Len Lye Outdoor Screening
Monday 19th March at Tahaki Reserve, Mt Eden
Born in Christchurch in 1901, Len Lye is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated artists, and widely recognised as a key figure in the history of experimental filmmaking. Lye’s moving image works exude an energy matched only by the vitality of the music he combined with his images.
The screening is an hour long fiesta of eleven of Len Lye’s most renowned films including Free Radicals, Colour Flight, Full Fathom Five and All Souls Carnival.
Full Fathom Five
A haunting film using a lyric from Shakespeare’s The Tempest as spoken by the great British actor John Gielgud. He recorded the poem for Lye in 1935 for Lye’s original version of Full Fathom Five. This film is a remake of the original film with Lye using the same 1935 recording.
Direct Film Co, 1938, Colour, 4mins
Colour Flight, which was commissioned by Imperial airways and took nine weeks to paint has been described as a ‘riot of colour’. The soundtrack consists of a Honolulu Blues by Red Nichols and the Five Pennies and a rumba by the Lecuona Cuban Boys. In response to Colour Flight a review by Time magazine hailed Lye as England’s answer to Disney.
Direct Film Co, 1958 (revised 1979), 4mins
One of Lye’s most accomplished scratch films. Using a variety of objects from arrow-heads to dental tools Lye scratched his images onto black leader. Renowned experimental film maker Stan Brakhage described this film as “An almost unbelievable, immense masterpiece.”
Direct Film Co, 1952, 3mins
Color Cry is a ‘direct’ technique film made by exposing strips of 16mm film covered with stencils, colour gels, and objects such as mosquito netting, fabrics, saw blades and string to create abstract patterns. The film was edited to the haunting sounds of Blues artist Sonny Terry’s Fox Hunt.
Full Fathom Five  1min
Swinging The Lambeth Walk F3457 1939, 4mins
Free Radicals Direct Film Co, 1958 (revised 1979), 4mins
Color Cry Direct Film Co, 1952, 3mins
The Birth Of The Robot Humphrey Jennings/Len Lye, 1936, 7mins
Musical Poster No.1 1940, 3mins
Rhythm Direct Film Co, 1957, 1min
Particles In Space 1980, 3mins
Colour Flight Direct Film Co, 1938, 4mins
Tal Farlow 1980, 3mins
All Souls Carnival 1957/2000, 16mins
Running Time: 50 mins approx