Hi Everyone-

Welcome to the Animation Seminar blog! Each week you will be posting a report on the guest artist. Each report should include a description of what you learned from the evening’s speaker (100-500 words.) Please leave thoughtful observations on the week’s seminar presentation. You can enter your comments in the “Leave a Reply” window at the bottom of the guest artist page. Please sign your comment with your first and last name in order to receive credit for your post.

I look forward to your reports!

-Sheila M. Sofian


ctan522_seminar_fall2016_syllabus_v06(Subject to change)


4 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Hi group.

    I’d like to write a short note regarding the last class screenings, also as a way of training for the following classes.

    About One night in Tapei: What I really liked about this film was the way they took a very mundane story and constructed it in a way that was appealing, making it interesting and also, taking the public to feel the same discomfort and fear the character feels and the same relive(and laughter) product of finding out the true. I think, animation is a particularly effective technique for depicting the story, given that there is some sense of absurdity in it. The animation takes us through the man train of thought, not only with the audio, but using movement and transformation as well.

    About Production 1 shorts: For me, was a huge pleasure to see the wide variety of products possible in the class. From the most traditional forms of story telling, working with animation frame by frame, to the installations and hybrids of live performance where live video and traditional animation mix and interact with each other, creating a whole new language.

    About the documentary “Truth has fallen”: This was the film discussed during the class, so many of the things I’ll write here were already mentioned during the discussion. The documentary shows us the issue of mistaken verdicts and posterior conviction of innocent people, some of the cases knowingly, in the justice system of U.S.A. The film depicts the injustice from the perspective of the victims, innocent people who were wrongly accused and convicted, and the perspective of experts in the area that had been following these cases of wrong conviction. The documentary mixed live action with animation in a very smooth way that allows us to got back and forth in time, telling us with details the story of the convicted, and allowing us to glimpse how unfair and corrupt their processes were. In some way, the usage of animation in those parts, allows the spectator to relate even more to the horror of the wrongful conviction of the victims. The transformations the animation takes us into the moments of confusion and abandonment of the victims. Also, the live action shots are very well thought, coming in and out in a very smooth way. Though the film is esthetically beautiful, that doesn’t distract us from the seriousness of the wrongful convictions; all the opposite. I dare to think that is because of that beauty that is possible to see the problematic in a more thoughtful way. We are spared all the gruesomeness that might come with live action, that could cause rejection making this cases fall into forget.


  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comments Ana! I enjoyed reading your response to “Truth Has Fallen” and “One Night in Taipei.” Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts in writing. I look forward to your other responses throughout the semester.


  3. Hi Everyone!

    I had some thoughts come up since last week’s screening of “Truth Has Fallen.”

    During our first class as animation MFAs, Kathy discussed the value of looking at the world through, both, “scientific” windows and “mystical” (artistic) windows. “Truth has Fallen” puts into context exactly what this merging of world views can look like. We hear law professionals and academics explaining their objective findings on the American justice system. This, however is only half the story as “Truth has Fallen” puts you behind the eyes of the victims that have been failed by the system. The paintings’ dark, muddy backgrounds and ominous abstracted sweeping bar foregrounds make me feel like I am at once in the cell with Eddie Baker and Jimmy Landano, if not sharing the same nightmare as Joyce Ann Brown.

    What really gets to me about THF is the subject of time.

    Now, I’m adjusting to being back in school after spending 4 years out of undergrad working in 2 different major cities. The jobs I’ve had in those 4 years have impacted my ideas on how to value time. I spent a good deal of time working in social media, where newness and fast turn-around are the be-all end-all to making a living. This kind of work taught me to equate speed with survival. While I disagree with the weighted value our consumerist society finds in speed, I’ve, admittedly, found it to be an adjustment to return to school and start looking at time through an expanded window. I found “Truth has Fallen” to be really powerful in helping me face a different pace of time. The abundance of thought, care, and labor is tremendously evident in Sheila’s film. It’s no surprise to learn that the film took years to make but it’s disturbing to face how little things have changed since the inception of the film’s interviews. What’s more, so many of the flaws in the justice system today seem to boil down to fast turn-around. Line-ups, scrolls of mugshots, and accounts of juries being forced to reach an abrupt decision– do these examples not also stem from our culture’s obsession with speed?


    1. I love your discussion of time, Molly. You are so right. When McCloskey discusses how the supreme court wants “finality” when it comes to death sentence appeals, it really is all about time and the desire to have a fast turn-around, as you said. And when there is a high profile murder case there is a lot of pressure to solve the case and find a suspect, which can lead to wrongful identification. Very thoughtful observations!


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