Roger Mainwood's 1979 animated film of Kraftwerk's 'Autobahn', plus other assorted forward-thinking clips featuring the same music and/or theme
March 2, 2008 11:06 PM   Subscribe

Autobahn, a 12 minute animated film by Roger Mainwood, was commissioned by Kraftwerk's record label in 1979 to be released on one of the first ever laser discs.

Here's a quick 'making of' featurette, a short interview with the filmmaker, and several live versions of the epic and innovative track.


Die Mensch-Maschine - 1982 Austrian television documentary on the group: one, zwei

Undated piece featuring interviews with former members Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür: eins, two
posted by item (7 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
personal note: I first saw the animated Autobahn via a celluloid print making the film festival rounds in 2001. There've been versions posted online since the dawn of youtube, but they've been shitty copy-orf-a-copy bootlegs with faded audio and color. This one's perfect. While it doesn't really go along with the tone of Kraftwerk from the year it was made ('79), it somehow works retroactively for the year the song was released ('74).
posted by item at 11:23 PM on March 2, 2008

"Their music is a sort of--ugh--techno-pop."
posted by thanatogenous at 11:26 PM on March 2, 2008 [5 favorites]

love the music, and the early animation in the film reminds me of Canada's National Film Board's Norman McLaren. Not too crazy about the spaceman later in Kraftwerk short though.
posted by seawallrunner at 11:36 PM on March 2, 2008

"Their music is a sort of--ugh--techno-pop."

Autobahn is no Kraftwerk.
posted by item at 11:56 PM on March 2, 2008

Cool! They used to use this as filler on the national TV station when I was a kid, and I saw it numerous times and was very puzzled by it. It's nice to see it as an adult.
posted by tiny crocodile at 2:05 AM on March 3, 2008

I remember clearly my response to this song when I first heard it on the radio in the seventies. This synthesized music seemed so cold--an intriguing novelty, but nothing you could ever really cozy up to. Now, thirty years later, it seems ever so normal, leading me to realize how pioneering and influential Kraftwerk seems to have been.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:53 AM on March 3, 2008

Wow, fantastic. Thanks for this.
posted by piratebowling at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2008

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