A tilted figure, consisting largely of right angles at the beginning, grows by accretion, with the addition of short straight lines and curves which sprout from the existing design. The ... See full summary »
A tilted figure, consisting largely of right angles at the beginning, grows by accretion, with the addition of short straight lines and curves which sprout from the existing design. The figure vanishes and the process begins again with a new pattern, each cycle lasting one or two seconds. The complete figures are drawn in a vaguely Art Deco style and could be said to resemble any number of things, an ear, a harp, panpipes, a grand piano with trombones, and so on, only highly stylized. The tone is playful and hypnotic. Written by
Symphonie diagonale is a fascinating early abstract animation I just found at Internet Archive
Found this rare experimental animated short by one Viking Eggeling on the Internet Archive site. It's basically a series of lines-either straight or curved-that form then retreat. Appear then disappear. Repeat again and again before disappearing for something new to form. And there seems to be some kind to rhythm to the whole thing as if some kind of music that no one can hear, since this short is completely silent, is orchestrating the entire thing. Maybe Chuck Jones saw this and was inspired to make his Oscar-winning The Dot and the Line. Maybe other abstract animators like Len Lye were inspired with their own versions of what is depicted here. Symphonie diagonale is certainly one of the earliest of the fascinating abstract animated designs ever put on film. Highly worth a look for anyone interested in this sort of thing. Update: 10/16/08-I saw another, possibly longer version, on the Europa Film Treasures site. This version has a score added by Aidje Tafial with a woman's voice electronically coming in occasionally and some bells. With these enhancements, I'm now upping the rating to 9.
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