Director: Oskar Fischinger
Release Date: December 1933
Made with ‘Gaspar Color’ it certainly makes clever use of color’s new possibilities. ‘Gaspar Color’ required too much exposure time for live action, but for Fischinger’s animations it was perfect.
Color certainly added a great deal to Fischinger’s films. ‘Kreise’, for example, literally explodes with color. As its title implies, the film is composed of circles, only, which move and grow in various ways on an instrumental excerpt from Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser.
The film ends with a slogan: “Alle Kreise erfasst Tolirag” (Tolirag reaches all circles [of society]), revealing that this totally abstract film is actually a commercial for an advertising agency. This was Fischinger’s trick to get the film past the Nazi censors, who in 1933 had come to power, and who were strongly opposed to abstract art.
Later the film also advertised other companies, like the Dutch Van Houten chocolate company. The film clearly shows that Walt Disney was not the only one who knew how to deal with color, but one wonders whether Tolirag (or Van Houten for that matter) did get a lot of new customers out of it.
Watch an excerpt from ‘Kreise’ yourself and tell me what you think:
‘Kreise’ is available on the DVD ‘Oskar Fischinger: Ten Films’