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Looney Lens: Split Skyscrapers (1924)

The warping lens used to photograph 10th Avenue seems to puzzle the filmmakers.

Director:

Al Brick
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The warping lens used to photograph 10th Avenue seems to puzzle the filmmakers.

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Country:

UK

Release Date:

1924 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Fox News See more »
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Sound Mix:

Silent
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Looney Lens
25 November 2014 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Al Brick was a Fox cameraman who rose to prominence -- such as it was -- with half a dozen of the "Looney Lens" shorts, usually shown as one-minute clips in Fox newsreels. He would shoot various objects using, as the name of the series suggests, oddly shaped lenses.

In this one, it looks like he shot a Manhattan street scene, concentrating on a skyscraper, through a beam splitter, and then rotated the two images independently. Beam splitting was one of the methods used to shoot color film in this period and was incorporated into the Technicolor monopack a decade later. Showing this piece would have been startling to the current audience, who were used to the idea that a camera recorded reality. Looking at this warped version would have been weird.


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