One Night Only: Teddy Bears and Little Friends: The films of “Nanny" Lynn Ochberg

Sun, Oct 8, 2023
See all showtimes
Location:

RUN TIME: 91min

+

ALL TICKETS: $16

$8

Directed by Nanny Lynn | 1

Thirty years ago, VHS tapes containing striking early Commodore Amiga computer animations started popping up at parties, micro cinemas, and in living rooms across the country. These bewitchingly sincere, surreal works touched on fairy tales, dinosaurs, politics, and even the Bosnian War. They evoked the sense of being wrapped in the crock of loving arms, each one grounded by the artist’s patient narration, but almost nothing was known about their creator, Nanny Lynn. But in the late 2010s, renewed interest led to the discovery of Lynn Ochberg, an octogenarian grandmother living in Florida whose oeuvre of animated wonders was created for her grandchildren. 

For one night only, BAM is thrilled to screen a selection of Nanny Lynn’s intimate, loving creations that, though never intended for widespread consumption, inspired a generation of animators. The screening is followed by a Q&A with Nanny Lynn (joining virtually) and animator James Thacher. 

Program by Sam Gurry. Thanks to James Thacher & Lynn Ochberg.

Thirty years ago, VHS tapes containing striking early Commodore Amiga computer animations started popping up at parties, micro cinemas, and in living rooms across the country. These bewitchingly sincere, surreal works touched on fairy tales, dinosaurs, politics, and even the Bosnian War. They evoked the sense of being wrapped in the crock of loving arms, each one grounded by the artist’s patient narration, but almost nothing was known about their creator, Nanny Lynn. But in the late 2010s, renewed interest led to the discovery of Lynn Ochberg, an octogenarian grandmother living in Florida whose oeuvre of animated wonders was created for her grandchildren. 

For one night only, BAM is thrilled to screen a selection of Nanny Lynn’s intimate, loving creations that, though never intended for widespread consumption, inspired a generation of animators. The screening is followed by a Q&A with Nanny Lynn (joining virtually) and animator James Thacher. 

Program by Sam Gurry. Thanks to James Thacher & Lynn Ochberg.

Leadership support for
BAM Access Programs provided by
the Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Leadership support for
BAM Film provided by
the Ford Foundation and
The Thompson Family Foundation

The Chartreuse Crayon Adventure (1994)
5min

A fairytale for Ochberg’s grandchildren, Dylan and Jake, the boys imagine an original world to explore using their new crayons. The detailed backgrounds of the forest evoke Ochberg’s still work and embroidery. Each pixel is woven like thread, creating lush tapestry-like environments for the protagonists to get lost in.

Teddy Bear and Little Dog go into the Woods (1994)
6min

Another imagined adventure following Nanny Lynn’s recurring Teddy Bear character, this iteration features striking abstracted splashes and morphed flight. It’s among the darker pieces that Ochberg created, with Disney-like crooked branches and untoward animal behavior.

La Petite Moufette (1994)
6min

Dylan meets Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline and Miss Clavel. The end credits are written live by the stylus, inserting Ochberg’s hand directly onto the frame.

Jake and the Peanut Butter (1994)
6min

Jake meets a variety of people on his way to school, including several characters inspired by Ochberg’s friends and family—a recurring feature of her work. Using her classic “bedtime story voice,” Ochberg occasionally made her stories as simple as possible to encourage her grandchildren to drift off to sleep.

The Story of Srebrenica (1996)
23min

One of Ochberg’s most infamous films features time travel, fairy tale figures, and a lengthy narrative. Created during the Bosnian War, Ochberg uses the name Srebrenica, in part, to teach her grandchildren how to pronounce the name of the town where many of the war’s atrocities occurred. Ever interested in politics and empathy, Ochberg sought to inspire both. The Story of Srebrenica also references a previous Ochberg work, Princess Emiluma, creating in-jokes for those in the know.

Alphabet Movie (1994)
6min

Learn your ABCs the Nanny Lynn way! Set inside a black void, the objects and persons depicted have an organic animated stiltedness that embraces the digital tweening capabilities of the Commodore Amiga personal computer.

The Heavy Metal Teddy Bear (1994)
8min

Inspired by a song that spontaneously came into her head, this story follows the eponymous bear as he eats his way across Canada and the Northern US. Don’t worry, nobody gets hurt.