By Michael O'Pray
Avant-Garde movie: kinds, issues and Passions examines the diversity of issues and practices that experience comprised the lengthy historical past of avant-garde movie at a degree applicable for undergraduate examine. It covers the advancements of experimental film-making because the modernist explosion within the Nineteen Twenties in Europe via to the Soviet movie experiments, the yankee Underground cinema and the French New Wave, structuralism and modern gallery paintings of the younger British artists. via in-depth case-studies, the ebook introduces scholars not just to the historical past of the avant-garde but additionally to various analytical methods to the flicks themselves - starting from abstraction (Richter, Ruttmann) to surreal visions (Bunuel, Wyn Evans), underground subversion (Jack Smith, Warhol) to experimental narrative (Deren and Antonioni).
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Additional info for Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions (Short Cuts)
Sitney states that ‘the recurrent theme of the American avant-garde film is the triumph of the imagination’ (1974: 115), thus establishing a way of reading these films within a tradition that is only modernist at the edges, or at least, sees modernism as a moment in a much broader tradition – romanticism. Given the impact of abstract expressionism with its visionary and intensely subjectivist aesthetic in post-war American visual culture, Sitney’s interpretation is not a wayward one but in many ways fitting with American visual arts in the 1940s and 1950s.
In this sense Eisenstein is more profoundly anti-humanist than a clearcut constructivist like Vertov (see Michelson 1984; Petric 1987). indd 31 9/6/07 5:10:59 pm SHORT CUTS compositional strengths are most apparent in a film in which his aesthetic is probably at its weakest. Dziga Vertov Vertov’s films are usually described as constructivist and hence modernist in their sensibility. Not only do they exemplify a constructivist visual style but they are largely documentaries – films about the contemporary Soviet Union, dedicated to celebrating not the historical forces which led to the Russian Revolution but the daily life of the country and its inhabitants.
Grierson shot Granton Trawler himself. It was edited by Edgar Anstey and the powerful soundtrack constructed by Cavalcanti (see Aitken 2000: 74–7). It is a superb example of the poetic-montage style influenced by the Soviet school but with its own down-to-earth lyricism distancing it from the widerembracing monumentality of, say, Vertov’s Enthusiasm (1930). The credits come up to the sound of a sea shanty followed by a medium shot of the boat in dock and then a close-up of its prow, followed by a shot of it already at sea.
Avant-Garde Film: Forms, Themes and Passions (Short Cuts) by Michael O'Pray