Time Piece Jim Henson

Written by Joe D on July 19th, 2021

Before he started making Muppets Jim Henson made films, here’s one of them: Time Piece.

Frank Film

Written by Joe D on July 12th, 2021

Here it is! The Amazing Frank Film!

Jordan Belson

Written by Joe D on February 17th, 2021

Henry Jacobs and Jordan Belson at the Morrison Planetarium, 1959.

Here is a sample of the mystical filmmaking of Jordan Belson. Many think of him as trhe father of the 60’s psychedelic light shows, he put on a series of Abstract Visual Concerts at the Morrison Planetaium in 1957. Billed as the Vortex series, he collaborated with a sound Artist, Henry Jacobs, who played all kinds of World music, Music Concrete, Karlheinz Stockhausen, etc. I guess these concerts were too wild for the Planetarium and they stopped them. Belson began making films using his experience with the Light Shows as inspiration. I spoke to him on the telephone once many years ago at the behest of Harry Smith, another San Francisco based abstract filmmaker. Harry wanted me to have Belson send hi m some glass negatives of a series of Jazz paintings Harry did. These were Abstract Expressions of particular songs, like Bloomdido by Charlie Parker. Belson never sent the slides so I hope they are preserved somewhere and will be published one day. Anyway check this out and try to see his films projected in a theater. I saw them at the Anthology Film Archive in NYC. Now the Center For Visual Music, CVM is programming shows at museums around the world so keep your eyes open and go see them.

Special added Bonus Harry Smith’s Jazz painting of Dizzy Gillespie’s Manteca.

Harry Smith’s Early Abstractions

Written by Joe D on June 22nd, 2020

 

Here is a great animated film by Harry Smith. I knew him and used to visit him at The Chelsea Hotel on W.23rd street in NYC. Anyway check it out.

Tango by Zbignew Rybczyński

Written by Joe D on May 22nd, 2019

Here is an amazing film made in an optical printer by the talented Zbignew Rybczyński. I met him in NYC years ago , he had a company called 525. He was an early adopter of Hi Def video. But this was done on film.

 

 

 

When Herzog Rescued Phoenix

Written by Joe D on April 6th, 2019

Here’s another animation by the genius that did Lynch Meets Lucas, Sascha Ciezata.

Astro Boy

Written by Joe D on January 15th, 2019

 

Goback to your childhood, well, my childhood and check out the great cartoon Astro Boy! Created by the “Father of Manga”  Osamu Tezuka. Astro boy appeared in comic form in 1952, he was called Mighty Atom in Japan. The animated series was started in 1963.  He’s like a modern super powered Pinocchio. So check him out!

Pablo Ferro passes on.

Written by Joe D on November 17th, 2018

My dear friend Pablo Ferro passed away last night at the age of 83. He was the greatest, nicest guy. Super talented, he loved working, creating, doing incredible things.He was friend and collaborator to Stanley Kubrick, Hal Ashby, Bob Downey, Steve McQueen, Jeff Bridges, so many amazing people. He got me the job editing The Sunchaser for Michael Cimino and I tried to get him gigs whenever I could. Actually Pablo gave Cimino his start in filmmaking.  He was a legend. So raise a glass to a departed genius. Here’s a taste of his crazy magic.

Bruce Bicksford Twin Peaks

Written by Joe D on October 22nd, 2018


Bruce Bicksford is a genius animator I first became aware of back in the 70’s when he was collaborating with Frank Zappa on Baby Snakes. It makes perfect sense that he would be drawn to the mysterious word of Twin Peaks.

 

Hotel Modern & Arthur Sauer: The Great War at REDCAT!

Written by Joe D on April 17th, 2015

I am going to this show, it looks amazing. Tickets are still available. Check it out.
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This reminds me of a scene in a cool Italian film Grazie Zia, check that out too.Read all about it here. It also reminds me of a play I saw at the Public Theater in NYC. The Mabou Mines production of a Samuel Beckett Radio Play The Lost Ones. Man it was cool, more about that later.

An Optical Poem by Oskar Fischinger and Harry Smith’s Early Abstractions pt.3

Written by Joe D on January 26th, 2015

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I’m in an animation frame of mind these days. Here’s Oskar Fischinger’s onlyHollywood Studio comissioned film. An Optical Poem. It’s pretty amazing cosidering it’s cut out paper circles and other shapes moved along wires frame by frame. Fischinger was a pioneer in creating visual music, abstract visual music and a huge influence on many animators like Harry Smith, Jordan Belson, the Vortex group, light shows etc. I knew Harry Smith when he lived at the Chelsea Hotel in NYC. He told me he went down to L.A. to meet Fischinger in the 50’s.They had a hamburger at a diner and were very engrossed in a discussion of abstract animation when a fed up waitress told them to “get a room” at a nearby motel. Fischinger was outraged! I guess the waitress misinterpreted their passion for Visual Music for something else.


Here’s Harry Smith’s homage to Fischinger.


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Harry Smith outside the Chelsea

New Janko The Musician

Written by Joe D on January 20th, 2015

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More Polish animation from the great Jan Lenica! Visual poetry, so simple yet evocative, funny, moving. The supergraphic talents of Mr. Lenica are on full display here, it’s like some of his genius movie posters come to life. Also the music is amazing, so cool, and the sound design is excellent , kind of Jaques Tati, Alan Splet, David Lynch sensibility. Check it ouT!