Bruce Bickford’s “Prometheus’ Garden”

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Prometheus’ Garden is a most fascinating psychedelic stop-motion animation by Bruce Bickford

Prometheus Garden: Trailer

 Bright Eye Pictures is making Prometheus’ Garden available to the public for the first time since its completion two decades ago in 1988. Prometheus Garden is a 28 minutes stop-motion animation by legendary clay animation underground artist Bruce Bickford. Bickford has influenced and inspired generations of artists and mystified animation critics with his startlingly original vision, yet fame still somehow eluded him.

The DVD features a commentary track by Bickford, an alternate score by Shark Quest’s Laird Dixon, and the half hour documentary featurette, ‘Luck of a Foghorn’: the Making of Bruce Bickford’s Prometheus’ Garden, directed by Brett Ingram.

Prometheus’ Garden: Excerpt of the DVD

Story: Inspired by the Greek myth of Prometheus, a Titan who created the first mortals from clay and stole fire from the gods, Prometheus’ Garden immerses viewers in a cinematic universe unlike any other. The dark and magical images of this haunting film unfold in a dreamlike stream of consciousness revealing an unlikely cast of clay characters engaged in a violent struggle for survival.

Enchanted forests, animated torture chambers, hamburgers that morph into mythical monsters, and epic battles between giants, fairies, and anachronistic historical figures populate just a small corner of Bickford’s animated universe. Like all Bickford films, Prometheus’ Garden defies description and simply must be experienced.

Film scholar Michael Frierson on Bruce Bickford:

Bickford offers us a visionary landscape, a hallucinogenic retreat into magical settings where figure and ground may transform into the other at any moment, enchanted settings in which modern technocrats are easy villains and nature is under siege.

(Michael Frierson)

He has been described as the world’s only "outsider artist" working in the medium of animation. He has been recognized as a "genius" by Frank Zappa and countless other iconoclasts. Under employment by Frank Zappa, Bickford relinquished creative control of his work (which was edited and scored by Zappa). Consequently, Prometheus’ Garden is Bickford’s most comprehensive and least compromised vision.

The DVD is for sale at the Bright Eye Pictures site by Brett Ingram:

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