R1, Ein Formspiel – Oskar Fischinger

R1, Ein Formspiel – Oskar Fischinger

1927, Germany, 16mm, b/w & colour, silent, 7 min. Reconstructed by William Moritz.

After collaborating with musician Alexander Laszlo in 1925, Fischinger began making his own abstract multiple-projector shows in Munich. One of these survives, R-1, A Form-Play, which contains elaborately edited mirror-image vertical patterns on the side panels and an equally intricate center montage of geometric shapes, cosmic symbols, organic wax and liquid oozes, and some drawn animation linking imagery. Most scenes are tinted in various colours. From the climactic moment, when the two extra projectors switched on, Fischinger took the original tinted strips and combined them onto Gasparcolor filmstock in 1933, when he was making the first tests with the new three-color-separation process. The brilliant colors are probably more vivid than the five overlapping projections of 1926/7, and indeed probably offer alternate color values because of the difference between additive overlapping of multiple projection on the same screen and the subtractive overlapping of three layered emulsions on the Gasparcolor film. In any case, Fischinger’s extravagant, complex R-1 remains an astonishing manifestation of integral cinema and Color Music.

Dr. William Moritz

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