A letter from Karen’s husband, Ken Field.
The Stuttgart Trickfilm Festival (trickfilm means animation) has been one of my favorites for a long time. I think I first attended in 1988 when it was just starting out. Now it's moved to a new location right in the heart of the city, next to a beautiful fountain-filled park with 6 large cinema rooms nearby.
Parallel with the Trickfilm fest was a wonderful car show out in the park. Old Mercedes, BMW's, Porches, Auto Unions, Ferraris, Lolas, Cobras, and Corvettes. If you love old sports cars like I do, you'd be in heaven.
Nancy Phelps and I used the opportunity to prepare for Annecy Plus (which takes place on June 10th at a beautiful bar where we'll screen films rejected by Annecy, like my beloved "Guard Dog Global Jam"). One of the films included is "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mister Morris Lessmore", created by Brandon Oldenburg and the famous William Joyce. I got to meet both of them and spend some time hanging out. For those out there who don't remember, William Joyce created and designed "Rolie Polie Olie", "Meet the Robinsons" and "Robots". He even showed me his sketchbook with some rough drawings from his new film. What a treat that was! The drawings were magnificent!
On awards night, I'd just sat down in my seat way in the back of the cinema and even though the entire awards was done in German I was somehow able to hear my name. The Germans around me pushed me out of my seat and towards the stage. Apparently, "The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger" had just won some kind of prize. I thanked Biljana Labovic, but she'd already left for Paris. When I returned to my seat and looked up, the prize "The Cow" had won was for MUSIC, and knowing that since Stuttgart was a very rich city I had no doubt that I would be receiving a cash prize. Unfortunately for me, ALL categories of winners won money EXCEPT music! Damn I could really have used it.
I hope to return to Stuttgart next year, and you should too. I give it a B+.
In the middle of the Stuttgart festival I made a quick side trip to Warsaw to join my partner, Signe Baumane, to perform our 6th incarnation of the legendary "Battle of the Sexes".
The main event was the Planet DOK documentary festival. Why they wanted sex animation in the middle of serious documentaries I don't know, but we were happy to perform. The festival took place in a very large monumental office building called "Stalin's Finger", because the silhouette looks like a giant hand giving Poland the finger. The interior, however, is a lovely art deco style with wonderful theaters.
Dorado, the festival's artistic director, made us feel at home and introduced us to our "Applause Lady" and our "Mad Professor". Of particular note was the great applause meter sculpture someone han built. The show before ours was a Jane Goodall documentary on the environment. It was sparsely attended, but then our audience filed in and it was packed to the rafters! Sex beats chimps! What a great audience!
The show went very smoothly – people applauded for the applause meter, and surprise surprise, the men won the competition – YEAH! For the first time the men beat the women!
If you're interested in inviting the famous "Battle of the Sexes", just contact Signe or I and we'll bring it to your town. Remember though, it's not for the kiddies!
On Tuesday, June 7th at 8pm we're having the world premier of Alexia Anastasio's wonderfully documentary about moi, "Adventures in Plymptoons"!
Wednesday, June 8th at 4pm I'm doing a signing in the Bonlieu for my two new books: "Independently Animated: Bill Plympton" by myself and David Levy, and "Bill Plympton: Portrait of a Serial Cartoonist" by Lucie Merijeau. Then, that evening, I'm hosting the "Annecy Off" Festival. Stay tuned for more information on that event.
Thursday, June 9th I'm doing another signing of both books at the BD Fugue sometime in the afternoon, probably 3 or 4pm. This is also in the Bonlieu Center. That evening, at the Petite Salle, I'm having a master class, where I'll show all my new work and do a drawing demonstration, as well as talk about my career as an indy animator. Everyone who comes gets a free sketch!
Finally, on Friday June 10th starting at 8pm, Nancy & Nik Phelps and I are presenting the 6th Annual Annecy Plus! Here we show all the great films that were rejected by the august panel of Annecy judges, one of them being my new film, "Guard Dog Global Jam". The great Annecy + band, led by the genius Nik Phelps, will be entertaining all of the drinking guests. The location is Le Code Bar, 4 Bis Rue de la Poste, just 3 blocks from the Bonlieu Center.
Beyond all of these events you'll find me at the Bonlieu with Spike of the festival of animation, selling our DVD's and generally creating a ruckus. So hawk your old family heirlooms and rush to the great Annecy Festival in France June 6 – 11. You'll be glad you did; I give the festival an A +.
Also, stay tuned to Scribble Junkies – I have a big, exciting announcement to make in a couple of weeks!