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Hear Animation

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.

Optical Poetry: Oskar Fischinger Retrospective

We 7/10/2020
free seats: 91
Varšava Cinema

Sa 10/10/2020
free seats: 85
Varšava Cinema

Oskar’s Legacy: Filmmakers Influenced by Fischinger

různí / various | 69 min

Over many decades, dozens of animators and filmmakers have acknowledged Fischinger’s influence on their work. Jordan Belson even called him “one of my heroes”. Our programme presents work by filmmakers impacted by Fischinger’s explorations into the relationship between animation and music.

With hand-drawn animation on paper, direct painting on film, digital visualisations and algorithms, these filmmakers employ a range of styles. Some borrow techniques used by Fischinger, others invented their own. All acknowledge the visual music tradition with their music/image relationships. Some, like Gagné, created direct music visualisations, while others play more loosely with the correspondences. Scher drew in black charcoal on white paper, then photographed in negative, just as Fischinger did for his 1930s Studies series. Woloshen animated his film in his car in a specially constructed box, over four years of driving.


Curated by Cindy Keefer of Center for Visual Music
Photo (c) Center for Visual Music

Director: Norman McLaren, Canada, 1941, 3 min 15 sec

Color Rhapsodie
Director: Mary Ellen Bute, USA, 1948, 6 min, originally 35mm

Director: Jordan Belson, USA, 1953, 3 min, originally 16mm. Restored by CVM with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Director: Jules Engel, USA , 1986, 5 min, originally 16mm. Restored by CVM with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Pencil Dance
Director: Chris Casady, USA, 1988, 3 min, originally 35mm

Algorithms / Algorithmen
Director: Bärbel Neubauer, Germany, 1994, 3 min 30 sec, originally 35mm

Fly by Night
Director: Jeff Scher, USA, 2008, 1 min 30 sec

The Boyg / Bøygen
Director: Kristian Pedersen, Norway, 2016, 5 min 50 sec

Shimmer Box Drive
Director: Steven Woloshen, Canada, 2007, 3 min 45 sec

Director: Scott Draves, USA, 2007, 4 min 15 sec

Director: Michel Gagné, Canada, USA, 2010, 6 min

Jazzimation 2
Director: Oerd van Cuijlenborg, France, 2017, 5 min

A Very Large Increase in the Size, Amount or Importance of Something Over a Very Short Period of Time
Director: Max Hattler, Russia, UK, Germany, 2013, 2 min 15 sec

Clonal Colonies I: Fresh Runners
Director: Bret Battey, UK, 2011, 7 min

Director: Robert Seidel, Germany, 2015, 3 min 30 sec

Cucamelon – Messages from Plants
Director: Paul Fletcher, Australia, 2020, 4 min 40 sec. European premiere.

Oskar’s Legacy: Filmmakers Influenced by Fischinger

Th 8/10/2020
free seats: 88
Varšava Cinema

Su 11/10/2020
free seats: 96
Varšava Cinema

Music Zdeněk Liška

Pavel Klusák | Czech Republic | 2017 | 56 min | CS | EN sub

Composer Zdeněk Liška worked on dozens of Czechoslovak titles. His unique style was praised by many directors who respected him as a full co-author of their films. While composing music for symphonic orchestras, concert bands, strings and piano, he used various combinations of not only instruments, but also electronics and sounds. His compositions can be heard in films and series such as Markéta Lazarová (1967), Valley of Bees (1968), The Sinful People of Prague (1968–1969), The Cremator (1968), The Fabulous Baron Munchhausen (1961) and many more. This documentary by renowned music journalist Pavel Klusák shows Liška as a brilliantly diverse composer and reacts to the current increase in interest in him. Liška is known mainly for his work for live action films, but, as Jan Švankmajer or the famous Quay Brothers point out in the documentary, it is only the tip of the iceberg. His work for animated films is no less important and varied. After all, Anifilm visitors can appreciate it themselves in a special programme showing short films with “Music by Zdeněk Liška”.

Music Zdeněk Liška

Fr 9/10/2020
free seats: 94
Varšava Cinema

The Adventure That Never Ends: Jazz And Animated Film

různí / various | 83 min

Tight bonds between jazz and animated films have been established ever since the 1930s, from the time when jazz used to be the American pop music. Spanning several decades from the works of the classic animators Dave Fleischer, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Tex Avery and George Pal, to innovators like John Hubley and Norman McLaren. And at the turn of the 21st century, there are authors who also have great expectations from this music. In Story Ville jazz trumpeter Arty suffers when his instrument “dies” in his arms, and tries to win back his adored trumpet from the realm of the dead. St. James Infirmary is a dedication to the “cradle of jazz” New Orleans and its well-known sites (Preservation Hall, Jackson Square, theme park at the Pontchartrain Beach), and the atmosphere of the film breathes with the style of Fleischer’s classics from the Betty Boop series. Giant Steps visualises complex harmonic structures of celebrated saxophonist John Coltrane as a challenge of its kind, guided by Goethe’s idea of architecture being a form of “crystallised music”. Judging by the films in this selection one can say that jazz, surprisingly vibrant and vivid, keeps taking us on an exciting voyage.

Programme curated by Milen Alempijević

Jazz That Nobody Asked For
Director: Rune Fisker, Esben Fisker, Denmark, 2013, 4 min

1000 Plateaus (2004–2014)
Director: Steven Woloshen, Canada, 2014, 3 min

Director: Benjamin Arcand, France, 2014, 6 min

Frog’s Song
Director: Violaine Pasquet, France, 2016, 11 min

Swing of Change
Director: Harmony Bouchard, Andy Le Cocq, Joakim Riedinger, Raphael Cenzi, France, 2011, 7 min

Fallin’ Floyd
Director: Paco Vinc, Albert 't Hooft, Netherlands, 2012, 9 min

Director: Mette Ilene Holmriis, Marie Jørgensen, Jeanette Nørgaard, Marie Thorhauge, Denmark, 2009, 7 min

Jazz Song
Director: Jorge Gonzalez, Spain, 2007, 8 min

Tim Tom
Director: Romain Segaud, Christel Pougeoise, France, 2002, 4 min

Director: Anton Setola, France, 2008, 7 min

A Man with the Chicken’s Head
Director: Sylvain Georget, Axel Morales, Mathias Rodriguez, France, 2007, 6 min

Giant Steps
Director: Michal Levy, Israel, 2001, 2 min

Story Ville
Director: Marion Nove-Josserand, Patrick Kraft, Florian Mounié, France, 2005, 6 min

Preservation Hall Hot 4: St. James Infirmary (King Britt Remix)
Director: James Tancill, USA, 2009, 4 min

The Adventure That Never Ends: Jazz And Animated Film

Fr 9/10/2020
free seats: 194
Cinema City - Hall 5