Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Amazing Mr. Bickford

Just watched the claymation film The Amazing Mr Bickford... I have a few Frank Zappa things to watch in the next few days and this was top of the list, a 51min compilation of claymation sketches by animator-extraordinaire Bruce Bickford made for Zappa in the late 70's/early 80's. The film is scored with cuts from Zappa'a 1984 orchestral work Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger, and the London Symphony Orchestra Vol 1 album, the thunderous music the perfect accompaniment to Bickford's dizzying, perpetually morphing animation, made in the surrealist tradition. His extraordinarily expressive clay players wander through hallucinatory Max Ernst type landscapes, encountering violence, hatred and degradation, and undergoing radical Dali-esque contortions. It's a technical tour de force of hyper kinetic editing and movement, with Bickford's camera swooping and diving after his characters - I suspect creating this incredible micro-cosmos was a Herculean task. Better to leave this wonderful film do the talking, and despite it being unavailable thru official channels, the entire film is available to watch in very good quality over on youtube...

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