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Film Unlimited
6:30 Collection

A mass society sends masses of letters, which are now sorted, classified and sent on their way at assembly lines and with the help of machines. The film follows this process with barely concealed enthusiasm. It is considered to be the first documentary that uses only live sound, while demonstrating that sound is capable of much more than just “documentation” ...

UK

UK
1934

6:30 Collection

Animadoc
UK
1934
15 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
John Grierson, GPO Film Unit
J. D. Davidson
Harry Watt
J. Cox
A mass society sends masses of letters, which are now sorted, classified and sent on their way at assembly lines and with the help of machines. The film follows this process with barely concealed enthusiasm. It is considered to be the first documentary that uses only live sound, while demonstrating that sound is capable of much more than just “documentation”. Note the visual-sound-editing, especially the credit motif, which was recorded by the whole studio staff (including Grierson and Wright) using various props like a beer bottle, a projection machine and sand paper.

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
A Chairy Tale Normen McLaren, Claude Jutra

A wooden chair rejects a man who wants to sit down on it and starts to move with a will of its own. After the first consternation, the man’s ambition is kindled and the two begin a bizarre dance which ends in

1957

A Chairy Tale

Animadoc
Canada
1957
10 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Normen McLaren, Claude Jutra
Ravi Shankar, Chatur Lal, Maurice Blackburn
Evelyn Lambart
A wooden chair rejects a man who wants to sit down on it and starts to move with a will of its own. After the first consternation, the man’s ambition is kindled and the two begin a bizarre dance which ends in mutual consent.
“A Chairy Tale” developed the pixilation technique with which McLaren had already experimented in his surprise hit “Neighbours” further. He created alternative versions of the text editions that were also published by the NFB for this extraordinary dance film. The music was the contribution of a then largely unknown Indian musician: Ravi Shankar.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
A Colour Box

When the young Norman McLaren saw “A Colour Box”, he knew that this was exactly what he wanted to do. Made without a camera and drawn directly on the celluloid ...

UK

UK
1935

A Colour Box

Animadoc
UK
1935
4 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
John Grierson, GPO Film Unit
Don Baretto and his Cuban Orchestra
When the young Norman McLaren saw “A Colour Box”, he knew that this was exactly what he wanted to do. Made without a camera and drawn directly on the celluloid, the success of this film (even though audiences first were shocked and jeered at it) established direct animation as a technique of its own. The slightly jazzy, dancing promotion of the Post Office at the end may have served to justify the production of such a work by a government institution, but Grierson explicitly considered such films as an enrichment of the GPO canon.

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Blinkity Blank Normen McLaren

Audiences can expect a firework of colours and sounds in this film, arguably the most important work of Norman McLaren’s career. Its motifs, scratched and drawn directly on the film, and the decision to intersperse them with blank frames make it a brilliant experiment on the human eye’s abilities of perception ...

1955

Blinkity Blank

Animadoc
Canada
1955
6 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Normen McLaren
Normen McLaren
Maurice Blackburn
Normen McLaren
Roger Beaudry, Joseph Champagne
Audiences can expect a firework of colours and sounds in this film, arguably the most important work of Norman McLaren’s career. Its motifs, scratched and drawn directly on the film, and the decision to intersperse them with blank frames make it a brilliant experiment on the human eye’s abilities of perception. McLaren’s best-known quote is based on this concept: “Animation is not the art of drawings-that-move, but rather the art of movements that are drawn. What happens between each frame is more important than what happens on each frame.”

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Canon Normen McLaren, Grant Munro

The combination of image and sound was a vital part of McLaren’s work. In addition to his experiments with soundtracks he drew upon he created a few films like “Canon”, in which he tried to visualise theoretical concepts, in the 1960s ...

1964

Canon

Animadoc
Canada
1964
10 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Normen McLaren, Grant Munro
Eldon Rathburn
Robert Humble
J. Gillissie
Ron Alexander
The combination of image and sound was a vital part of McLaren’s work. In addition to his experiments with soundtracks he drew upon he created a few films like “Canon”, in which he tried to visualise theoretical concepts, in the 1960s. Here he uses rhythmic animation and live action to demonstrate, in collaboration with Grant Munro, how a canon works. Toy blocks, stick figures and real humans serve as visual aids that move to a strict rhythm to form, by means of additional animation, a brilliant and original demonstration of the different types of canons.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Cosmic Zoom Eva Szasz

In the spirit of discovery that pervaded the 1960s, this animated documentary explores the endless spaces of the micro- and macrocosm in only eight minutes, from the universe to the smallest unit of our body ...

