By Maria Lopez Conde, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For the next month, the Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB – Brazil’s Bank Cultural Center) in Rio will be presenting the exhibition, Movie-Se, an overview of the history, culture, and future of animation. Conceived and curated by London’s renowned Barbican Centre, the exposition invites visitors to appreciate cartoons as important and influential elements in our culture.
From the earliest black and white cartoons to the latest in contemporary, avant-garde animation, Movie-Se offers a complete view of the history of animation through over one hundred works divided into six themes: Apparitions, Fables and Fragments, Characters, Superhumans, Structures, and Visions.
Instead of introducing titles chronologically, the thematic categories introduce viewers to specific characteristics that make animation work.
Divided in rooms all through the CCBB’s first floor, Movie-Se starts with snippets of movies from the earliest pioneers of animated film: the English Eadweard Muybridge and the French Étienne-Jules Marey and the Lumière Brothers.
These early pictures produced at the end of the 1890s – a cat falling on the ground, a woman dancing, legs walking across the screen – give the viewer a historical context of the birth of movies, and then placed next to a 1929 Walt Disney film featuring lively cartoon skeletons dancing at a cemetery, show just how much the craft advanced in a mere thirty years.
The works in the second room, “Fables and Fragments,” contain some of the most recognizable movies of the twentieth-century. In a dark, cozy, and improvised private screening area, the exhibition encourages viewers to take a seat and revisit classics that bring fables to life, like Walt Disney’s “Snow White” (1937) and “Pinocchio,” (1940) as well as lesser-known, but innovative short films like puppeteer Jiří Trnka’s finest work, “The Hand,” (1965) and Tim Burton’s first stop motion short, “Vincent” (1982).
A collection of the most memorable animated characters of all time greets visitors in the “Characters” section, featuring images and clips of Yogi Bear, Roger Rabbit, Betty Boop and Bart Simpson, among others.
“Superheroes” brings together the Hulk, clips from the Japanese manga-turned-anime cartoon, Sailor Moon (1992-1997), as well as Studio Ghibli’s animated epic, “Princess Monokoke” (1997).
The last two rooms feature movies that focus more on techniques than on accurately portraying well-known stories or realistic characters. Particularly, “Alone: Life Wastes Andy Hardy” (1998) is featured in “Structures,” as a film that makes the leap into experimental art by exploring the DNA of movies with a number of quick scenes after another.
Finally, “Visions” examines the increasingly important role of technology in modern feature films using Disney’s futuristic “Tron” (1982) and artist Ryan Trecartin’s contemporary work. The last part of the exhibit – one created specifically for Brazilian audiences – boasts a small number of Brazilian animated classics.
The exhibition, which opened on February 5th and will remain open until April 7th, has drawn crowds of kids of all ages to the historic CCBB building in downtown Rio. Gilcarlos and Luciana Teixeira, a married couple who found out about the exhibit while walking down Centro, brought their 6-year-old son, Guilherme, here last Sunday.
“I liked the cartoons and that they tell the story of cartoons,” Guilherme said, after walking out of the exhibit. “I think Movie-Se is very educational and great for the entire family,” Mr. Teixeira added.
Movie-Se: No Tempo da Animação
Dates: February 5th – April 7th, 2013
Times: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-9pm
Venue: Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB)
Address: Rua Primeiro de Março, 66 – Centro – RJ