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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘James Whitney’ tag

 

Heavy-Light, a film by Adam K. Beckett

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In the early 1990s the UK’s Channel 4 still operated as an avant-garde television channel, broadcasting films, dramas and documentaries that the other channels would be unlikely to show. Late nights were often filled out with resolutely uncommercial fare, as was the case when Abstract Cinema was shown in 1993, a 50-minute documentary by Keith […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {psychedelia}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


An Optical Poem by Oskar Fischinger

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Oskar Fischinger’s only successful collaboration with a Hollywood studio was this 7-minute animation made for MGM in 1937. As with some of Fischinger’s earlier films, a piece of classical music is illustrated with dancing shapes of cut-out paper. The music in this instance is Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody, and this short was one of the […]

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Moon 69, a film by Scott Bartlett

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Scott Bartlett was the director of OffOn (1967), one of the key works of psychedelic cinema, and an earlier example of experimental film making use of video effects. Similar effects may be seen in Bartlett’s follow-up, Moon 69, which subjects footage from the NASA archives to a variety of processing techniques, especially solarisation. The copy […]

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Us Down By The Riverside, a film by Jud Yalkut

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More psychedelic freakery from American filmmaker Jud Yalkut. Us Down By The Riverside (1966) is short and sweet: three minutes of acid visuals accompanied by a muddy recording of The Beatles playing Tomorrow Never Knows. Groovy. For a very different take on John Lennon’s psych-out, see the penultimate episode of cartoon show, The Beatles. Previously […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »

 


Turn, Turn, Turn, a film by Jud Yalkut

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I’m currently reading my way through Rob Chapman’s lysergic doorstop Psychedelia and Other Colours, a comprehensive study of a cultural phenomenon that’s well-represented on these pages. So expect more posts like this one which concerns another gem of abstract/psychedelic cinema. Turn, Turn, Turn (1966) is a collaboration between Jud Yalkut (visuals) and the Us Company […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {art}, {books}, {film}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »

 


Mothlight, a film by Stan Brakhage

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One of the common methods of making a no-budget abstract film was to scratch or paint directly onto the film itself, a technique popularised by Len Lye in the 1930s. Mothlight (1963) by Stan Brakhage works a variation on the process by gluing broken moth wings, leaves and other bits of natural detritus to a […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film} | 2 comments »

 


Walter Ruttmann’s abstract cinema

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Histories of abstract cinema often begin with Oskar Fischinger, a filmmaker and animator who was certainly a pioneer of the form. But these four silent shorts by Walter Ruttmann (1887–1941), Lichtspiel: Opus I, II, III & IV (1921–25) predate Fischinger’s work, and also prefigure Fischinger’s own animations of swooping shapes, blooming circles and stabbing triangles. […]

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7362, a film by Pat O’Neill

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This week is a psychedelic one for Londoners: on Monday Britain’s first Psychedelic Society was launched at Conway Hall (the Society uses my Psychedelic Alice artwork in some of its graphics); today (the 4th) there’s an evening of short psychedelic films at BFI Southbank: Jet Propelled Cinema: How Psychedelia Infected Hollywood Sci-Fi. A couple of […]

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Here and There, a film by Andrzej Pawlowski

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I only realised earlier today that the post about The Saragossa Manuscript provides continuity with last week’s examples of Polish cinema; unintentional but it shows where my head is at just now. Here’s another example, and another abstract filmmaker I hadn’t come across before. Andrzej Pawlowski (1925–1986) was also a painter, and his films take […]

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Power Spot by Michael Scroggins

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I was going to post this anyway but there’s a coincidental connection with yesterday’s post in the person of Richard Horowitz whose keyboards can be heard on the soundtrack. The music is Power Spot, the opening number on the album of the same name released by ECM in 1986. Also present on the album are […]

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Enter the Void

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It’s taken me a while to see this but the long search for a genuinely psychedelic feature film is over. That’s genuinely psychedelic not in the debased sense of a handful of garish or trippy visuals, but in the full-spectrum expanded-consciousness sense for which Humphrey Osmond invented the term in 1956: I have tried to […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {religion} | 23 comments »

 


The Kaleidoplex

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The Kaleidoplex Light Organ, a kaleidoscope projector invented in the early Seventies by Marshall Yaeger to create a visual accompaniment for organ music performances. The image [the Kaleidoplex] projects can be described most accurately and scientifically as an irregularly pulsating and continuously changing octagonal star or circular rosette centered on a circular field of smaller […]

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The Demon Regent Asmodeus

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The Demon Regent Asmodeus (2006). Alan Moore readers have finally discovered my little easter egg on the Mindscape of Alan Moore DVD so I can now talk about the creation of this miniature work. Director Dez Vylenz and I thought it would be nice to have a hidden extra somewhere on the main disc and […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {comics}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Ten films by Oskar Fischinger

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After complaining a couple of days ago about the difficulty of seeing works of abstract cinema, it turns out that a collection of Oskar Fischinger’s great animations appeared earlier this year. Decades before computer graphics, before music videos, even before Fantasia (the 1940 version), there were the abstract animated films of Oskar Fischinger (1900–1967), master […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {art}, {film} | 2 comments »

 


 



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