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Each film on this site is available for viewing at low speed or high speed.

  • Low speed: recommended if your Internet connection uses a dial-up modem (56 kbps or slower). Low-speed viewing results in lower quality image and sound.
  • High speed: recommended if you have high-speed Internet (DSL, cable modem) or are connected to an institutional network. Viewing in high-speed mode may cause occasional jerky images and sound interruptions if the speed of your connection is not fast enough.

If you're not sure which speed to use for viewing the films, try high speed first. If the results are not satisfactory, switch to low speed.



Films can be available for viewing in either Macromedia Flash or QuickTime. Image and sound quality are similar for all these formats.

  • Flash: lets you view the film directly in the Web page without launching an external application. Requires the Flash plug-in (download for free at Macromedia Flash Player).
  • QuickTime (alternative format): requires QuickTime, version 7 or more recent (download for free at QuickTime).

Closed captions (CC)

Translation of the audio portion of a film into subtitles, for example, dialogue, narration, sound effects, etc. These captions let hearing-impaired viewers read what they cannot hear. Closed captions are available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With closed captions (under Accessibility).


Described video (DV)

A narrated description of a film's key visual elements to enable the vision-impaired to form a mental picture of what is happening on screen. Described video is available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With described video (under Accessibility).

Title: Blinkity Blank
Director: McLaren, Norman
Year: 1955
Length: 05 min 15 s

With an explosion of abstract images engraved directly on film, this well-known Norman McLaren film shows bird-like creatures engaged in a strange dance of seduction.

Norman McLaren

Norman McLaren

Norman McLaren

Roger Beaudry

Joseph Champagne

Maurice Blackburn

Technique(s) used

Drawing and etching on film

Etching on film

Technical notes

Throughout his career, McLaren fielded many inquiries about his films and techniques, so he got into the habit of writing up technical notes for much of his work.

Blinkity Blank (1955) href="http://www3.nfb.ca/archives_mclaren/notech/NT04EN.pdf" target="_blank">Technical Notes on Blinkity Blank (1955) - PDF