Wednesday, 12 March 2014
I first came across the animation of Thalma Goldman-Cohen while researching for this post, but I still know very little about her. I know that she made a few shorts in the seventies entitled Green Man Yellow Woman, Amateur Night, Night Call and Stanley, the last of which is available online here, but beyond that I found out very little.
So I am pleased to announce that a book about her life and work is underway. Edited by her personal friends Richard Hallam and Sylvie Venet-Tupy, Thalma: An Artist's Life will hopefully bring more attention to this oft-neglected animator.
If you want to help the project to get off the ground, please pay a visit to the book's Sponsume page where you can make a donation towards printing costs.
From the page:
Thalma produced her award-winning animation films in the 1970s and 80s and showed them in festivals at Annecy, Melbourne, Cambridge, Berlin, Ottawa, and Lucca. Her film Stanley (1979) was described as “Just about the most erotic thing I have seen on television” (Sunday Times, 17 February 1980) but the Monthly Film Bulletin (1977, 44, no 513) described Amateur Night (1975), an earlier film, as ‘misogynistic’ and ‘sadly devoid of both grace and charm’. Look at the first clip on our video and decide for yourself. Some films were featured on Channel Four television, which was actively promoting animated films at the time.
Thalma came to London in the late 1960s and studied at St Martin’s School of Art and the London Film School. Animation was then a cottage industry despite some notable successes such as Yellow Submarine. Animators had to draw and colour each cel separately, each one an artwork in itself. Thalma became friendly with outstanding exponents of the medium such as Bob Godfrey, Alison de Vere and Bill Sewell. Her work evokes admiration and shock in equal measure.
Thalma has continued to draw and paint in a style that is unmistakably her own. Her subjects are often the friends she knows or the people she meets in her local area of North London, in pubs and betting shops. It is time for her work to be celebrated and this high quality full colour retrospective of her work aims to give her the full credit it deserves. Her long-standing friends will be editing the book – Richard and Sylvie. The book will draw upon the reminiscences and insights of Thalma’s collaborators, who were part of this exciting period of experimentation in the arts.
WHAT WILL BE IN THE BOOK?
We are using a specialist arts printer to produce a full colour, illustrated book with at least 40 images of some of her original cels and examples of recent paintings and drawings. The more money we collect, the more images we can reproduce. There will be commentary from many of her collaborators and from others who know her work well. Tributes of this kind are not commercial undertakings but we aim to cover the costs of production. We hope that it will enable Thalma’s art to be more widely and deservedly known.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
If you are unable to donate money (see opposite) you can still help us out by spreading the word: please tell your friends, email or tweet the link to Sponsume to anyone who might be interested.
Thanks. Richard and Sylvie
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
The Barbican is set to host an event celebrating the life of Joy Batchelor on 12 April. From the event's official webpage:
Joy Batchelor was one of the pioneering creative and commercial forces in UK animation with her output of witty public service short films after the second world war, as well as the BAFTA nominated Animal Farm adapted from the novel by George Orwell.
This event, celebrating the centenary of her birth, looks at Joy’s life as both a professional co-running a creative studio and her role as a mother.
Followed by a ScreenTalk with animation programmer and author, Clare Kitson, BFI Curator Jez Stewart and Batchelor’s daughter, Vivien Halas, chaired by film critic, Brian Sibley.
Event and films curated by Vivian Halas and guests.
Saturday, 18 January 2014
Well, after running this blog since 2009 and trying to keep up a quota of posts for each month, I think it's time to wind things down. I still hope to update it now and again if I come up with anything relevant - maybe the occasional interview, and an annual year-in-review post like that one below - but beyond that, I'm off to pastures new.
After more than four years of focusing on British animation, I decided to get cracking on a different geographical area. I mulled over the candidates - so much of the world's animation is completely undocumented in the Anglosphere - and eventually decided on the Middle East, a cluster of countries whose animation histories are ripe for exploration.
I currently know next to nothing about animation from any Middle Eastern country, let alone the entire region, so I'm looking forward to seeing exactly what I will uncover in running the blog. If you're curious, you can take a look for yourself.