81. Rainbow Dance – Len Lye


SUMMARY: Dancer Rupert Doone performs a dance in silhouette alongside abstract and recognisable shapes and effects.

WHY IT’S HERE: Following on from the critical success of ‘A Colour Box’, Len Lye made ‘Rainbow Dance’, another vividly lively abstract film that incongruously incorporates an advert for the Post Office. Unlike its purely abstract predecessor, ‘Rainbow Dance, features several recognisable images, in particular that of dancer Rupert Doone, whose dancing ties the film together throughout. We also glimpse images of a train and a leaping fish, alongside Lye’s manipulation of the Gasparcolor colour stock. Gasparcolor contained three levels of dye on the celluloid and Lye manipulates these using different levels of exposure. The result is an arresting, if rather strange little film which succeeds in expanding on the ideas used in ‘A Colour Box’ but fails to surpass it in quality.


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