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8 user 1 critic

An Optical Poem (1938)

Not Rated | | Animation, Short, Music | 5 March 1938 (USA)
A dance of shapes. A title card tells us this is an experiment in conveying the mental images of music in a visual form. Liszt's "Second Hungarian Rhapsody" is the music. The shapes, all ... See full summary »

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(uncredited)
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Storyline

A dance of shapes. A title card tells us this is an experiment in conveying the mental images of music in a visual form. Liszt's "Second Hungarian Rhapsody" is the music. The shapes, all two-dimensional, are circles primarily, with some squares and rectangles, and a few triangles. The shapes move rhythmically to the music: receding from view or moving across the screen. Red circles on a blue background; light blue squares; white rectangles. Then, a red background of many circles with a few in the foreground. Red gives way to blue then to white. Shapes reappear as Liszt's themes re-occur. Then, with a few staccato notes and images, it's over. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Animation | Short | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated

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Release Date:

5 March 1938 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.37 : 1
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Prologue (Title): To most of us, music suggests definite mental images of form and color. The picture you are about to see is a novel scientific experiment. Its object is to convey these mental images in visual form.
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Soundtracks

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Music by Franz Liszt
Played throughout the entire picture
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User Reviews

 
Abstract art accompanies "Hungarian Rhapsody"...
6 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

I appreciated the soundtrack more than the abstract art, patterns of balloon-shaped dots that dance across the screen for six minutes while the 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody explodes with musical sounds.

After a few minutes, the short becomes too repetitious to be really novel. In fact, it's the sort of thing the Disney studio was already experimenting with and led to several short subjects, as well as the full-length feature "Fantasia" later on, combining classical music with unique animation.

But this was 1937 and the comparison to Disney was not made at the time. Nevertheless, I found it monotonous to watch and not unique enough, except for the exhilarating classical music performed.


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