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Ülo Pikkov: Retrospective (15)

October 26, 2013
9:00 pm

A retrospective of multi award-winning Estonian animator Ülo Pikkov’s body of work.

Ülo’s films are extremely varied stylistically – from the kind of illustration you would expect to see in a colourful children’s book, in his debut film Bermuda (1998) – to the more surreal and disturbing imagery of the Headless Horseman (2001). The early shorts have a strong narrative, such as Year of the Monkey (2003), in which a monkey leaves the zoo and achieves virtually instant success in everything he puts his hand to (as a ski jumper and a rock star, for example), but in recent years his work appears to be departing from a more obvious narrative, such as in Body Memory (2011), an extremely striking and disturbing stop-motion animation where human figures made of string are confined in a box and gradually unravelled by invisible outside forces.

As well as producing a distinct and highly acclaimed body of work over almost twenty years, made exclusively at Eesti Joonisfilm and Nuku Film studios in Tallin, he is also the founder and associate professor of the Animation Department of the Estonian Academy of the Arts, the manager and producer for documentary and animation film at his company Silmviburlane and the author of the 2010 book Animasophy: Theoretical Writings on the Animated Film.

Dark and harrowing, hilarious and irreverent, thought-provoking and lyrical, Ülo’s films are powerful visualisations of the animated form.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, Ülo Pikkov’s Q&A after the screening is now cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience.

At Barbican book tickets

Estonian Embassy in London

We are very proud to welcome Ülo to LIAF, whose visit has been made possible by the kind generosity of the Estonian Embassy, London.

Bermuda (Ülo Pikkov, 1998)

Bermuda, Ülo Pikkov, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalA dreamy love triangle between a mermaid, a sailor with a wooden leg and a flute-playing centaur, who live among the sand dunes of a desert landscape. Ülo’s debut hand-drawn film is full of charm and wit, in equal measures, and never fails to delight.

Estonia, 11’10

The Headless Horseman (Ülo Pikkov, 2001)

The Headless Horseman, Ülo Pikkov, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalA story of a solitary and brutal hero from the Grand Canyon, a horseman without a head.

Estonia, 11’00

The Year of the Monkey (Ülo Pikkov, 2003) 

The Year of the Monkey, Ülo Pikkov, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalBy the will of fate, a monkey who lives in the Zoo is forced to start living like a human being. The monkey is mistaken for a drunken Santa Claus and is taken to a detox-centre. Will human society accept its new member?

Estonia, 12’00

Taste of Life (Ülo Pikkov, 2006)

Taste of Life, Ülo Pikkov, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalExtreme massage as a metaphor for the big issues of life. A truly bizarre film that will tie you in knots.

Estonia, 11’15

Dialogues (Ülo Pikkov, 2008)

Dialogues, Ülo Pikkov, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalA chaotic, visceral film pointing the finger – in a mocking and absurd way – at contemporary, high-tech society.

Estonia, 5’00

Body Memory (Ülo Pikkov, 2011)

Body Memory, Keha Malu, Ülo Pikkov, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalMany memories dangle by the finest of threads, which are being pulled by forces out of sight and out of control.

Estonia, 10’00

The End (Ülo Pikkov, 2012)

The End, Ülo Pikkov, LIAF, London International Animation FestivalIt is said a dying man sees his life racing before his eyes. What does a 100-year-old film strip see before it gives way to the digital realm? Broken frames, scratched filmstock or something else?

Estonia, 5’40