“If I were asked to name the chief event in my life, I should say my father’s library.”*

*Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986), Argentine author; a founder, and principal practitioner, of postmodernist literature.

From the website of studio aka, based in Clerkenwell:

“STUDIO AKA is a multi-BAFTA winning, EMMY awarded & Oscar Nominated independent animation studio based in London. We’re known internationally for our idiosyncratic & innovative work, expressed across an eclectic range of projects.

…LOST AND FOUND is a beautiful story based on OLIVER JEFFERS award winning children’s picture book. The 24 minute film features narration by the great JIM BROADBENT, and a beautiful score by composer  MAX RICHTER. Adapted & Directed by PHILIP HUNT Produced by SUE GOFFE”

The 2008 film tells the story of a boy and a penguin, and if you have the DVD, it’s worth watching the extra feature about its making.

Oliver Jeffers talks about designing individual titles for whole shelves of volumes which are seen in the background of a short scene in the public library. The names of the “authors” are taken from the crew and collaborators who worked on the film.

Philip Hunt muses on the possibility that the whole story is dreamed by the boy, including the nightmare scene of a storm at sea, from which our heroes are delivered back to their rowing boat by the several parental arms of an octopus (perhaps returning the sleeping boy to his bed).

Ed Catmull: in Chapter 10 of Creativity, Inc. (2014):

“(In Monsters, Inc. (2001) ) a bewildered Boo first arrives in Mike and Sulley’s apartment and begins, as toddlers do, to explore. As the monsters try to contain her, she wanders up to two towering piles of compact discs – more than ninety in all…”Aw, those were alphabetised,” Mike complains as she waddles away. The moment is over in three seconds…But for every one of those CDs, Pixar artists created not just a CD cover but a shader – a program that calculates how an object’s rendering changes as it moves.”

Katherine Sarafian, a Pixar producer, said: “Maybe it was an in-joke, but there was someone on the crew who believed that each one of those was going to be seen close-up, and so they were lovingly crafted.”

(Catmull: ” – the desire for quality had gone well beyond rationality.”)

Hunter Dukes: Beckett’s Vessels and the Animation of Containers, in Journal of Modern Literature (Summer 2017):

“…Beckett’s use of affective projection preempts Wilfred Bion’s development of the psychoanalytic concept of the “container-contained.” First discernable in Bion’s Elements of Psychoanalysis, the relationship between the container and the contained rests upon Melanie Klein’s notion of projective identification. In Bion’s schema, objects in the external world can serve as containers for expelled psychic content—thoughts and feelings that the ego cannot contain. In an infant psyche, these containers correspond to a preservation function. “The container [contenant], properly so called, is still, stable, and forms a passive receptacle where the baby may store its sensations/images/affects, which in this way are neutralized and preserved” (Anzieu 101)…”

Thomas H Ogden: On holding and containing, being and dreaming (2004):

“…Some tentative definitions

…Thus, basic to Bion’s thinking is the idea that dreaming is the primary form in which we do unconscious psychological work with our lived experience. This perspective, as will be seen, is integral to the concept of the container-contained. I will begin the discussion of that idea by tentatively defining the container and the contained.

The ‘container’ is not a thing. but a process. It is the capacity for the unconscious psychological work of dreaming, operating in concert with the capacity for preconscious dreamlike thinking (reverie), and the capacity for more fully conscious secondary-process thinking. Though all three of these types of thinking – unconscious dreaming, preconscious reverie and conscious reflection-are involved in the containing function of the mind, Bion views the unconscious work of dreaming as the work that is of primary importance in effecting psychological change and growth. Bion urges the analyst not to be “prejudiced in favour of a state of mind in which we are when awake [as compared to the state of mind in which we are when asleep]” (1978). In other words, for Bion, the state of being awake is vastly overrated.”

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