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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:59 pm 
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Amazing Looney
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yeah i guess thats true.
I reckon the animations must have been quite good in their day, maybe a bit outdated now.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:38 am 
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either way, they're still funny.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:19 am 
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i dont find them funny.
except the autumn leaves.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:13 pm 
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You said that Walerian Borowczyk had a strong influence on Gilliam. You also said you have seen some of his animations. If you don't mind me asking, where exactly did you find any of Walerian Borowczyk's animations? Did you find them online, or did you buy one of his movies? I'm just wondering cause I love Gilliams style and would be very intrested in seeing some of Borowczyk's work.


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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:52 pm 
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Borowczyk was a great animator and live-action director, but he's now a bit neglected. He was relatively famous in the '60s and '70s, and Gilliam has said that Borowczyk's animations were a massive influence on his Python stuff - and also that Borowczyk's first two live-action films influenced the style and look of 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'. The influence on the animation particularly is fairly obvious, although Borowczyk's work is much more 'arthouse' and, while often humorous, less comic than Gilliam's.

Unfortunately, his animations are now quite difficult to see. I managed to buy an NTSC tape of them off the web, from a cult film website called Luminous Film and Video Wurks, though I don't think they still sell it. The rest of the animations I saw at a retrospective of Borowczyk's work in London (I travelled there from Manchester just to see it!). I think the British Film Institute in London still holds some of them as film prints. An animated feature from 1967, 'Le Theatre de M. et Mme Kabal' sometimes appears on Ebay.

On the other hand, some of Borowczyk's live-action stuff is easily available in the US and UK from Amazon. Beware though - some of these films are later Borowczyk, and frankly veer towards soft-porn. The best film available is Story of Sin from 1975. His first two features, Goto and Blanche, used to be on VHS in the UK but are out of print - again, though, they often appear on Ebay. I've also got PAL VHS copies of both films, so if you've got a VCR that plays PAL tapes I could always do a trade. Goto is a very strange film about an imaginary island run by a dictator. Blanche is set in the Middle Ages and I think its style particularly must have influenced Holy Grail - though it's definitely not a comic film and I know people who have found it very hard-going.

BTW, do you know the films of Jan Svankmajer? They have less in common with Gilliam's animation, as Svankmajer generally uses stop-motion/model-based animation, but the sense of humour and use of the macabre is quite similar. Also, Gilliam's a big fan - he includes one of Svankmajer's films in his list of his favourite animated films (see here: http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/fea ... 22,00.html). As it happens, Svankmajer's films are much easier to get hold of - his feature films and two good collections of his shorts are all available on DVD.


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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:42 pm 
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Thank you for the long well thought out reply, very hepful. Between last night and earlier today I've spent about 2.5 - 3 hours researching Borowczyk. I found a couple of interesting sites, one being the Gilliam's top ten picks and also this site looked interesting http://www.baf.org.uk/2003/eventdetail.asp?ida=4156 On that page they said they were going to show a bunch of his animated works which lead me to believe that they must have copies of his work. I am going to write an email to them tonight and hopefully there will be some way I could mabye by some chance buy a copy of his animations from them. I also found a site that was selling one of his animated movies and it was on DVD so I don't know if it was real or not (didn't think any of his movies were on DVD).

I've also been reading numerous articles on him and the more I read about his animations the more interested I am in seeing them for myself. I have always been interested in animations although it is so hard to find ones that suite my taste, I often get frustrated and give up trying to find animators I like but it seems like I will like Borowczyk's work. I always wanted to see somone take animation in a truly artistic direction and from the sounds of Borowczyk in the articles I read that seems to be exactly what he did. To bad I live in the US though so going to London is out of the question for atleast another year (I'm planning on taking a 2-3 year break in Europe with the money I save up). Also thank you for recomending Svankmajer, I shall look into his work as well. This is quite an exciting day for me, I think I have may have finally found what animations are truly to my liking.

Once again, thank you for your help and you may well have had a significant impact on my life in terms of the artistic mediums I enjoy. Thank you, I shall now go and research more about Borowczyk and Svankmajer.


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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:52 pm 
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Thanks, really glad to be of help. I know what you mean about how difficult it is to find interesting animation - 'art' animation is even more marginalised than 'art' live-action cinema. There's also the problem that animation is traditionally regarded as a genre for children, and so its formal possibilities go unexplored.

I think the neglect of Borowczyk's early work is particularly sad. Although there was tons of great animation produced in Eastern Europe during the Communist period, I think Borowczyk and his collaborator Jan Lenica were particularly important and revolutionary: they were making abstract, Surrealist animations in Poland in the 1950s, a time when many people in the West thought the East European film industries were producing nothing but propaganda! I'm sure that if you get to see some of his shorts of the 50s and 60s you'll love them. They're very mysterious and poetic, though the concepts and techniques are often quite simple. Also fascinating is the range of media he used - cut-outs, drawn animation, stop-motion - and the frequent combination of animation and live-action within the same film. I'm rambling a bit here, you've probably read about all this...On my own experience, though, I'd say the most essential films to see are Dom/House, Les Jeux des Anges, Les Astronautes, Renaissance and the Kabal feature film.

