Feb 9, 2011

"L'Idee" (1931): A Fantastic Short in both Theme and Technique

L'Idée (1932)
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Artist Berthold Bartosch, born in Bohemia, created his most well-know animated short film "L'idee" ("The Idea") in 1931, after moving to Paris in 1930. He based his animation on woodcuts by Flemish artist Frans Masereel. The opening words are taken from Masereel's prologue to his book, which included the woodcuts. The basic idea of the story revolves around a nude female figure who represents "truth." Notice the stunning visuals, using cut-out figures, cardboard backgrounds, and very deliberate lighting. Especially have a close look at 5:14 where ghosts move across the screen. Can you guess how he created the illusion of all the smoke and fog? Have a close look. I'll give you a hint: it involved a glass plane... it's bubbles! Bartosch used several glass planes illuminated from behind, on which to move foam around--so simple and so effective.

(post by Erik)

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