|Index||2 reviews in total|
I had vague recollections of seeing this short on TV when I was just 4
years old in 1966 and living in Warren, Michigan; we could receive CKLW
(now CBET)-TV, Channel 9 in Windsor, Ontario, very clearly (Windsor was
right across the river from Detroit), and sometimes the CBC would air
shorts like this one when time permitted. Sad to say, this film was a
*waste* of time; having seen it again on You Tube recently, it also
helped cement why math was *never* one of my favorite subjects.
The worst aspect of "Rhythmetic," however, had to be the soundtrack, which consisted of drum-like sounds and mouth noises a la Victor Borge's "Phonetic Punctuation" monologue; that, coupled with the lifeless and limited animation, becomes tantamount to Chinese water torture after 2 minutes. For anybody who has to endure sitting through this, might I suggest you synchronize it to some *music* of the same tempo and length; perhaps then it might be more tolerable (some ideas: Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women," Pink Floyd's "Money," or Amii Stewart's 1979 remake of "Knock on Wood," preferably the album or 12-inch single versions).
"Ryhmetic" is thus *not* recommended, especially for anybody like myself who has bad memories of math classes in elementary and/or high school. But, replace the inane soundtrack with some *real* music of the same beat and it *might* turn out to be funny.
The beauty of Norman McLaren's animation has always been his devotion to
perfection in timing, wonderful imagery, and the willingness to experiment;
RYTHMETIC may be one of the only true miss-steps in his otherwise wonderful
film career, due in large part to those very factors. Nine minutes of
animated math> equations, which are interesting, perhaps even intriguing for
math "afficionados", in their computations (all numbers and their
calculations equal the numbers on either side of the "=" sign), move along
with a semblance of life (i.e., a number "3" dances over to a number "5"),
but not enough to garner any real "love" for any of the numerical
characters. The setting remains that of an unmoving page, only the stark,
white equations shift and transform before the viewer. The result is a
painfully stagnant and utterly boring exercise, in both animation and
filmmaking, by an otherwise brilliant and accomplished team (McLaren and
Lambert). Fortunately, both animators would rise above this with their
3/10. Made me feel like I was doing homework again!
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