Before our upcoming Movie Marathon: A Night of Claymation this coming Thursday 7 April, we had a chance to talk to the host for the evening, Tristan Fidler about what audiences can expect from the evening and more:
You’ve seen some of Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg’s early films, what films do they remind you of?
It’s a bit like the old Claymation series Pingu or The Trap Door, just crossed with that early Peter Jackson Muppets-gone-feral movie, Meet The Feebles. There’s appealingly messy colours with a great electronic soundtrack, but containing that all important element of “ick”, which somehow becomes quite pleasing after you’re used to their style and intent. Innocent-looking kids, historical figures and animals that go primal in the space of five to seven minutes, often indulging in the unspeakable.
Do you have a favourite?
Tiger Licking A Girl’s Butt was pretty self-explanatory as a title. That is what you see. But somehow, as a statement on sexuality, desire and primal drives, it was both sweet and sad.
The Necessity Of Loss was also disturbing but compelling.
Being able to view a great deal of Djurberg and Berg’s collaborations is a great opportunity to see how they grow within their form, going from animated charcoal smudges to fully realised interrogations of paintings from long ago, animating them into outrageous satirical visions.
What are some of your favourite animated or claymation films?
I’ve always been a fan of local animator Pierce Davison and the Davison Bros, Medusa’s First Date and Professor Pebbles as stop-motion classics. In terms of animated movies, I’m a fan of classics like The Simpsons (first ten years) and Pixar as much as anyone else living and breathing, but also the formative era of Adult Swim of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law holds a special place in my heart. At this stage, I’m also interested in rotoscoping and what Richard Linklater did with the Philip K. Dick adaptation, A Scanner Darkly.
What can audiences expect from these films?
I would say that they are very strange and weird excursions into dark forests, sordid bedrooms and chaotic living rooms. Sometimes there’s an unnerving or questionable image or two, but there’s always a point to them, I think. They can also be quite funny with tones veering from film to film as being either cartoonishly wacky or darkly morbid.
How would you describe Nathalie & Hans’ work in three words?
Strange, alluring, confronting.
Movie Marathon: A Night of Claymation is on Thursday 7 April, 6pm. Tickets are $7 – $10 and include light snacks. For more info and to book click here.
Image: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Bang Your Little Drums, 2012. Courtesy the artists; Lisson Gallery, London; and Gio Marconi, Milan. Claymation, 10.41 mins. Image courtesy of and copyright the artists.