Five Film Exercises - No. 5

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

Five Film Exercises - No. 5
John Whitney, James Whitney
16mm film, color, sound, 4 minutes

Unpublished work copyright 1945, John and James Whitney
Restoration copyright 2018, Whitney Editions, LLC

The Whitney's Five Film Exercises "are visually based on modernist composition theory... the carefully varied permutations of form are manipulated with cutout masks so that the image photographed is pure, direct light shaped, rather than the light reflected from drawings as in the traditional animation... The eerie, sensuous neon glow of these forms is paralleled by pioneer electronic music sound scores composed by the brothers using the pendulum [instrument they innovated] to write sounds directly on the film's soundtrack area, with precisely controlled calibrations [a variable area sound track]. At that time, before the perfection of recording tape, these sounds, with exotic 'pure' tone qualities, mathematically even chromatic glissandos and reverberating pulsations - were truly revolutionary and shocking." - William Moritz, from Robert Haller (ed.), First Light (New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1998)

Restored by the Academy Film Archive

Image courtesy of Whitney Editions, Los Angeles, CA

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