An Optical Poem - Oskar Fischinger

Rental Format(s): Digital File

Maker: Oskar Fischinger
Assisted by John Cage
Production: MGM
Original format: 35mm sound film 1.37:1
Music: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody, No. 2
Courtesy: Warner Bros., Turner Entertainment Co., Film Preservation Associates, Hollywood Classics

A milestone in object animation, Fischinger manipulated hundreds of paper cutouts hung on invisible wires and shot a frame-at-a-time in close synchronization to Liszt's rhapsody. The dance of shapes resembles a voyage through an imaginary space where "the keen sensation of depth becomes a conceptual part of the action, with the circles that rotate around each other revealed as cosmic figures that could be either microscopic cells or stellar configurations." (William Moritz) Sadly this was the only Fischinger film commissioned and released by a major Hollywood studio. -Bruce Posner

Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967), born in Germany, was trained as a musician and engineer but became a supreme figure among artists in search of the absolute. Fischinger's films draw parallels between music and visual movement, creating some of the most precise and beautiful amalgams of sound and image cinema has ever known. -R. Bruce Elder

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