“Begone Dull Care”

The excellent music blog Idolator has re-discovered this very fine Norman McLaren animation. They’re not the only fans. This 1949 film, with music from Oscar Petersen and his trio, shares a title with the new Junior Boys album.

McLaren recently appeared on our GPO Film Unit post. In 1941, he migrated to Canada and joined the National Film Board of Canada. In Begone Dull Care, McLaren synchronized his technique of painting and scratching directly on film with Peterson’s music. Paul Melancon in Senses of Cinema notes the correspondence of instruments and color and shape: in the first movement, red is associated with the bass, piano with three parallel lines; in the second movement, each note is associated with a vanishing vertical line; the third movement combines expressionist art with parallel lines and a final riot of color.

Whatever, it’s an effervescent way to start your Wednesday.

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