A Colour Box (1937) is in the experimental category. It is a film without narrative form. Without a narrative, the images become the important part of the work. It is more apparent in our minds that this is animation because viewers are not distracted by a narrative and the audience is unable to put the images into a realistic context. In place of dialogue is music, one of the attributes of experimental animation. If any sort of reality is shown by this avant-garde piece of cinema, it is a reality based in the emotion and psychological state of the viewer.
A Colour Box is an abstraction with no visual figure for an audience to relate to, at least none noticeable at first glance. The concern of experimental animation is to redefine the body or resists using it as an illustrative image. The shapes that are seen in A Colour Box certainly exist in our reality, but their movement is something we do not see in our own reality, not without the hand of the artist being involved. That being said, the presence of the artist, another characteristic of experimental animation, is something that takes A Colour Box out of the realm of reality. Knowing of Len Lye and his creation of this work, we put it in the context of a painting. It is now something outside of us and viewers have no reason to immerse themselves within that world.
“Cinematography is currently the only instrument that records an event according to a system from four reference points.” Our human minds perceive reality as one stream of events. We have a single pair of eyes to take in the world around us. The world of cinema is able to present reality in a fashion that makes it almost more real than what the viewer would see on his average day.
With that, the discussion goes from understanding films relationship to reality to trying to understand our own through cinematography. Psychological time is something that cinematography has change through the use of multiple cameras and editing. Now we as spectators begin to realize that reality is near impossible to reproduce and that the goal of Hollywood film is all for naught.