That's a good idea to contact the Bradford cinema - at the very least they should be able to put you in contact with whoever owns the prints and maybe you could then rent them. What was the Borowczyk DVD you came across on the web? Some of his live-action films are on DVD, but to my knowledge none of the animations are, unless it was a DVD-R.

At least it'll be easier to get hold of Svankmajer's films - his films are equally stunning, and technically brilliant. What also connects him with Gilliam is his interest in Lewis Carroll - in fact I think Svankmajer's dark version of Alice in Wonderland is the best introduction to his work.

You should also check out the films of the Brothers Quay - they're a couple of identical-twin animators from the US who work in Britain, and they're much influenced by both Borowczyk and Svankmajer. Again, their stuff is easily available - there's a good collection of their films on DVD from Kino Video. They also made a live-action feature and Gilliam said something like it was the most haunting film he'd seen 'in the last 300 years' (!). I think Gilliam was even involved as executive producer on their second feature, which has apparently just been released.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:07 pm 
Conrad Poohs Dancing Teeth is hilarious!!!!! Twas amazing. Love the Falling Leaves. And the Killer Cars..but everyone finds the atomically mutated cat strange. why?


Last edited by Inertia on Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:24 pm 
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I found it strange.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:21 am 
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i find the fact that it eats cars a bit off, but not the actual atomically mutated cat part.

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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:15 pm 
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Sorry for taking so long to reply back, last week has been rather hectic for me but I did manage to get about another 6-10 hours of research in. I have been reading many websites and the Brothers Quay collection looks like it is really good as well as Jan Svankmajer's collection. I have decided to buy them both along with the other movies I am going to order online (Black Adder all episodes, Black Adder Back and Forth, Life of Brian, Meaning of life) so thats gonna definitly set me back a pretty penny. About the email I sent to BAF, I just got a reply yesterday and this is it.


Andrew

Thank you for your email. The prints for the Borowczyk films which we
screened during BAF 03 were supplied by the British Film Institute in London
- from our records they were a mixture of 16mm and 35mm prints. The bfi
website address is: www.bfi.org.uk - and they may be able to help you with
your search for further material on Borowczyk's films.

Best Regards

Deb Singleton
Animation Coordinator

National Museum of Photography, Film & Television
Bradford
West Yorkshire
BD1 1NQ

Tel: 01274 203364
Fax: 01274 394540

www.nmpft.org.uk
www.baf.org.uk
www.a-i-r.info


I looked on there website and found two of Boro's shorts but since they cost alot of money to rent I will have to wait till the summer before I try and see them. Although tonight I am going to write up another email and send it to BFI in hopes that they have more Boro films than just the ones listed on their website (seeing as BAF showed far more than two shorts at their festival) and if not hopefully I can find another place to rent them. Another problem I am going to run into is trying to copy the films to a dvd or vhs although I do know some people and it probably won't be to difficult. The more I read about Boro the more I want to see them, they just sound so darn interesting and it seems like Boro really uses animation as an art form like no other person.

That is enough rambling for now, I guess I'll go write that email now and perhaps try to find more places where I could rent the films or mabye I will run into somebody who has copies and I can somehow get them to make a copy for me. Anyways, sorry for the delayed response and thanks again for your help.


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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:50 pm 
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Hello again - I've just been browsing this website that sells DVDs. It's called Pimpadelic Wonderland (!!), specialising in obscure world and exploitation cinema, and it's selling some of Borowczyk's animated shorts! It's got Les Jeux des Anges, Renaissance, Joachim's Dictionary, Les Astronautes, Hyper Auto Erotic Art (a very rare one which I've never seen), and the feature-length animation The Theatre of Monsier and Madame Kabal! The first two films and the feature especially are classics.

Anyway, here's the site's address: http://www.pimpadelicwonderland.com/home.html

Just click on 'The Video Library' and it takes you to an alphabetically ordered list. It's an amazing collection of films, although a lot of it seems a bit too sleazy for me! It's a US-based seller and he charges $18 per DVD - but as most of those are short films he might be able to put them all on one disc.

I must add that I've dealt with this seller before and he was a little dilatory with the order, so you might need to send him a couple of reminders. Then again, I live in the UK, so fulfilling the order was more complicated - sending within the US should be quite straightforward.

Hope this is good news - it's not a big collection of Borowczyk's shorts but it's certainly a good start, and cheaper than renting prints!


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