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Allison Schulnik's Mound (2011)

It’s spooky and soothing all at once, a unique mood from a unique artist.

Image of a crowd of figures out of clay, with big eyes and cloaks looking at the camera. From Allison Schulnik's Mound (2011)

This Monday Short was originally published on September 4, 2017. We are uploading Peter Hemminger's extensive Monday Short archive until it is exhausted.

Eager (2014) may be her more accomplished film, a haunting ballet choreographed in decomposing clay, but Allison Schulnik’s Mound is a masterpiece in its own right. Schulnik seems infatuated with textures in her paintings and in her animation; her cast of characters in Mound are carved with toothpick lines and thumbprints visible on their writhing surfaces. The crudely carved faces can seem downright ghoulish, and with a different soundtrack they might read that way; backed by Scott Walker’s It’s Raining Again, the film instead walks an uneasy line between sensual and unsettling. Everything pulsates, melts, merges and reforms, a mound of clay split into a phantasmagorical assortment of characters, set to odd life by the magic of stop motion. It’s spooky and soothing all at once, a unique mood from a unique artist.

dir. Allison Schulnik

Cinematography. Helder K. Sun.

"It's Raining Today" written by Noel Scott Engel

2011