In Residence

It's a psychedelic cartoon about women...vs. furniture

CBC Arts: Exhibitionists is back, and Quebec City's Carol-Ann Belzil-Normand is our first featured artist of Season 4. Watch clips from her new short film "Ultra."

Watch clips from 'Ultra' by Carol-Ann Belzil-Normand. She's this week's Exhibitionist in Residence

Grab a seat for the Season 4 premiere of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists. It's cool if you don't actually sit in it. (Carol-Ann Belzil-Normand)

"Ultra," the new animated film by Quebec City's Carol-Ann Belzil-Normand, will be travelling to festivals around the world this fall, starting with a pair of screenings at the Ottawa International Animation festival later this month. But first, you'll see a few glimpses of it right here — because Belzil-Normand, 32, is our first Exhibitionist in Residence of Season 4, and the psychedelic clip you'll find posted below will also be airing on the premiere of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists this Friday, Sept. 21.

Talk to Belzil-Normand, or just skim through her website, and you'll hear one word a lot: "frivolity." It's the term she seems to throw around the most when she describes her work, and that includes "Ultra" — even though she made the short while going about the serious business of completing an MFA at Université Laval last year.

"Frivolity, it's a little bit bad, like something that is superficial, or something that is more lé​ger, like, we don't take it seriously," she tells CBC Arts. But as an animator, she says that being able to embrace the "frivolous" — the silly, the whimsical — is incredibly freeing, as you'll see in the twitchy, two and a half minutes of "Ultra."

The film comes down to one absurd conflict: woman vs. furniture. And unlike that lucky brat Goldilocks, no chair — no bed, no filing cabinet — is ever "just right" for our lanky nude heroine. No matter how she contorts, nothing ever quite fits. Or rather, the world never quite fits her. As Belzil-Normand explains, she wanted to make a film about the female body when she began work on the project — how it conforms, how it relates to objects and spaces. "The body tries to adapt to the screen," she says, talking about the film, "but it's not really for us."

Following screenings at the OIAF Sept. 27 and 28 (find "Ultra" in the "Canadian Panorama" program), the short heads to Switzerland for the Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival in October. November 2-4, it'll be at the Sick 'n' Wrong Film Festival in Orlando, Fla.

And of course, in the meantime, you can also watch the teaser below. So grab a seat, and here's hoping you have better luck getting your butt in your chair than the bendy lady on screen.

Discover more from Carol-Ann Belzil-Normand at www.carolann.cool.

Stream CBC Arts: Exhibitionists or catch it on CBC Television, Friday nights at 11:30 p.m. (midnight NT).