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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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Cast

Credited cast:
Bruce Bickford ...
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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

Mo 'N Herb's Vacation
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
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Animation Psychosis
23 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you're somebody who considers animation an art form, this short (about 60 minutes)video is for you (happy hunting finding it, 'tho---it's been out of print for years). The video centers on Bruce Bickford, who originally was tapped to produce some animated sequences for Frank Zappa's TV project, 'A Token Of His Extreme' (1975),and later produced the clay animated footage in Zappa's videos, 'The Dub Room Special' (1981),and 'Baby Snakes' (1978). This video includes footage from all of the above,plus some early animated shorts. What makes this video even more desirable is some orchestral Zappa music that was added special for this video project. Do yourself a favour, and avoid any & all psychedelic drugs before undertaking this video (you'll thank yourself afterward). No MPAA rating here, but contains some pretty intense and downright disturbing claymation sequences (including some graphic violence & sexual themes that border on the pornographic)


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