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The Bruce Bickford Memorial Micro Symposium at the Tacoma Film Festival

October 4th 9:15pm

Bruce Bickford's Prometheus Garden

Internationally renowned self-taught animator, filmmaker, and artist Bruce Bickford passed away in April 2019 at age 72. In his honor, filmmaker Isaac Olsen and the Bickford Estate have organized a first of its kind retrospective of the life and work of Bruce Bickford.

The Bruce Bickford Memorial Micro Symposium

The Tacoma Film Festival program includes a new transfer of Bickford's masterpiece Prometheus Garden (28 min, 1988); two line animations, The Comic That Frenches Your Mind (7 min, 2008) and Atilla (7 min, 2017), and footage from the uncompleted live action film Matchstick Man. 

Isaac Olsen and guests will present commentary alongside never before seen home movies, interviews, and rare making-of documentation.  


Bruce Bickford with some of his creations
Bruce Bickford's animated films feature an obsessive attention to detail and surreal stream of consciousness narratives; a unique combination incompatible with mainstream culture. 

He was born and raised in what is now considered Seatac, Washington where he continued to live and work, engulfed in his innovative animation daily, working patiently in the house he grew up in, churning out a staggering body of work. 

Bruce approached American musician and composer Frank Zappa in 1973, resulting in seven years spent in L.A. working exclusively on various Zappa film and video projects, including the groundbreaking concert film Baby Snakes, which heavily featured Bruce's innovative clay-animated morphing sequences, and paved the way for MTV techniques popularized a decade later. Bruce's work for Zappa cemented Bruce's cult-figure status in the animation community.  

The Comic That Frenches Your Mind Bruce Bickford
Bruce returned to the Northwest in 1981, where he spent the remainder of his life working on his own projects, completing two more long-form clay animated films: Prometheus Garden (1988),  Cas'l (2015), dozens of line animated shorts, and several yet unpublished graphic novels.

Since 2004, interest in Bickford‘s work has continued to grow, aided by the award winning documentary “Monster Road” directed by Brett Ingram.

He has left behind, along with his legacy, thousands of hand sculpted clay figurines and dioramas which featured in his clay animated films, hundreds of thousands of individual drawings which comprised his line animated sequences, and other cardboard, paper, and fiber sculptures; enough to fill a museum.


The Bruce Bickford Micro Memorial Symposium
Friday, October 4, 2019 at 9:15 PM
The Grand Cinema, Theater 1
606 Fawcett Avenue, 98402
Tickets now available for purchase online and at the box office

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