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Study No. 7 (1931)

Studie Nr. 7 (original title)
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June 1931 (USA)  »

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Study No. 7  »

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1.37 : 1
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Followed by Study No. 8 (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Hungarian Dance no. 5
Music by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

 
Life-like Movement using Lifeless Forms
18 March 2002 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Study #7", is a remarkable work that is a breath of fresh air after seeing so many mediorcre animation films. Since I don't really want to discuss them here, I won't go in too deep, but I feel that "Symphonie diagonale" (Viking Eggeling, 1921) and "Rythmus 21" (Hans Richter, 1921) are worth mentioning to emphasize why I appreciated Fischinger's film. Both earlier films are interesting, but boring nonetheless. While I appreciate any attempt by an artist to express his ideas in any way he pleases, I have to say that it does not always work. Eggeling's film does not work for me because first, he does not use all the screen space, therefore leaving us with to many empty spaces to distract us, and secondly, repeats the same series of images ad infinitum, which quickly becomes tedious. Richter's film is slightly better for he uses the entire screen space. However, I found use of only squares and rectangles much to mechanical and cold.

"Study #7", by contrast to the first films, is an exiting, involving piece. Fischinger of course believed that art should be a pleasure, and this film is certainly a pleasure to watch. It's amazing to see these etchings move in time to the music. In class, someone mentioned that maybe Symphonie diagonale would have worked better with music. In "Study #7's" case however, even though the Brahms music works beautifully, the film would have worked silent as well. The way the images scurry and leap across the screen create a visual music., much in the way Eggeling tried, but in my mind, failed to do with his film.

There is one specific moment from the film that really moved me. It could be hard to specify the moment, but I'll try the best I can. When I first Saw "Study #7" in my History of Film Animation class at Montreal's Concordia University, we saw some slides with still images from the film before watching the film itself. I thought to myself as I looked at those pictures, how much they looked like sketches of dancers or figure skaters in the midst of movement. When we watched the film and it came to the point where we saw those images animated, it looked even more life like. However, where human dancers are restricted by the confines of their bodies, these drawings break apart and form new shapes in ways only animated etchings can.


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