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Subject: Suzan Pitt, Wildly inventive animation filmmaker

Dead at 75
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Date Posted: Sunday, June 23, 12:06:36pm


Suzan Pitt, wildly inventive animation filmmaker, dies at 75

New York Times News Service

Suzan Pitt, who created phantasmagorical worlds in wildly inventive animated films that dealt with miracles, mortality, depression and women’s sexuality, died Sunday at her home in Taos, New Mexico. She was 75.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said her daughter-in-law, Laura Kraning.

In a diverse group of experimental short films like “Asparagus,” “Joy Street” and “El Doctor,” Pitt pursued an idiosyncratic vision influenced by Surrealist artists like Leonora Carrington, the pioneering animator Max Fleischer’s cartoons (notably with Betty Boop), underground comics and, most of all, her interior world.

“She put her undiluted, unadulterated, uncensored dreams on the screen,” John Canemaker, an Academy Award-winning animator, said in a phone interview.

In “Asparagus,” a hypnotic 1979 film, Pitt created a wordless, erotic and jarring visual poem about a faceless woman. While exploring the creative process, the character enters a theater, where she opens a suitcase and unleashes a hodgepodge of items — a lamp, a chair, balloons and insects — that waft above a fascinated audience of animated clay figures.

“I wanted the film to mirror the way we daydream,” Pitt said on her website, with “each image leading to the next, the mind unfolding, constantly giving birth.”

Pitt is survived by her son, Blue Kraning; her sister, Melinda Carlton; and her brother, John. Her marriage to Alan Kraning ended in divorce.

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