1968

Cosmic Zoom

Animadoc
Canada
1968
8 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Robert Verrall, Joseph Koenig
Eva Szasz
Pierre F. Brault
Tony Ianzelo, James Wilson, Wayne Trickett, Raymond Dumas
Roger Lamoureux
Eva Szasz
Karl Duplessi
In the spirit of discovery that pervaded the 1960s, this animated documentary explores the endless spaces of the micro- and macrocosm in only eight minutes, from the universe to the smallest unit of our body. It starts with a boy who rows across a lake with his dog. The imaginary camera first “zooms” away from him and then into his body. The film was one of seven short NFB animations bought by the US broadcaster ABC in 1971 for its children’s show “Curiosity Shop”.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Free Fall Arthur Lipsett

In “Free Fall”, Arthur Lipsett, the NFB’s “boy genius”, who inspired directors like Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas and Stan Brakhage, edited a fast-paced montage of modern stereotypes. Film footage, photos, animations accompanied by fragments of words and music ...

1964

Free Fall

Animadoc
Canada
1964
10 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tom Daly, Colin Low
Arthur Lipsett
Arthur Lipsett
Arthur Lipsett
Arthur Lipsett
In “Free Fall”, Arthur Lipsett, the NFB’s “boy genius”, who inspired directors like Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas and Stan Brakhage, edited a fast-paced montage of modern stereotypes. Film footage, photos, animations accompanied by fragments of words and music, live sounds of all kind grow into an associative maelstrom of images modelled on Dalí and surrealism. The mundane is juxtaposed with symbols charged with meaning, concrete faces with abstract figures, rapid movement with stagnation, the old with the new. The closing image is that of a cell from which everything grows. Lipsett himself said: “An attempt to express in filmic terms an intensive flow of life – a vision of a world in the throes of creativity – the transformation of physical phenomena into psychological ones – a visual bubbling of picture and sound operating to create a new continuity of experience – (…) strange shapes shine forth from the abyss of timelessness.”

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Hell Unltd Norman McLaren, Helen Biggar

Norman McLaren, who made this film as a young member of the Communist Party and when he was more or less an amateur, later called it his only “social documentary”. The mixture of live action, drawn and ...

UK

UK
1936

Hell Unltd

Animadoc
UK
1936
20 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Norman McLaren, Helen Biggar
Norman McLaren, who made this film as a young member of the Communist Party and when he was more or less an amateur, later called it his only “social documentary”. The mixture of live action, drawn and object animation achieved a certain fame, despite – or perhaps because – a very simple, often superficial symbolism which left no doubt about its hatred of imperialism and war.

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Hen Hop Norman McLaren

A hen performs an exuberant and wild dance to Canadian country music. Sometimes it’s an egg, sometimes it has a leg missing and occasionally it falls apart ...

1942

Hen Hop

Animadoc
Canada
1942
3 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Norman McLaren
Norman McLaren
Norman McLaren
A hen performs an exuberant and wild dance to Canadian country music. Sometimes it’s an egg, sometimes it has a leg missing and occasionally it falls apart. Norman McLaren had a fascination for chickens and eggs because he believed they lent themselves easily to simple drawings, so they became quite popular figures in his films. “It is not so important what is moving as how it moves.” Again, McLaren painted the animation directly on the film.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Keep Your Mouth Shut Norman McLaren

The photographic representation of a human cranium turns into an animated skull, its eyes become swastikas, while the enemy, personified by a Hitler-spy ...

1944

Keep Your Mouth Shut

Animadoc
Canada
1944
3 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Norman McLaren
Norman McLaren
George Dunning
The photographic representation of a human cranium turns into an animated skull, its eyes become swastikas, while the enemy, personified by a Hitler-spy, learns important war secrets from its mouth. A drastic appeal and an intermediate stage on the filmmaker’s path from the concrete to abstraction.

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Love on the Wing

This film manifested Norman McLaren’s experimental and unique work for the GPO. He mixes surrealist backdrops with silhouettes of famous buildings and a story drawn on the film whose individual frames keep melting into ...

UK

UK
1938

Love on the Wing

Animadoc
UK
1938
5 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Alberto Cavalcanti, GPO Film Unit
Jacques Ibert
Jonah Jones, Fred Gamage
This film manifested Norman McLaren’s experimental and unique work for the GPO. He mixes surrealist backdrops with silhouettes of famous buildings and a story drawn on the film whose individual frames keep melting into each other in the foreground. The narrative is easily understood, but the different levels make the film appear very complex so that watching it once is hardly enough. The British Post Minister of the time was suspicious of the subliminal erotic message of the film, which meant that it was rarely screened.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Neighbours Normen McLaren

There is a controversial debate about the political component of this multiple award-winning work in film studies even today. Many call it banal, others highly political, while McLaren himself used the term “rather a moral film. (…) It can be used for political purposes.” ...

