A Colour Box

Root Event

2. Werkleitz Biennale 1996 Cluster Images

Parent Event

A Colour Box
GB 1935

Lye’s first “direct” (camera-less) animation combined popular Cuban dance music with hand-painted abstract designs. Screened in many cinemas in Britain, the film had a huge impact because of its novelty and because it divided audiences – some viewers loved it, others hated it. Colour was still a novelty and Lye’s direct painting on celluloid created brilliant colours. The film won festival awards, though some festivals had to invent a special category for this new style of animation. In Venice, the Fascists disrupted screenings because they saw it as “degenerate” modern art. The film was funded and distributed by John Grierson’s GPO Film Unit on the condition that Lye included a postal advertisement at the end. The film has been restored by the British Film Institute.

The Len Lye Foundation

GB 1935, 16mm, 3 min

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