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Masters of Animation

This ongoing series of animation programs at the HFA celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of artists working in this often ignored arena of cinematic production. We wish to thank Harvard’s visiting animator Wendy Tilby for her assistance with this season’s program.


January 31 (Wednesday) 8 pm

Surrealist Shorts of Jan Lenica

Directed by Jacques Rivette
France 1960, 35mm, b/w, 140 min.
With Betty Schneider, Giani Esposito, Françoise Prévost
French with English subtitles

Jan Lenica once offered the following self-description: "I move on the fringes of fine art, film, and literature; no dictionary has a name for this kind of occupation." Although resistant to categorization, the output of this varied career has included graphic art, posters, collages, drawings, and award-winning animated films. Born in 1928 in Poland, Lenica began making films in 1957, working initially in his native country and then in France, West Germany, and the United States. Lenica’s graphic style characteristically favors thick outlines and heavily stylized design, cutout figures, and collage, all set to simply choreographed movement. Surrealist in conception and tragicomic in tone, his films often represent states of mind and the urban experience. Over the years Lenica has emerged as one of the great innovators of modern animation. The program includes five of the artist’s major works spanning twenty-five years of his career, as well as Richard Rogers’s 1975 documentary portrait, Moving Pictures: The Art of Jan Lenica.

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February 10 (Saturday) 7 pm

An Evening with Composer Normand Roger

For nearly three decades Normand Roger has worked as a freelance composer at the National Film Board of Canada, where he has created more than 100 soundtracks, primarily in the field of animation. He also has worked on the creation of music for documentaries, feature films, television dramas, children’s series, commercials, and new technologies with 3D and virtual reality. Although he uses a traditional approach when composing for dramas and documentaries, focusing exclusively on the music, Roger takes a special approach when composing for animation, where the opportunity exists to create the entire sound track and to integrate and experiment with sound effects. He has worked with such notable animators as Paul Driessen, Michael Dudok de Wit, Co Hoedeman, Caroline Leaf, and Wendy Tilby. Ten of the works he scored have been nominated for Academy Awards, and five have won Oscars. Roger lectures throughout the world on music and sound for animation.

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