HAND-DRAWN HISTORIES: The Films of Lee Whitmore
While Lee Whitmore has contributed animation sequences to many feature films, shorts and documentaries, it is her body of four short personal works that are her most unique and original work. The four films are linked through the intimate moments of family life that they depict, the memories they record, and the nostalgic mood of yearning they evoke.
The first, NED WETHERED (1984) records the filmmaker's memory of her childhood and a visitor who often called on the family. The minutiae of suburban lives is poignantly detailed. ON A FULL MOON (1997) and ADA (2002) are further sensitive explorations through memory of childhood and family. Lee's most ambitious work, THE SAFE HOUSE (2006) touches tangentially on a major Australian headline news story in 1954, the defection of Vladimir Petrov and his wife Evdokia – but again sees these events through the gaze of children who cannot comprehend the significance of what they are seeing.
These four films use a variety of technical styles, but all are united in a free-flowing, loosely drawn style that is Lee Whitmore's signature. Traces of Jacques Tati and Yasujiro Ozu can be readily identified in her work, but her whimsical humour, and quiet attention to detail and small gestures are distinctly her own.
All of the films have been honoured at festivals nationally and internationally, have variously been released in cinemas and broadcast on television. This is the first time they have been released together as a single body of work on DVD.
The DVD also includes an in-depth interview with Lee Whitmore about her work.
NED WETHERED (11 mins)
DVD is accompanied by a 28-page DVD booklet - Hand-drawn Histories THE FILMS OF LEE WHITMORE: the animator talks about her process
"Lee Whitmore's four animated films are masterpieces in miniature, exploring and archiving private memories of families and childhood. They are rich in nostalgia and gentle humour, imbued with a strong humanist respect for the characters, and executed with an extraordinary vitality of colour, line and movement. They are so intensely personal and honest that no other animator can come close to their depiction of a private world." - Andrew Pike, film historian.
"This DVD is to my mind the best Animation package ever produced in this country. ... Lee Whitmore's work portrays the Poetry, Magic and Beauty in everyday life. ... Her films captures childhood better than any other filmmaker in Australia. ... For the student of animation or the historian of animation or even as a gift to anyone who wants to take up animation, this DVD is an absolute must." - Jim Bridges, The Cartoon Muse, Australian Cartoon Museum
Email from Caroline Leaf, to Lee Whitmore, 13 November 2011:
You remembered to send me your dvd! Thank you so much.
How beautifully produced it is, the films looking great, the on-camera interviews where you are articulate and specific,
... I dove for Ned Wethered, which is always miraculous to me because it brings to life, by the skill of your storytelling,
I'm glad you're on my shelf only an arm's reach away. Thanks.
Follow this link to view the trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN9CWv3Y37Q
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Due to contractual obligations, some films may not be available in your territory.