The Films of Sheila Graber
HOWWAY THE LASSES 1977 1 minute
Commissioned by TTTV for a programme on ‘Women in the North East’. It traces very briefly a history of Ceordie Women from stone-age kitchen sink through Roman occupation to Grace Darling; and Ellen Wilkinson helping lead the Jarrow March. The title is derived from a local saying ‘Howway the Lads’ often heard in dulcet tones at local football matches… in translation it means ‘Oh do get a move on’
WILLIAM BLAKE 1978 5 minutes
I took my animation gear down to the Sculpture Hall of the Tate Gallery during their Blake exhibition. Here the film was constructed, at the same time demonstrating the wide uses of animation in an ‘Educational’ context.
Backed by ‘Carmina Burana’ the film moves around some of Blake’s images to show something of his dynamic philosophy of Good and Evil as experienced by the Poet Figure.
CHRISTMAS ROUND THE WORLD 1978 4 minutes
Years of drawing Santa Clauses and Robins in many and varied unlikely positions for cards and school decorations formed the basis for this film. A friend and musical colleague Brenda Orwin provided over 25 variations of ‘Jingle Bells’ for the sound track – each one conjuring up the atmosphere of a different country.
MONDRIAN 1978 3 minutes
I always wanted to make a film showing how 20th century ‘abstract’ art emerged over a period of time. Mondrian seemed just right for such a film. Set to Boogie-Woogie beat (his favourite music), I hoped to show his gradual and carefully directed change from ‘Realism’ to Cubism and late ‘Neo-Plasticism’ – hinting at his deep interest in Theosophy.
MAKING TIME 1978 3 minutes
A track on a Waldo-dc-los Rios record of ‘Mozart in the 70s reminded me of a clock ticking. A friend of mine mends clocks and he kindly explained the basic mechanisms involved; I then received a digital watch for Christmas and this provided the final impetus to make this film, a history of how time had been kept from moon calendars to sundials and weight driven early clockwork to (of course) digital watches – with a hint of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which questions the whole concept of time as we mark it.
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