New York State Writers Institute - Classic Film Series


September 24, 1999 (Friday) at 7:30 p.m.
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
(Free and Open to the Public)

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FRANK FILM (1973, 16mm, 9 minutes, color)
SCREENTEST (1975, 16mm, 20 minutes, color)
LA LA, MAKING IT IN L.A. (1979, 16mm, 58 minutes, color)
CONEY (1975, 16mm, 5 minutes, color)
IMPASSE (1972, 16mm, 10 minutes, color)
& films by George Griffin, Stan van der Beek, Red Grooms, and Robert Breer
mourisscreentest.jpg - 16977 Bytes
mourisfc2.jpg - 12943 Bytes Frank and Caroline Mouris are independent filmmakers who specialize in animation and collage. They have selected several examples of their work and the work of other independent makers to present a celebration of short films. They will provide film commentary and answer questions immediately following the screenings.

The couple's 1973 classic short, Frank Film, an animated autobiography of Frank Mouris, received an Academy Award and was selected in 1996 for inclusion in the National Film Registry, which preserves films deemed to be "culturally, historically and esthetically important." Frank Film, because of its innovative and energetic use of collage, has exerted an influence on succeeding generations of animators.

The couple's 1999 short, Frankly Caroline, is a deliberately comic and self-conscious attempt to create a film about Caroline Mouris analogous to Frank Film. The film is as much about the couple's collaborative process, and the squabbles inevitable in a working relationship, as it is about Caroline herself.

mourisconey.jpg - 22079 BytesOther short films by the Mouris's to be shown include Coney (1975), a stop-motion documentary, Screentest (1975), an experimental documentary funded by an American Film Institute grant, and Impasse (1978), an example of abstract animation. The program will also include excepts from the Mouris's feature documentary, LA LA, Making it in L.A. (1979), which was funded by PBS, the Ford Foundation and the National endowment for the Arts. Notable shorts by other filmmakers will include Wheels by Stan Vanderbeek and Recreation by Robert Breer.

Frank and Caroline Mouris are the creators of animated shorts for Sesame Street as well as for other television programs, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Disney, the Carton Network and the Comedy Channel. Frank Mouris received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1975 and a Directing Fellowship at the American Film Institute in 1978. Caroline Ahlfors Mouris was born in Switzerland and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1972.

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"The best American film at the New York Film Festival. . .A nine minute evocation of Ameica's exhilarating everythingness." - Andrew Sarris, The Village Voice, on FRANK FILM

"A brilliant film almost beyond description. . .existences led at twice the speed and images/identities transformed without notice." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, on SCREENTEST

"LA is a hip, flip,manic and depressive look at 55 very outgoing introspectors who came to the pop cultural capitol of the United States to make it big with a capital L and a capital A." - Tom Shales, Washington Post