Film and TV

Karen Yasinsky Talks Surrealist Animation and Boredom

Karen Yasinsky is not afraid to test her audience's patience. Often, she animates slight variations of one shot and leaves the viewer with that single image for minutes on end. Her films are quiet, and in their stillness and subtlety, they are a violent rupture from the speed, aggression and plot-driven nature of Hollywood movies. They elicit a tactical boredom -- and in doing so, Yasinsky forces audiences to lose their expectations about how a movie should work and what kind of time viewers should spend with one image. The result is emotional, quiet and concentrated. Her films are like dreams slowed down, elongated, mulled over. Few images connect logically, if at all. Each shot is an expression of emotion, and even the characters she creates are not propelled by wants and needs or urgency. They're stuck in a state of emotional limbo.

In advance of tonight's screening of Yasinski's films at First Person Cinema, Westword spoke with the filmmaker about her work.

See also: Jodie Mack on Her Rock-Opera Documentary and Experimental Animation

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris