Free Radicals (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Free Radicals (Len Lye, 1958, USA) is an experimental animated short by Len Lye. The film features white 'chalk' lines constantly moving on a black background with African drums (‘a field tape of the Bagirmi tribe’) playing throughout. The film won second prize out of 400 entries in an International Experimental Film Competition judged by Man Ray, Norman McLaren, Alexander Alexeieff and others, at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. In 1979 Lye further condensed this already very concentrated film by dropping a minute of footage. Stan Brakhage described the final version as “an almost unbelievably immense masterpiece (a brief epic)’.

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