373. The Flying Man – George Dunning

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: A surrealist depiction of a man who takes off his clothes and begins floating above the ground.

WHY IT’S HERE: George Dunning became famous in the late 60s as the director of the brilliant Beatles film ‘Yellow Submarine’ and his early 60s experiment ‘The Flying Man’ is a good indication of why Dunning was the ideal choice for that project. Running at a scant 2 minutes, ‘The Flying Man’ depicts just that. A man enters, takes off his clothes and begins flying. The arrival of another man walking his dog distracts him and he comes back to the earth to reclaim his clothes, freshly mangled by the dog. When he has left, the other man removes only his hat and attempts to fly. Frustrated in his attempts, he kicks his dog. ‘The Flying Man’ may not be much plotwise (there seems to be a glib message about shedding your inhibitions somewhere) but it is well-worth seeing for its astonishing technique. Dunning has rendered his animated moment in very light watercolour brush strokes and the result is mesmerising, giving the merest suggestion of the characters and their actions.

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