The Idea (1932)

October 28th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Wri/Dir: Berthold Bartosch, Frans Masereel Music: Arthur Honegger. Silent, 25’

I’ve long been aware and intrigued by this film and have finally just availed myself of the opportunity to see it on YouTube.

An adaptation of the 1920 graphic novel by Franz Masereel, it remains one of the tiny handful of attempts at a serious animated film which although technically a fantasy paints a vivid picture of the social unrest of the period and strongly evokes an urban environment; the hazy visuals possibly intended to suggest smog and capturing the same haunting atmosphere as – no, don’t laugh – Noggin the Nog (who’s avant garde score it resembles).

As for the Idea herself she resembles a corporeal version of Botticelli’s Venus whose fluctuations in size throughout are presumably intentional. @RichardChatten


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