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From Disney to Dunedin

19 April 2005

From Disney to Dunedin

On Saturday 30th April at 7pm The New Zealand Film Archive presents a concert with a twist.

Quirky Christchurch group Surfing USSR, specialise in combining Jazz, Surf and of all things, Jewish Klezmer music. They will accompany an eclectic mix of animations from the Archive’s collection.

Guitarist Greg Malcolm and drummer Chris O'Connor say they welcome the chance to play alongside a mix of experimental and classic animation.

In the world of classic animation one star is impossible to ignore. During the 1920's he was more popular than kings, queens and even other movie stars. Musicians wrote songs about him and newspapers "interviewed" him. His adorable appearance and removable, remarkably multi-functional tail helped Felix the Cat achieve an unprecedented level of popularity across generations. He remained at the forefront of animation culture until 1929, when creator Pat Sullivan refused to convert to that new-fangled sound thing. The Film Archive is lucky enough to hold “Felix Crosses the Crooks” (1924) in it’s collection and programmers have been waiting for the right opportunity to showcase this hilarious silent cartoon for quite some time.

On the contemporary side of the coin Surfing USSR’s programme includes work by Wellington animators Mike Heynes, known for his Fringe 2002 project, “Sticklers Wood” and Lissa Mitchell. Mitchell will be the first artist to exhibit in the City Gallery's new space for moving image. Although it is 10 years since Mitchell created “Bowl Me Over” film it remains a fresh and fascinating piece of work.

“Bowl me Over” Uses a film process pioneered by legendary New Zealander Len Lye where the image is scratched and hand-painted directly onto the film.

One can only imagine what kind of new perspectives the diverse animations will present when accompanied by the appealing, if unusual South Island Klezmer-Surf.

Surfing USSR play a The Film Archive mediaplex Saturday 30th of April at 7pm

Admission $8 Concession $6


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