Arthur Lipsett’s first film is an avant-garde blend of photography and sound. It looks behind the business-as-usual face we put on life and shows anxieties we want to forget. It is made of dozens of pictures that seem familiar, with fragments of speech heard in passing and, between times, a voice saying, “Very nice, very nice.” It was was critically acclaimed and plays frequently in festivals and film schools around the world. —nfb.ca
Arthur Lipsett (13 May 1936 – May 1, 1986) was a Canadian avant-garde director of short experimental films.
In the 1960s he was employed as an animator by the National Film Board of Canada. Lipsett’s particular passion was sound. He would collect pieces of sound and fit them together to create an interesting auditory sensation. After playing one of these creations to friends, they suggested that Lipsett put images to it. He did what his friends suggested, and the result became the 7 minute long film Very Nice, Very Nice which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects in 1962. Despite not winning the Oscar, this film brought Lipsett considerable praise from critics and directors. Stanley Kubrick was one of Lipsett’s fans, and asked him to create a trailer for his upcoming movie Dr. Strangelove. Lipsett declined Kubrick’s offer. Kubrick went on to direct the trailer himself; however, Lipsett’s influence on Kubrick is clearly visible when watching… read more
Though the meaning of the movie is inexplicable, the rapid montage is effective in its use editing and sound design. I can definitely see why Stanley Kubrick likes this one. Even the trailer for Dr. Strangelove seems to be inspired by it.