504. Satiemania – Zdenko Gasparovic

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SUMMARY: A series of images set to the music of Erik Satie.

WHY IT’S HERE: French composer and pianist Erik Satie is often referred to as the father of modern music whose work is a precursor to surrealism and the Theatre of the Absurd. These strong influences are more than apparent in Croatian animator Zdenko Gasparovic’s ‘Satiemania’, a surrealist animation set to the music of Satie. Though Gasparovic would go on to be best known for his work on various animated TV shows, particularly Nickolodeon series like ‘Rugrats’ and ‘As Told by Ginger’, ‘Satiemania’ remains his masterpiece and a great inspiration on many great animators of the 1980s. Though the film has no plot per se, its images knit together into some kind of logical oneness. The film begins with comic images of various characters walking around to one of Satie’s more upbeat compositions but as the music darkens, so does the imagery. In one particularly memorable moment, a grotesque woman eat a slice of cake bites off her entire hand with it, munching obliviously on her own flesh and bone. This kind of violent imagery abounds along with some sexual content but none of it seems at all exploitative or gratuitous. In one oddly beautiful scene, Gasparovic fixates on a woman’s face as she orgasms, with butterflies emerging from her mouth at the crucial moment.

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