Tarantella (film)

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Directed by Mary Ellen Bute
Release dates
Running time
5 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Tarantella is a five-minute color, avant-garde short film created by Mary Ellen Bute, a pioneer of visual music and electronic art in experimental cinema. With piano accompaniment by Edwin Gerschefski, "Tarantella" features rich reds and blues that Bute uses to signify a lighter mood, while her syncopated spirals, shards, lines and squiggles dance exuberantly to Gerschefski’s modern beat. Bute produced more than a dozen short films between the 1930s and the 1950s and once described herself as a "designer of kinetic abstractions" who sought to "bring to the eyes a combination of visual forms unfolding with the … rhythmic cadences of music." Bute’s work influenced many other filmmakers working with abstract animation during the ‘30s and ‘40s, and with experimental electronic imagery in the ‘50s.[1]

In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.[1]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document "2010 National Film Registry Announced - News Releases (Library of Congress)" (retrieved on 29 December 2010).

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