9. Blinkity Blank (1955)
Move over, Ornette; clear some room there, Mr. Coltrane; look what we have here, Lord Dolphy: a futuristic animated jazz film by Norman McLaren with the contributing images—fruits, trees, dots, chickens, lines, shimmering shapes—engraved directly onto black leader. This is big-time venturesome, as much so graphically as Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker were auditorily when they elected to invert convention and have at the building of their mighty legacies. Maurice Blackburn provides the soundtrack, a kind of alien-friendly dance music fed through machines. But it’s that music’s union with the visuals that matters most. We all hear jazz differently, but I think when we hear it, we see it too, in associative forms and colors and movements. Here’s the filmic Möbius-strip version of that.