Director of Undergraduate Studies
on leave 2019-2020
Lingford has been making short animated films since studying fine art and art history at Middlesex (1987–1990) and animation at the MA level at the Royal College of Art (1990–92). Her films have been broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK, and have won many awards all over the world. She taught in the MA animation program at the Royal College of Art and at the National Film and Television School. Her films are made using 2D digital techniques, often combining drawing and treated live footage. She is known for making “feelbad films” which use the seductive medium of animation to draw the audience in and take them to uncomfortable places. The Old Fools (2002, 6 min.) is a film of a poem by Philip Larkin, voiced by Bob Geldof. The film looks with a mixture of fear, disgust, and compassion at senile decay and the inevitability of death. An Eye for an Eye (2002, 5 min., 30 sec.), codirected with the Shynola collective, is a music video for UNKLE. An epic and multi-layered fantasy, it has been acclaimed variously as an anti-war film, a psychoanalytic exploration of infantile oral aggression, and a cool pop promo. Pleasures of War (1998, 11 min.) is a retelling of the Biblical story of Judith and Holofernes, and explores female aggression and the links between war and sexual desire. It was devised in collaboration with the novelist Sara Maitland, and was featured as one of the 150 Best Films Ever Made in Film: The Critic’s Choice, edited by Geoff Andrew. Death and the Mother (1997, 11 min.) is based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, and invites the audience to contemplate the things that are worse than death. What She Wants (1994, 4 min.) is a ﬁlm about sex and shopping, the social deployment of sexuality, and capitalism in detumescence. She animated sequences for the ﬁlm Secrecy by Peter Galison and Robb Moss, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2008, and for the award-winning documentary We Still Live Here, directed by Anne Makepeace. She was the recipient of a 2008–09 Harvard Film Study Center Fellowship for Little Deaths, a short animated ﬁlm using recorded interviews, which has won awards at three international festivals and been shown in over 40 festivals and theaters around the world. Recently she has worked on documentaries for PBS and NBC. In Summer 2017, she completed Trump Dreams, a short film based on dreams about Donald Trump collected from 2016-2017.
Image: Ruth Lingford, still from Little Deaths.
lingford [at] fas.harvard.edu