Thursday, June 17, 2010

Art Collection: Production Cels From Marv Newland's Black Hula, 1988

Click each for bigger. The two images below are cropped.

Marv Newland is best known, of course, for his 1969 minimalist animated masterpiece Bambi Meets Godzilla. Lesser known, but revered in animation circles, are his later films, beautiful and idiosyncratic masterpieces such as Sing Beast Sing and the remarkable Anijam.


I got to know Marv when I worked for the Festival of Animation in the early 1990s. He spoke as a special guest at several of our screenings, and I visited his animation studio, International Rocketship in Vancouver. I always found him to be somewhat quiet, but he could really be hilarious. He was also an obsessive sketch artist, never without a sketchbook and pen, and his never-ending stream of drawings were an amazing and fun thing to behold.


I ended up with a small but awesome collection of cels from Marv's films, some given to me by the artist, and some by my F of A boss. I've got one from Anijam, a very, very naughty one from Pink Komkommer, and the three shown here from Black Hula.

Black Hula is a peculiar cartoon, indeed, probably Newland's most abstract. Marv told me he made it mainly because he fell in love with the ancient recording on the soundtrack. The cognitive dissonance between the song and the visuals is daunting, but the film's message is timeless:

2 comments:

Matty Boy said...

I love Sing Beaast Sing, but I hadn't seen this one before. It could be as depressing as Eastern European animation, but the song is so beautiful and simple, it keeps the bleak message from being overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

Love the eyes of the three black n white guys. so cool.