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CINEMATHEQUE AT HOME

Cabin Fever: The Extraordinary World of Stop Motion Animator Charley Bowers

Sun, Feb 28 / 12 pm
Free to view!
Directed by Charley Bowers
1926, USA, 69 min

Followed by a free animation workshop with Art City!

What for some audiences may be a delightful introduction, and others a fresh re-discovery, The Extraordinary World of Charley Bowers offers a rare portal into the imagination of one of the great innovators and creators of early cinema. Beginning as an animator in 1915, Bowers soon turned to mixing live-action with puppet animation. Bowers was a master cartoonist, animator, director and comedian.

The short films in this program are:

Egged On (1926, 23 mins)
In his first film to combine stop-motion animation with live action performance, Bowers plays a tunnel-vision tinkerer hatching plans for an unbreakable egg.

He Done His Best (1926, 23 mins)
Bowers plays a hapless dishwasher who rebuilds a traditional diner into an elaborate automated restaurant.

Fatal Footsteps (1926, 23 mins)
Bowers is obsessed with learning the Charleston, so he can enter and win a local contest, which promises a large prize and the hand of a beautiful woman.

Plays with:

June Night
Directed by Mike Maryniuk, 2020, 4 min

Working in sublime self-isolation during the strange pandemic spring of 2020, avant-garde filmmaker Mike Maryniuk composes a surreal ode to rebirth and reinvention. Juxtaposing archival imagery with handcrafted animation, he conjures up a shimmering utopian dreamscape, a post-COVID world shaped by the primordial forces of nature—haunted by the genial spectre of Buster Keaton.


GIF and Short Animation Workshops with Art City!

Using a few different online apps, you will be creating GIFs and short animations with the help of an artist from Art City. Recreate your fave GIF! Make a GIF or animation with your own face! Make an animation that rotates 360 degrees! We will start with the easier things and then get more complex over the course of the eight weeks of workshops each Sunday afternoon. You don’t have to participate in all eight weeks to learn though! We will have options for people who want to drop any week and for people who come each week to build more and more basic animation skills.

WHAT YOU NEED:

Internet access and preferably a computer or laptop, but an iPad, iPhone, or Android also work well (some apps have worked less well on androids but not usually).

ABOUT ART CITY:

Art City is a not-for-profit community art studio dedicated to providing people of all ages with innovative and professional art programming, free of charge.


This free program is presented with the support of the Province of Manitoba’s Safe at Home program. Visit safeathomemb.ca for a list of other programs available for free.

Reviews

In the realm of the bizarre, of the inexplicably, mind-bogglingly weird, Charley Bowers had no peer.In Bowers Land, live cats grow out of pussy willow bushes, goldfish do the Charleston, mice pack pistols and wear plaid pants, and perky droplets of petroleum sing and dance. Because his films combined live action with the highly sophisticated “Bowers Process” of stop-motion animation, there were no limits on Charley’s imagination.
 — Imogen Sara Smith, Bright Lights Film Journal
A must-see for anyone even mildly interested in silent comedy and animation[...] I can only imagine the time and effort that went into making these films look as good as they do.
 Leonard Maltin
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ABOUT US

The Winnipeg Film Group is an artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema.
our location

We’re located in the heart of Winnipeg's historic Exchange District in the Artspace building. We are across the street from Old Market Square at the corner of Arthur Street and Bannatyne - one block west of Main.

The Winnipeg Film Group is located on Treaty 1 Territory and on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We offer our respect and gratitude to the traditional caretakers of this land.

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