The Amazing Mr. Bickford

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Bruce Bickford
  • Bruce Bickford
Tonight, as part of the Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film Center, experimental animator Bruce Bickford will preside over a screening of several of his works, including Prometheus’ Garden (1988). I’m no Bickford expert, but I find his psychedelic transformations appealingly perverse, whether he’s using clay figures or simple pencil drawings; people, objects, animals, and shapes constantly morph into one another with a decidedly sexualized glee.

It's no surprise that somebody like Frank Zappa would call him a genius. In fact, Bickford is well-known in the music world for his animations in Zappa videos, including “Baby Snakes” and “Dub Room Special.” Zappa also created an orchestral score for the 52-minute film The Amazing Mr. Bickford.

Tonight’s 90-minute program begins at 6 PM and will include the more recent The Comic That Frenches Your Mind, along with an assortment of rare animations for which guitarist Jeff Parker and percussionist Frank Rosaly will provide improvised accompaniment.

Below is a clip from Prometheus' Garden:

Today's playlist:

Abdoulaye Traore, Abdoulaye Traore (Yaala Yaala)
The Exciters, The Complete Bang, Shout, and RCA Recordings 1966-1969 (Kent)
Lei Lang, Brush-Stroke (Mode)
Mats Eilertsen, Radio Yonder (Hubro)
Various artists, Next Stop . . . Soweto Vol. 3: Giants, Ministers, and Makers: Jazz in South Africa 1963-1978 (Strut)

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