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When Art, Math and Philosophy Collide (Ages 5-8)

When Art, Math and Philosophy Collide (Ages 5-8)

This playlist provides educators with a selection of films that explore mathematical themes of patterns and repetition, represented through art, sound and moving images.

Pour visionner cette sélection en français, cliquez ici.

Films in This Playlist Include
M.C. Escher: Sky and Water 1
Geometry on the Move: Playing with Shapes and Forms
Norman McLaren: Animated Musician
Lines Vertical
Lines Horizontal

  • The Clockmakers
    2013|4 min

    In this experimental animated short from Renaud Hallée, we travel inside a mysterious mechanism made up entirely of revolving gearwheels, triangles and lines. In this whirling, hypnotic world, dozens of tiny gymnasts leap, somersault and twist through the air. Their spirited acrobatics trigger both narrative and musical sequences that are mesmerizing and, at times, dizzying. Half-figurative and half-abstract, The Clockmakers is a playful creation that is sure to captivate and dazzle its audience.

  • M.C. Escher: Sky and Water 1
    1998|3 min

    This short animation mixes traditional and computer animation to explore one of M.C. Escher's most famous works, the woodcut Sky and Water I (1938). Accompanied by a stunning soundtrack, this mesmerizing film playfully explores and deconstructs the optical illusion within one of the Dutch artist's most recognizable pieces. This film has no dialogue.

  • Geometry on the Move: Playing with Shapes and Forms
    1997|30 min

    This collection of toe-tapping, eye-catching animated shorts is sure to engage students at the elementary level and enrich their exploration of a variety of mathematical concepts, from simple to complex: point, line, shape, form, angles, transition, rotation and more! Quilt: an abstract animated film using computer and experimental techniques to choreograph quilt motifs and designs to original music. A tribute to the unique and long-established art of patchwork quilting (7 min). A Matter of Form: Lines and shapes grow out of a point to create a multiplicity of configurations. Geometric wizardry at its colourful best (3 min). Spheres: explores the relationship between shapes and geometric solids as luminous hues and movement change circles into spheres and back again. The dancing balls explore the concepts of balance, symmetry and multiplication (7 min). Notes on a Triangle: A triangle splits and rotates into a variety of smaller rectangles, squares and diamonds in a playful symmetrical movement (5 min). Rectangle & Rectangles: A rectangle pulsates to an insistent drumbeat in this exploration of shape, colour and time. Warning: Viewing this film may trigger epileptic seizures (8 min). Without words.

  • Norman McLaren: Animated Musician
    2014|26 min

    Not only did Norman McLaren create his own film imagery, he also made his own music by drawing, etching and photographing patterns directly onto the sound track area of the film, becoming a pioneer of electronic music long before the invention of the synthesizer. Norman McLaren: Animated Musician celebrates this exploration and presents much never-before-seen work by this master of cinema.

  • Perspectre
    1975|6 min

    Ce film d'animation illustre les aspects toujours nouveaux des choses vues selon le mode de la perspective. Bâti sur un jeu de formes géométriques richement colorées qui se répondent suivant le principe de la division, de l'étalement ou de l'imbriquement, Perspectre est un subtil exemple de ce phénomène de la perspective, phénomène d'observation courante auquel toutefois la force d'évocation propre au film d'animation ajoute un caractère insolite. Cela tient sans doute à ce que l'observation qui en est faite en exploite les facettes les plus diverses. Film sans paroles.

  • Lines Horizontal

    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 - Horizontal is accompanied by American folk musician Pete Seeger on wind and string instruments.

  • Mosaic

    This short experimental animation tempts the eye with gradually unfolding yet increasingly complex movement, colour and sound. Reminiscent of the mid-20th-century style of “op art,” McLaren and Lambart’s film follows a single tiny square as it divides and multiplies, eventually forming a colourful, hypnotic mosaic set to the animators’ precise and deliberate musical orchestration.

  • Spheres

    This animated short by Norman McLaren and René Jodoin is a play on motion set against a background of multi-hued sky. Spheres of translucent pearl float weightlessly in the unlimited panorama of the sky, grouping, regrouping or colliding like the stylized burst of some atomic chain reaction. The dance is set to the musical cadences of Bach, played by pianist Glenn Gould.

  • Lines Vertical

    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.

  • Rythmetic

    An animated film by Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart that endows arithmetic with lively humour. The screen becomes a numerical free-for-all as digits meet in playful encounter, add and subtract, jostle, attack and elude one another.