Sand Animations from Giselle and Nag Ansorge (1967-1991)
Animated Shorts created by frame by frame animation of sand
Language: minimal French
DivX avi rip from VHS -reasonable quality
Director: Giselle and Nag Ansorge
Giselle and husband Nag Ansorge create some of the most evocative sand animations ever produced.
Gisèle Dietrich was born on 9 February 1923 in the French Jura. Although she wouild have preferred to study art, she studied pharmacy in Lausanne. She finished her studies in 1948.
Ernest Ansorge was born in Lausanne on 28 February 1925. He hated his first name, choosing instead the nickname Nag, which originated from his early days as a boy scout. Nag studied at Lausanne's Ecole Polytechnique Universitaire and graduated as an engineer in 1951.
Nag met Gisèle and the couple became increasingly interested in the cinema. They decided to make marionette films after seeing Jiri Trnka's famous Czech Legends.The couple married and settled in Zurich in 1952, where Nag was already working as a mechanical engineer. Zurich at the time was a hub of film creation in Switzerland; this influenced the Ansorges' decision to enter film making.
Nag spent time working with mental patients at Cery Hospital between 1961 and 1981. The patients worked on both animated and live films with him. This contact provided the couple with much of their unique stream of conscious, surreal subject matter.
Extract from article Animated Films In Psychiatry
The Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Lausanne
Cery Hospital, 1962-1981 by Nag Ansorge
In 1962, I had just finished filming a documentary about the new buildings of the Cery Psychiatric Hospital near Lausanne, Switzerland when Professor Muller suggested the idea of acquiring a 16 mm camera for his patients.
"What could you do with a camera and some patients?" he asked me. A little infatuated with the idea, I said, "I'm going to try to do something... The experiment interests me. How will I introduce myself to a group of patients that I don't know at all?" However, I have to say that after the first 30 seconds, my infatuation was satisfied. I asked the first group of patients, "Do you have anything to say or show by means of a camera?" There was hardly a moment of silence. They all suddenly said, "Yes, there's something to say." My experiment lasted 19 years. Thirteen films were made, from 10 to 20 minutes in length, of which eight were animated.
A Life Altering Experience
On a personal level, this activity was a revelation for me. Since I didn't represent any medical authority, my relationship with the patients gradually became very direct and friendly. The way in which the patients analyzed things and made judgments allowed me to learn to know myself better. I discovered a world profoundly human, which had to work with very great suffering, the intensity of which is hard to imagine.
These films should not arouse compassion, but rather an interest and a sense of active conscience in the face of the mystery of mental illness. The discovery of this thrilling milieu has certainly greatly influenced the themes treated in the films Gisèle, my wife, and I made.
1967 - Les Corbeaux
1969 – Fantasmatic
1970 – Alunissons
1975 - Le Chat Caméléon
1975 - Smile 1
1975 - Smile 2
1975 - Smile 3
1977 – Anima
1982 - Das Veilchen
1984 - Les enfant de Laine
1988 - Le Petit Garçon que Vola la Lune
1991 - Sabbat