SUMMARY: A Busby Berkley style dance routine is performed by a group of different sized and coloured geometric shapes.
WHY IT’S HERE: Because of its unusual appeal, abstract animation will always be dismissed by certain people. But it is wrong to characterise the whole genre with one sweeping opinion. There is so much variation across each film and its sometimes difficult to tell why you like one and not another. In 1935, two abstract films in particular showed just how vibrant and exciting the medium could be. One was Len Lye’s ‘A Colour Box’ and the other was Oskar Fischinger’s ‘Komposition in Blau’. Fischinger’s film in particular showed what enormous fun there was to be had with animated abstraction. Although it works with geometric shapes, ‘Komposition in Blau’ is a million miles from the pulsating squares of Hans Richter’s ‘Rhythmus 21’. Beautifully, at times frantically, synchronised with its musical score, Fischinger’s colourful film is every bit as much a feast for the eyes as the Busby Berkley routines it evokes. The joyous shifting of the shapes and their vivid colours is at once stimulating and mesmerizing. By the end of this phenomenal four minute creation only the most stubborn of viewers could possibly contend that abstract animation is a dull affair.