Arcata Brain Closet
A Film by Steven Vander Meer
"An alphabetigraphical journey."
1988, 9 minutes, 4286 drawings, 16mm. Original music by Howard Kaufman & Scott Beasley.
Meteor showers, yeast beasts, bat-spitting volcanos and the Susanville city limits are but a few of the twenty-six minimovies in this irrepressible animated journey through the alphabet, rendered with impish wit and an anthropologist's sensibility. ~Sundance Film Festival
Impish wit?! Well, I'll take that as a compliment since it came from Sundance. This film was my first post-art school project, and was the instigation for my move from Minneapolis to Humboldt County, California. It was supposed to be a three month visit; I had planned to do post production back at MCAD, but the film ended up taking 18 months. By the time it was done, I had found a job and a place to live that wasn't on the hallway floor of my brother's place.
I don't know where Bob Hawk saw this film, but he did, and it was him who got it to Sundance, and New York and the DeYoung in San Francisco, not to mention PBS. I really owe that guy.
This film is really an autobiography of a major transition period in my life (the move mentioned above). For example, when the turkey vultures wipe away the Susanville city limit sign, it reminds me of my journey across the country. I broke down outside of Susanville and had to coast back down into town to get my van fixed. Good times.
- Museum of Modern Art, New York, Film Arts Foundation program, 1991
- M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, Film as Art/Art in Film program, 1990
- WNET/PBS-TV, New York, "Independant Focus", 1991
- KQED-TV, San Francisco, "That's Animation", 1991