Vivien Halas presented an evening of short films by her mother, Joy Batchelor, who was born a hundred years ago this year. Joy Batchelor, despite being one of the most important British animation directors of the twentieth century, is virtually unknown today, something this event – and others like it – seeks to address. Joy married John Halas, a Hungarian emigre, and had to renounce her British citizenship and become a Hungarian national to avoid her husband being interred on the Isle Of Wight. Together they founded the Halas & Batchelor film studio, which produced hundreds of animated shorts films and the feature films Animal Farm (1954) and Ruddigore (1968).
The screening was curated by Vivien and Jez Stewart of the BFI, who also had many of the films transferred from 35mm film prints for the occasion. The screening opened with the new film, Ode To Joy, which is a short introduction to her work and narrated by Zoe Wanamaker.
The films shown were
- Ode to Joy (2014) (http://youtu.be/AN0897fFc3Y)
- Garden Pests and how to deal with them (1944)
- Old Wives’ Tales [Extract] (1946)
- Radio Ructions (1946)
- Flu-ing Squad (1951)
- Think Of The Future (1956) (http://youtu.be/Fk6lFIhFe2c?list=UUvq-1HSPcsNXUd04HGSD0gQ)
- Little Ig (1957)
- Ruddigore [Extract] (1968)
- Contact [Extract] (1973)
- Ten for survival [Extract] (1979)
Here is Ode To Joy on YouTube:
In the audience were Julia Seiber, daughter of Hungarian composer Matyas Seiber (who composed the music for many of the Halas & Batchelor films) and Roger Mainwood, one of the animators at the studio in the 1970s.
Afterwards Vivien signed copies of her book A Moving Image: Joy Batchelor 191401991, which is reviewed here: http://armadillocentral.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/a-moving-image-joy-batchelor/
Still life with book and flowers.
You can find out more about the event and Joy Batchelor herself here: http://www.london.balassiintezet.hu/en/events/current-events/675-1001-celebrating-joy-batchelor/
Other useful links: