Robert Breer (1926-2011)
A Man And His Dog Out For Air (1957)
A key work of experimental animation is "A Man and His Dog Out For Air", in which Breer plays with the viewers' expectations by using the minimal techniques of line drawing and an associative level of sound. At the same time, the film demonstrates the possibilities of animation: Representation, transformation, and oscillation between abstraction and figuration. "A Man and His Dog Out For Air" nevertheless is not one of Robert Breer's typical films, as they almost always contain heterogeneous and disparate sequences of pictures.
When I was first told that I had to do this project I thought that it would be one of the hardest things that I was going to be asked to do, but it turned out to be something that I enjoyed. I got a chance to take a look at the work of Robert Breer, whose work, while it is abstract, in its own way it is remarkably clear and easy to understand even if you are not familiar with interpreting art. I would think that Breer's work would be the way to start someone into studying and looking into film and video art. --Miguel Pickering
Breer's work is done in animation. It is somewhat like cartoons and it contains abstract images and figures that can be interpreted. Breer is known for drawing on simple 3x5 cards and photographing them in sequence. This causes somewhat of a flip book effect and is how he made some of his films. One film "A Man and His Dog Out for Air" was an experience that I enjoyed. This film was done in animation and it contained lines that were continuously shaped into different positions. The new figures were formed fluidly and there were no abrupt changes. Some images that were shown were a building, birds, clouds, bushes, and the man and his dog. The film was broken into two parts. The first part was shown through the man and the dog's point of view. The second part separated from this viewpoint and showed the man and his dog. The film then quickly ends once we do see the man and the dog. This film was one that was meant to be enjoyed and not interpreted. It was meant for people to watch and relax. --Erica Ferry, 2000