Author: Terence Dobson
One reason for this has been the difficulty in identifying constants through McLaren’s work. The very scope of McLaren’s innovations together with the varied purposes of his films meant that McLaren’s films appeared incongruent. There is, for example, the shocking violence of Neighbours and the gentle whimsy of Hen Hop; the didacticism of Canon or Rythmetic and the scintillating abstract energy of Begone Dull Care; the functionalism of Book Bargain and the sublime beauty of Pas de deux. By looking at the nature and span of McLaren’s innovations, and by putting his work in the context of his own ambitions and of his era, Terence Dobson approaches the puzzles that are set by the film work of Norman McLaren. On the way, the encounter with McLaren’s movies – which features a detailed analysis of some of his chief works – provides a pivotal view of one of the major film-makers of the twentieth century.