Films that dance

Norman McLaren and Len Lye both made films that dance. A film by McLaren dances like a professional, with precision and grace: it interprets the music seamlessly; makes shapes that are perfect for sounds; finds the linear rhythm in a temporal strip of film. It makes all the right moves, and makes them with imagination, but there’s still something cold about it. A film by Len Lye, by contrast dances like someone overseen in the corner of a nightclub, dancing for themselves alone, making seemingly random move after random move, yet each move more right than the last; you are watching from the outside something that can only be truly felt from the inside.

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