Moving animation #2

The 2022 Oscar nominations were announced today. It’s nice to see Dune doing well, but I loved the way a recent Aeon newsletter coincidentally highlighted this Oscar-nominated film — from the late 1960s.

An Oscar-nominated animation that celebrates walking with humansPsyche Films
Walking by the Canadian animator and artist Ryan Larkin (1943-2007) made an indelible mark in the history of animation in 1968 with its innovative combination of drawing and colourwash techniques. The film was nominated for an Oscar® and seemed to augur a bright future for Larkin. However, he made only one more film – Street Musique (1972) – before a long run of drug addiction, alcoholism and destitution.

Wonderfully hypnotic — perhaps an influence on Universal Everything’s walker? A troubled soul, though, as this incredible Oscar-winning animation shows so effectively.

Artistic genius and fragility intersect in this surreal, Oscar®-winning animationAeon Videos
This experimental animation from 2004 finds fellow animator Chris Landreth interviewing Larkin about his brief, storied animation career before confronting him about his alcoholism. Rendered in a world where emotional scars manifest themselves as surreal physical aberrations, Ryan is a strange and striking glimpse into Larkin’s life, including the sometimes fraught relationship between creativity and mental health. Ryan won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Following the film’s completion, Larkin revived his animation career before dying from cancer in 2007.

I think I remember that film when it was first out. I’m so glad I’ve had a chance to revisit it now. And Chris Landreth’s other films are well worth a look too.

Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art, data, education and technology.

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