Norman McLaren was a very prolific Canadian animator born in the UK. Most of his films would be described as 'arty' and are pretty much unknown here in the States. However, I've seen several of his films on various DVD collections and I like these sorts of shorts--and was thrilled to see a seven disk set of his work. This particular short is from the first disk.
Unlike most of McLaren's films, this one is a silent. Even some of his earlier works had sound and so I wonder why this one didn't. Perhaps it was a project he was doing more for himself or as an experiment.
This film consists mostly of extreme closeups of hands and equipment making ready for a ball in Glasgow, Scotland. However, considering how close the shots are, it's really difficult to tell what exactly is being done. Later, you can see that it is indeed a ball, as instruments, posters and the like are revealed. In the second portion, the ball itself is shown--not just the preparations. And, unfortunately, it's all pretty dull stuff. Again, however, don't fret--the director was young and just leaning his craft. And, I guess you gotta start somewhere.
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