I forget who recommended this to me but the tip was probably a result of my recent work with silhouettes on Ishbelle Bee’s book covers. Shadowland (1988) is a short student film which, for the most part, concerns the conflict between stick-figure humans and an army of giant winged insects. It’s not quite a silhouette work in the manner of Lotte Eisner since the figures and decor all show some solidity. Everything is in shadow, however, hence the title. Watch it here.
This animated short by Anthony Lucas isn’t exactly obscure but I’ve only just noticed that the distributor has the whole film available for viewing on YouTube. The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello blends silhouetted characters and decor with elaborate steam-powered machinery in a manner that looks like the kind of thing Lotte Reiniger might have produced if she’d exchanged her fairy tales for Jules Verne. Impossible to watch Lucas’s film now without thinking “steampunk” but Jasper Morello was made in 2005 and so pre-dates the ongoing explosion of interest in Victoriana, dirigibles and coal-powered contraptions. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on two new steampunk projects which is what brought this to mind. More about those projects later.