By applying abstraction and a dark sense of humor, Katie Kapuza often creates several works upon which thoughts that have apparently just been developed are manifested: notes are made and then crossed out again, 'mistakes' are repeated, experimentation creates form. Kapuza considers movement as a metaphor for the experience of continuous loss, yet will always find the humor in the absurdities of life.
KATIE KAPUZA CURRENTLY LIVES AND WORKS IN CHICAGO, IL.
By applying abstraction and a dark sense of humor, Katie creates short films and music videos that defy convention and embark on the unusual via both a tried-and-true approach as well as trial and error. Katie veers toward the non-narrative, the bizarre and the misunderstood to tell stories of inanimate objects in surprising situations.
A sailor lost at sea is suffering from scurvy and memories of good health. She lands on the elusive orange island where she is greeted with sand and sun and vitamins.
I am a Chicago filmmaker and this was created in my studio in Chicago. It's a fantasy story of a sailor woman lost at sea, losing vitamins, who discovers a land of oranges. Chicago's coastline is also a respite and contains many delicious bounties for sailors to discover.
In an age of ever-looming computer-generated effects in the world of moviemaking, what a joy it is to stumble upon the timeless wonder of stop-motion animation, which brings with it something difficult to find in other mediums of animation; tactility. The act of bringing real, inanimate objects to life through a sort of technological magic act makes watching these films all the more grounded and relatable, and has charmed audiences for years; from the classic, clunky renderings of Christmas mythology in Rankin-Bass’ TV specials, to the plasticine eccentricities of Aardman’s Wallace & Gromit films, to the recent arthouse-meets-family film output of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs. But this notion of giving life to that which is lifeless is perhaps why stop-motion - in recent years - has been used to great effect in the worlds of cinematic horror. Works like Henry Selick’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline come to mind as more mainstream takes on the hand-crafted nature of frame-by-frame horror, but other recent works like Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña’s The Wolf House and Phill Tippett’s Mad God show us how this medium can plumb the depths of our minds in ways unimaginable, taking our deepest fears and desires and capturing them one frame at a time. Katie Kapuza’s short Citric lands somewhere in the middle of horrifying and heartwarming; its frayed hair and moody blues crawl under your skin, before an emergence of greenery and orange flavor bloom towards the salvation of our lead character. It’s only a few minutes long, but brevity is in Citric’s favor, distilling the feeling of mania, desire, and glee into a less-than-three-minute bundle of wonder; a short, and definitely sweet, testament to the magic of stop-motion animated wizardry.
Ben Kaye is a Chicago-based director, puppet-maker, musician, and culture critic, with his writing appearing in Newcity Stage, The Spool, and Looper.com. Ben is the host and creator of "Movie: The Musical!," a podcast about movies that have been turned into musicals. Alongside these various artistic pursuits, you can also find Ben working as the Guest Services Manager at Chicago Children's Theatre.