DIRECTED BY: Suzan Pitt
FEATURING: Jose Luis Rodriguez Avalos (“El Doctor”)
PLOT: A collection of three surreal animated shorts. In “El Doctor”, a Mexican doctor visits odd patients while dreaming of a long dead love. “Joy Street” contrasts a the life of a whimsical anthropomorphic ashtray with its suicidally depressed owner. “Asparagus” is a totally abstract surrealist film featuring a faceless woman and obscene iterations of the titular vegetable.
WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: It’s a question of classification, not of weirdness or quality. Counting these three short films, made decades apart, as one “movie” for List purposes would clearly be cheating. That means that we’re really only considering the compilation’s main event, “Asparagus,” for inclusion on the List, which raises the metaphysical question: how good/weird does a short have to be take away a spot from a deserving feature length presentation? Some shorts will eventually make the List. “The Heart of the World,” though a “must see” weird film, was eliminated from consideration for being too slim at just over three minutes long. Pitt’s impressive work clocks in at 18 minutes—should that be enough to put it on equal footing with films that run four or five times as long?
COMMENTS: Considering the shorts included in The Films of Suzan Pitt from most recent to oldest, and coincidentally from least favorite to most highly recommended:
“El Doctor” sports the crudest animation of the three shorts; deliberately, because the style means to evoke Mexican folk art. We find the title character slumped at a bar, dreaming of riding into the sunset on horseback with a señorita, but soon the world-weary médico is called away to his strange and melancholy rounds. These appointments—which take the form of miracles—don’t do too much for the main narrative; mainly, they supply Pitt with the opportunity to take mini-flights of fancy. There’s not much to the story other than these surreal digressions. One patient is pocked with holes from which flowers grow, giving Pitt the opportunity to film a field of flowers as if they were a rainforest (an image which pervades all Continue reading LIST CANDIDATE: THE FILMS OF SUZAN PITT (1979/1995/2006)