For over a decade, Bill Plympton has been turning heads, or churning them, or slicing them into pink discs. His cartoons, now international cult hits, have garnered festival awards, TV contracts, and an Oscar nomination (Your Face). Plympton's hand-drawn melting faces and body parts are immediately recognizable, unique, and disgusting. He is an animator-contortionist who wrings grossness from soft pastel colors. Mondo Plympton, hosted by the artist's cartoon double, is a feature-length compilation of shorts, rarely seen film excerpts, and commercials that never made it onto the air, thanks to their violence. The early Plympton short Boomtown, a satire on Reagan-era defense spending, reflects his work as a political cartoonist. He even tries his hand at a country-music video in Faded Roads. But the faces are what gave Plympton a reputation; offerings like One of Those Days and 25 Ways to Quit Smoking remain clever and sickeningly funny. The art-house quality of the lurid, wavering sketches disguises the real tone of Plympton's violence -- classic cartoon slapstick in the Warner Bros. tradition. Plympton himself will host a Q&A session after all the Saturday and Sunday shows.
-- Lisa Guay
Mondo Plympton screens Friday through Thursday, Aug. 8-14, at 6, 8, and 10 p.m. at the Roxie, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia). There are also shows at 2 and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets are $6; call 863-1087.
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