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272 Books sophisticated computer oriented approaches. Each of the seven chapters begins with introductory remarks and concludes with an outline of the presentation with copious references. The numerous photographs greatly enhance the understanding of filtering phenomena, bandwidth reduction and noise suppression techniques which are mathematically developed in the text. While it is conceivable that artistic application may arise from mathematical techniques of image enhancement, although I doubt it, this field is oriented toward constructive images and is probably too expensive in computer time for artistic experiments . Besides, an approximation to some of the effects can be made with television synthesizers and photographic optical techniques whose mathematical basis can easily be ignored. Art in Motion: New Directions in Animation. John Halas in collaboration with Roger Manvell. Studio Vista, London, 1970. 192 pp., illus. £5.25. Reviewed by: J. E. Jones* In the welter ofbooks about the cinema published in recent years, there have been very few on film animation. A survey of extra-Disney efforts that have blossomed during the sixties is, therefore, very welcome. The book by Halas and Manvell is likely to be snapped up both by film students and graphic artists. Part of the intention of the book, in fact, is to demonstrate the link between animation and its use in contemporary fine and commercial art. The illustrations show how animated film has benefited from and, conversely, provided a new medium for artists. They provide a valuable collection of the work of film-makers from many countries. Animated films are listed by country and origin, the principal animators named and their contribution briefly described. These data, though sketchy, help to bring the international scene into focus. The text of the book is another matter. The captions , for instance, occasionally quote statements by artists. Some, like Norman McLaren's, which describes in detail the technique of his film 'Pas de Deux', are lucid and fascinating. Others, though adding little to one's understanding, like Fred Mogubgub's, are, at any rate, first hand mystifications straight from the horse's mouth. But the captions that are unsupported by comments from the film-makers themselves are minimally informative and often uncomfortably banal. A chapter on new techniques covers a lot of ground but the style is cumbersome and veers from beginner-type information (' ... the base of the actual film is acetate . . .') to a description of the resources of the stop-motion camera, which assumes a reader with more than a beginner's familiarity with the subject. An account is also given of the technicalities of computer-made films and includes sources for further information on the use of computers. The authors are enthusiastic *28 Rochester Terrace, Leeds 6, Yorkshire, England. about this new means, describing the results of one computer film as '... like a Leonardo da Vinci etching . .. !' This sort of sloppy acquaintance with art is what flaws the first chapter of the book that attempts an account of the efforts by artists interested in kinetic art (Duchamp, Richter, Leger, Tinguely, etc.) and has a student-essay feel about it. Duchamp's 'Rotoreliefs' (here called 'Rotareliefs'), for example, are mentioned and illustrated but without an indication of how they were made or of the effects they produce. Allusions to other artists indicate only a shallow comprehension of their work and the glib writing is as off-putting as an exercise in 'namedropping '. The book is best when it does not try to live up to the pretensions ofits main title and sticks to its subtitle : 'New directions in animation', of which it is a very useful survey. Expanded Cinema. Gene Youngblood. Studio Vista, London, 1970. 430 pp., illus. £3.75. Reviewed by: Paul Cowen* This work presents both a richly documented survey of recent exciting advances in the art and technology of film and TV as well as the author's theoretical support of new ideas in those media. The first chapters present a distillation ofthe 'philosophical ' works of Marshall McLuhan, Norbert Weiner and R. Buckminster Fuller (who wrote the introduction), amongst others, intertwined with the author's aesthetic value hypothesis. The last two-thirds of the book include brief descriptions of equipment, interviews with film and TV artists and summaries...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 272-273
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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