Optical Poetry: Oskar Fischinger Retrospective
Oskar Fischinger | Germany, United States | 63 min
Presented in association with Center for Visual Music
Oskar Fischinger (1900–1967) was a pioneer of abstract animation and visual music. Working in Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and Los Angeles, he is known as the Father of Visual Music and the Grandfather of Motion Graphics. Fischinger made some of the first music videos in the early 1930s, and influenced John Cage’s theories of percussion and the style of Disney’s Fantasia (1940). He has influenced generations of animators and filmmakers and continues to do so today. This is the new HD digital version of CVM’s Retrospective programme featuring his classic visual music films, many from restored 35mm prints.
The films include some of his ground-breaking 1930s Studies series synchronizing animation and music, which screened in first-run theatres worldwide. Fischinger made commercials in his Berlin animation studio, and the Muratti cigarette commercial made him famous worldwide. Paramount Studios brought him to Los Angeles in 1936, where he had several unsuccessful encounters with Hollywood studios. In his later years he could not find support for his films and focused on painting, drawing and a light-play instrument.
Cindy Keefer, Curator, CVM
Photo (c) Center for Visual Music
Spirals/Spiralen, Germany, ca 1926, restored by CVM
Wax Experiments / Wachs Experimente, Germany, 1921–1926, 4 min, restored by CVM
Spiritual Constructions / Seelische Konstruktionen, Germany, ca 1927, 6 min 16 sec
Walking from Munich to Berlin / München-Berlin Wanderung, Germany, 1927, 3 min
Study No. 5 / Studie Nr. 5, Germany, 1930, 3 min 15 sec, restored by CVM
Study No. 6 / Studie Nr. 6, Germany, 1930, 2 min 30 sec
Study No. 7 / Studie Nr. 7, Germany, 1931, 2 min 30 sec, restored by CVM
Study No. 8 / Studie Nr. 8, Germany, 1931, 5 min
Coloratura, Germany, 1932, 1 min 30 sec
Kreise (Ad Version), Germany, 1933–1934, 2 min
Muratti greift ein!, Germany, 1934, 2 min 45 sec
Composition in Blue / Komposition in Blau, Germany, 1935, 4 min
Allegretto (Late Version), USA, 1936–1943, 2 min 30 sec
Radio Dynamics, USA, 1942, 4 min 30 sec, restored by CVM
An American March, USA, 1941, 3 min 45 sec
Motion Painting No. 1, USA, 1947, 11 min
CVM thanks Barbara Fischinger and Cinemaculture. Wax Experiments was restored with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation. Study No. 5 was restored by CVM with funding from EYE Filmmuseum. Study No. 6, Spiritual Constructions and An American March were restored by Academy Film Archive.