In 1952, Belson animated a little masterpiece Bop Scotch, which applied the three-frame exposure of his other animation to objects found on the street. Moving around a manhole cover makes it seem to turn, and following the swirling lines in a decorative paving seems to make them sway. Daisies dance, and a rock seems to hop about from hollow to hollow in a patterned surface. The effect is enchanting, and it became a very popular film. —Dr. William Moritz, The iotaCenter
Jordan Belson studied painting before seeing Oskar Fischinger and the Whitney brothers’ films at the 1946 Art in Cinema festival at the San Francisco Museum, whereupon he increasingly devoted himself to the moving abstract image. His early films animated real objects (pavements in Bop-Scotch 1952) and scroll paintings prepared like film strips with successive images (Mandala 1953). Belson subsequently withdrew these films from circulation as imperfect and primitive, but they already reflect his refined plastic sensibility, fine color sense, and superb sense of dynamic structure. They also foreshadow his more accomplished expressions of mystical concepts, Bop-Scotch seeming to reveal a hidden soul and life-force in “inanimate” objects, and Mandala presenting a compelling version of the centering meditation image.
Between 1957 and 1959, Belson collaborated with composer Henry Jacobs on the historic… read more