Animation Confabulation | Chicago Reader

Animation Confabulation

Bryan McHenry's Cucumber Chronicles genially deconstructs a gay personals ad in ten short segments, each of which analyzes a different portion of the ad (“straight acting,” “no fats, fems, or druggies”) with spoken commentary and animation of images (faces, a cucumber) appropriated from the Internet. Michelangelo's David crops up perhaps too often, and the video's questioning of such terms as “gay” and “male” is hardly groundbreaking. But its lively good humor also has a personal authenticity, and McHenry even concludes with his E-mail address and the information that he's “currently unattached.” Most of the program's other video animations are similarly lighthearted: Allison Sweeney's Cow Bra shows a cow bothered by its bouncing udder as it jumps rope and the udder-bra that solves its problem. The Rape of Ganymede by Tom Whitman and Dustin Woehrmann offers an amusing, campy view of Olympus: Athena is a “diesel dyke,” and a surprisingly muscular Ganymede explains that his father's sending him to fight in the Trojan war was “something about being more butch.” In Carol Langlois' earthy, rough-edged Canadian short Autour de Lily (1998) a man's lily slips from his shirt to the crotch of a nearby man, leading him on. Among the more serious efforts are Wil Linn's Admission to Strangers (1998), whose supple use of lines and gray tones creates a sense of dreamy figures adrift in a slippery void, and Alma Sophia's One, a creation myth in which the many, including the different genders, emerge from a pre-big-bang unity. On the same program, Lin's Guileless Guile and videos by Q. Allan Brocka, Colleen Cruise, Rita K√ľng, J.J. Sedelmaier, and Kelly Spivey. 80 min.


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