Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fernand Leger

La Fin du monde filmée par L'Ange N.-D. (The end of the world filmed by the angel N.-D.[Notre Dame] c.1919

La Fin du monde was originally developed as a screenplay by the Swiss-born modernist poet and author Blaise Cendrars, but was published as a novel when funding for the film project fell through. Written as a satire, Cendrars's story features God in the guise of an American industrialist, who out of sheer boredom orchestrates an apocalyptic war on earth for the amusement of the god Mars. Collaborating with his friend Cendrars, Léger contributed a series of witty and exuberant Cubist illustrations and other designs for the project. The illustrations are hand-colored in gouache with the use of brush and stencils. Léger also designed the book's experimental typography, which he skillfully merged with his illustrations to reflect the chaotic, dynamic aspects of the modern life. Like Cendrars, Léger was captivated by the creative possibilities of filmmaking and set the tempo and progression of the book's illustrations to simulate the fast paced rhythm and dynamic nature of film.

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