"The producers of 'Chronicle' must be commended for a novel treatment. They employed the hands only to show the life of a boy from his third birthday until maturity. Into this novel treatment they spun a story of the boy's downfall until he is found guilty of murder and is incarcerated. All of it was interior and was well photographed." American Cinematographer, Jan. 1936, 40.
"Dancers move in front of a background made up of crystal formations filmed through a microscope. One of Norman McLaren’s first experimental films." Library and Archives Canada.
"A five minute abstract film using live action, slow motion and shots showing the interplay of lights on coloured paper. Although the film was silent, its accompanying gramophone record married so well that the film was perceived as a sound film" ("McLaren and Grierson: Intersections").
"The Annual Fancy Dress Ball at Glasgow School of Art: 'Something New Under the Sun'. Includes two ballets, 'Hungarian' and 'Machine Age' and animated sequences." National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.
"Filmed by Norman McLaren and Willie J. MacLean, [Seven Till Five] shows a day in the life of the Glasgow School of Art." National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.
"In 1921, Sheeler and Strand collaborated to make Manhatta, considered to be the first American avant-garde film. Inspired by Walt Whitman's poem "Mannahatta," which is quoted in one of the intertitles, the film portrays life in New York City in sixty-five nonnarrative shots. The sequences display one epic day in Lower Manhattan, beginning with a ferry approaching the city in early morning and ending with a sunset view from a skyscraper. Shot from extreme camera angles, the film captures the dynamic qualities of the new metropolis" Museum of Modern Art (New York), Department of Film.
"Zero is an aspiring artist, but he is a wraithlike being, and his ornate appearance makes him even more of a caricature. Just as sound had been approximated in A Hollywood Extra through close ups of a bugle, so zero's playing of the same instrument leads to his meeting with his true love, Beatrix. However, when she is recalled by the Grand Vizier of Afghanistan, their brief union presages the fatal failure of Zero's mingling with the outside world. Reading his future in a mammoth book of destiny filled with grotesque and discouraging words, an organ-grinder brings to play the inexhorable tune of fate to which zero must dance. Zero's life becomes a perpetual nightmare, surrounded by monstrous ghouls, whose giant, deformed faces leer, laugh, mutter, and point as they surround and overwhelm him. In the end, as Zero's name implies , his music, life, and love, count for a sum of nothing" Taves, 104.
Also known as Footnote to Fact [As I Walk].
"Amateur production. A man, Dent Harrison, falls asleep and dreams that the R-100 sails for North America from its base in England. Various long shots of the airship under way. After the mooring procedure is completed, S/L R.S. Booth, S/L E.L. Johnson, Capt. G.F. Meager and other members of the crew meet with the welcoming party led by Minister of National Defence, J.L. Ralston. G/C Stedman, G.J. Desbarats, Maj. Gen. McNaughton and officers of the U.S. Navy are also in attendance. Several civilians are also in the party. Harrison's "clone" visits with his "brother". Cut back to the airship and shots of repairs to damage sustained in a thunder storm over Trois-Rivières. Visitors climb into the airship in a high wind. The R-100 is shown leaving on its Canadian flight. View of the shadow of the ship on the ground and several shots from various distances, notably from Windrift, the summer home of the Harrisons at Lakeside, Québec. Aerials of Niagara Falls, Welland Canal, Toronto, a lake steamer, Kingston, Queen's University, Kingston Penitentiary, the Thousand Islands, with cuts inside the airship's gondola, with crew men silhouetted against bright windows. More aerial shots of Cornwall, the shadow of the R-100 on Montreal, Côte-St-Luc and Verdun. Various ground to air long shots and closer views of the R-100 in flight, of the airship moored to its mast at St-Hubert air base. Sequences on Dent Harrison talking to his "clone" as he edits his footage, projects it into the lens of the camera. The two have lunch and the clone departs. Shots of the R-100 leaving as seen fromn directly underneath. Cut back to Harrison waking up from his dream." (LAC description)
"Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapich created one of the most creative (particularly in light of its reputed $97 budget) and bleakest of the early avant-garde films. Photographed by Gregg Toland, who would become best known for his work on "Citizen Kane," the film is the time-worn tale of a movie extra (Jules Raucort) marginalized by one casting director after another until he's seen only as a number symbolically appearing on his forehead. The ultra simplistic sets and props, made of toys and cardboard buildings projected like shadows, help to create intricate German Expressionistic cityscapes reminiscent at times of "Metropolis." " National Film Registry.
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