This short film from Arthur Lipsett is an abstract succession of unrelated views of the passing crowd. A commentary on a machine-dominated society, it is often cited as an influence on George Lucas's Star Wars and his conceptualization of "The Force."

From the playlist : The 1960s: An Explosion of Creativity

Arthur Lipsett and his experimental 21-87, a collage of seemingly unrelated snippets of film that offered a wry commentary on the machine age, would inspire young filmmakers of an entire generation. George Lucas would be so impressed with Lipsett and this film that he would refer to the film’s title in the first Star Wars film (It is Princess Leia’s prison cell number)!

— Albert Ohayon

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  • mattblais

    “this man's work is genius ” — mattblais, 31 Jan 2012

  • murraysiple

    “Favorite film in the world. Thanks David Rimmer for showing this while I was at Emily Carr. It has inspired all my work in film/video.” — murraysiple, 9 Nov 2011

  • Shawn

    “BTW, I'm old enough to remember seeing Lipsett's work on celluloid in my high school AV class. I never thought of it as a mash up but that's exactly what it was, yeah: pre-digital mashup. ” — Shawn, 31 Jan 2011

  • Shawn

    “When it's a "rights problem," it's certainly not something that the NFB wants to have happen to keep out of anyone's hands (grimy or otherwise). It's a problem for lots of older films that have become available online, I think. ” — Shawn, 31 Jan 2011

  • MargaretDrive

    “Ok, I signed up, I tried to buy this movie-- still I can't watch it.... please help!” — MargaretDrive, 2 Jan 2011

  • jmatlin

    “Sorry, guys. We had to take the film down due to some rights issues, but we're working very hard to make it available again. If you want to be notified when it goes public, please send me an email at j.matlin@nfb.ca. Thanks.” — jmatlin, 13 Dec 2010

  • mubbazoot

    “give us permission please” — mubbazoot, 12 Dec 2010

  • jahal002

    “I'm also gonna have to ask that question” — jahal002, 11 Dec 2010

  • eastyoung

    “good” — eastyoung, 18 Nov 2010

  • Khalm

    “Yes, how does one get permission?...” — Khalm, 8 Nov 2010

  • OneDerBoy

    “Exactly how does one go about gaining permission to view this? Is it such a relic you need to keep it from the grimy hands of the serfs?” — OneDerBoy, 4 Nov 2010

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Film Credits

Arthur Lipsett
Colin Low
Tom Daly
George Croll

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