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Week of May 5, 2004

A Short History of Polish Animation (unrated) Implicitly and explicitly political, astonishingly diverse in content and style, magnificently interpreted by music and sound, Polish animation from 1962 to 2001 models the rich potential of the art form. Two distinct programs feature hand-drawn and computer-generated works, wet paint layered on cells (a breath-taking "Horse"), rubber stamping, puppetry and stop motion, innovative use of heavy plaster plates (the amazing "Gentle Spirit") and collages. Animators infuse irony, dark humor and allegory with surrealist touches to present thematically dangerous material: one man unsuccessfully rebelling against totalitarian domination in "Everything Is a Number"; a character struggling through an unnamed city of deceptive appearances in "Labyrinth"; and abstract participants physically sparring, intent on occupying "A Chair" at an official conference table. The Polish animation programs contain sensuous, satiric and challenging masterpieces. Program 1: 1962-1985 screens at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 6; Program 2: 1958-2001 screens at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7. Both programs are in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)

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