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Begone Dull Care

(Caprice en couleurs)

Year: 1949
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 8 min
Director: Norman McLaren, Evelyn Lambart
Producer: Norman McLaren
Editor: Norman McLaren, Evelyn Lambart
Animation: Norman McLaren, Evelyn Lambart
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

Begone Dull Care, the quintessential jazz film, is a visual expression and interpretation of music performed by the Oscar Peterson Trio. Master animator Norman McLaren and Peterson developed the music together – two master soloists echoing and challenging one another in a complex interactive improvisation. McLaren and co-director Evelyn Lambart painted and drew directly on the film itself, or scratched off the emulsion to reveal stark white lines and shapes, using the lengths of Oscar Peterson’s musical phrases as though they were "shots."

The culmination of McLaren’s early experiments in cameraless and frameless animation, Begone Dull Care is one of his most intricately detailed films. It features spectacular shifts of mood and style and indulges a particular interest in texture that expands the film’s already complex rhythms. Begone Dull Care won a Special Canadian Film Award, as well as the Silver Plaque for Best Documentary/Cultural Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, and has been much-loved by audiences around the world since its creation.