FILMS 4 out of 30 on the DVD  

GRIFFITI  ARCHIVE  (1969-2004)
head HEAD. 1975, 10:30. A self-portrait of the animator, undone by his own cartoon surrogate. Using a wide array of techniques (flipbooks, stop-motion, altered documentary footage) this "anti-cartoon" explores the dim origins of animation, developed out of drawing, photography and magic. Its structure is discontinuous, non-narrative; its focus, self-referential; its aim, to re-examine the pioneering trickfilm processes of Emile Cohl with contemporary wit and irony. An example of the experimental spirit of independent animation of the 1970s. Music by Fred Israel. 

VIEWMASTER. 1976, 3:30. The pre-cinema Phenakistoscope inspired this film cycle of 8 drawings. A herd of running characters drawn in a hodge-podge of styles relentlessly orbit the axis of Muybridge’s running man. The restricted field of view allows us to discover odd relationships and transformations among the various figures. We can interpret them as we like. One pair of characters (a man cranking a box displaying a mechanical running puppet) was reflected, 33 years later, in Griffin’s DIGITAL MUTOSCOPE which allows the viewer to animate the speed and direction of the movement. Music by Harold Anderson.

Lineage LINEAGE. 1979, 29:00. An anti-cartoon essay on the tension between formalism and sentiment, Lineage marks the end of Griffin’s period of overtly self-relexive trickfilms. By reclaiming the photocopy process it transforms the duplication of real time and space into a synthetic world of speculation where cartoon clashes with documentary. Here, the historical referent is Winsor McKay, the pioneering lightening sketch animator who bridged both worlds 70 years before. Sreet performance, material process, puppetry, and random marking cover the bed of emotion, however remote, seeking to assert itself. Music: Central Park carousel.
1994, 7:00. As bedtime nears, a beleaguered dad and his headstrong 6-year old daughter re-enact a familiar ritual. Reading stories, tooth-brushing, tantrums, bedside singing, fear of the dark — all serve as catalysts for re-living memories of pain and love. Paying homage to the domestic cartoons of the Hubleys, this routine conversation of real people reflects the range of universal sentiments embedded in this most primal of human relationships. Music by Judith Gruber-Stitzer.

AFTER GRIFFITI  (2006-2009)
PainsMe IT PAINS ME TO SAY THIS. 2006, 10:00. A cacophony of hostility, guilt and redemption. Weaponized discourse. A cartoon in multiple voices. Begins with a screening of a 90-second story involving two stylized characters, Ken and Celeste, who communicate only with speech balloons, their actions described by an omniscient, yet unreliable narrator. Cartooning as a deadpan agent of self-reflection and invention, dealing with concealed emotion, betrayal, and redemption. The film employs a reduced pictorial palette, angular edges, and sketchy linearity to shape a self-portrait bristling with comic and disturbing contradictions.
Music, Joel Forrester.
McD1 MACDOWELL: A USER'S MANUAL. 2007, 14:00. An imagined documentary (one of a four part film, "Seasons of MacDowell") celebrating the centennial of MACDOWELL COLONY. Told through the eyes of a fictional character, voiced by Ken Kobland, whom real residents welcome into their studios to observe their working process.
Music, John McDowell.
bather THE BATHER. 2008, 3:11. Re-thinking a flipbook as a voyeur and a lover. A woman is observed showering behind a translucent curtain. Gradually the view is obscured by superimposed sequence of drawings of a dancing woman. Moving through the overlapping images a string of words suggests sources, motives and memories.
Music, J.S. Bach.
YOH YOU'RE OUTA HERE. 2009, 3:10. A "neo-soundie" of a feisty descendant of Betty Boop who tells her former boyfriend to hit the road. "A hilarious, high-speed blast of jazz with lyrics and singing by Lorraine Feather, inspired by Fats Waller." -Entertainment Today.

Piano, Dick Hyman
Produced by Lorraine Feather
Directed by George Griffin