Films by Fred Mogubgub Films by Fred Mogubgub

Films by Fred Mogubgub

It’s debatable whether the films below qualify as “animation” but the filmmaker behind them, Fred Mogubgub, was an important part of New York’s indie animation scene in the 1960s and 1970s, and a founder of the commercial studio Ferro, Mogubgub and Schwartz. Whatever you want to call them, they are excellent examples of pop art filmmaking. The videos were posted onto YouTube courtesy of the NY studio Asterisk Animation.

The Pop Show: A Pop Art extravaganza by Fred Mogubgub from the late-1960s, innovative in the use of the quick cut, this film is a parade of pop icons of its time. Features a pre-Playboy, pre-N. O. W. Gloria Steinem.

Enter Hamlet: A film set to Maurice Evans’ recording of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

The Great Society: A parade of popular consumer items cut to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

  • Not to give the comment that everyone’s expecting, but I’d be a lot more comfortable calling this animation than I would mocap. Even the really quick cutting in the first short is just right on the boundary between the spirit and technique of animation and the technical reality of live action.

    I guess you could probably call the second short “celluloid comics” like you could call mocap “digital puppetry” but this guy still made a film like an animator, in technique and in the resulting style that emerges from that technique.

    Anyway, it was pleasant.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    The second short would probably be considered ‘animated’ than the other two in its use of drawings timed to the reading of the soliloquy more than anything. I actually saw “Enter Hamlet” some time ago from a video someone sent me of different experimental/animated films and found this one particularly pleasing the most, and it reminded me of something similar I saw about 17 years ago I couldn’t put my thumb on until it came back to me. Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman once commissioned a series of ID’s for a local TV station out of Minnesota that used the concept of taking quotes and timing the lines to a series of drawings that flash on the screen with the words printed on screen. A similar bit was also used for several ID’s made for HA! TV Comedy Network around ’90.

  • Joshua Smith

    Thanks for posting these. They are very reminiscent of the similarly “animated” films of Japanese pop artist (and occasional actor and musician) Tadanori Yokoo. As it turns out out, these can also be found on youtube:

    I’d also say these films qualify as animation at least as much as Clutch Cargo does.

  • I think we start to dilute “animation” when we apply it to too many things. These clips are really “editing”.

    I’m not saying they are bad. A couple are rather thought provoking. But the “illusion of life” that is the core of animation is not there.

  • doug holverson

    I liked the bug crawling across the counter in the one clip in “The Great Society”.

  • I liked a finger tipping a box of Niagra starch at the conclusion of The
    Great Society.