A Recent Claymation by Bruce Bickford
Bruce Bickford in Person!
Live Score by Lori Goldston and Philip Gelb


October 9, 2010

“Bruce Bickford is a sixty-two-year-old artist who achieved cult status for his collaborations with Frank Zappa in the 1970s. His two-dimensional line animation is remarkable; his clay animation is legendary. That said, it is nearly impossible to furnish the unintiated with satisfying synopses of Bickford’s films. They appear to be onscreen streams of consciousness — streams that have run for months or even years through the mind of an animator ever engaged in the process of creating and photographing frame upon frame. They are organic, fluid montages — vibrant pseudonarratives that defy logical comprehension. They are, in short, purely cinematic — meant to be experienced and wondered at…

“Ask Bruce Bickford what CAS’L’ is about, and you’ll get an earful: ‘Mercenaries and other obnoxious brutes are trying to muscle in on the castle area. They’re looking for trouble and find it. Stray energies in the area morph them into grotesque bulbous heads. The conquistadors and barbarians of the castle are smoking the wrong brand of cigarettes that cause them to commit random violence, even against each other. Some little people and fairy folk defeat many of them.’ Watch CAS’L’ and you’ll get an eyeful. It is an awe-inspiring, hallucinogenic retreat into magical settings where figure and ground may transform at any moment; enchanted settings in which nature is under siege. Bickford brings clay to life in unimaginable and extraordinary ways.” (Salem Film Festival)

Filed under: animation