Sunday, October 02, 2011

Art Collection: Animation Cels From "Pink Komkommer" By Marv Newland, 1991

(Click for bigger, uncensored, not safe for work!!)

Above is a cropped scan of a two-cel setup (the figure is on one cel, the chair and bunny slippers on another) by Marv Newland from his 1991 experiment in dirty cartoons, Pink Komkommer.

Pink Komkommer was a quasi-sequel to Newland's Anijam, a film which featured a collaboration by 22 animators all working independently with the same character. For Komkommer, Marv and Dutch animator Paul Driessen created a short soundtrack full of suggestive sounds: moans, squeaking bed springs, whip cracks, squirts, splashes, groans, etc. They then sent this soundtrack to seven different teams of animators, including themselves. The rules were simple: synch your cartoon to the soundtrack, and make it dirty.

The animators chosen for this experiment, in addition to Driessen and Newland, were abstract animator Sara Petty, Academy Award nominee Janet Perlman, collaborators (and Oscar winners) Alison Snowden and David Fine, Bulgarian animator Stoyan Dukov, and, surprisingly, "Hey Arnold" and "Penny" creator Craig Bartlett. The different responses the animators, with their very disparate styles, had to the same soundtrack are sometimes shocking, sometimes hilarious, and always fascinating. Petty's effort, for instance, is drawn in charcoals and pastels and manages to be gorgeous and erotic and reminiscent of Georgia O'Keeffe, while Snowden and Fine's segment is absurd and silly big-nosed cartooniness at its best. Perlman manages to be both funny and artistic, while Driessen's will probably disgust you. Finally, Marv Newland's bit, seen in the cel above, is almost like a fantasy/porno foreshadowing of The Human Centipede.

To tie it all together, Newland and Driessen cast the resulting segments by the different animators as dirty dreams experienced by an old woman animated by Canadian master Christopher Hinton (don't take my word for it). At the end of the film, she too goes through the soundtrack, but with more mundane results than her previous sexy visions. In retrospect, some of the animators did a better job than others (it was probably wise to get Bartlett's and Dukov's parts out of the way early), but overall I'd call the experiment a success. I think Snowden and Fine get the prize for the most hilarious and unexpected interpretations of the sound effects.

This film had a short life on the festival circuit and it's vulgarity doomed it to more or less instant obscurity. When I worked for Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation, audience response wasn't quite what we hoped for, as it was a little too maddening and intellectual for the "sick and twisted" crowd, and people hated Hinton's linking animation. I finally located a copy (sorry, best quality I could find; it's never been released on DVD) and uploaded it to the Youtubes, and who knows if they'll delete it or not, so watch it while you have the chance. This is definitely NOT safe for work:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing that as part of Spike and Mike's, at Lakeside theater in New Orleans.

This seems like something that wouldn't make it into a public theater anymore - but maybe it's still out there, "under the radar," and I've just gotten old...