Movement in Time, Part 1, 100 Classic Hollywood Films Version

The work is a generative animation/painting with sources taken from one hundred classic Hollywood film sequences. I based on the selection of the most popular film moments from the IGN database. From the digitized film sequences, I investigated if I could develop a visual signature for each popular film sequence that registered the aesthetic decisions that the directors, cinematographers, editors and actors/actresses made in producing the sequence. The software I have written based on OpenCV and openFrameworks. It made use of optical flow analysis to visualize the unique motion patterns with each film sequences. The patterns were the creative outputs of the human actions, camera movements and editing efforts. The animations thus generated resembled much the action paintings in art history.

To illustrate the ideas, I divide the screen into four sections. The top left one is the original footage. I play back all the 100 film sequences in chronological order. The top right one is the motion flow in the current moment. The character’s movement, camera pan, tilt, and zoom are easy to recognize by using the optical flow data. The bottom right one is the accumulated flow information together with the colour picked up from the region where the motion happens. As a result, this corner will generate a unique animated painting for each film sequence that identifies it with the colour and motion details. In the last bottom left corner, I further visualize the motion details with 20 consecutive frames. The major motion regions are connected together across all the frames to highlight them.

I also appropriated the ideas of movement image and time image from Deleuze. Hollywood films are mainly structured through movements. The classic sequences contain signature movements that all audience can recall. I want to investigate if I can, through this software, convert the movement sequences into a visualisation of time through the use of the continuous flow of painting brush strokes. It is also an attempt to unify a spatial medium such as painting by going back to its process oriented idea in action painting, and a time-based medium such as cinema by archiving and accumulating the movement information as painting.

For more detailed rationale and description, please check out this post.

Sample rendering from the film North by Northwest

Sample rendering from the film North by Northwest

Video documentations of the artwork

The artwork took part in the Lumen Prize Exhibition in Hong Kong, 2014, invited by Genetic Moo.

Here are the video documentation and photos from Genetic Moo in the Hong Kong Exhibition

Here is the complete list of the 100 films used in the artwork and the gestural paintings produced from each film clip.

Year Name
1927 The Jazz Singer
1933 King Kong
1939 Gone With The Wind
1939 The Wizard Of Oz
1941 Citizen Kane
1942 Casablanca
1946 Its A Wonder Life
1949 The Third Man
1949 White Heat
1950 Sunset Boulevard
1951 Streetcar Named Desire
1952 Singin In The Rain
1953 Shane
1954 On The Waterfront
1955 Lady And The Tramp
1955 The Seven Year Itch
1956 The Searchers
1956 The Ten Commandments
1957 Bridge On The River Kwai
1958 Touch Of Evil
1959 Ben Hur
1959 North By Northwest
1959 Some Like It Hot
1960 Psycho
1960 Spartacus
1962 James Bond Dr No
1962 Lawrence Of Arabia
1963 The Birds
1963 The Great Escape
1964 Dr Strangelove
1965 The Sound Of Music
1966 The Good The Bad And The Ugly
1967 Bonnie And Clyde
1967 Cool Hand Luke
1967 The Graduate
1968 2001 A Space Odyssey
1968 Bullitt
1968 Planet Of The Apes
1969 Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
1969 Easy Rider
1969 Midnight Cowboy
1969 The Wild Bunch
1970 Patton
1971 A Clockwork Orange
1971 Dirty Harry
1972 The Godfather
1973 The Exorcist
1974 Chinatown
1974 The Godfather
1975 Dog Day Afternoon
1975 Jaws
1975 One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
1976 Network
1976 Rocky
1976 Taxi Driver
1977 Annie Hall
1977 Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
1977 Star Wars
1978 National Lampoons Animal House
1978 Superman
1978 The Deer Hunter
1979 Alien
1979 Apocalypse Now
1980 Airplane
1980 Raging Bull
1980 Star Wars
1980 The Shining
1981 Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1982 Blade Runner
1982 E T
1982 Poltergeist
1983 Scarface
1983 The Right Stuff
1985 Back To The Future
1986 Platoon
1987 The Princess Bride
1987 Wall Street
1988 Die Hard
1989 Do The Right Thing
1989 Field Of Dreams
1989 When Harry Met Sally
1990 Ghost
1990 Goodfellas
1991 Beauty And The Beast
1991 The Silence Of The Lambs
1992 A Few Good Men
1992 Basic Instinct
1992 The Crying Game
1993 Jurassic Park
1993 Schindlers List
1994 Forrest Gump
1994 Pulp Fiction
1994 Shawshank Redemption
1995 Seen
1996 Jerry Maguire
1998 Saving Private Ryan
1999 American Beauty
1999 The Matrix
2001 Lord Of The Rings
2008 The Dark Knight