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Eyeworks: Make Me Psychic

This is the first installation of an ongoing series of articles by Alexander Stewart and Lille Carré, founders of the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation.

To launch our series on Sixty Inches From Center, we thought we would start with two filmmakers whose work we took as the “patron saints” of the festival’s curatorial spirit. The first individual is underground legend Sally Cruikshank. We included this film in the very first Eyeworks program in 2010.

We love Cruikshank’s 1978 film Make Me Psychic. This cartoon feels like a makeover of the 1930’s Fleischer Studios style for the psychedelic era. It also feels a lot like some of the underground comix being made in San Francisco in the mid-60’s and early 70’s. This connection is underscored by the fact that comix legend Kim Deitch, who was Cruikshank’s boyfriend at the time, worked on this film as the assistant animator.

Make Me Psychic features the characters Quasi and Anita from Cruikshank’s 1975 film Quasi at the Quackdero. Anita buys a Mesmerama at a novelties shop, and accidentally hypnotizes herself. She winds up at a party with all sorts of characters in costume, many of whom move with the characteristic Fleischer studios bounce. Our favorite moment is at 4:54, when the frog waiter pops in and offers Anita “Dwinks!” After some antics and a little crooning, the party meets a wet end due to an accident with a water bed.

This cartoon is one of our all-time favorites. It has all the things we look for in a cartoon to show as part of Eyeworks: really imaginative characters, an eccentric and totally compelling narrative, an awareness of the history of the medium, and above all a very clear sense of the animator’s singular creative vision. It’s a tour-de-force of imagination. Thanks, Sally!

Sally Cruikshank. Make Me Psychic, 1978. 7:55

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1 Response to " Eyeworks: Make Me Psychic "

  1. […] mentioned in our first post on Sally Cruikshank, when we launched the Eyeworks Festival, we kept the work of two filmmakers in […]

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