[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="173" caption="A scene from A Child's Christmas in Wales"][/caption]
Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Holiday Animation Film Festival
At Exploratorium in December, 2011
Don’t miss the sound of Dylan Thomas’s voice on Saturday, December 17, when the Exploratorium screens A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1963). Directed by Marvin Lightner, this film features a story written and narrated by Dylan Thomas, one that follows a boy’s Christmas time memories in Wales. This annual holiday screening takes place at 2pm in the Exploratorium’s McBean Theater. The cinematic festivities continue with the Holiday Animation Film Festival, December 26-December 30, at noon, 2 and 4 pm, also in the McBean Theater. All these screenings are included in the price of admission to the Exploratorium. The program is as follows:
Saturday, December 17, 2011
McBean Theater at 2pm
See two classic cinematic stories told through the eyes of childhood. Meditations on memory and nostalgia, these films focus on earlier times in northern lands of winter cold and snow:
Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1963, 26 min.), offers an intimate glimpse of another era, preserved through old photographs and the poet’s resonant memories of childhood and snow. Produced, directed, and photographed by Marvin Lightner, with narration from Thomas’ original recording for Caedmon, A Child’s Christmas in Wales is part of the Exploratorium’s 16mm film collection.
The Sweater (1980, 10 min.), directed by Sheldon Cohen, is an animated version of a short story by Québec author Roch Carrier, set in the rural Québec of his boyhood. Carrier recalls the passion for playing hockey, which he shared with the other boys of his community. It was the time of Rocket Richard, the Canadians' greatest star. This funny, poignant story is animated in a style that evokes the period of the late 1940s.
This program is dedicated with respect to the memory of Exploratorium Staff member Barry Valentino who died on Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988 at age 28. Each year the Exploratorium honors his memory with this screening.
Monday through Friday, December 26-30, 2011
Holiday Animation Film Festival
McBean Theater at Noon, 2 and 4 pm
This round up of animated shorts utilizes computers, stop-motion and other animation techniques to capture the hilarity in several playful scenarios. Among the films to be screened are these engaging shorts:
Sour Death Balls (1993, 4 min.), by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu, offers a humorous and quirky look at how people from all ages and backgrounds react to extremely sour candy. Filmed in black and white in front of a blank wall, the simplicity makes the subject’s outrageous expressions stand out.
White Out (2007, 3 min.), by Jeff Scher, captures the magic of snow with a painterly cascade of skiers and skaters crossing a winter landscape to music by Shay Lynch. The hand drawn and painted animation on normal scraps of paper augments the intimate warmth illustrated in time with family and friends in a winter wonderland.
Western Spaghetti (2008, 2 min.), by PES, is a brilliant stop-motion animation of a surprising cooking demonstration. Using common objects in inventive ways, the film takes the viewer into an alternate world where imagination is the only limit when it comes to what’s for dinner.
Dalhia (2009, 3 min.) by Michael Langan creates a moving portrait of the bustle and permanence of a city. Dahlia juxtaposes the stable forms and patterns of life with the frenetic behavior of humanity, set to a driving score of vocal percussion.
Mobile by Verena Fels (2010, 7 min.) Tells the simple story of distances two stuffed animals go to be together, even if it means turning their world upside down.
Fetch (2001, 5 min.), by Nina Paley, is a funny exploration of space involving an animated dog chasing a ball to a lively soundtrack by Nik Phelps and The Sprocket Ensemble.
The Cinema Arts Program is funded in part by the Louis Goldblatt Memorial Fund and by a grant from Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.