The award-winning animation music video “Mountains” by filmmaker Laurie Berenhaus for the titular song by Mac/Glidden, will screen this Summer in LA, as part of the HollyShorts Film Festival on Monday, August 13th, 2018.
Illustrating the titular song by Mac/Glidden, “Mountains” is an animated short in which a sylphlike woman, uneasy in her own skin, uses dance as a way to find a sense of personal freedom. As the dancer, played by Anne Marsen, removes various clothing items – her hat, her sunglasses, her cape – she looks more relaxed, more carefree. Similarly, as she discards these trappings of the material world, her movements become freer, more joyous, and celebratory.
Filmmaker Laurie Berenhaus, who directed and animated the music video, was inspired to create the short when Mac/Glidden told her that they wrote the song because of their frustration with city life. Indeed, the song’s opening lyrics are, “Where I’m from, the stars are on the street. We build mountains in our minds and in concrete.”
“Mountains,” then, is a song about confinement; feeling confined within one’s own body. Feeling confined within one’s environment. Berenhaus took this theme and ran with it. As the dancer in the video strips away her clothing, she’s also shedding layers, opening herself up, and becoming more vulnerable.
Berenhaus’s animation style is deliberately loose and gestural, maintaining a “ripped from the sketchbook” quality that recalls the work of legendary illustrators such as Jules Feiffer and Bill Plympton. The film uses this style to explore the main character’s personal journey. As she becomes more relaxed, so do the animation drawings. They become more improvisational, more spontaneous. Facial features are suggested rather than fully rendered. Figures become ethereal, ghostlike. Untethered to anything solid, like a mountain.
The screening at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese 6 Theatres is part of the 14th annual HollyShorts Film Festival, running from August 9th to August 18th, 2018. In April of 2017, “Mountains” was shown at the Brooklyn Music Video Festival. This kicked off a worldwide series of screenings for the unique and charming music video, which was subsequently shown at the International River Film Festival in Italy, the KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival in the Netherlands, and the Academy Award qualifying- Leeds International Film Festival, among other prominent venues.
Along the way, “Mountains” has earned much critical praise. In November 2017, the Leeds International Film Festival in England raved, “‘Mountains’ is a glorious and giddy music video which creates a world of awe and wonder through a deceptively simple animation.” And the LA Femme Film Festival offered similar praise in October of last year, saying of Berenhaus, “Her talent is magical.”
Now the film is making it’s Hollywood debut, in the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres. Berenhaus is thrilled to finally be able to share it in the heart of Hollywood where the dynamic HollyShorts Film Festival continues to advance the artform of short film content.
Screening Date: Monday, August 13th, 2018
Screening Time: 10pm, Music Video Block HollyShorts Film Festival
Screening Location: TCL Chinese 6 Theatres 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
This event is open to the public.
Laurie Berenhaus is a visual artist, director, and educator. Berenhaus’ work has exhibited and screened at prominent venues, including The Museum of the Moving Image, MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) Education & Research Department, and Leeds International Film Festival.
Berenhaus’ professional career has spanned across the entertainment, fashion and tech startup industry exploring technology’s impact on design and production. Her work has been covered by the Creators Project, Adafruit, and 3D World Magazine.
A graduate of the University of the Arts (BFA, Sculpture 2010) and The Digital Animation and Visual Effects School, (2013) Berenhaus is passionate about projects that allow her to be pushed on an emotional and technical level. She lives in Astoria, NY with her husband, cat, and many puppets.