Author Archives: svaref

At the New York International Children’s Film Festival, pt.2

Pt.2 from Keisha L. Wilkerson-Gammage, Cataloging technician at the library and SVA alumna:
This Saturday I had the chance of attending the world premier of Foosball; screened at the SVA Theater. Known as Metegol in Argentina, the film was directed by Juan J. Campanella, whose career spans such works as ’30 Rock’, ‘House MD’, ‘Law and Order: SVU’ and ‘Law and Order: Criminal Intent (on going), Strangers with Candy and Six Degrees. Other notables are the ‘The Boy Who Cried Bitch’ and ‘Love Walked in’.


Foosball is Juan J. Campanella’s “first” animated film and I must say the graphic work was amazing. On first glance it doesn’t look like much due to the stylization but under closer inspection you can see such a great attention to detail with the characters and overall surroundings. The worn out paint finish on the foosball characters made you feel like these humanoid pieces of time honored pastime had seen a lot of action throughout their years. I’ve seen many foosball tables but never understood how they worked, until seeing this film. It was a big turn out for a lot of Spanish speaking families that day. I’m amazed at how popular soccer is over baseball in those countries. Lots of reactions from parents and children who attended. It was a very heart felt film, I even teared up. The film also comes with a disclaimer stating that it contains some “cultural in-sensitivities” as well as content that you won’t see in American mainstream animation. Aside from that it’s a very fun and family friendly film. Foosball tells the story of a father and son’s disconnect and later reconnection as the son learns the significance (and mystique) behind his father’s Foosball table. Sadly the director was unavailable for this event. Foosball was a box office hit in it’s native Argentina, as well as other Spanish speaking countries, Europe and parts as well as Asian speaking countries. I really hope that this film does get a DVD release.

On Sunday I finally had the chance to attend the English premier of ‘Ernest and Celestine‘; screened at the IFC. It was a pretty good turnout for a Sunday. Surprisingly, this crowd was pretty lively. Co-director Benjamin Renner attended this screening giving a brief introduction before the film and Q&A at the end. During the session Renner stated that ‘Ernest and Celestine’ had been in production for 4 years.

I had the chance to speak with him briefly after the crowd had dispersed. He had to prepare for the next screening later that evening. Renner stated that the film is mostly 2D hand drawn animation done on a computers and tablets. He admitted that CG (assist) was used in the film, while not obvious unless you know what to look for this film still acts and breathes like any 2D film you’ve ever seen. The simple line work and washed water colors gives off a storybook effect that is reminiscent to the children’s books we’ve read as children. Renner does hope to have another opportunity to work on other animated projects but couldn’t comment what works he’ll be doing in the future, if any. Renner stated that he’s possibly going to work on a graphic novel sometime in the near future.

Benjamin Renner:

Ernest and Celestine will be continuing it’s run at the IFC for the remainder of this week as part of the festival. If you didn’t/don’t get a chance to see it in the theaters, the BD/DVD will be available in June of this year. We’ve already put in our preorder. More details about the production of the film will be available in the DVD, states Renner. Ernest and Celestine; directed by Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner is their own take on a prequel based on the original books produced by Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent during the early 80s. The books have since been reprinted some years ago. Ernest and Celestine is the story of a friendship between two unlikely individuals. Celestine a mouse (orphan) and Ernest (poor recluse) a bear.

100 Illustrators – ed. by Steven Heller & Julius Weidemann

The SVA Library received a large donation of books on illustration and design from Steven Heller, for which a bookmark sticker was created by Louise Fili, a designer and scholar in her own right. Looking at Heller’s latest editorial collaboration, 100 Illustrators, I was amused to find an 8-bit caricature of Heller gracing the opening page of vol. 1 (vol. 2 has a very different illustration of Julius Wiedemann, I presume). You can see the contrast above. Vive le difference!

100 illustrators / ed. Steven Heller & Julius Wiedemann – NC998.4 .O54 2013 v.1-v.2

Among the 100 are the following SVA faculty and/or alumni (and possibly more): Marshall Arisman, Steve Brodner, Seymour Chwast, Paul Davis, Tomer Hanuka, Paul Hoppe, Mirko Ilić, Maira Kalman, Hanoch Piven, and Yuko Shimizu. See below to explore these artists further:

Modern mixed media with Marshall Arisman – V-A A747 Mod DVD

Freedom fries / by Steve Brodner – NC1426.3.B76 B76 2004

Left-handed designer / by Seymour Chwast ; edited by Steven Heller – NC999.4.C48 A4 1985

Paul Davis Posters & paintings / text by Paul Davis. – NC1850.D38 A4 1977 Location: Reinhold Brown Collection – Library Use Only

Overkill : the art of Tomer Hanuka / designed and edited by Anton Ioukhnovets – NC973.8.H36 O84 2011

Mirko Ilić : fist to face / by Dejan Kršić – NC999.6.B67 K75 2012

Maira Kalman : various illuminations (of a crazy world) / Ingrid Schaffner – N6537.K236 A4 2010

What presidents are made of / by Hanoch Piven – PZ7.P68 Wha 2004

Yuko Shimizu / Yuko Shimizu. – NC975.5.S54 A4 2011

At the New York International Children’s Film Festival, pt.1

Keisha L. Wilkerson-Gammage, Cataloging technician at the library and SVA alumna, brings us this report:
This was the first weekend of the New York International Children’s Film Festival, which the SVA Theater is now a proud part of, increasing the list of venues around NYC.

My first stop was the IFC Theater.

“It’s a coming of age story. About 10 year olds, black envelopes and palindromes.”:

Directed by Alfredo Soderguit, ‘Anina‘ is the latest entry from Uruguay. The film is based on the popular children’s novel ‘Anina Yatay Salas’ written by Sergio Lopez Suarez. Anina tells the story of a 10 year old girl who’s name lands her in a bit of hot water. After having a skirmish with another student, named Yisel, both are sent to the principal’s office and given one of the strangest punishments ever. Each receives a black envelope sealed with wax that they must carry with them at all times, unable to open them until the punishment is over. This sets both students on a path allowing them to grow as individuals. And sometimes what you know isn’t really what you thought. Lessons learned. I really enjoyed this film. The music score aided the visuals perfectly. The animation direction is a combination of 2D and paper animaton; giving it a storybook feel which is the overall charm of the film. Even in its simplicity, there were small details that made it feel somewhat realistic, from the moisture on the outside windows of the city bus on a rainy day, to the movement when it turns the corner. You can see how it feels like paper cut-outs, but the animation is smooth giving a realistic feel. Anina is a really fun film to watch and a testament to how 2D animated works like these can still be made and given new life.

My second stop was the SVA Theater for the North American premier of ‘The House of Magic‘ in 3D.
During my wait to see House of Magic I shot some photos of Brazilian artist Ale Abreu (click thumbnails below for full size images of Abreu), who attended the debut of his new film Boy and the World. Abreu seen here signing posters before his Q&A session. Due to unforeseeable matters, I unfortunately did not get the chance to attend this event.


“Eccentric magicians, cats and a surly old curmudgeon of a rabbit. That FACE!!!”

House of Magic tells the story of an abandoned cat who ends up taking shelter at a mysterious mansion owned by a retired magician. Given the name ‘Thunder’ by the kindly Lawrence, he’s quickly adopted into the family of animated “do-hickeys” and “thinga-ma-bobs”. However his happiness is short-lived due to the current residents; Jack and Maggie who’ve been with the “old man” longer and they “don’t take kindly to freeloaders”. But Thunder is the least of their worries because Lawrence’s nephew wants EVERYONE gone, and with good reason.

House of Magic is the latest film produced by nWave Pictures. Directed by Ben Strassen and Jeremy Degruson who’s previous works, are Fly Me to the Moon and A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures. The film was released in France last year in 2013, but has since been dubbed in English to reach a wider audience. It has been said that Strassen’s work rivals that of current 3D animation studios. With great attention to detail with lighting, textures and fluid movements, it truly is a quality piece of work in action. Some of the lighting effects during the day and the shadows gave me a feeling of nostalgia. It was a 3D film but somehow I felt like I was looking at a block I used to live during my childhood. I truly enjoyed this little feature. It is definitely a film worth seeing with family members. It truly needs a US DVD release.

The NYICFF is held annually around the first Friday in March through the end of the month. The festival has now chosen the SVA Theater in addition to their list of screening venues. Eric Beckman founded the NY Int’l Children’s Film Festival back in 1997. He’s the president and co-founder. The goal was to establish a festival solely for children to enjoy films from all over the world. Since then the festival has grown exponentially, to Oscar level. So if you have any children and you want them to see a variety of different animated and indie films [from all over the world] other than the usual mainstream, this is a festival just for them.

Learning the Business Lessons of a Creative Break-up

Following up on the recent post of ‘A Font is Born: Inside the Creative Process of Hoefler and Frere-Jones’, the oddly timed short documentary on their partnership which dissolved shortly after the filming, FastCo Design has four lessons for creatives to draw from the legal fracas. Here are the bullet points, but click the link for the details:

To explore the professional side of working in the design field:

The education of a typographer / edited by Steven Heller – Z250 .E295 2004

The Creative business guide to running a graphic design business / Cameron S. Foote – NC998.5.A1 F663 2009

The Graphic design business book / Tad Crawford – NC1001.6 .C69 2005

Inside the business of graphic design : 60 leaders share their secrets of success / Catharine Fishel. – NC1001 .F56 2003

Becoming a graphic designer : a guide to careers in design / Steven Heller & Teresa Fernandes. – NC1001 .H45 2006

Burn your portfolio : stuff they don’t teach you in design school, but should / Michael Janda. – NC590 .J363 2013

