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Eva Lee - Reteach a thing its loveliness

2:20, 2010, Animation
About the internal beauty of all living forms. Abstract biomorphic shapes transform one into the other, recalling cells, bones, organelles, and scientific imaging.

Named after the following poem by Galway Kinnell, entitled “St. Francis and the Sow.”
The bud/stands for all things,/even those things that don’t flower,/for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;/though sometimes it is necessary/to reteach a thing its loveliness,/to put a hand on its brow/of the flower/and retell it in words and in touch/it is lovely/until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;/as St. Francis/put his hand on the creased forehead/of the sow, and told her in words and in touch/blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow/began remembering all down her thick length,/from the earthen snout all the way/through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of/the tail,/from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine/down through the great broken heart/to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering/from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking/and blowing beneath them:/the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

Original sound by Chris McKenna.
DirectorEva LeeProducerEva LeeComposerOriginal sound by Chris McKenna

CountryUSASubtitlesNo subtitlesEdition2011 Screenings2013 PixelPops, New Orleans, LA
2012 Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, Manchester, CT
2011 Streaming Festival, The Netherlands
2011 Adelaide Fringe Festival, Australia
2010 Artsfest Film Fest, Harrisburg, PA
2010 Axiom Center of New & Experimental Media, Boston, MA
2010 NewMediaNewMusicNewEngland, What if? 60x60x60, interactive online exhibition

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Interview

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
I am trained as a painter, and it is a surprise for me that I eventually found my way to experimental film! I credit that to the advent of software and technology which made it possible to work in moving images without having studied film/video as you once had to do when things were analogue.



Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
I work according to an idea, a notion, and then somewhere in the process there is usually a huge technical learning curve to overcome. And so the trials begin! The frustration sets in, but often in problem-solving, I end up incorporating the difficulties or work-arounds into the final animation!


Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
I am inspired by what lies at the threshold of perception. I wonder about the unseen, the impalpable, the barely conceivable. Things like the jostling of subatomic particles, the spaces between cells, what mind is, how we understand phenomena, fascinate me.


How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
I have made films with and without sound. If a work is intended to be more about looking only, then I don’t use sound. When I do use sound, I prefer to collaborate with a composer who creates original tracks for the animation.


What is your next project about?
I am currently exploring notions of self, and working with footage shot at Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala, India, during Tibetan Buddhist Yamantaka rituals.


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