Monday, February 15, 2010

Frank Zappa - Baby Snakes


When I saw Frank Zappa's "Baby Snakes" on DVD I was blown away. The claymation is absolutely mind-blowing; it takes you, by simply using clay and a camera (film SLR at the time!) into a completely different universe. The animators (not always Zappa, he does more of the weird musical accompaniment) are obviously brilliant artistic madmen who would be totally weird in any other context. When you watch their animations, as in the sample video from Baby Snakes that I posted above, you actually feel as though you are in the mind of the artist. Thusly you may feel a little bit crazy... It's seriously nuts. The transitions are completely insane and unexpected, and yet totally inevitable and beautiful at the same time.
The clay comes to life in a way that seems alien. You can actually see the brain of the artist working seamlessly with the clay, but there is an element of autonomy to it. That is to say, it could be that the clay is changing on it's own terms. It's hard to explain, and probably useless to try. I just suggest that you watch, watch, and watch again. I think you can actually stream the entirety of Baby Snakes on youtube now, which is awesome, but in case they take it down by the time you read this, it's available on DVD from Video Americain on Elkton Rd. and I highly highly highly recommend it. Great inspiration.

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