This short documentary is a film about a film. In 1961, Norman McLaren produced a record of New Yorkers watching his short animation New York Lightboard in action in Times Square. The film within this film was produced as a promotion of travel and tourism in Canada. New York Lightboard Record depicts the reactions—awe, confusion, amusement—of onlookers and passersby.
This short animation of linear symbols made from paper cutouts was created as a Canadian tourism publicity clip. Projected in New York's Times Square, the large signboard was made up of thousands of light bulbs activated by the film images. The film promotes the attractions of the country: the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Calgary Stampede, winter sports, the Canadian Rockies and more, all in McLaren's signature irreverent and playful style.
This film depicts 24 hours in the life of an imagined city – a composite that draws on all Canadian cities. This imaginary day unfolds through the course of four seasons and reveals the nature of places and the people that make them so vibrant.
The images in the film slowly come together with deft, impressionistic touches. Adopting the rhythm of someone strolling through the city, they intermingle and reply to each other – evoking a different story for each viewer.
Norman McLaren a dessiné à la plume, directement sur la pellicule, non seulement les images de ce film, mais aussi les sons. Ce procédé lui a donc permis de se passer de caméra et d'appareil d'enregistrement. Le titre est inscrit en plusieurs langues. (Titres multilingues ajoutés en 1949.)
An experiment in film animation in which 'stars' and 'stripes' perform acrobatics to a sprightly march tune. The film was made without a camera, by Norman McLaren drawing and colouring directly on film. The title is in eight languages. Rereleased with multilingual titles in 1949.
An experiment in pure design by film artists Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart. Lines, ruled directly on film, move with precision and grace against a background of changing colors, in response to music specially composed for the films. Lines - Vertical is accompanied by composer Maurice Blackburn on the electronic piano.
Along with Around Is Around, one of two 3-D films commissioned by the British Film Institute for the Festival of Britain. Photographed paper cutouts and images drawn directly on film stock were given single-frame animation. Stereoscopy was achieved by photographing and drawing two visuals (one for the left eye, one for the right eye) with controlled displacement of the elements in relationship to each other. The hand-drawn sound was also composed and recorded on two separate bands for stereoscopic playing.