Encounter is Maria Lassnig’s first traditional hand-drawn animated film. Her process involved altering original drawings and setting them into motion, which Lassnig referred to in her writings as “ensoulment.” two anthropomorphized figures, one friendly and the other menacing, happen upon one another. At first recoiling in fear, the innocent figure eventually risks leaping forwards to explore the other. As the sense of danger dissipates, this act of courage is rewarded as both figures unite in harmony. Many of Lassnig’s artworks and writings closely examine the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, especially intimate ones, and Encounter directly addresses the trepidations, braveries, disappointments, and ecstasies inherent to relationships. Published in 1970 and shown regularly throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Encounter was made at the same time as Lassnig’s already well-known film Couples (1972). though originally screened with varying musical accompaniment, the final restored version of the film reflects Lassnig’s wish that the piece ultimately be set to Morton Subotnick’s Touch (1969).
Final cut by Maria Lassnig. Color correction completed posthumously by Mara Mattuschka and Hans Werner Poschauko.
Soundtrack composed of Morton Subotnick’s Touch from the artist’s own music collection, in accordance with her instructions.
Digitization by Haghefilm, Amsterdam. This film was preserved and restored by the Maria Lassnig Foundation in collaboration with the Austrian Film Museum.