Mary Ellen Bute

CVM's Bute Research Pages : Bibliography   : Starr, Ideas on Film


Excerpt from:

Starr, Cecile. "Ideas on Film." Saturday Review, Vol 35, No. 50 (Dec. 13, 1952)


Ideas on Film: Eyewitnessing the World of the 16mm Motion Picture

Animation: Abstract & Concrete

With animation and abstraction the announced topic for this month, what could be more timely and unexpected than the news that Walt Disney Productions has just announced its entry into the 16mm business; that the versatile Canadian abstractionist Norma McLaren has just gone to India to teach film-making as part of a UNESCO project there; and that a relatively unknown animation "independent" named Mary Ellen Bute has had two of her short films presented during the past few months at the Radio City Music Hall, no less! is certainly noteworthy that a virtually unknown independent animator has had two of her "seeing sound" abstractions shown this year at the Radio City Music Hall, the largest motion picture theatre in the world. Mary Ellen Bute is an energetic painter from Texas who began making her hand-drawn films nearly twenty years ago with a short abstraction set to the strains of "Anitra's Dance." When wifely and motherly duties permitted, she concentrated on work (in her husband's commercial animation studio), and has come up with an impressive number of items. This year her "Spook Sport" and "Color Rhapsodie" were shown at the Music Hall, while a third film "Polka Graph" won mention at the Venice Film Festival. Granted that the familiar acceptability of the music (Lizst, Grieg, etc.) is a good basis for audience and theatre approval, still this is no minor triumph for Miss Bute, her work, and the experimentalists who follow hopefully.

...Mary Ellen Bute's "seeing sound" films are available for 16mm rental from Ted Nemeth Studios, 729 Seventh Avenue, New York 19, NY



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