by Len LYE
1939 / color / sound / 1S / 4' 00
The Lambeth Walk was a popular dance of the period with a characteristic hand gesture and a cry of “Oi!”. Lye had some friends at the British Tourist and Industrial Development Association, and they were shocked to learn that he had no work and was living in poverty, so they arranged for their organization to sponsor this film. The project angered government bureaucrats who could not understand why a film about a popular form of dance was receiving public funding. Lye edited together a number of different jazz versions of the music (including Django Reinhardt on guitar and Stephane Grapelli on violin), and combined them with a variety of hand-painted and scratched images.