Nan Goldin’s Varied Tones

Nan Goldin looks back at her pathbreaking career and where her work is now in Eden and After, a new book coming out this month (and on order for the SVA Library’s collection).
>> As the years go by, one senses that mortality itself is her underlying subject and that all her books are books of remembering.
“Yes,” [Goldin] agrees, “but my work is full of light now, too. Sometimes people don’t seem to see that. They refer constantly to The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and think I am the same person that took those pictures. That series is stark. It’s all flash-lit. I honestly didn’t know about natural light then and how it affected the colour of the skin because I never went out in daylight. The work I do now has so many different tones. There is a huge difference in it and in me.” <<

Fantastic tales : the photography of Nan Goldin / Jonathan Weinberg, Joyce Henri Robinson. – TR680 .G65 2005a

Nan Goldin / Guido Costa. – TR680 .G65 2010 Rare Book Case – In Library Use Only

Beautiful smile : the Hasselblad Award 2007 / Nan Goldin ; edited with Jack Ritchey, Gerhard Steidl, Walter Keller. – TR680 .G65 2007

Nan Goldin : I’ll be your mirror / edited by Nan Goldin – TR680 .G65 1996

Difficult Posters Against Aesthetic Appetites – new books!

Art deco poster / William W. Crouse – NC1845.A68 C76 2013

Elliott Erwitt’s kolor /Elliott Erwitt – TR654 .E79 2013

Art and appetite : American painting, culture, and cuisine / edited by Judith A. Barter – ND1460.F64 A66 2013

Modern art cookbook / Mary Ann Caws. – TX714 .C39 2013

Hold it against me : difficulty and emotion in contemporary art / Jennifer Doyle. – NX650.E46 D698 2013

Our aesthetic categories : zany, cute, interesting / Sianne Ngai – BH201 .N485 2012

Shakespeare’s End of the Never Family Monster Crown – new movies!

Much ado about nothing / adapted for the screen and directed by Joss Whedon

Monsters University / directed by Dan Scanlon. – V-AN D476 MonU DVD

Parade’s End / written by Tom Stoppard ; directed by Susanna White – V-TV W557 Par DVD

The Hollow Crown. The complete series : Richard II, Henry IV part 1, Henry IV part 2, Henry V / by William Shakespeare – V-TV S534 Hol DVD

Metallica : through the never /directed by Nimród Antal – V-M M483 Thr DVD

Family tree. The complete first season / directed by Christopher Guest ; written by Christopher Guest & Jim Piddock – V-TV G847 Fam DVD

SVA Library Photo Contest

The SVA Library is holding a contest to find great photos of the library from the perspective of our students. Have a composed photo, a snapshot, an Instagram pic, any shot that you think illustrates the library well? Please enter to win a prize and help us advertise the library.

Theme: My SVA Library

1st Place – $100 SVA Computer Store gift certificate.
2nd Place – $50 SVA Computer Store gift certificate.
3rd Place – $25 SVA Computer Store gift certificate.

All winners will have their submission displayed in the SVA library from April 1st to May 5th

All submissions should be sent to and must be received by March 28th 2014.
Submissions should include:
1. Student’s Name, 2. ID#, 3. Major and 4. Year.
Submit up to 2 jpeg images in any format.

Milton Glaser for Mad Men’s Last Season

This morning on my commute I happened to see the poster for the upcoming and final season of Mad Men. Admiring the image I looked for the signature and was not surprised to see it was the work of SVA’s Milton Glaser. In a neat historical trick the master designer who helped give the late 60s/early 70s its distinctive visual look returns with a thematic poster for the end of the show’s era.

To explore Mad Men, the era, and Milton Glaser’s work further:
Mad Men:
Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4

Mad men unbuttoned : a romp through 1960s America / Natasha Vargas-Cooper. – PN1992.77.M226 V37 2010

Mid-century ads : advertising from the Mad Men era / edited by Jim Heimann ; introduction by Steven Heller. – NC998.5.A1 A66 2012 v.01 & v. 02 – OVERSIZE Stack

In search of the miraculous or one thing leads to another / Milton Glaser – NC999.4.G55 A4 2012

A Font Is Born: Inside the Creative Process of Hoefler and Frere-Jones

Interested in cool typefaces and typeface design? Take a look at “A Font Is Born: Inside the Creative Process of Hoefler and Frere-Jones”. Frere-Jones created Gotham, the breakout typeface of the 2008 Obama election. And now it looks like they are breaking up their partnership!

To explore typography and typographers further:

Tobias Frere-Jones : Gerrit Noordzij prize exhibition / – Z250.A2 F73 2009

Just my type : a book about fonts / Simon Garfield. – Z250 .G237 2010

Design for Obama : posters for change : a grassroots anthology / edited by Spike Lee and Aaron Perry-Zucker ; essay by Steven Heller – E906 .D49 2009

Lettering & type : creating letters and designing typefaces / Bruce Willen, Nolen Strals – Z250 .W598 2009

Designing type / Karen Cheng – Z246 .C44 2005

The elements of typographic style / Robert Bringhurst – Z246 .B74 2004