1952

Neighbours

Animadoc
Canada
1952
9 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Normen McLaren
Normen McLaren
Normen McLaren
Wolf Koenig
Normen McLaren
Clark Daprato
There is a controversial debate about the political component of this multiple award-winning work in film studies even today. Many call it banal, others highly political, while McLaren himself used the term “rather a moral film. (…) It can be used for political purposes.” He even agreed to make a change for US distribution and edit the dead women and children out of the film. When the Vietnam War had started, however, he insisted on the original version to show the momentousness of such conflicts.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Rainbow Dance

This is one of the most colourful GPO propaganda films. Director Len Lye painted it directly on a film strip on which a real live person had been recorded to make the figure look like an animated character dancing in a ...

UK

UK
1936

Rainbow Dance

Animadoc
UK
1936
4 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Basil Wright, Alberto Cavalcanti, GPO Film Unit
Rico’s Creole Band
Jonah Jones
Len Lye
Len Lye
This is one of the most colourful GPO propaganda films. Director Len Lye painted it directly on a film strip on which a real live person had been recorded to make the figure look like an animated character dancing in a colourful cosmos. He uses the abstract patterns familiar from his earlier works as background design, supplemented by other graphics. Music again determines the rhythm of the film, which ultimately was nothing more than a commercial for opening an account with the Post Office.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
Sixpenny Telegram

Nine words for sixpence – the (now almost forgotten) telegram as a new way of transmitting messages quickly, cheaply and simply has entered the stage and calls for promotion ...

UK

UK
1935

Sixpenny Telegram

Animadoc
UK
1935
6 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
GPO Film Unit
Nine words for sixpence – the (now almost forgotten) telegram as a new way of transmitting messages quickly, cheaply and simply has entered the stage and calls for promotion. The film, which was probably a collective effort and produced with the simplest of means, is an experimental feast of forms which, starting from the documentary image, uses models, stop-motion animation or experimental optical effects, all testifying to the young GPO directors’ spirit of playfulness.

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
The Coming of the Dial

Set to an excerpt of László Moholy-Nagy’s “Lightplay: Black White Gray”, created by his “Light Display Machine” (the rights to which Grierson had acquired), the voice-over soberly praises science as the creative power of the modern world and proclaims the application of its laws to everyday problems ...

UK

UK
1933

The Coming of the Dial

Animadoc
UK
1933
15 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
John Grierson, GPO Film Unit
Gerald Gibbs
Set to an excerpt of László Moholy-Nagy’s “Lightplay: Black White Gray”, created by his “Light Display Machine” (the rights to which Grierson had acquired), the voice-over soberly praises science as the creative power of the modern world and proclaims the application of its laws to everyday problems. The movement of the light machine fades into that of a dial, which is predicted to revolutionise telecommunications and make direct connections across the globe possible. The fascination with which the film explains these complex technical processes is palpable. The camera literally crawls into the machine, follows endless cables and tangles of numbers and wires which become abstract textures, while dissolves give them a specific, animation film-like visual quality. Though the mystery behind the call is solved, the film is the opposite of disenchanting.

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Film Unlimited
The Romance of Transportation in Canada Colin Low

This was the first joint production of what were to become the key players of Unit B: Colin Low, Wolf Koenig, Robert Verrall, and of course producer Tom Daly. Conceived as part of the “Canada Carries On” series, the ironic distance of the creative heads of Unit B towards Canadian culture and history already shines through in this entertaining animation ...

1952

The Romance of Transportation in Canada

Animadoc
Canada
1952
12 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tom Daly
Colin Low
Eldon Rathburn
Wolf Koenig, Robert Verrall
Guy Glover
Clark Daprato, Kenneth Heeley-Ray
Lyle Enright
Max Ferguson
This was the first joint production of what were to become the key players of Unit B: Colin Low, Wolf Koenig, Robert Verrall, and of course producer Tom Daly. Conceived as part of the “Canada Carries On” series, the ironic distance of the creative heads of Unit B towards Canadian culture and history already shines through in this entertaining animation. National historical developments are explained through technical achievements, while the film frequently and with a certain degree of self-mockery satirizes the Canadians and their cultural myths. At the same time, it is the first NFB film to use the fairly commercial cel animation technique instead of the experimental techniques developed by Norman McLaren and others.

---Annegret Richter

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.