Thursday, 9 July 2009

Kara Nasdor-Jones "I Slept with Cookie Monster" (2008)

Today's animation was partly conceived as a therapeutic exercise for a young woman and mother involved in an abusive relationship and yet, as I Slept with Cookie Monster so well demonstrates, handles the subject with gritty realism tempered by some very funny moments. It commences in a florist's shop where Kara Nasdor-Jones meets her soon-to-be husband conveniently working next door, making cookies, hence the title. Using delicately hand drawn and coloured frames, Kara narrates the story herself, sparing little in her depiction of the violence and yet maintaining an almost jaunty sense of dark humour such as her explanation of how very soon into the relationship - and a baby - his physical and mental mistreatment of her led to the logical next step: marriage. The humour is best when dealing with her flights of fancy, his transformation by pregnancy or her wrestling with him in a ring. There is a very funny visual gag when she reveals how unscathed she is by the whole experience. In real life Kara found healing whilst at Boston's Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) and triumphed last year at the Ottawa International Animation Festival winning two awards for Best Undergraduate Animation and the Mytoons Grand Prize for Best Student Animation. A brave woman. Very talented too. Kara describes her method of working thus:
"The abuse sequences were animated in Flash [animation software] and then printed out. I painted over each of the prints with tissue paper and then painted each frame. Color was a lot of emotional significance to me as well. He had his own color scheme and so did I, but we both had touches of each other in the shaded areas of our bodies. Other parts were animated with pastel directly under the camera, which, for me, is a very involved process because I'll work for a five hour session and be completely caked in pastel."
The movie works in two ways. First, it has a positive social message. Second, it is well crafted and a damn fine movie.

1 comment:

kara said...

awwww. you're nice.