This candy coloured nightmare rocked audiences upon its release and catapulted maker Suzan Pitt to the front ranks of indie animation. Stunning cel animation propels its blank-faced protagonist into the world of the phallus, rendered here as a field of asparagus, which she deep throats, excretes and flushes away…The film’s stunning set piece occurs before a claymation audience who gape as the artist opens her Medusa’s box to release rare wonders. A moving meditation on art and the cost of reproduction, Asparagus remains, twenty-five years after its release, a benchmark of single frame intensity.
Suzan Pitt’s works have pushed the boundaries of the animated film form, thriving in both the art world and the television, theatrical, and festival venues. She has had major exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Holly Solomon Gallery in New York, and the Stedlijk Museum in Amsterdam. She has designed two operas in Germany which were the first operas to include animated images for the stage (Damnation of Faust, and The Magic Flute). In addition, Pitt has created two large multi-media shows at the Venice Biennale and Harvard University.
A retrospective of her animated films was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006 and her films have been presented at the over 100 venues around the world, including the Film Forum in New York, Ottawa International Animated Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico, and the Image Forum Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan.
Her animated films have won… read more
I first learned of this short in Hoberman and Rosenbaum;s Midnight Movies. I expected it to seem a little dated, but, in fact, it's still extraordinarily effective. It sits right at the cross-section of David Lynch, Rene Magritte, and Terry Gilliam (not that it's derivative of any of those guys).
Also: New books, new DVD/Blu-ray releases, new Sight & Sound.
Asparagus is an animated short, created by Suzan Pitt in 1979 that received much acclaim by being shown as a short film before David Lynch’s first film “Eraserhead” during a time when the phrase “Midnight… read review