New Zealand modernist Len Lye (1901-1980) was an experimental film pioneer and kinetic sculptor who pursued his multidisciplinary arts in London, New York, and across the South Pacific. The 1936 short film above, Rainbow Dance, was created in England with Gasparcolor, a German motion picture film system that used color layers.
“Lye filmed well-known dancer Rupert Doone in black and white, then added colours as the footage was developed and printed. He also added a variety of painted and stenciled patterns. Rainbow Dance is full of striking effects such as figures that leave behind a trail of coloured silhouettes as they move (like Duchamp’s painting “Nude Descending a Staircase”).”
“Tired of naturalism, Lye mixed live action with cartoon symbols, and combined positive and negative footage. The film was sponsored by the GPO Film Unit on the condition that Lye included an advertisement for the GPO Savings Bank.”
Learn more about Len Lye at LenLyeFoundation.com
Watch these classic pioneering films next on TKSST:
• Oskar Fischinger’s Optical Poem (1938)
• Pen Point Percussion and Dots: Norman McLaren
• Norman McLaren’s Boogie Doodle (1948)
• Art Clokey’s Gumbasia (1955)
• Drums West by Jim Henson (1961)
• Block City (1980) by Al Jarnow
Bonus: Shugo Tokumaru’s Katachi.
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.