Number 4: Manteca (1947)

Article 5285 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-29-2016
Directed by Harry Smith
No cast
Country: USA
What it is: Abstract animation

No plot.

My collection of Harry Smith shorts has them all strung together without the benefit of chapter breaks, and since no titles appear, I can only guess which title matches which piece of animation. I think this is the clip involving four long skinny rectangles placed together in sort of an elongated tic-tac-toe pattern. In some ways, it doesn’t matter; watched together, they seem all of a piece, with the same jagged style in each section. I had trouble really describing the other shorts I’ve seen of his, and this one is no different. It’s only fantasy in that it’s certainly not realistic. I do think it’s interesting to watch these, but I wouldn’t make a steady diet of it.


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