I don't have a lot of spare time to watch television these days, but lately when Garth and I settle down to watch something we have been dipping into old movies we have not seen (or sometimes even heard of). When you have young kids, spontaneous consumption of culture doesn't happen much and this has been a nice way to shake up an evening after the kids are in bed and we are ready to immerse ourselves in something unexpected. In the past month we have watched some great, strange, hilarious, and even inspiring things.
I know plenty of people have seen Suzan Pitt's 1979 short animation, Asparagus, which was originally screened before David Lynch's Eraserhead but I had not. We watched this 20 minute film and I can't stop thinking about it. Pitt worked on the vibrant hand painted animation cells and clay-mation for nearly five years-- it is a stylized, psycho sexual dreamscape that pulses with life in the way only hand-drawn animations do. The action of the film, which is strange, sexual, and dreamlike, happens at a slow rhythmic pace that lulls you right into this colorful world. There are plenty of 'Georiga O'Keefe shapes' and if you never thought of an asparagus as a stand in for a phallus, well, now is your chance! I'm not going to over explain this because your time is better spent finding and watching this short masterpiece. I am sharing little excerpt with you, but watching the entire film is what has me excited. If you find yourself intrigued by Suzan Pitt I recommend also checking out her blog where she posts astounding images of clothing that she hand paints. As you can probably tell from my last post, I am definitely attracted to artists whose work is obsessive and spills into a variety of disciplines.
This, my friends, is my handmade inspiration for the week.