shifter, Gumby and his B.F.F. Pokey go on a number of fantastical and charming adventures in these rare original shorts by Claymation Master, Art Clokey. Shorts include "How Not to Trap Lions", "Toy Fun" and "The Glob".

Clay, Origin of the Species (1964)
The Academy Award-nominated stop-motion film from Eliot Noyes Jr. offers a kinetic take on Darwin’s revolutionary work. Backed by a swinging jazz tune, clay takes form as everything from primordial ooze to carnivorous creatures, devouring, dividing, and dancing to the rhythm. It’s survival of the fittest, and this crowd-pleaser stands up. Beginning with a simple graphic motion on the clay ‘sea’ from which forms of life emerge and the play, watch as the evolving organisms devour one another and metamorphosize into worms, gorillas, mermaids, clams, lions, whales and other animals, climaxing with the creation of a human!

The Owl and the Lemming: an Eskimo Legend (Color, 1971)
A hungry owl, Ookpik, spies a plump, sleeping lemming, a potential feast for his family.  He captures the lemming, who readily surrenders but then encourages Ookpik to indulge in a sort of victory dance, praising the owl as the finest dancer in all the land.  The owl proceeds to get drunk on his vanity, losing himself in his dance and providing his prey with the perfect opportunity for escape.  This stop motion animation, touching on the dangers of flattery, employs a beautiful sunset backdrop, whose smooth curves undulate slightly, which, combined with a serene score of Eskimo chanting, creates a subtly hypnotic atmosphere.  

Duet (Color, 1960s)
Two neighbors are the best of friends spending their days planting flowers and making music together.  That is, until one man gets a radio and the two would rather outdo each other's fancy electronics than make beautiful music.  A bittersweet puppet film from the former Czechoslovakia.

Cavalcade of Music (B+W, 1934)
The creative force behind some of the most inventive monsters in Fantasy film, Hungarian exile George Pal began his career pioneering a method of stop-motion used in his series of Puppetoons, earning him seven consecutive Oscar nominations. In one of his earliest Puppetoons, Cavalcade of Music, Pal creates an epic spectacle of music and dance all with carved wooden puppets. From the chic Art Deco bandstand, to an entire puppet jazz orchestra, to a puppet can-can, this film overwhelms with its imagination and scope.

Mountain Music (Color, 1975)

Truly bizarre claymation hippie music concert out in the sticks from Will "California Raisins" Vinton, the legendary creator of claymation.  A pastoral nature scene slowly gives way to heavy rock freakout, with volcanic results!

A Christmas Dream (B+W, 1946)
Little girl goes to sleep on Christmas Eve and her toys come to life.  Cool/creepy stop motion animation of her favorite rag doll gives this more of Christmas Nightmare effect.
Directed and created by a team of two Czech Brothers, Borivoj Zeman and Karel Zeman. Karel Zeman became the director of feature-length movies including "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne and Baron Munchausen” while his brother directed titles such as "The Phantom of Morrisville" and "The Young Lady from the Riverside"

Nightangel (Color, 1986) 
A seamless blend of puppet animation and the pinscreen technique is used in this evocative, romantic story by Břetislav Pojar of a man's obsession with a mysterious and benign spirit. When tragedy befalls him, he finds refuge in the love this nightangel has shown him. Winner of the L.A. Film Critics Award.

Courtesy: A Good Eggsample (Color, 1976) 

First meet Eggbert, a good egg, who helps his mother at home, apologizes for bumping into Mrs. White, and politely takes his place in line while waiting for the bus. Now meet Benedict, the "rotten egg," who pushes into line, is always late to class, and never respects the rights of others. It is only when Benedict falls and cracks his shell and Eggbert helps him up that Benedict realizes how important it is to be kind, helpful, and courteous to others.