Daina Krumins was born in 1947 in a refugee camp in Munich, Germany. Her parents, Roberts and Larisa Krumins, were forced to flee from Latvia when they were told that their names were on the next list of people to be sent to Siberia. The family was able to come to the United States in 1950 because they were sponsored by a wealthy family and for several years Roberts and Larisa worked as servants in their household where they were able to recuperate from the effects of the war and start to make their way independently in the US.
Daina Krumins studied pyschology for two years at Douglass College (Rutgers University) and then transferred to the NYU Film School where she received her BFA. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts where she specialized in optical printing and special effects. Afterwards she worked as a rotoscoper and optical printer operator at Lookout Mountain Films in Los Angeles (Pat O'Neill's company).
THE DIVINE MIRACLE was her first successful film. It has won thirteen awards including first place at Ann Arbor, "Best Short Film" in the Bellevue Film Festival, a Cine Golden Eagle and a Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. It has been shown on PBS in Chicago and at art museums and film screenings throughout the United States. In 1992 it was broadcast in England on a program titled "The Dazzling Image."
BABOBILICONS has also received several awards. Daina Krumins' son Zintis was born in 1984 and a new film called SUMMER LIGHT was started at the time. This film was completed in 2002 and its style can be somewhat described as Victorian/surrealist.
For more information at Daina Krumins' films:
2001, color, sound, 17m
Filmmaker’s Statement About SUMMER LIGHT:
My way of seeing the world, or of re-assembling it in my mind, is unconventional. My main preoccupation as an artist, and to some extent as a person, has always been based on texture. Texture is such a small consideration for most people, to say that my visual world-view is based on a relationship with textures is almost like saying that the most important thing about a piece of writing is the number of punctuation marks. It seems silly.
And yet, I believe it as a valid a way of looking at the world as any other way. But I wonder why repetitions have so much meaning for me. One possibility that has occurred to me is that perhaps my mind is more primitive in some ways, and that my obsessions and fixations have something to do with evolution. How to explain? OK. If a bird flies between two blueberry bushes and one bush has lots of berries and one has only a few berries, how does it know where to go? The same with a monkey looking at banana trees, or perhaps even a billionaire considering his various bank accounts.
"Summer Light" come from my texture-driven, non-neurotypical way of finding delight and meaning. It's not verbal meaning, All I say in words is that it does, in fact, have meaning. In a way, it is my world.
SUMMER LIGHT has won several film and video awards.
1982, 16mm, color/so, 16m
"Daina Krumins's 1982 BABOBILICONS is a spectacular special-effects study of molds, mushrooms and similar vegetation." - Richard Shephard, The New York Times
"Daina Krumins's BABOBILICONS is a truly surrealist work in terms of both its process and product. Krumins takes time to make her films. It took her nine years to create this remarkable animated short, yet her method is in line with the surrealist affinity for chance operation. She cultivated slime molds on Quaker five-minute oats in her basement, planted hundreds of phallic stink-horn mushrooms, and put her mother behind the camera to film them growing. The results are sexual and bizarre. She combined ordinary objects - wall sockets, candles, and peeling paint - to get unnerving, dreamlike images. Porcelain fish jump through waves; mushroom erections rise and fall. Her Babobilicons - robotlike characters that resemble coffee pots with lobster claws - move through all this with mysterious determination. Anyone who orders 10,000 ladybugs from a pest control company to film them crawling over a model drawing room definitely possesses a sense of the surreal." - Renee Shafransky, The Village Voice
Awards: Bronze Hugo, Chicago Int'l Film Festival; Sinking Creek Film & Video Festival; Atlanta Independent Film Festival; SF Art Institute Film Festival.
THE DIVINE MIRACLE
1973, 16mm, color/so, 5.5m
Christ: John Taylor; Angels: Scott Martin; Sound: Rhys Chatham; Camera: Alan Grabelsky and Jose Sedano.
"An intriguing composite of what looks like animation and pageant-like live action is THE DIVINE MIRACLE, which treads a delicate line between reverence and spoof as it briefly portrays the agony, death and ascension of Christ in the vividly colored and heavily outlined style of Catholic devotional postcards, while tiny angels (consisting only of heads and wings) circle like slow mosquitoes about the central figure. Ms. Krumins tells me that no animation is involved, that the entire action was filmed in a studio, and that Christ, the angels and the background were combined in the printing. She also says it took her two years to produce it." - Edgar Daniels, Filmmakers' Newsletter
Awards: First Place, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1973; Best Short Film, Bellevue Film Festival; Silver Hugo, Chicago Int'l Film Festival.