Mar 31, 2010

Len Lye (Brought to you by Parcel Post)

I was going to write about Norman McLaren but it seems a lot of people already have, so I looked into Len Lye's work more thoroughly. The piece that caught my attention the most was a scratch film called Free Radicals. Simple lines on the film dance to tribal music from the Bagirmi tribe of Africa, and give the illusion of moving in 3D space. His inventive way of showing rotations of flat lines is so convincing, I went to wikipedia to make sure that this was indeed scratch on film. The movement to the music fits perfectly and showcases his true talent of illustrating music and creating art that dances to a rhythm.

Free Radicals

Another work I enjoyed was Rainbow Dance, where he uses the Gasparcolor process. Rainbow Dance, Lye's second film (viewed publicly) is a colorful display of a sillouette man dancing with an umbrella in the rain, with an ever changing background. Towards the end of the film when the music finishes, a narrator advertises the Post Office Savings Bank, as well as an incomprehensible slogan for it. The same kind of ending is seen in his other work, A Colour Box, with Cheaper Parcel Post. Since Lye was funded by these companies, they had to be included somewhere. In A Colour Box the insertion of Cheaper Parcel Post is seemingly unnoticeable since it moves with the music and doesnt break from the overall feel of the piece, which to me makes him all the more talented. Even in films today the advertisers are all to obvious to the audience with no subtlety and often remove the audience from the film

A Colour Box

Rainbow Dance


by Ryan

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