Animated film and Fine Arts
The first animated films were based on drawing, therefore we have kept calling them cartoons, and the new ones still go by the same name, even though they are made with the help of computer software. We certainly remember the two-minute film Phantasmagoria (1908) by the Frenchman Emile Cole and his dynamic little man, drawn on paper, who is experiencing a series of impossible transformations. Let us also remind ourselves of the greatest American comic artist Windsor McKay, who in the film Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) made a bet with his friends that he would manage to start the naughty ink-born Gertie on a piece of paper. A large number of exceptional artists of the animated medium come from the nursery of Fine Arts academies. In order to revive their static images and drawings, they become interested in the medium of film, posing the challenges of movement and duration, which they have to deal with. I think that the reminder of canonical animation 2D techniques, indespensable in auteur animation, will be extremely interesting to present in today’s age of cacophonous visual entertainment of uneven quality, which comes down to fast and chaotic consumption of films, in which these techniques are (almost) extinct. In the lecture, I will look, through photographs and parts of films, at the works of many animation artists who have made their best films in the technique of acrylics, oil paints, ink, watercolors, tempera, pastels, charcoal, graphite pencils, crayons or sand, woerking on different backgrounds. (matte celluloid, paper, glass, classic celluloid) with reference to the direct animation on the film strip, to the collage animation and to the needle screen technique. We will see why the authors chose these techniques, what effects they wanted to achieve, where it all took them and whether those same techniques still contain the challenge and magic to lead them to some new research into the wonderful medium of animation.
Andrijana Ružić graduated with a degree in History and Art Criticism at the Università degli Studi in Milan, Italy. She specialized in History of Animated Film under the mentorship of Giannalbert Bendazzi. The theme of her master thesis was the work of two unpredictable ghosts of the American independent animation scene, John and Faith Hubley, and their Storyboard studio in NYC. As an independent scientist, she has participated in numerous conferences dedicated to animation, presenting the works of various independent authors of animation. For the last six years, she has edited the programme dedicated to animated film at the International Comics Festival in Belgrade, Serbia. She is a member of the selection committee of Animafest Scanner, a symposium for the study of contemporary animation at the world festival of animated film Animafest in Zagreb, Croatia. She writes about animation and other arts for the Belgrade weekly Vreme. She is the author of the book Michael Dudok de Wit – A Life in Animation (CRC Focus).