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Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Bologna Diary (10) - The DVD Awards - Len Lye's triumph

In previous years I have sought to poke fun at the same group of old white men assembled every year for the Cinema Ritrovato DVD Awards. Nobody on the panel died this year so continuity reigned. Anyway you can read the results if you click here but one result stands out. You can read my thoughts about this DVD here. 

Here's what the Bologna panel said.

Len Lye
Colour Box: 19 Films by Len Lye (1929-1980, USA/New Zealand, Len Lye Foundation/Govett-Bewster Art Gallery/Ngã Taonga Sound and Vision, DVD)
Poet, philosopher, inventor, total artist Len Lye was a personality as exuberant and colorful as his films. He was a coalsman on a steamer, a postal worker, an adopted member of a Maori tribal community, a lecturer in New York. Lye was pioneer of kinetic sculpture ("Tangibles"), direct drawing and painting on film. Most of Lye's commercial public service commissions were as wildly imaginative as his personal projects. He was a mentor to Jack Smith (another one of the greatest colorists of cinema) and an influence on Stan Brakhage and many younger experimental filmmakers of our present century. His amazing work had key periods of exposure, then became unseen if not forgotten. Fortunately in the last few years there have been some fine exhibitions and publications devoted to Lye. Most essential is this DVD issued by the Len Lye Foundation of New Zealand that includes 19 films from 1929 to 1980. Our DVD of the year. (Mark McElhatten

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