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BAM/PFA Presents Alternative Animation

For their next upcoming series, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) goes into the world of animation.

Titled Alternative Visions, this is three programs worth of creative animation, which features masters of the field, who works mostly by hand with materials, whether its paints, ink, pencils or even cutouts. The feature animation draws on anything including dreams and hallucinations, childhood musings and musicians’ improvisations, or forgotten histories. Yet all displayed beauty and originality, and they are family-friendly.

Alternative Visions begins with the films of John and Faith Hubley, which spans three decades from the 1950s to the 1970s. The films independently experiments with everything from paper cutouts to oil painting, and is inspired from everything from children’s play and improvisation, to issues of the times including overpopulation. Some of the films from the Hubleys include Moonbird (1958), Of Men and Demons (1968) and Urbanissimo (1967). Also included is a short by their daughter Emily titled And/Or (2002).

The film series goes next to the work of Canadian animators Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, best known for charting their collaborative creative process, one that shows their artistic animations and assorted commissioned work. Beginning with 1991’s Strings, then the detail-heavy When the Day Breaks (1999), and finally the recent Wild Life (2011). And finally there is the films of Sally Cruikshank, who is best known for surreal animation, which has been described many things including “psychedelic”. Some of those films include Quasi at the Quackadero (1976), Ducky (1971) and Quasi’s Cabaret (1980).

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