Friday, January 12, 2007

Mary Ellen Bute's "Dada"

Texas native Mary Ellen Bute worked as an animator from 1934 until 1959. Early work included a couple of feature films, but her love and enduring interest was abstract, experimental work. She worked briefly with Joseph Schillinger and Norman McLaren, and was heavily influenced by the abstract color light work of Oskar Fischinger, as well as his theories on the use of sound in animation. This early piece, "Dada," has a very accessible sound score, perhaps because it was produced to accompany a Universal Newsreel. One surprising source of work and audience for Bute was in providing short "B-movies" for film houses well before the term acquired its schlocky, perjorative connotations.

This is only about a minute of the three-minute-long film, but very intriguing!

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