The Animated Films of Suzan Pitt


Thursday, October 15, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St

Since the 1970s, Suzan Pitt has created some of the most acclaimed and influential independent animations of her generation. Best known for Asparagus (1979)—which screened with David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977) on the 1970's midnight movie circuit—Pitt creates lavishly hand-painted and stop-motion films of shape-shifting characters and meanings. A woman navigates a field of psychosexual vegetation, another finds salvation in an unlikely animated muse, and shadowy figures stalk a noir nightscape. Pitt introduces and discusses a selection of films spanning her four-decade career, including Asparagus (1979), Joy Street (1995), Whitney Commercial (1973), Visitation (2011), and Pinball (2013). Prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

1973–2013, Suzan Pitt, USA, multiple formats, ca 60 min + discussion

Please note: Suzan Pitt will discuss her films via Skype. She will not be able to appear in person, as previously announced.

Suzan Pitt (1943) is a painter and animator. Her award-winning films have been exhibited around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Ottawa International Animated Film Festival, Morelia International Film Festival, and the Image Forum Film Festival in Tokyo. The International Association of Film Animation (ASIFA) recently named her 1979 film Asparagus as one of the best animated films of the past half century. In addition to her short animations, Pitt has produced live film performances, directed music videos and spots for public television, and designed sets, costumes, and films for the State Opera Theater in Hamburg, Germany and the State Opera Theater in Wiesbaden, Germany. Pitt is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Rockefeller Fellowship. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and the upper peninsula of Michigan and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. 


Suzan Pitt, still from Asparagus, 1979. Courtesy of the artist Suzan Pitt, still from Joy Street, 1995. Courtesy of the artist Suzan Pitt, still from Pinball, 2013. Courtesy of the artist