The Dark Side of Animation

So you think animation is for kids? Maybe, but we think you'd better not show your offspring the one about the Velvet Tigress, the woman who chopped up her lover and brought him home to Los Angeles inside a trunk. With this, and the 10 other animation pieces in "Dark Frames," the show she's curating for Aurora Picture Show on January 28, Houston filmmaker Kelly Sears wants to revise your impressions of animation. And we think she's done a bang-up job.

In addition to Velvet Tigress, "Dark Frames" will feature works about "puritan visions in methamphetamine addicts, a one-eyed Native American astronaut, and a film about a troubled relationship between cat and a mouse, which is actually one of most emotionally dark pieces in the program," according to Sears.

A film festival veteran, Sears said her work was often showed alongside "cute pieces that didn't set up the right mood" for the story she was trying to tell, and she wanted to put together a program featuring a different sort of animation. After arriving in Houston as a Core Fellow at the Glassell, her discovery of Houston's "many great media and cinema resources" prompted her to approach the Aurora Picture Show with her idea for "Dark Frames."

Sears, whose film Jupiter Elicius is showing at Sundance this month, discovered the 11 selections that will be shown at Aurora in her years on the film circuit, and "a lot of these works are very hard to find," she said. "They're not available through Netflix or on DVD, most of them are not online." So no slacking, head out to see "Dark Frames."

(7:30 p.m., January 28, Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. $7)

Check out a clip from Sears' Jupiter Elicius below.

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Jenny Staff Johnson