Theatre of Cruelty and Stop Motion Demons
French actor, surrealist, poet and theatre theorist Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) was plagued throughout his life with mental illness, an addiction to opium and passion for theatrical performance. In his most famous work, The Theatre and Its Double he defines Theatre of Cruelty as a means of unleashing repressed feelings from the audience’s subconscious and the arduous, artistic process in transferring forms of distress—which the artist need experience first. A rarely seen form of practical-effect surrealism, there will be discussion of the methods of Stop-motion animation demons and bringing them to life on screen. Incorporating Visions of Hell into stories is directly linked to the damaged characters Benjamin Capps’ films follow, and the results of their perverse actions. Science Fiction, futurism and the supernatural are incidental, as the deepest marks are made by harnessing those demons which lay within us all.
Award winning filmmaker and stop motion animator Benjamin Capps came to Chicago after receiving his degree in Theatre from the University of Missouri, Columbia. While an undergraduate, Benjamin founded The Inner Below in order to produce his own experimental theatre, with an emphasis on expanding on Antonin Artaud's theories of Theatre of Cruelty. Having written, directed, produced and acted in numerous stage-productions, Benjamin transitioned to film-making, now having made nine short-films. Through character-driven, retro futurism and painstaking stop motion Benjamin creates surreal netherworlds which drag the viewer into another realm to face horrific creatures.