The Likes and Dislikes of Marj Bagley

The film tells the lifelong struggle of Marj, the matriarch of the Bagley clan, to find happiness. Marj encounters infidelity, broken noses, dysfunctional relationships, giant birds, and plays a fateful game of cards with her grandchildren. Through a combination of interviews and stop-motion animated recreations, her family reflects on the legacy of a woman who they realize they may not understand.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Director
  • Bec Sloane
    Lead Animator & Builder
  • Jorge Arzac
    Executive Producer
  • Taylor Stanton
    Executive Producer
  • Julie Hays
    Key Cast
  • Marco Torriani
    Key Cast
  • Taylor Stanton
    Director of Photography
  • Jorge Arzac
    Gaffer
  • Jorge Arzac
    Editor
  • Taylor Stanton
    Editor
  • Eric Brown
    Sound Design
  • William Stanton
    Composer
  • Pedro Vivas Hernandez
    Colorist
  • Caroline Maher
    Production Assistant
  • Taylor Stanton
    Writer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, Documentary, Biopic
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 15, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Austin Film Festival
    Austin, Texas
    United States
    October 27, 2018
    Texas Premiere
    Official Selection
  • New Orleans Film Festival
    New Orleans, LA
    United States
    October 20, 2018
    Louisiana Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Aspen ShortsFest
    Aspen, CO
    United States
    April 5, 2019
    Colorado Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Rooftop Film Series
    New York, NY
    United States
    May 31, 2019
    Official Selection
  • DOC NYC
    New York City, NY
    United States
    November 3, 2018
    NYC Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Nantucket Film Festival
    Nantucket
    United States
    June 25, 2019
    Rhode Island Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Docaviv International Film Festival
    Tel Aviv
    Israel
    May 25, 2019
    Israeli Premiere
    Official Selection
  • SCAD Savannah Film Festival
    Savannah, GA
    United States
    October 28, 2018
    Winner, Jury Award for Best Animation
  • deadCenter Film Festival
    Oklahoma City, OK
    United States
    June 8, 2018
    Southwest Premiere
    Winner, Best Animation
  • DC Shorts
    Washington DC
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Toronto Shorts International Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    March 4, 2019
    Toronto Premiere
    Official Selection
  • New Hampshire Film Festival
    Portsmouth, NH
    United States
    October 13, 2018
    New Hampshire Premiere
    Winner, Jury Award for Animation
  • Atlanta DocuFest
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    September 14, 2018
    Georgia Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Freep Film Festival
    Detroit, MI
    United States
    April 14, 2018
    Michigan Premiere
    Winner, Best Short Documentary
  • Vidlings & Tapeheads
    Hamtramck, Michigan
    United States
    July 28, 2018
    Winner, Best of Fest
  • Footcandle Film Festival
    Hickory, North Carolina
    United States
    North Carolina Premiere
    Winner, Best Documentary Short
  • Destiny City Film Festival
    Tacoma, WA
    United States
    February 23, 2019
    Washington State Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
    Dubuque, IA
    United States
    April 28, 2018
    Official Selection
  • American Documentary Film Festival
    Palm Springs, CA
    United States
    April 10, 2018
    World Premiere
  • Northwest Fest
    Edmonton
    Canada
    May 12, 2018
    Canadian Premiere
    Official Selection / In Competition, Best International Short
  • Garner Arts Film Series
    Garnersville, NY
    United States
    June 22, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Indie Street Film Festival
    Red Bank, NJ
    United States
    July 26, 2019
    New Jersey Premiere
    Official Selection
  • World Festival of Animated Film
    Varna
    Bulgaria
    September 12, 2019
    Bulgarian Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Taylor Stanton

Taylor Stanton is an emerging documentary director and cinematographer from Detroit, Michigan.

He is a recipient of FILMSHOP's Breakthrough Artist Award (2016) and the Gottlieb Environmental Excellence Award (2016). His previous work has screened at The Hot Springs International Documentary Film Festival, Michigan's ArtPrize Festival, and at an industry event moderated by Beau Willimon (Creator of House of Cards) and Tom Jennings (Producer, PBS FRONTLINE). His stop-motion work has also screened at Jazz at Lincoln Center with live accompaniment from the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York.

He was thrilled to recreate his family in stop-motion animation for his latest documentary short, "The Likes and Dislikes of Marj Bagley".

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I started this film after a period of loss: over the span of three years, half a dozen family members and close friends died. Until this point, I had had little interaction with death, so funerals were a relatively new experience for me.

The first of these funerals was for Marj Bagley, my grandmother and the subject of this film. Her funeral presented a jarring disconnect: people remembered Marj very differently than how she thought of herself and even how she actually lived. The eulogies were continually projecting meaning onto her, regardless of whether that meaning was founded in reality. This inspired me to do a piece on collective memory and loss, and how subjectivity may prevent us from truly knowing those we love.

Over the course of one year, I created this documentary with a tiny crew: builder/animator Bec Sloane and editor/gaffer Jorge Arzac. Everything was filmed in the living room of a small New York apartment, using a desk and an old IKEA bed for rigging. The puppets and sets were made from repurposed clothes (some worn by the actual family members). Even the foley design was recorded on location during trips back to Michigan, with Marj’s family recreating their own sound effects. Above all we wanted to set an intimate mood by blending the realism and honesty of a family documentary with the style and aesthetic of stop-motion.

This documentary is not meant to be a comprehensive study of a woman’s life. Like the eulogies that inspired me, it’s really more about her family's conflicting perspectives than it is about her. But I hope audience members do come away with a sense of who Marj was - not a literal description of her life, but an emotional retelling. And, in a way, I hope that’s a more effective way to remember than any single story or detail.