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Taxidermy Short Film Night with Ronni Thomas, Erin Chapman and Eva Aridjis
Morbid Anatomy Museum
Brooklyn, NY
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Taxidermy Short Film Night with Ronni Thomas, Erin Chapman and Eva Aridjis
Date: September 13th
Time: 7pm
Admission: $8
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY

To celebrate our current exhibition on taxidermy, please join us for a program of short taxidermy-themed films! First up,award wining Mexican-American filmmaker Eva Aridjis, director of "Santa Muerte (Saint Death)," will present her short film "Taxidermy: The Art of Imitating Life." Following, American Museum of Natural History's Erin Chapman will share a 1938 film originally shown with several wildlife dioramas at the 1939 World's Fair along with an excerpt from a circa 1954 film demonstrating how specimens are prepared for research and exhibition. Next up, our filmmaker in Residence Ronni Thomas will screen his award-winning mini documentary on eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter entitled "Walter Potter: The Man Who Married Kittens."

Full details on each film and presenter follows. Hope to see you there!

Program 1 - Taxidermy: The Art of Imitating Life by filmmaker Eva Aridjis

The documentary "Taxidermy: The Art of Imitating Life" examines the strange work of Ron Kuhlman and Bill Arsell, two Long Island taxidermists.  It pays close attention to the detailing involved in their work and comments on the natural yet artificial nature of this craft. The film played at Sundance, Edinburgh, and dozens of other film festivals. The film will be projected in it's original format, in 16mm thanks to Joel Schlemowitz.

Eva Aridjis is a Mexican-American filmmaker who has produced and directed several award-winning feature films, including the documentaries "NiƱos de la Calle" (Children of the Street), "La Santa Muerte" (Saint Death) and "Chuy, El hombre lobo" (Chuy, The Wolf Man) and the narrative films "The Favor" and "Los Ojos Azules" (The Blue Eyes).

Program 2 - Men of Science / Ornithology in the Museum, presented by Erin Chapman, Senior New Media Specialist at the AMNH

Dinosaur eggs! Underwater adventure! Taxidermy! It's... Men of Science. This 1938 film from the American Museum of Natural History was shown along with several wildlife dioramas at the 1939 World's Fair. We'll also see an excerpt from Ornithology in the Museum, a 1954 film demonstrating how specimens are prepared for research and exhibition.

Erin Chapman is Senior New Media Specialist at the American Museum of Natural History, where shes never had a bad day at work. (Just yesterday she picked through coyote scat and saw a parka made out of walrus intestine.) She is the creator and producer of Shelf Life, an online series taking viewers behind the scenes into the Museums scientific collections.

Program 3 - Walter Potter: The Man Who Married Kittens Presented by Ronni Thomas, Morbid Anatomy Filmmaker in Residence.

Walter Potter: The Man Who Married Kittens is a short documentary look at one of Victorian England's
most enigmatic and quirky characters. Amateur taxidermist, Walter Potter, became an unlikely success by putting
his creatures in human positions and scenarios, referred to as anthropomorphic taxidermy. Potter's Museum,
filled with his creations and collection of oddities and curiosities dazzled millions for over a hundred years until the collection's unfortunate separation in 2003. While largely about the man and his creations, the film also takes a look at the obsessive nature of collecting, as well as the controversial history of stuffing dead animals.

Ronni Thomas is a director/editor and Filmmaker in Residence at the Morbid Anatomy Museum. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York he considers himself a'working class film maker', seeing equal value in the sublime and the ordinary. Though his films typically deal with dark, eccentric and bizarre subject matters, he approaches each topic from a human and often light-hearted angle. His career began with a chance meeting with Lloyd Kaufman of New York's notorious Troma Films. He was offered a job (with no previously experience) as Troma Team Video's Director of DVD Production and quickly learned how to 'get the shot you needed' at any cost. From Troma, he worked with underground documentarian Lech Kowalski (DOA, Born To Lose), Co-Producing Hey Is Dee Dee Home featuring the late Dee Dee Ramone and Camera Gun, a short post 9/11 documentary featuring American Jihad Akil Collins (My Jihad). In addition to writing and directing several award winning short films (Radio Girl, Old Song and Dance), he is frequently hired to create online content using his signature dark but quirky style. In 2003 landed a job producing and editing for commercial legend Bob Giraldi. In 2011 he and Morbid Anatomy founder, Joanna Ebenstein, created The Midnight Archive; a web documentary series that would go on to critical acclaim and receive several awards including the 2013 Silver Telly for best web documentary series. In addition to making films, he is also guest lecturer and programmer for the Raindance Film Festival in London. He has also written for The Morbid Anthology, United Academics, Huffington Post, The Journal of Social Sciences and Raindance Film Magazine. He lives a blissfully surreal life with his wife, 8 year old son and exotic cat in Brooklyn New York.


Morbid Anatomy Museum (View)
424 A Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
United States




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