7.1/10
295
7 user 1 critic

An Optical Poem (1937)

| Animation, Short, Music
A dance of shapes. A title card tells us this is an experiment in conveying the mental images of music in a visual form. Liszt's "Second Hungarian Rhapsody" is the music. The shapes, all ... See full summary »

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(uncredited)
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Storyline

A dance of shapes. A title card tells us this is an experiment in conveying the mental images of music in a visual form. Liszt's "Second Hungarian Rhapsody" is the music. The shapes, all two-dimensional, are circles primarily, with some squares and rectangles, and a few triangles. The shapes move rhythmically to the music: receding from view or moving across the screen. Red circles on a blue background; light blue squares; white rectangles. Then, a red background of many circles with a few in the foreground. Red gives way to blue then to white. Shapes reappear as Liszt's themes re-occur. Then, with a few staccato notes and images, it's over. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

avant garde | geometric form | See All (2) »

Genres:

Animation | Short | Music

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Prologue (Title): To most of us, music suggests definite mental images of form and color. The picture you are about to see is a novel scientific experiment. Its object is to convey these mental images in visual form.
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Soundtracks

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Music by Franz Liszt
Played throughout the entire picture
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User Reviews

Nice Short
26 September 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Optical Poem, An (1937)

*** (out of 4)

This 6-minute animated short is considered by many to have been the inspiration for Disney's FANTASIA. This film contains various animated images being played to Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 and makes for quite a ride. In his day, director Fischinger was pretty much overlooked and after during down a job offer from Disney, he would eventually be fired by both MGM and Paramount. His animation career never took off in the movies but years later his work began to be reevaluated and today's he's considered one of the best. This, considered his best film, is pretty strong in terms of its visual style even though it's rather simple. A blue background with various circles, squares and other images. The film moves along quite well, although the six-minutes do start to get a bit long towards the end.


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