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bruce bickford

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This past Monday I had the chance to see a screening of Monster Road, a documentary directed by Brett Ingram about the eccentric animator, Bruce Bickford. Bickford’s most popular work came in the mid-70s/early-80s doing music videos and short-films with Frank Zappa. See “Baby Snakes“. Surprisingly, the film focused not so much on Bickford’s work, but his character along with his father, a retired Boeing engineer with Alzheimer’s (who passed away in 2005 around a year after the film was released). This father and son story is fascinating, saddening, inspiring, and impressive. Bruce’s dedication to animation for the sake of animation is a wonderful contrast to the strict goal-driven style of his engineer father. The events that shaped the lives of not only Bruce, but his entire family, add a new dimension to the madness of his work. Bruce Bickford is an unrequited modern day poet of stop motion animation. His work emanates a deep sense of dedication and passion. With each tiny movement you are brought a bit deeper into his mad world. He’s a truly remarkable character that is deserving of much more attention than he’s received. I highly recommend this documentary, available in full at Hulu. – Andrew

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