Eva Hesse: A Documentary, details the life of an artist who thrived in the male dominated New York art scene of the ’60s. Eva escaped with her sister from Nazi Germany via the Kindertransport. Her parents managed to escape later, but the rest of her family: grandparents, aunts and uncles, were murdered by the Nazis. On the eve of war, Eva and her immediate family left for America. Years later, Eva was in New York and coming into her own as a painter when her husband was offered the opportunity to make sculpture in Germany. Eva was terrified to return, but ultimately agreed to accompany her husband. In Germany, she began to experiment with sculpture and this opened a transformative chapter in her work, but she was tormented by nightmares and doubts.
This flurry of emotions is what Sneaky Little Sister was tasked to replicate in an animated sequence. Actress Selma Blair read an entry from Eva’s journal. With illustrations by Hannah Blanchard, background photos manipulated by Jermaine Haggerty, and animations by Kia Simon, the team created an animation of Eva’s nightmare.
Sneaky Little Sister also animated chapter headings, newspaper and magazine articles, and many photos of Eva and her contemporaries. In our sequences, we created 3D layers out of the 2D photos and added camera pans and zooms, and also gave people subtle movements through puppet style animation. As the NY Times describes it, “she appears mainly in black-and-white still photographs, some of which are digitally massaged so that they seem to move ever so slightly.”
Eva Hesse has been playing around the country and the world. For those in the SF Bay Area, Eva Hesse returns to the Bay at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco on August 19th, the Smith Rafael Film Center also the 19th of August, and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley on October 23rd.