Perhaps the only film whose content is totally based on the musical form known as canon. The first sequence is a simple demonstration of the canon “Frere Jacques” where four cubes dance and combine with one another on a checkerboard. The second sequence show four little human-like figures dancing in space. The third and most elaborate sequence shows a human going through several strange gesticulations. Through multiple printing we realize that the man, as in the previous sequences, is part of a visual canon and is making the gestures to himself. As we hear variations on the canonic theme so too do we witness visual variations: a woman and cat enters the canon. To show the musical technique of inversion, the image of the man is printed upside down. —IMDb
Norman McLaren, CC, CQ (11 April 1914 – 27 January 1987) was a Scottish-born Canadian animator and film director known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).
McLaren was born in Stirling, Scotland and studied set design at the Glasgow School of Art. His early experiments with film and animation included actually scratching and painting the film stock itself, as he did not have ready access to a camera. His earliest extant film, Seven Till Five (1933), a “day in the life of an art school” was influenced by Eisenstein and displays a strongly formalist attitude.
McLaren’s next film, Camera Makes Whoopee (1935), was a more elaborate take on the themes explored in Seven Till Five, inspired by his acquisition of a Ciné-Kodak camera, which enabled him to execute a number of ‘trick’ shots. McLaren used pixilation effects, superimpositions and animation not only to display the staging of an art school ball, but also to tap into the aesthetic sensations supposedly… read more