This is the first segment on the tape for The 19th International Tournee of Animation: Volume 1. It's called Anijam, and it's an interesting collage piece. It stars a clown-like character named Foska going through a Bardo experience as he's twisted and tormented by a host of different animators. It's quite disturbing, mostly because Foska's pains and tortures are often voluntary - he knowingly puts himself in truly degrading and horrifying positions to entertain us (the bookend music in the segment, at the very beginning and during the credits, is a jaunty vaudeville piano tune).
Not all of the different scenes evidence this theme - some are purely surreal, hallucinatory exercises (such as Per Lygum's segment, which looks like a proto Win98 screensaver) and some exhibit fearlessly "bad" taste - Janet Perlman's sequence treats Foska's shit as a magical salve that can cause him to shrink or grow; there's obviously a sense of childish glee regarding some of the more disgusting acts Foska enages in. The scene directed by Brad Caslor is a neat little story which could easily be translated into a 4-panel comic; Foska is against a wall and is about to be hit by an oncoming truck. In his terror he takes out a pistol and shoots himself in the head. Most of the material exhibits such abandon; it's all for the sake of mobility. The end credits explain this further (in 3 languages, in a creepy silent blackout):
"ANIJAM WAS ANIMATED BY 22 ANIMATORS, EACH DOING A SEPARATE SEQUENCE. THE FIRST DRAWING OF EACH SEQUENCE, IS THE LAST DRAWING FROM THE PREVIOUS SEQUENCE. THE ANIMATORS DID NOT KNOW WHAT CAME BEFORE, OR WENT AFTER THEIR OWN SEQUENCE. THE ANIMATORS WERE FREE TO CREATE ANY ACTION THAT THEY WISHED. THEY WERE REQUIRED TO BEGIN AND END THEIR SEQUENCE WITH FOSKA. ANIJAM IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THESE ANIMATORS. IT IS THEIR FAULT. HERE ARE THEIR NAMES."
When I first saw this I recognized many of the animation styles immediately - I had seen their like on MTV and Nickelodeon (both of which used to prize original ideas and material, believe it or not). The "director" of Anijam, Marv Newland, had collaborated with many of these animators previously on commercials for those two networks. Sally Cruikshank, along with Keith Haring, defined the look of Sesame Street during the late 80's - early 90's. More than one worked on Heavy Metal. Some have had a steady career of nothing but shorts. Some took this opportunity to escape from their regular jobs working on children's cartoons to showcase their real talents and passions. It's an exotic collage of many different animators in different periods of their careers.
Being the first segment on this tape, Anijam works well to introduce the viewer to the core concept of The International Tournee of Animation. The Tournee began as a small show in a gallery in the LA County Museum of Art and grew from touring other museums and college campuses to eventually touring the U.S. and Canada via the Landmark Theaters chain and smaller arthouse theaters. According to Wikipedia, 50% of the gross ticket sales went to the producers and the other 50% was distributed evenly among the participating animators, which is an almost-unheard-of good deal for the various animators. The tour eventually grew to be such a success that a series of videos was produced which documented the best segments of each year, beginning with the 19th. Six volumes were produced in total: I've only seen the first tape.
Here's a complete listing of all the animators involved in making Anijam: Mark Kausler, Anne Chevalier, Zdenko Gasparovic, Max Bannah, Sally Cruikshank, Guido Manuli, Wayne Morris, Kaj Pindal, Hal Fukushima, Janet Perlman, Dieter Mueller, Frank Terry, Per Lygum, Paul Vester, Paul Driessen, Gordon Stanfield, Kathy Rose, Brad Caslor, Frank Nissen, Kazunari Furuya, Zlatko Grgic.