Mosaic, by Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, is a picture of unusual movement, color and sound, created in an unusual way. It is an example of “op” art in film, a play on the retina of the eye. The basis of the film is a single tiny square that divides, eventually forming a colorful mosaic to the animators’ musical orchestration. —NFB
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
Evelyn Lambart, the first woman animator at the National Film Board, was a frequent collaborator with the legendary Norman McLaren – a lengthy and productive partnership that resulted in eight significant short films, including Begone Dull Care (1949), Around Is Around (1951) and Now Is the Time (1951).
Initially hired as a letterer when she joined the NFB in 1942, following commercial art studies at the Ontario College of Art, Lambart specialized in graphics and maps (which she used extensively in The World in Action series), as well as educational films. Her Family Tree (1950), about the settlement of Canada, and The Impossible Map (1947), which explains how flat maps can be created from a round globe, are classics of their kind. Her animation work on A Chairy Tale (1957), where she made a chair come to life to the comic frustration of Claude Jutra, earned her an Academy Award® nomination.
Beginning in the mid-sixties, Lambart developed her own style using paper cut… read more