Optical Poetry is the first critical biography of the painter and experimental filmmaker Oskar Fischinger. Active in avant-garde art circles in Germany between the two world wars, Fischinger and his family would emigrate to Los Angeles just ahead of the Nazis' denunciation of degenerate art. Fischinger's pioneering experiments in Visual Music and the melding of graphic arts, abstract design, and sound were instrumental in shaping animation into an art and cinematic form and inspiring animators to pursue its aesthetic potential. An accomplished representational animator who eventually worked uneasily under contract for Paramount, MGM, and Disney, Fischinger produced numerous abstract animated films over his lifetime, invented machines such as the "Wax Machine" and the "Lumigraph" for creating images, and became an accomplished and influential abstract painter. A labor of love for author William Moritz and the product of decades of research, Optical Poetry also includes an extensive filmography and testimonials from those who knew or were influenced by Fischinger.
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William Moritz, a filmmaker and writer, is on the faculty of the CalArts School of Film/Video. His 34 experimental and animation films have screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, among others. He has published widely on animation history.Review:
"At last! A full biography of Oskar Fischinger, arguably the greatest and the most influential artist of abstract or 'absolute' cinema. This informative book, written with insight and candor by film historian Dr. William Moritz, is an important contribution to our knowledge of alternative filmmaking seen through the life and art of a unique visionary" — John Canemaker, Professor/Director Animation Studies, New YorkUniversityTischSchoolof the Arts(John Canemaker, Professor/Director Animation Studies, New YorkUniversityTischSchoolof the Arts)
"... an important addition to animation scholarship and the history of the avant garde and a fitting tribute to Moritz's own passionate dedication to Fischinger's career." —
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