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The Amazing Mister Bickford (1987)

| Animation, Music | Video
Several pieces of Frank Zappa's music are set against clay animation by Bruce Bickford.

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Credited cast:
Bruce Bickford ...
Himself
...
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Storyline

We enter Bruce Bickford's studio in Santa Monica, California; it's 1978. Various technicians are at work; drawers upon drawers are full of figurines. Bickford says a few things, and then, with Zappa's symphonic music on the soundtrack, we're taken into various Bickford creations. Knife-wielding Africans fight rifle-toting Whites. A drawing of a toilet fills the screen, various foods emerge from it, and they change shapes swiftly into images of animals and things. In claymation, three everymen move through landscapes of danger and conflict. Moments of the every day change quickly into grotesque images. Little holds its shape for more than a moment. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Animation | Music

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Trivia

This movie shows the first use of the "bullet time" effect in clay animation (a technique of several cameras taking pictures in the same time around somebody). Michel Gondry took this technique and adapted it to use it in live action pictures, commercials and video clips. This "bullet time" is also used in The Matrix (1999). See more »

Connections

Edited from Baby Snakes (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

The Perfect Stranger
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain
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User Reviews

 
Don't expect Gumby.
1 November 2000 | by (Troy, Missouri) – See all my reviews

This clay animation is violent, sexually explicit and disturbing. No wonder Frank Zappa found it interesting. Some of this animation has been seen before in Zappa's "Baby Snakes" and "Dub Room Special". The rest is previously unreleased. Zappa's music provides an eerie accompaniment to Bickford's images. This tape is currently out of print, let's hope that Gail re-releases it on DVD when the videos start coming out again. At just shy of an hour, any more would be overwhelming.


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