Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 7pm
Hannah Frank's Frame by Frame

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

Presented by Sam Frank

“Imagine not watching a film but looking at it frame by frame. Bodies in motion would suddenly freeze, their irresistible sensuousness submitting to clinical scrutiny. Minute details in the photographic image would supplant the broader strokes of the narrative. The part would overwhelm the whole. But each of those fragments would afford its own pleasures and hint at its own story… I thus inaugurate a study of the single frame, the single document, in which the tiniest of details—a brushstroke, a shadow, an errant speck of dust—is freighted with historical and, ultimately, political weight.”

Hannah Frank’s posthumous Frame by Frame: A Materialist Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons, newly published by University of California Press, is a study of single cels from the classical era of American animation: Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Woody Woodpecker; “1,625 animated cartoons released between 1915 and 1965, a period that begins with the first cel-animation patent and ends with the industry’s shift away from shorts intended for theatrical exhibition.” It’s at once a formal analysis, a labor history of an art formed on the assembly line, an intervention in film theory, and a reflection on Walter Benjamin, Sergei Eisenstein, Susan Howe, Jay Leyda, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and Robert Breer. Hannah’s brother, Sam Frank, will read from Frame by Frame, screen a selection of related films, and deliver a short lecture of hers on flicker effects in Hollywood animation and in avant-garde film: “To seek out flicker, an effect that announces animation’s frame-by-frame construction, is to watch cartoons like Brakhage; to watch cartoons as if they were Structural films is a form of aesthetic analysis.”

Blazes, Robert Breer, 1961, 16mm, 3 mins
The Power of Thought, Eddie Donnelly/Terrytoons, 1948, digital projection, 6 mins
One More Time, Rudolf Ising/Warner Bros., 1931, digital projection, 7 mins
Goonland, Dave Fleischer/Paramount, 1938, digital projection, 8 mins
Runaway, Standish Lawder, 1969, 16mm, 5 mins
Hair-Raising Hare, Chuck Jones/Warner Bros., 1946, digital projection, 7 mins
Brave Little Tailor, Bill Roberts/Walt Disney, 1938, digital projection, 9 mins
A Gruesome Twosome, Bob Clampett/Warner Bros., 1945, digital projection, 7 mins
Arnulf Rainer, Peter Kubelka, 1960, 16mm, 7 mins
The Skeleton Dance, Ub Iwerks/Walt Disney, 1929, digital projection, 6 mins
Arresting Animation, Hannah Frank, 2017, digital projection, 2 mins

Hannah Frank (1984–2017) was assistant professor of film studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her work has been published in Critical Quarterly and Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and she contributed a chapter to Zoe Beloff’s A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood.

Sam Frank is a writer living in Brooklyn.

Tickets - Pay-what-you-wish, available at door ($8 suggested donation).

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 6:30pm.

Books will be available for sale at the event.

Above: Hair-Raising Hare, Chuck Jones/Warner Bros., 1946