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Alla Gadassik

Film & Animation Scholar and Curator

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Making

Fruit of All (2008), 2:20min

Fruit of All is one of three short films produced as part of my joint Master’s degree at York University / Ryerson University. During my graduate studies I was especially interested in experimental animation, including connections or fissures between analog and digital animation. With this film, I explored my computer’s flatbed scanner as a digital “direct animation” device by scanning and rendering the flesh of fruit. The scanned images were paired with hand-drawn animation made using a digital drawing tablet. Making this film really transformed how I understand the concept of “indexicality,” which throughout the 20th century was often misleadingly used to separate photography from drawings, or live-action from animated cinema.

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Still Moving (2008), 2:50min

Still Moving is one of three short films produced as part of my joint Master’s degree at York University / Ryerson University. During my graduate studies I was especially interested in experimental animation, including how different hand-made animation processes foster different relationships between a filmmaker’s body and filmmaking technology. This particular film was sparked by Oskar Fischinger’s wax experiments (1921-1926), which were produced by slicing through pillars of multicoloured wax (using a kind of custom guillotine) and photographing the slices one at a time [decades later a variation on this method would be known as “stratacut animation”).

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City Body (2008), 4:30min

City Body was one of three short films produced as part of my joint Master’s degree at York University and Ryerson University. During my graduate studies I was especially interested in experimental animation, particularly “direct animation,” in which the image is produced directly on a film celluloid strip by scratching, painting, manipulating light and otherwise using the celluloid as a direct canvas. The direct animation experiments of Norman McLaren, Len Lye, and Harry Smith were very important to me. Why did their films affect me in a certain way, and to what extent did specific materials (celluloid film projection) or specific filmmaking gestures (hand-drawing and scratching) play a role in their sensory and rhythmic effects? 

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Looking for Anne (2010), 5:00min

Looking for Anne was a short video produced for a travelling cross-Canada exhibition marking the centennial anniversary of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book Anne of Green Gables. The video toured the exhibition nationally and introduced key themes from Dr. Irene Gammel’s book Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic. The video was produced as part of my affiliation with the Modern Literature & Culture Centre (MLC) at Ryerson University at the time.

Marion and Gen (2010), 7:10min

Marion and Gen (2010), is a film/video essay and accompanying text. This project was commissioned as part of the Requiem//102 Project.  The “Requiem//102” project was a collaboration between artists, scholars, and writers. Each contributor wrote (or made) a response based on one still frame from Darren Aronofsky’s 2000 film Requiem for a Dream. My contribution is a short film that begins with my assigned still image and then forms an alternate biography for the character of Marion Silver.

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Meryl Strip (2011), 6:30min

Meryl Strip a short film (gallery installation) exhibited at Brock Gallery in Evanston, Illinois. The film dissects the body of Meryl Streep in her cinematic incarnations, looking for traces of a single skeleton beneath the diverse landscape of her personas and narratives. Behind decades of comedies, dramas, and musicals, behind the film bodies of Jews, Italians, and Americans, I sought an always recurring and familiar set of gestures and movements that could only belong to Meryl.

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