by Lye, Len

Film: 16mm 1951


Rhythm shows LEN LYE 's remarkable sense of motion applied to the editing of live footage. The result is extraordinary - the footage becomes a kinetic composition, brilliantly synchronised to the rhythms of African drum music. The film was commissioned as a commercial for the Chrysler Corporation. LEN LYE was supplied with stock footage of the assembly of a car. By using hundreds of jump cuts, he created a dramatically speeded up version of the process of car assembly. Rhythm is one of the most great displays of jump cutting. Jonas Mekas has praised it as a very pure example of film-making: "It's filled with some kind of secret action of cinema." The film won first prize in the annual competition of the New York Art Directors Award, but was then disqualified because it had not been screened on television. At the worldwide experimental film festival in Brussels in 1958, Rhythm was also awarded a medal.


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