27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Celery Stalks At Midnight

Celery Stalks At Midnight

director: John Whitney
original title: Celery Stalks At Midnight
country: United States
year: 1951
running time: 3 min.


The music animation (or animated music?) inspired by Will Bradley’s composition Celery Stalks at Midnight from 1940 is one of the early works of John Whitney, the pioneer of computer animation. Filmstrip only served as a means of capturing the abstract world created before the camera lens. Inspired by Oskar Fischinger, Whitney makes abstract patterns move and intersect on a blue background. The variations and permutations of simple shapes copying the form, melody and phrasing of the composition represent a visual equivalent to the language of music.


John Whitney (1917–1995) was a representative of avant-garde in American film and a pioneer of computer animation. He made his first 8mm films before WWII. His focus is the analogy between film and music. His works include Five Film Exercises (1943–1944) which he shot together with his brother James, Permutation (1968) and Matrix (1971).

more about film

director: John Whitney
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Kudy z nudy