The Art of Poetry Film with Cheryl Gross: “Streamschool (Patakiskola)”

Streamschool (Patakiskola)
poem: Zsolt Miklya
director: Péter Vácz
background: Kati Egely
narration: Piroska Molnár
music: Yvein Monq
English translation: Joseph Wallace

The Vimeo description reads: “A little girl has an adventure with water as she travels from a small brook to the sea. A tale of growing up based on a Hungarian poem.” And Péter Vácz adds that “The film was made in (MOME) Moholy- Nagy University of Arts and Design in 2012 as my BA graduation in Animation.”

One thing I can say about my own animation students: they are dedicated and make great illustrators. That’s because they are pushed into honing their craft. Some of the best work I’ve seen comes out of film schools. It’s fresh, interesting, and ambitious. It’s always good to see a young artist present their thesis. In my opinion it usually turns out to be among their best work. Such is the case with Péter Vácz.

Streamschool (Patakiskola) is a beautifully rendered work of art. The combination of tactile materials such as plastic and cloth adds to the sweetness of the piece and depicts childhood as an exquisite journey. The music-box effect flows stunningly as well as the gravelly voice of the narrator, which reminds me of a loving grandparent. His use of stop motion (Dragon Stop Motion software) reminds me of the claymation that was very popular during my childhood, and continues to be so. Also, I like the fact that Péter posts the process of his work. Not every artist is this generous.

All in all, Péter Vácz is a serious technician and an amazing craftsperson. It’s good to see that one does not out-weigh the other. I checked out his other films, which are just as charming and a lot of fun. As a bonus, here is the making of Streamschool.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cheryl Gross (website, blog) is an illustrator, painter, writer, and motion graphic artist living and working in the New York/Jersey City area. She is a professor at Pratt Institute (where she received her MFA) and Bloomfield College.

Her work has appeared in numerous festivals and publications as well as gracing the walls of many galleries, corporate and museum collections.

“I equate my work with creating and building an environment, transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. I am involved in solving visual and verbal complexities such as design and narrative. My urban influence has indeed added an ‘edge’ to my work.”

Cheryl has often been compared to “Dr. Seuss on crack.”