A painter transfigured into a filmmaker, Breer was perhaps one of the most daring, radical and original stop-motion animators. Like no-one else, he played with the collision of still images on our eyes and brains to create new visual experiences and, although his films are experimentally sound, they are nevertheless filled with a fine sense of humour and a strange lightness. In fact, his best and most personal films emerge precisely from this sense of the commonplace that refuses to take itself seriously: films that draw on domestic experiences, on Sunday strolls, the kitchen sink, life as a couple and the raising of his daughters. Mental projections that represent the story of a life in flickering, jubilant movement, abstract and colourful home movies that spring from experience, memory and imagination.
"Hurray for the formless film, a non-literary, non-musical, picture film that doesn't tell a story, become an abstract dance, or deliver a message. A film with no escape from the pictures. A film where words are pictures or sounds and skip around the way that thoughts do. An experience itself like eating, looking, running, like an object, a tree, a building, drips and crashes. A film that instead of making sense is sense. Because it's a picture film it might combine reason and kite flying and torpedoes and golf. People can talk in it. It can turn on and turn blue and turn off... A film on the level of the artist's imagination which stays there... A film that looks like the man who made it".
Robert Breer in Film Culture no. 26/27, 1962.
Fist Fight, Robert Breer, 1964, 16mm, 11 minutes
One of Breer's first autobiographical films, whose starting point and sound is Stockhausen's composition "Originale". A compendium of photos that glide through the mad succession of abstract and pop images he fires at us, memories of childhood and youth join in the abstract dance of Breer's experiments with the combination of still images.
Gulls and Buoys, Robert Breer, 1972, 16mm, 6 minutes
This impressionistic slice of a family day at the beach represented a watershed in Breer's work: it marks the start of his intensive use of rotoscoped imagery and where each of his films becomes an exciting journey through all his discoveries.
Trial Balloons, Robert Breer, 1982, 16mm, 6 minutes
Coloured balloons, balloons of different shapes, party balloons in an infinite combination of associations that mixes children's games with adult headaches and moments of relaxation, switching repeatedly between the figurative and the abstract, between 2D and 3D.
Horse Over Tea Kettle, Robert Breer, 1962, 16mm, 8 min.
A deceptively simple play on domestic objects and animals in cartoon style, whose elasticity and variations continue Breer's discoveries in his Form Phases.
Atoz, Robert Breer, 2000, 16mm, 5 minutes
An alphabet created for Zoë, Breer's granddaughter, which even contains something reminiscent of his famous film Recreation.
Time flies, Robert Breer, 1997, 16mm, 5 minutes
Time flies, life goes by, and Robert Breer allows himself to reveal his own tempus fugit with him snoring.
[Digital projection, loop]