Developed by husband-and-wife team Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker in the 1930s, pinscreen animation is a painstakingly labor-intensive technique that creates lyrical black-and-white animations. The pinscreen is a white board pierced by thousands of tiny pins, and lit from the side. Animators use objects to push groups of pins through the screen at various depths, with the shadows cast by the pins producing a wide range of tonal gradations depending on how far they protrude. The results are photographed one frame at a time. Created completely by hand, the analog process yields a warmth and idiosyncratic quality hard to reproduce with digital technology.
This Thursday, Echo Park Film Center will screen a selection of short films made using pinscreen animation from two Canadian animators. (The only known working pinscreen is owned by the National Film Board of Canada.) Curated by Sooean Chin, the program will feature three films by Jacques Drouin including Mindscape (1976) in which a plein air painter walks through his canvas into a surreal psychic landscape; and Here and the Great Elsewhere (2012) by Michèle Lemieux, a philosophical search for meaning in four acts, in which the pins take on a life of their own.
When: Thursday, June 14, 8pm; doors 7:30pm ($5 admission)
Where: Echo Park Film Center (1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park, Los Angeles)
More info at Echo Park Film Center.