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.

Arcata Brain Closet from Steven Vander Meer on Vimeo.

Sundance Film Festival (1990) Atlanta Film & Video Festival, Best Animation (1989) Ann Arbor Film Festival (1988) Sinking Creek Film Festival (1988) Humboldt Film Festival (1988) Seattle International Film Festival(1990) New York Expo (1989) Film Arts Festival (1988) Onion City Film Festival(1988) Athens Film Festival (1988)

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.

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