Against a dark background, several bright, curved or rounded shapes pulse towards the center of the screen, one at a time. They are followed by many other shapes, some irregular, some ... See full summary »

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(as Walther Ruttmann)
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Storyline

Against a dark background, several bright, curved or rounded shapes pulse towards the center of the screen, one at a time. They are followed by many other shapes, some irregular, some pointed, others rounded. The abstract shapes move into or across the screen in harmony with the musical score. Written by Snow Leopard

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Genres:

Animation | Short

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Release Date:

1 April 1921 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Fényjáték  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in Der Fall Metropolis (2003) See more »

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Searchlights and sailing boats
25 April 2006 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The isn't, of course, an actual movie as I'd understand the term: it's a piece of music with multi-coloured pictorial accompaniment... in an interesting reversal of the norms of its day, when music would usually be the accompaniment to 'colour' the emotions and message of the silent picture! It's pretty good music, too.

The actual picture motifs are simple and repetitive, bordering on a lava-lamp effect, and move against a variety of coloured backgrounds. I felt that the effect didn't quite outstay its welcome, as new variations are introduced every so often, but it does fall somewhere between the tedious and the hypnotic; I found my attention wandering to the question of by what combinations of dyes and coloured film stock the various colour combinations had been achieved, and away from the actual performance. I also found myself automatically attempting to ascribe meaning to the abstracts: searchlights, the sails of boats, bats' wings, or clouds sweeping across the sun.

An interesting experiment, although not exactly in my line: worth hearing for the music, anyway.


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