Oskar Fischinger (1900-67)

Filmography (partial)

Wax Experiments (1921-26) This and other

listed films up to 1927 were assembled after

Fischinger’s death

Staffs (1923-27)

Pierette (1924)

Spiritual Constructions (1927)

Muenchen-Berlin Wanderung (1927)

Frau im Mond (1929) Fischinger did special

effects and animation work for this feature film

by Fritz Lang

Study No. 1 (1929)

Study No. 2 (1930)

Study No. 3 (1930)

Study No. 6 (1930), 2 minutes

Study No. 7 (1930-31), 3 minutes

Study No. 8 (1931), 3 minutes

Study No. 9 (1931), 3 minutes

Liebesspiel (1931), 3 minutes

Study No. 10 (1932), 4 minutes

Study No. 11 (1932), 4 minutes; Study No. 11A

(1934), 2 minutes

Study No. 12 (1932), 5 minutes

Kreise (Circles, 1933), 2 minutes

Squares (1934), 5 minutes

Composition in Blue (1935), 4 minutes

Allegretto (1936), 3 minutes

Optical Poem (1937), 7 minutes

American March (1941), 3 minutes

Radio Dynamics (1942), 4 minutes

Motion Painting No. 1 (1947), 11 minutes

Oskar Fischinger was an artist of crucial importance in Germany from 1921 until his departure in the mid-1930s under pressure from the National Socialists who regarded his abstract cinema as degenerate; in America thereafter, Fischinger was again a crucial figure, as a film-maker in the difficult environment of Hollywood, and then for the next twenty years as a mentor and inspiration for the emerging American avant-garde. During the 1920s he made a group of innovative animated films, and also performed commercial assignments for such film directors as Fritz Lang. In 1928, after suffering an ankle injury at the conclusion of his work on Lang’s Woman on the Moon, Fischinger was confined to a hospital bed, and there made sketches for what would become his signature style: abstract figures moving in rhythmic patterns, against selections of classical music that helped audiences to grasp the visual musicality of Fischinger’s films. Audiences in Germany and then all of Europe embraced these films Fischinger described as "absolute" for their purity of form. Fischinger made his films with only a small group of assistants (including his wife Elfriede who joined him in 1930) but found this method to be unorthodox and unacceptable when he relocated to the US. In Hollywood he moved from Paramount to MGM to Disney, with friction and misunderstandings at every stop. Orson Welles hired him as a consultant and he received commissions from the institution which would become the Guggenheim Museum. Meanwhile he took up painting, setting on canvas imagery that he hoped to someday put on film. (RH)