. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)


Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | November 17, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 6pm | Laura Heit in person!

Image: Laura Heit, The Matchbox Shows (1999-current). Courtesy of the artist.
Image: Laura Heit, The Matchbox Shows (1999-current). Image courtesy of the artist.

Poignant and smart, the animated films of puppet artist and SAIC alumnus Laura Heit employ stop-motion, live action puppetry, hand-drawing, and computer animation. Heit is the co-director of the Experimental Animation department at CalArts and her award-winning work has screened extensively at museums and film festivals around the world. This program showcases her films from the last twelve years and features a special live performance of her acclaimed puppet-show-in miniature, The Matchbox Shows. Films include: Parachute (1997), an allegory following a young woman as she leaves home; (2002), Collapse a 2D computer animation tracing a single tragic moment; The Amazing, Mysterious and True Story of Mary Anning and Her Monsters (2003), about the little-known paleontologist Mary Anning; and Look For Me (2005), a Channel 4 UK television commission imagining one’s own invisibility. 1997-2005, USA, multiple formats, ca. 65 min.

LAURA HEIT has a MA in animation from the Royal College of Art in London and a BFA in film from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her award-winning experimental animation and puppet films have been screened extensively in the US and abroad (including Rotterdam, Annecy, Hong Kong International Film Festival, London International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Walker Art Center, Guggenheim). Her most recent film, Look for Me, was commissioned by Channel 4 Television and the British Council. She is an animation director at Slinky Pictures (UK) and Duck Studios (LA). Besides her work in animation, Heit also works in puppet theater-she has been a member of Redmoon Theater (Master builder/designer/artistic associate 1996-2001), Theater Dank, and En Fuego. The Matchbox Shows, her solo cabaret in which tiny stories unfold within matchboxes, has toured all over the world. She is currently co-director of Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Parachute (1997, 16mm, multi-plane cut-out animation, 17:00)

Parachute follows a young woman as she leaves home. Both frenetic and lyrical, this allegorical film is a combination of animation, puppetry and theater design.

Collapse (2002, Beta SP, 2D computer animation, 4:08)

A meditation on a single tragic moment.

The Amazing, Mysterious and True Story of Mary Anning and Her Monsters (2003, live action puppetry and 2D animation, Beta SP, 7:45)

A toy theater show based on the life of amateur paleontologist Mary Anning (1799-1847) from Lyme Regis, England. At a time when most children were afraid of monsters, Mary sought them out. She had a passion for the inexplicable and in the end her discoveries would change more than she bargained for.

Look For Me (2005, Beta SP, 2D computer animation, 3:35)

What would you do if you woke up one day and were invisible? Commissioned by Channel 4 London.

The Matchbox Shows (2000, Performance, 20:00)

“With childlike simplicity and arresting nonchalance, Heit offers 30-second vignettes that make Mr. Bill seem positively Rocco.” (­Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader)