Mary Ellen Bute-Claire Parker Centennial Program in Los Angeles

From: C Keefer (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Nov 10 2006 - 10:00:30 PST

A Centennial Program honoring Two Pioneer Women Animators:
Mary Ellen Bute and Claire Parker

On the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of their Births
November 17-18, Los Angeles.

Organized by Center for Visual Music (CVM) in association with Cecile Starr and The Women's Independent Film Exchange. Presented at Los Angeles Filmforum.

A celebration of the lives and accomplishments of pioneer experimental animators Mary Ellen Bute and Clare Parker, both born in 1906. Both studied to be painters before starting their lifetime careers in film. Both worked with their partners (Ted Nemeth and Alexandre Alexeieff) for five decades, in New York and Paris
respectively. Their films continue to be major milestones in the history of 20th-century fine-art animation. Programs introduced by Cindy Keefer of CVM.

Two Programs will be presented at Los Angeles Filmforum (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Egyptian Theatre complex, Hollywood CA):

Friday, Nov. 17, 7:30 pm: Alexeieff/Parker Program of short Experimental Animation films.
Includes all of their pinboard films: Night on Bald Mountain (1933), Sleeping Beauty (1935), En Passant (1943), The Nose (1963), Pictures at an Exhibition (1972), Three Moods (1980), a series of their Color Commercials (1952-61), plus Alexeieff at the Pinboard (1960). The pair created experimental animation with their pinboard (pinscreen) invention, and their mechanized stop-motion animation techniques which they called "Totalization." All 16mm prints, with short documentary footage on video.

Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 pm: Mary Ellen Bute Program of short Visual Music films.
Known for her pioneering early abstract films (some of which were screened regularly at Radio City Music Hall, NY in the 1930s), and among the first film artists to use oscilloscopes, she is also known for her collaborations with Norman McLaren and Leon Theremin, among others. Teaming the formal rigor of Oskar Fischinger with the zip of a Merrie Melody, Bute's Visual Music is renowned for its brilliant use of color, light, and lyrical geometries. Bute also made a series of Visual Music films which she called "Seeing Sound" (included in this program). Program includes all 14 of her short abstract films, some rarely-screened, in 16mm prints: Rhythm in Light, 1934; Synchromy No. 2, 1935; Dada, 1936; Parabola, 1937; Escape, 1937; Spook Sport (with animation by Norman McLaren), 1939; Tarantella, 1940; Polka Graph, 1947; Color Rhapsody, 1948; Imagination, 1948; New Sensations in Sound, 1949 (RCA Commercial); Pastorale, 1950; Abstronic, 1952 and Mood Contrasts, 1953. Plus a rarely-!
 seen brief biographical clip on video.

Visit LA Filmforum website for parking info and ticket prices:
Mary Ellen Bute's live-action feature film Passages from Finnegans Wake (1965-67) will also be screened Nov. 16 at USC's Cinematheque 108 as part of this Centennial Celebration.

For more about all 3 programs:
or email CVMaccess (at)

Prints courtesy Cecile Starr, The Women's Film Preservation Fund, and Yale University Film Study Center.

Center for Visual Music is a nonprofit archive dedicated to visual music, experimental animation and avant-garde media.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.