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Published on Oct 28, 2012
Len Lye's work may look like contemporary vj wizardry, but was actually made in a time when full colour film was still a bit of a novelty. Disney had introduced Technicolor's three-color system with "Flowers and Trees" in 1932, but most movies were still shot in black and white. After two abstract direct-to-film shorts which were painted or stencilled directly on the film strip in 1935, Len Lye abandoned total abstraction in 1936 with "Rainbow Dance" and the stop-motion narrative short "The Birth of the Robot". "Rainbow Dance" is a very colorful collage of treated live-action footage, artful backgrounds and direct-to-film animation effects.
The presented edit is set to music lifted of Lye's even more impressive next short "Trade Tattoo".