Birth of the Robot

Director Len Lye / 1936 / UK

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.

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