cine16 Roadshow

22 - 23 / and 29 - 30 / 10 / 99
Presentation / Screening

cine16 Roadshow / Film program
from Geoff Alexander

22 / 10 / 1999
'Choice of films'

23 / 10 / 1999
'Humanities and the Educational Film'

29 / 10 / 1999
'Astounding Films of Science'

30 / 10 / 1999
'Animation in the Educational Film'


Between 1900 and 1990, approximately 103,000 educational films were distributed in the United States. A great number of these were based on historical subjects. Tonight, we'll investigate different approaches, themes, and genres of the historical film.

cine16 roadshow

30 10 / 1999

Animation in the Educational Film
Animated subjects were a staple in North American classroom films, ranging from pure "art" films (‘Fiddle Dee-Dee'), to those illustrating literary subjects ('The Street'), to "how to" titles (Gene Deitch). While the work of animators Norman McLaren and Ray Harryhausen is well-known, the fine work of Philip Stapp and Gerald McDermott, the two greatest animators to specialize in the educational film, is today little-known and under-appreciated. Tonight's program is a cross-section of artists, techniques, and subjects that represents a very small glimpse at the large body of work of animators in the educational film.

Sorcerer's Apprentice
Prod.: Edward English
15 min (1962)
Lisl Weil, a dancer who often performed in New York with friend Tommy Sherman and his Little Orchestra Society, was also a splendid charcoal artist. Here, accompanied by Sherman's interpretation of Dukas, she soars across the screen, drawing imaginary characters on a massive blank board in a film that has tremendous affective value for both art and music students.
Mother Goose Stories
Dir.: Ray Harryhausen
15 min (1946)

silent snow
Play > Film
Four fairy tales are presented in a magnificent puppet film by this master of special effects.
Dir.: Willis Simms
8 min (1959)
This charming film was made by 59 seventh-grade (12 to 13 years old) students in Simms’ junior high school art class, each of whom painted a circus scene of his or her choice. In addition to creating the main character in the scene, each student painted multiple images, created backgrounds, and cut out the figures, which were then filmed by Simms. In this fine example of what motivated students are capable of producing when inspired by a creative teacher, the film contains images dynamically varied yet thematically contiguous, accompanied by original music played and composed by music teacher Robert Clark.
Fable of He and She
Dir.: Eliot Noyes
10 min (1974)
'Noyes' abstract and inventive use of clay is especially effective in this fanciful tale which pokes fun at traditional gender-based roles.
Le Paysagiste (Mindscape)
Dir.: Jacques Drouin
8 min (1976)
Alexandre Alexeieff, one of the best-known early animators, was the developer of the pinscreen technique, in which, like those toys you see at museum shops, each image was formed by the manipulation of pins. The National Film Board of Canada eventually acquired Alexeieff's pinscreen, which was used by Drouin in this beautiful but haunting story of an artist who wanders three-dimensionally through his two-dimensional world..
Dir.: Philip Stapp
10 min. (1966)

silent snow
Play > Film
Stapp was one of the greatest animators working in the 1950-1975 era, using stylized, often pointillist abstract imagery in a floating world, sometimes surrealist, at other times reminiscent of Japanese "ukiyo-e" illustration. His spectacular 'Symmetry' is his greatest film, a fantasy of dancing images breaking apart, spinning, and converging.
Dir.: Gerald McDermott
6 min. (1960)

silent snow
Play > Film
McDermott made this, his first commercial film at the age of 19, an extremely complex animation short featuring approximately 2000 animation cels presented in six minutes. Influenced by Klee and Matisse, McDermott used silk-screen as well as traditional painting techniques in crafting ethnographic folk tale animation shorts. With films that are startling in intensity, and majestic in execution, McDermott is clearly one of the outstanding animators of his generation, despite having an output consisting solely of only five films, all of which are under 12 minutes in length. After retiring from film animation at the age of 32, McDermott began producing animated children's books, eventually becoming one of the world's best-known authors of books for young readers, winning numerous awards in the process.
Gene Deitch: the Picture Book Animated
Dir.: Gene Deitch
25 min. (1977)
Creator of the Mr. Magoo and Tom Terrific animated characters, Deitch has spent the last several decades in Prague, directing films based on children's picture books along with his wife and colleague, Zdenka Deitchova. In tonight's film, the engaging Deitch describes the painstaking process of animating a picture book for film, one of the best examples of films-on-filmmaking-process we've ever seen.
The Street
Dir.: Caroline Leaf
11 min. (1976)
A terrific transformational animated film based on a Mordechai Richler story, animated by oil on glass.
Fiddle De Dee
Dir.: Norman McLaren
3 min. (1947)
McLaren created the animation group at the National Film Board of Canada, and served as its director until his death in 1984. Whether painting directly on film, experimenting with slo-mo multiple images, or pixillation, he championed high-art animation in a financially austere environment. Incredibly, his entire output consists of under three total hours of film. This one's a riot of hand-painted color on film set to Quebecois fiddle music.