Directed by George Griffin
Lineage traces a circuitous thread through synthetic times and spaces to recover a lost age in innocence, when photography and magic tricks merged into 'movies'. The agent in this investigation is a square man who appears as a line drawing on an artist's table, as a paper-thin puppet in a vaguely Deco set, and as a 'real' man in the street though not, as logic would seen to dictate, in that particular order. In fact, logic is constructed in Lineage only to be parodied. As an antidote to the accepted avant-garde practice of artistic patricide the film searches for and ultimately confirms its own heritage. The traditions established by Melies, Cohl, Fleischer, Richter, and Fischinger are invoked through a series of visual and verbal essays, self-mocking introspections, and fictional oral histories.
"This seminal work brilliantly proves that animation–far from being cinema's stepchild–is actually one of its glories. Griffin offers the most explicit philosophical confrontation on film–though dressed in amiguity and irony–of basic issues of ceontemporary art: illusionsm, formalism, reflexivity, the narrative, the time-space continuum, causality, contradiction. This heavy agenda, however, is triumphantly overcome by playfulness: anti-didactic at its core, delicately balancing reason and emotion, the work exudes anti-authoritarianism by its refusal to provide neat solutions, dazzling us instead witrh delicious, infinite contradictions involving voice and image, self and other, drawings an photography, reality and illusion, past and present, space ant time. To top it all, while purporting to 'reveal' the processes and secrets of animation, its nature and aesthetics, this jesting philosopher/magician actually entanagles us more firmly into the web of its mysterious powers. 'I trace my line to find who I am.' It's good to be along on the journey."
— Amos Vogel, Film Comment