7.2/10
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2 user 1 critic

Blacktop: A Story of the Washing of a School Play Yard (1952)

| Short
A visually elegant study of water on a schoolyard playground.

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A visually elegant study of water on a schoolyard playground.

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Great short
19 April 2005 | by (Greensboro, N.C.) – See all my reviews

A great short film by the husband and wife pair, Charles and Ray Eames. Less of a movie, and more of a visual documentation (as most of their films strive towards), "Blacktop: A Story of the Washing of a School Play Yard" (1952) watches, with beautiful slow camera strides, the washing of a blacktop with water and soap as it moves across the asphalt's painted lines. Picking up pieces of foliage and debris along the way, the motion of the water, soap, and other articles over the pavement's lines and indentations creates beautiful fluid movements that trick the eye into losing points of reference, and simply observe the flow of soap, sticks, and water. Layers of soap and debris on top of an undercurrent of water create interesting swirls and patterns that move with the washing water and exhibit a sense of art in life that cannot be captured through the narrative film. This is an excellent short film.

Viewed as part of the "Films of Charles and Ray Eames Vol 2" DVD with other films by the Eames's such as "House: After Five Years of Living" (1955), "Toccata for Toy Trains" (1959), "Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair" (1960), and others, the massive talent of Ray and Charles Eames can be glimpsed through their movies. I encourage everybody to familiarize themselves with the work of Charles and Ray, and to seek out knowledge in the ares of their studies.


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