The phrase “before their time” has been so overused it has become hackneyed and devoid of meaning but for Oskar Fischinger it remains wholly appropriate.
Fischinger left Nazi Germany for Hollywood in 1936 as Hitler cracked down on abstract art. His impeccably-created stop-motion animations, synchronised to music, were a painstaking endeavour that he would obsess over for months or years.
Before computer software, the animations were a labour of love, requiring its creators to meticulously plan the arrangements and make sure they were in time with the music.
"Music is not limited to the world of sound. There exists a music of the visual world," is one of Fischinger's famous quotes.
Study no. 2, c. 1930, silent
Study no. 5, 1930
Study no. 8, 1931
Muratti greift ein (Muratti Marches On), 1934
Swiss Trip (Rivers and Landscapes), 1934
Komposition in Blau (Composition in Blue), 1935
An American March, 1941
Pierrette I, 1924-26
1920s-30s Home Movies and Experiments, Berlin (black and white)
Squares fragment (1934) and various 1930s color animation tests
"Concerto" and newly discovered animation tests made in Hollywood, 1945-46
Excerpts from 8mm Home Movies at Wonderland Park, Los Angeles (c. 1959-1962)
(DVD also contains a booklet)