1950 - 1957

Dir. James Whitney, 16mm Color Sound 00:08:00

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Electronic music by Henk Badings. In Hindu devotional tradition, 'yantra' is the general term for instruments of worship which are designed to stimulate a greater awareness of cosmic, temporal, and psychological order. Normally, idols, pictures, and geometric diagrams are used. This is an attempt to create a yantra trough the medium of motion pictures. Presented at: 1959 Seattle Film Festival, IX International Design Conference in Aspen, IV Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1969 Edinburgh Film Festival. 'James Whitney's Yantra (1950-1957): alternate frame flicker and computer-like complexity in a film a generation ahead of its time. Yantra apparently made no use of the computer at all, the basic dot structures being drawn by hand on cards before being multiplied, colored, and spun into patterns in the optical printer. Yantra comes closer to being a 'pure abstract' film than any other I know -- abstract in the sense that it keeps the audience's attention completely, yet leaves the mind totally free from preconception and association. It is an object of meditation that requires no aesthetic or spiritual instruction to be appreciated. ' David Curtis, 'Experimental Cinema.' 'A 'Yantra' is a device for stimulating meditation and concentrating psychic forces, enabling its user to experience the realization of the Universal Self. Essentially a Yoga mediational film, Yantra is a sensitive, deeply mystical experience.' - Media & Methods.
[Source: Creative Film Society Catalog, 1975]

Other Credits

Henk Badings - Electronic Music