What she said...

in case you were confused, cows are female
Other people looking at the tiresome sameness of female characters (visually) versus the startling variation in male characters' faces
Animated characters should have a visual representation of their characters, they are designed, not cast and so every curve, angle and idiosyncrasy is deliberately added - or left out. Which sort of suggests that the female characters are themselves less well developed and differentiated in terms of attitude, characteristics, behaviour.
Have we really not progressed since the days of 3fold women virgin/warrior, mother and crone?Babe, Carer, and Wicked Witch. I wonder how many animators (heterosexual male) are happily married - you know, to an actual real woman with attitudes, ambitions and mis-matched underwear?


Black & White

Finally, after years and miles and forgetting what I'd even written, and losing heart and pretending not to care (draw breath) and hoping they hadn't changed their minds...THE BOOK is out. A text book, a theory, some big words, Colin the Dog immortalised in black and white (and no green). Available here http://www.brownsbfs.co.uk/Product/Dobson-Julia/Mapping-Cinematic-Norths--International-Interpretations-i/9783034318952. First brainiac thing Ive written since the PhD (and covering a totally different area). If anyone ever reads it, do search Youtube for the accompanying video...
Now I've an idea to serialise Colin's trip in the form of a blog...not a piece of academic writing obviously, but an account of his travels as a serialised...um...surrealist novelette? Since I have actually been to Norway ( though not via North Utsire sadly), and seen the northern lights (Iceland, and again, sadly not from a hottub but a very cold hilltop cowering in the windshadow of a coach), I might be able to pull this off. Now, if I can just learn to speak Dog...


Animation Pig-out!

still from Mr Madila. Rory Waudby-Tolley 2016
...at the ASFF festival. It runs over the weekend so I can actually go, although I still wish schedulers would consider the possibility that someone might want to watch (eg) ALL 6 of the animation sessions - rather than a random selection or a broad overview - and not schedule them back-to-back on opposite sides of York!! However, manged to do all 6, one family friendly (but the not the one I really wanted to see) and a couple of randomly selected experimental/ artists selections. ... 60 films over the weekend. Plus, caught a samba band, some art galleries and a couple of specialist shops, with time left over to walk the walls. Hoorah!
This year again a major theme seems to be autobiographical and "illustratory" - adaptations of existing stories which have a narrator reading the story. Some of these have no "events" , more an exploration of feelings or relationships, which makes the animation a challenge but also renders the images incomprehensible without the sound. Is this a good thing? The sound and vision should be integrated and complimentary...or a bad thing? I remember being taught back in artschool days that if a (static image) cartoon wasn't funny without the caption, then it wasn't funny...which I suppose should also work for sad/ mysterious/ challenging/ mindbogglingly thought-provoking...etc
For myself I like the challenge of working without dialogue or narrators, (as opposed to the hideous technical challenge of lipsynching).
So I saw some great imagery, some interesting stories, (and some horrors)... but my favourite in the festival was Mr Madila...or the Colour of Nothing. It had great pace, propelled along by a well-considered dialogue which ranged from the profound to the ridiculous with a natural rhythm. The drawings were energetic and expressive; the humour made it popular with the audience but it was more than jokey - after I stopped laughing I went away thinking about it...about why it was so affecting and about what the colour, and the importance, of nothing might be.
check out the trailer...