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Birth of the Robot

UK, 1936 (MIFF 1996, Robotica)

Director: Len Lye

Birth of the Robot is an early animated puppet film made by experimental New Zealand/Britain/USA-Based director Len Lye (1901-1980).Lye was a truely multi disciplanary artist whose work ranged from experimental films through painting, prose peotry and kinetic sculpture to slightly strange genetic theories about the orign of art and memory.

This short film is strikingly modern in it's visual compostition, and deceptive in that it is, strictly speaking, an advert for Shell Oil -Although this become apparent towards the end of the film. In terms of the cinematic language of advertising, the programme is quite at odds with current conventions. Lye's technique of hand-painting on the film strip, and using Gasaparcolour process ( as in Birth of the Robot), were highly innovative.

See also...

Colour Box

UK, 1936
This was one of the first films to be made without the use of a camera. Len Lye was a pioneer in the use of abstract colour images as counterpoint to a musical soundtrack. Frame divisions are ignored… More »

When the Pie was Opened

UK, 1941
An imaginatively presented recipe for a vegetable pie. Len Lye is famous for his earlier abstract films, "Trade Tattoo" and "Colour Box" produced for the A.P.O. Film Unit. ... More »

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