Eager (2014) may be her more accomplished film, a haunting ballet choreographed in decomposing clay, but Allison Schulnik’s Mound is a masterpiece in its own right. Schulnik seems infatuated with textures in her paintings and in her animation; her cast of characters in Mound are carved with toothpick lines and thumbprints visible on their writhing surfaces. The crudely carved faces can seem downright ghoulish, and with a different soundtrack they might read that way; backed by Scott Walker’s It’s Raining Again, the film instead walks an uneasy line between sensual and unsettling. Everything pulsates, melts, merges and reforms, a mound of clay split into a phantasmagorical assortment of characters, set to odd life by the magic of stop motion. It’s spooky and soothing all at once, a unique mood from a unique artist.

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