Wednesday, March 2, 2011

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Norman McLaren: Improvisation, genius and shamelessness Brief Encounter

Anniversary Since we wanted to, a very personal way, pay tribute to one of the most influential authors in my view, we might say the film, the creation and life in general.

Norman McLaren was a Scottish-born entertainer in 1914, known primarily for his work at the National Film Board of Canada, the NFB, about which I spoke in this input.
Today I wanted-that I find interesting, necessary, because I have not seen elsewhere, "hang up the video (which I lost at the time) in the history of NFB , but I'll take advantage and talk-over for the record that the historical figure of Norman McLaren.

Norman McLaren brings to me three qualities that make it especially attractive, and we summarize in this improvisation, ingenuity and impudence .
What I can say.

Let A historical review and understand and better position the Scottish entertainer on stage.
summarize much and say the odd inaccuracy, but I hope you forgive me:

When back in the late nineteenth century, Edison invented the brothers Lumiere, the first machines recording the moving image on a strip of celluloid, which was reflected in reality was a series of photographs, now called frames.
With different variations, we can establish that a second of "real image" captured on film is 24 frames, 24 photographs, 24 different images of each other.

The principle of animation (which is actually up before the birth of cinema itself), thus establishing a direct and obvious way:
If instead of leaving the camera recording and collecting the that there is abroad, I stopping recording frame by frame, I can allegedly rebuild a real movement, either with puppets, cutouts or even real people.
That is the basis of what is called stop-motion or frame by frame animation, and whose essence, as I said, is the reconstruction, recreation, but also the fake from the real movement.

In the case of drawing, what we commonly call 2D animation, the principle is not very different: Draw by hand the entire sequence of images that need, and then the photograph (or scan as appropriate) to correspond to each of the frames.

short a lot, could be well.
But then comes McLaren.
With his genius, his unconscious, his impudence.
Norman's friend asks a question that will be key in the development of its work and its aesthetics.
crumb My question is:
" Why should I draw and then shoot the picture in the film, if I can draw directly on celluloid? "
not tell me you do not own a shameless.
And worse or better, of course, of all, he did.
without thinking twice bent over an area of \u200b\u200bonly 36x24 mm (A 35mm negative) and developed his box to box animation.

But McLaren did not stop there.
Once you get in the way of shamelessness, there is always more difficult, and the drum roll was ringing in the corridors of the NFB.
McLaren said: " Why go one on one painting boxes frames, if I can pick up a brush and paint the film as if it were a picture? "
And he did.
He created what might be called an abstract film.

This is an interesting part about which I want to stop.
Cinema, the vast majority, almost entirely, is narrative: The film tells a story.
But never forget that there is nothing that requires it.
Cinema, like any art, building a discipline without clear boundaries, and at the expense of the authors, creators, do what they want, what you feel, whatever they want.

So did McLaren.
In one of his best known pieces, went to talk to Oscar Peterson, the great jazz pianist, to make an abstract film about his music.
The result of this collaboration was born Begone Dull Care (Caprice in couleurs), a short film about 8 minutes to McLaren painted and drew directly onto celluloid, in collaboration with Evelyn Lambart .

is true that with today's eyes, to attend a "visual experience" as we propose these two geniuses, full of improvisation and ingenuity pede difficult, do not deny it, but for me, even today, remains a masterpiece, a unique feeling, a hull full of meanings, feelings and interpretations.
I leave you with it:

is wonderful, and yes, this also is cinema.

to say goodbye now I leave you with the primal reason for this post, which was none other than hang up this documentary about the origins of the NFB, where an educational and entertaining so we can take a journey through history and animation techniques.
the material was lost with the cancellation of the account and I find it interesting enough and I think that for at least a specialized audience, too, it was worth returning to.

is in one piece, 55 minutes. Perhaps long Internet, little to our senses.
Enjoy it.

from National Film Board Juan Ramón Pardo Rams on Vimeo .


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