Monday, 29 March 2010

Abstract Cinema 6: Harry Smith

— Short animations by Harry Smith.
No. 1: A Strange Dream (l946)
No. 2: Message from the Sun (1946-48)
No. 3: Interwoven (1947-49) (Part 1)

Abstract film, especially where colour is concerned owes a lot formally to the work of Kandinsky. Malcolm Le Grice makes some interesting comparisons between works like The Battle from 1910 and Harry Smith’s Film Number 3 done before 1950. "Kandinsky's work" argues Le Grice "not only explores the notion of shape transformations, or colour changes within repeated shapes, but also shape repetitions which imply movement either across the surface or into the 'space' of the picture" ( 1977, p.77).
 Further reading:

LeGrice, M. (1977) Abstract Film and Beyond, Cambridge, Mass and London: MIT Press.

Russett, R.and Starr, C. (1976) Experimental Animation: An Illustrated Anthology, New York: Van Nostrand.

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