An animated film drawn entirely in pastels. Various fantastical plant-like things "grow" from the ground, eventually launching five spheres. The spheres drift in space while changing shapes... See full summary »

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An animated film drawn entirely in pastels. Various fantastical plant-like things "grow" from the ground, eventually launching five spheres. The spheres drift in space while changing shapes and come back down to another setting, which eventually becomes more fantastical and symbolic than the opening one. The soundtrack has a jazz slant, with an ensemble of four saxophones and synthetic sound (i.e. sound created by drawing directly on the soundtrack). Written by Bob Kosovsky <bkosovsky@nypl.org>

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Animation | Short

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A Surrealist's Dream Come To Life!
25 November 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Spooky and atmospheric, director/animator Norman McLaren's love of the Surrealist art movement is brought to life in this slow- moving animated piece. Ever-changing and painstakingly hand- drawn, pastel landscapes, recalling those of artists Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy & even Rene Magritte, are seen shifting and dissolving into one another as strange forms take light, grow, and "morph" into new, fantastic shapes. The soundtrack is also composed of an odd blend of saxophone melodies co-mingled with a synthetic score and sound effects created by McLaren (who filmed wave patterns optically onto the film's magnetic soundtrack). Of interesting note is the "metallic balls" sequence which the filmmaker would revisit again 17 years later in his beautiful film SPHERES (1969). A PHANTASY is a quirky and curious "stream of consciousness" wonderland for the senses!

{See also: "A Little Phantasy On A 19th-Century Painting (1946), by the same filmmaker.}

9/10. Doesn't need to be understood to be enjoyed!


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