Film/Music/Forms – Early Abstractions of the 1940s and 1950s

  • Introspection (1941-47) by Sara Kathryn Arledge (image courtesy of UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, © UC Regents. All rights reserved)
  • Sophisticated Vamp (1951/58) by Lynn Fayman
  • Phantasmagoria (1946/49) by Curtis Opliger
  • Prelude (ca.1950) by Curtis Opliger
  • Color Fragments (1948) by Elwood Decker
  • Crystals (1951) by Elwood Decker
  • Mahzel (ca.1949) by John Whitney

    October 23, 2011, 7:30pm
    Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028

    Another strain of experimental filmmaking in Los Angeles, predating the War but continuing and expanding after it, was the abstract film, usually (but not always) created through animation. Other examples evolve from a dance film tradition but chose to use the human figure as an abstract form.

    Films to be Screened

    • Film Exercises #4 and #5 (1945, 16mm, color, sound, 13min. total)
      Directed by John Whitney and James Whitney

      (restored prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
    • Introspection by Sara Kathryn Arledge. UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive,  © UC Regents. All rights reserved Introspection by Sara Kathryn Arledge. UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, © UC Regents. All rights reserved

      Introspection (1947, 16mm, color, sound, 8min.)
      Directed by Sara Kathryn Arledge

      (restored print courtesy of the Pacific Film Archive)
    • Mahzel (ca.1949) by John Whitney Mahzel (ca.1949) by John Whitney

      Mahzel (ca.1949, 16mm, b/w, sound, 3min.)
      Directed by John Whitney

      (print courtesy of the Whitney Collection at the Academy Film Archive)
    • Prelude (ca.1950) by Curtis Opliger Prelude (ca.1950) by Curtis Opliger

      Prelude (1950, 16mm, color, sound, 3min.)
      Directed by Curt Opliger

      (restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
    • Phantasmagoria (1946/49) by Curtis Opliger Phantasmagoria (1946/49) by Curtis Opliger

      Phantasmagoria (1946/49, digital (orig. 8mm), b/w, sound, 6min.)
      Directed by Curt Opliger

    • Color Fragments (1948) by Elwood Decker Color Fragments (1948) by Elwood Decker

      Color Fragments (1948, 16mm, color, silent 24fps, 11min.)
      Directed by Elwood Decker

      (restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
    • Crystals (1951) by Elwood Decker Crystals (1951) by Elwood Decker

      Crystals (1951, 16mm, color, silent 24fps, 2.5min.)
      Directed by Elwood Decker

      (restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
    • Sophisticated Vamp (1951/58) by Lynn Fayman Sophisticated Vamp (1951/58) by Lynn Fayman

      Sophisticated Vamp (1951/1958, 16mm, color, sound, 4 min.)
      Directed by Lynn Fayman

      (restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
    • Title sequence from Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958, 35mm, color, sound, 3min.)
      Directed by John Whitney and Saul Bass

    • Yantra (1957, 16mm, color, sound, 8min.)
      Directed by James Whitney

      (print courtesy of the Whitney Collection at the Academy Film Archive)
    • Paper Moon (1949, digital (orig. 16mm), color, sound, 4min.)
      Directed by Flora Mock

      (digital copy courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
    • Moonlight Sonata (1948, 16mm, color, sound, 7.5min.)
      Directed by Frank Collins and Donald Meyer

      (restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)