Elsa Kirk

Elsa Kirk

USA, 1999, 5 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Animated, Avant Garde/Experimental, Short
Program: Shorts in a Feature-Length World
Language: English

“In the mid-1990s I unearthed three photographic contact sheets of three different women in a thrift store in the East Village. Only one was named and dated—Elsa Kirk, Feb 22 ’63—but all looked like they were from the same photographer and time period. There were 12 images per sheet of these models/actresses and I found myself intrigued by the strong sense of fiction and document in these photos. At first I was unable to translate these images into collage animation. So I reversed my usual process and began making Xerox enlargements of the sheets, which became backgrounds for a series of flat collages. Gradually, these became storyboards for the films and led to the hieroglyphic montage style of the completed trilogy—an approach that I had intuited when first attracted to the potential of cutouts two decades before, but had never been able to capture on film.”—Lewis Klahr

DIRECTOR: Lewis Klahr

This film is playing as a part of...

  • An Evening with Lewis Klahr

    An Evening with Lewis Klahr

    81 min. Lewis Klahr will be presented with the 2013 Stan Brakhage Award by Phil Solomon on Sunday, November 10, at the Sie FilmCenter following the screening of several of his films. A reception in his honor follows... more

Also by this director

  • Altair

    Altair

    USA , 1995 , 8 min. “Altair offers a cutout-animation version of color film noir. The images were culled from six late-’40s issues of Cosmopolitan magazine and set to an almost four-minute segment of Stravinsky’s Firebird (looped twice) to create a sinister, perfumed world.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • Daylight Moon

    Daylight Moon

    USA , 2002 , 13 min. “Of all the films I’ve made using collage … this one gets the closest to what I’m after,” says Lewis Klahr of his film, which Wexner Center for the Arts film curator Chris Stults called “one of the most exhilarating explorations of light, shadow, color, rhythm, and melancholy in recent cinema.”... more
  • Engram Sepals

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    USA , 2000 , 6 min. “A Buddhist noir—the dead body remembers.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • Her Fragrant Emulsion

    Her Fragrant Emulsion

    USA , 1987 , 11 min. “An obsessional homage to the ’60s B-film actress Mimsy Farmer. The film’s visceral collage images act as a metaphor for sensuality and move in and out of sync with the soundtrack to evoke the distancing and intimacy cycles that are common in love relationships.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • Pony Glass

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    USA , 1997 , 15 min. “The story of comic-book character Jimmy Olsen’s secret life. In this 15-minute cutout animation, Superman’s pal embarks on his most adult adventure ever as he navigates the treacherous shoals of early-’60s romance, trying to resolve a sexual identity crisis of epic proportions.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • The Rain Couplets

    The Rain Couplets

    USA , 2012 , 14 min. “Kiss the Rain and The Street of Everlasting Rain are part of The Rain Couplets, a new subset of my ongoing Prolix Satori project. Like my other Couplets, they grapple with romantic love, time, and the nuances of repetition.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • Two Hours to Zero

    Two Hours to Zero

    USA , 2004 , 9 min. “Two Hours to Zero is an ecstatic nine-minute Ben Day ballet accompanied by Rhys Chatham’s monumental Guitar Trio. Pure Pop for Noir people.”—Chris Stults, Film Comment... more
>>
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