LIAF presents Suzan Pitt

Doors open 7pm

Tickets £12 full/£10 concession

Available in advance click here

The London International Animation Festival presents the wonderfully strange animation of Suzan Pitt.

Screening 7:30 – 9:30

Q and A with Suzan Pitt 9:45 -10:45pm

For more than 3 decades Suzan Pitt has been an internationally renowned creator of beautiful, strange and fiercely original animation. Perhaps because her breakthrough film Asparagus accompanied Eraserhead on the midnight movie circuit, the work of Suzan Pitt has often been compared with that of David Lynch.  He has talked about fishing the subconscious for his ideas, and it’s clear that Pitt sets out from a similar place; led by dream logic and a process of ‘interior sense-making’, with no clear idea of an end goal. The result is a small but unique body of work, tricky to pin down or explain but like works of visual poetry, bursting with surreal and sometimes disturbing images capable of crawling under your skin in unexpected ways.

Pitt's synthesis of hand painted images with other experimental techniques such as scratch-on-film, cut-out and sand animation, infuse her work with a visceral quality unique in the world of animation. This helps to account for the long gaps between films, although her career also covers a fascinating range of other work including expanded cinema, opera, music video, environmental activism and her first love, painting.

This rare retrospective will feature all of Pitt’s key works from the surrealist visual orgy of Asparagus to her latest short, the haunting Visitation, as well as the UK premiere of Persistence of Vision, a 28 minute documentary exploring the inspirations, journeys and creative expression from which her films have evolved throughout her career.

An artist with a singular vision, we’re thrilled to welcome Suzan Pitt to the Horse Hospital to present her body of work and take part in a Q and A.


ASPARAGUS 20 mins, 1979 This candy-coloured nightmare stunned audiences upon its release and catapulted Suzan Pitt to the front ranks of independent 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. A moving meditation on art and the cost of reproduction, Asparagus remains, 32 years after its release, a benchmark of single frame intensity.

JOY STREET 24 mins, 1995 An ambitious, astonishing story of a woman's journey from suicidal despair to personal renewal, with the help of an unlikely spirit guide.

"Haunting animated paintings capture the isolation and distraught psyche of a suicidal woman....the film is beautiful one moment and disturbing the next" (John Cooper, Sundance Film Festival)

EL DOCTOR 24mins, 2005 A dark animated poem set in a crumbling Mexican hospital in the 1920’s. Inhabited by surreal characters, including the man shot with one hundred holes, the girl who sprouts morning-glories and the woman who thinks she is a horse, the Doctor prefers to drink.

"It's safe to say the legendarily absurdist Luis Buñuel might have sparked to the sordid, gruesome charms of renowned animator Suzan Pitt's five-years-in-the-making short El Doctor. A trippy, magic-realist expedition through the mind of a pickled old Mexican doctor on his regret-filled last day on Earth, El Doctor makes rich use of Pitt's hand-drawn movement technique. Overall the effect is playfully grim and somehow wondrous, an ode to the living, breathing fantastic in Mexican folk art." (Robert Abele, LA Times)

VISITATION 9 mins, 2011 Inspired by hearing wolves crying and simultaneously reading H.P. Lovecraft, Visitation unwinds through a dark landscape of unending life and death. Steeped in an alchemical dream life, a black-and-white landscape of gothic figures enact evolving metaphysical dramas.

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