Norman McLaren

This interesting news item about the late great Canadian animator Norman McLaren (1914-1987) brings back a lot of wonderful memories for me:

The films of National Film Board animation pioneer Norman McLaren will be the subject May 22 of the 2006 Cannes Classics programme, an annual tribute that profiles a great filmmaker whose work is currently undergoing digital restoration.

This guy is as innovative today as he was when he came out, except that he did it with his hands and with his fingers and by drawing on film,” explains Bensimon who says the Cannes Classic event is a double tribute to the NFB, since McLaren is the first Canadian, and the first animator, ever to be so honoured.

Norman McLaren’s films were the highlights of school days for me and many children. Later on, as an art teacher, it was a pleasure for me to share my love of his work with my students. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen any of his films so I don’t remember many titles except for Neighbours, and Blinkity Blanka fine example of music creating image, the sounds you hear are mimiked it seems with the forms and flow of motion that is on the screen. From fireworks to Egyptian forms and birdcages, over a blue surface , the images being etched directly onto the cell print we are taken on a five minute voyage with basoon, trumpet, clarinet and drum.

So, the upcoming DVD that is being made of some of McLaren’s collection will definitely be on my wish list!

National Film Board of Canada and Norman McLaren
– Norman McLaren in Wikipedia
– The source of this news is The Globe & Mail but darn, the link is now only available to registered readers – I should have copied the whole thing while I had a chance!
Cannes Film Festival
– UPDATE: Toronto Star has the full story!

UPDATE 2 – May 14th, 2006: Check on NFB’s activities at Norman McLaren Year. Thanks to Pat Dillon of the NFB for emailing me this information!

May 12, 2006 in Films, Other artists by Marja-Leena