All Creatures Great and Small

Duration: 6:39

For two weeks the children at the Chagford Primary School in Devon, England made puppets with wool scraps, wire and other detritus. 130 children along with staff and teachers worked together shooting indoors and out using stop motion techniques to make a film. The unexpected resulted as children inspired each other and the results are magical.

Director
Maureen Selwood

Editor
Julia Cotts


A Modern Convenience

Duration: 5:39

Against the backdrop of Niagara Falls the domestic space for laundry undergoes a change when a wringer washing machine confronts a woman whose instincts question its value.  Yet a visit to the falls creates for her and her family challenges as they experience social alienation and water and power take on new meaning. The embedded images are created with a primitive drawing style adding a feature of quality of life lived in the 1950’s.

A Film by
Maureen Selwood

Edited by
Manuel Barenboim

Composition and Sound Performance by
Archie Carey and Odeya Nini


How Much Better If Plymouth Rock Had Landed On The Pilgrims

Duration: 11:23

Cole Porter’s song from Any Thing Goes, inspired David Rosenboom to pose a new music  aesthetic against the ascetic, disciplined, puritanical streak that one associates in this country with the Pilgrims. Selwood’s animation gives the music a rejuvenated sensuality and mysticism.

A Film by
Maureen Selwood

Composer
David Rosenboom


As You Desire Me

Duration: 9:45

As You Desire Me is a meditation on the city of Rome when the Iraq War was declared. Three city landscapes  represent time in the haunting gap between the cold and barren landscape, and the people who traverse it. The three-channel film event uses surrealistic characters in real settings as a way to address sorrow and catastrophe. One of the components of the film is the poem, Empire of Dreams by Charles Simic.  

Empire of Dreams
By Charles Simic

On the first page of my dreambook
It’s always evening
In an occupied country.
Hour before the curfew.
A small provincial city.
The houses all dark.
The storefronts gutted.

I am on a street corner
Where I shouldn’t be.
Alone and coatless
I have gone out to look
For a black dog who answers to my whistle.
I have a kind of Halloween mask
Which I am afraid to put on.

Directed By
Maureen Selwood

Animation by
Maureen Selwood and Maria Vasilkovksy

Composer
Anna Oxygen


I Started Early

Duration: 2:06

I started Early — Took my Dog” uses animation to illustrate Emily Dickinson’s poem In which she writes about the changing nature of the sea, Dickinson’s poem explores themes of escape and the depths of the self. The graphic style suggests the industrial age and the rigid style of clothing women wore then.

Director and Animator
Maureen Selwood

Composer
Anna Oxygen

Additional Animation
Maria Vasilkovsky


Drawing Lessons

Duration: 6:00

A woman finds a tape cassette at a yard sale. It comes with a drawing exercise, the upside down drawing lesson from, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. The exercise becomes an obsession yet keeps the woman’s insomnia at bay. Her night visitors, animals of the night, allow her to reconnect with nature. The voice over by Mark Strand adds to her attachment to the tape. Its humorous quality informs her not to take it too seriously but that is not possible.

Director
Maureen Selwood

Music
Tanya Haden

Voice Over
Mark Strand

Sound Design
Jesse Gilbert


Mistaken Identity

Duration: 28:15

All night, I walk the city, watching the people go by.
I try to sing a little ditty, but all that comes out is a sigh.
The street looks very frightening, the rain begins and then comes lightning.
It seems love’s gone to pot, I’d rather have the blues than what I’ve got…

Mistaken Identity revisits the forgotten characters and deserted landscapes of Robert Aldrich’s classic film noir, Kiss Me Deadly, (1955), Broken steps, the ocean pier at night, and the expressways are just some of the scenes rephotographed and then drawn over to produce a commentary on the artifice of cinema and memory.  The film takes a feminist perspective on the role of the detective’s “moll” who as a temptress shows us film noir’s need to portray women in polarized roles of temptress versus victim. Women are sexually liberated and not struck down for it yet how this story fits into a contemporary setting in Los Angeles today is another question.

Directed by
Maureen Selwood

Voiceover
Marissa Chibas

Camera
Nancy Jean Tucker


Hail Mary

Duration: 3:25

A woman’s voice obsessively uses numbers to tell us something while handling a set of rosary beads. This allows her to keep her memories alive and to give meaning to the traces left by her life. The prayer, Hail Mary, is seen with new insights into its power. Numbers play a role in her recitation and desire for control against the things that are happening to her. The detritus from her life animates her inner life.

Written and Directed by
Maureen Selwood

Voice over
Marni Castor

Sound Design
Fausto Caceres


Flying Circus: An Imagined Memoir

Duration: 11:07

Inspired by the 1917 ballet, Parade, by Satie, Cocteau and Picasso, the film takes a childhood memory of loss and uses metaphoric allusions to create a different outcome. A sketchbook opens up to reveal a circus tent and a rich world of events allowing for a poetic interpretation of a memory now richly animated and masked by beauty, danger and desire.

Directed by
Maureen Selwood

Music by
Miroslav Tadic

Sound Design
Fausto Caceres


Pearls

Duration: 0:50

An animation exploring metamorphosis accompanied with music by Meredith Monk.

With minimal tools and the limitation of a single image of a woman’s head a set of pearls activates a woman’s inner drive expressing freedom of movement. Animation suggests quickly a series of possible choices. The decision is ultimately hers.

A Film by
Maureen Selwood

Music by
Meredith Monk