~ Enrico Ascoli ~

Un Corpo / A Body by Milena Tipaldo

Italian artist Milena Tipaldo animates her own line-sketch illustrations for Un Corpo / A Body, a film she also wrote. Widely screened at international festivals, it won the Jury Award for Best Animation in the 2022 Weimar Poetry Film Awards in Germany. A synopsis:

What’s a body? And what’s the difference between a human body, an animal body, a fruiting body, and a celestial body? A voice-over using puns drives you through the life of many bodies and their common destiny.

As with her earlier Ode all’ansia / Ode to Anxiety, the playful sound and music score is by French artist Enrico Ascoli.

Ode all’ansia / Ode to Anxiety by Milena Tipaldo

Ode to Anxiety is a half-minute film by Milena Tipaldo, an animator and illustrator in Torino, Italy. It is an outstanding text-on-screen film. Though it was made three years ago, it is even more relevant now.

The animation is distinctive, created from Tipaldo’s line-sketch illustrations. The text on screen is graphically well-blended with the drawings. It appears largely in Italian with smaller lettering in English on the bottom left and right of the screen. The overall rhythm of the film is fast and sharp.

The poem is written playfully and also speaks strongly about anxiety, describing it as a “faithful companion”. This will have special meaning to anyone who has lived with high anxiety over time, even before our world turned upside down. Now so many more of us are experiencing it at greater intensity.

There are only two credits at the end of the film, for Milena Tipaldo’s animation, and Enrico Ascoli for sound design. The latter is fantastic, creating a musical texture of lively, comic sounds, with a touch of flamenco guitar at the end.

I assume the poem is by Tipaldo. It is published in English in the video notes at Vimeo.

The Art of Poetry Film with Cheryl Gross: “Beer”

direction: Nerdo
poem: Charles Bukowski
art direction: Daniele Gavatorta
coordination: Diego Pizziconi
animation: Daniele Gavatorta, Simone Cirillo, Milena Tipaldo, Erik Righetti, and Alessandro Durando
original music and sound design: Enrico Ascoli
voiceover: David Wayne Callahan
recording engineer: Andrea Pestarino

I acquired a taste for beer many years ago while at an artist residency program in Saarbrücken, Germany. I attribute this phenomenon to my good friend and installation artist, Claudia Brieske. Upon meeting the poet Nicelle Davis, I was introduced to the world of video poetry. In my opinion the two go hand-in-hand. So it’s no wonder why Beer based on a poem by the famous Charles Bukowski caught my eye. I’m a big fan of Bukowski, so to find a video poem that embraces not one but two things I am passionate about is a rare treat. In simpler terms, it’s worth the price of admission.

That being said, my favorite place to start is always with the visuals. I love fast-paced, well-designed art. The animation is smooth and lyrical. It conveys a feeling of nostalgia in a postmodern sort of way, meaning the vector images are all computer-generated, but they contain images of objects such as a telephone that were a part of life back in the 20th century. All have either disappeared already or are about to disappear.

As far as the writing is concerned, I think most of us can relate. Break-ups with women, waiting for the phone to ring, just adds to the bloat of this self-imposed condition, hobby or should I say pastime of beer drinking. But when it comes down to it, life is just a matter of waiting for the next thing, waiting for something that will get us closer to the brass ring. In the meantime we have beer, the vehicle that will help ease the frustration and pass the time.