Unseen Cinema 3: Light Rhythms
Music and Abstractions

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18 videos in this playlist

Ballet mécanique
This sprightly collage of machinery, everyday objects, and prismatic shapes was long described as a typically Cubist film. Now shown in a version perhaps matching the 1924 print screened at…
Anémic cinéma
Anemic cinema alternates rotating spirals with rotating verbal inscriptions to create intricate word-picture play. Duchamp's interests in puns, spatial ambiguities, alchemical ideas, verbal and visual forms, and an elusive fourth…
Looney Lens Series: Anamorphic People
These never before screened camera rolls photographed by Fox News cameraman Al Brick offer a lovely interlude of pure cinema experimentation. The fascination with anamorphic images dates back centuries to…
Out of the Melting Pot
Many early short subjects cloaked genuine aesthetic discourse inside novelty approaches, such as the exploration of slow, fast, or reverse motion, distortion and abstraction, and other altered perceptions induced via…
H2O
Steiner's H2O depicts water under a variety of forms, increasingly focusing on its ability to create a multileveled reality of surface and reflection. Ultimately, the film produces a phantasmagoria of…
Surf and Seaweed
Steiner is interested in film's capacity to invigorate everyday sight, to alert viewers to the simple, magical visual pleasures available in nearly any circumstance. The film is divided into sequences…
Vorkapich Montage Sequences (1928-1937) - 6 films
Inspired by Griffith, Fairbanks, and Chaplin, Serbian emigre Slavko Vorkapich landed in Hollywood and proceeded to create stellar montages that relied upon a hyper-kinetic visual stimulation. His groundbreaking work remains…
Light and Abstraction (1926-1930) - 2 films
These two films, the "Artist's Ball" sequence from So This Is Paris and Light Rhythms, offer an interesting comparison regarding abstraction in cinema. While Light Rhythms orchestrates a purposeful abstraction,…
Night on Bald Mountain
Alexeieff and Parker made their film using a pinscreen animation technique, arranging and rearranging thousands of pins so that, when illuminated, they produced variations in shadow from black to white.…
Rhythm in Light
Bute used Melville Webber's experience (Fall of the House of Usher, Lot in Sodom) with making cardboard models and with photographing in soft-focus and through prisms to produce multiple refractions…
Synchromy No. 2
While German absolute filmmakers often drew on J. S. Bach for their understanding of form, Bute derived hers from mathematician Joseph Schillinger, as the Synchromy series show. The visuals are…
Parabola
Sculptor Rutherford Boyd worked in collaboration with Nemeth and Bute, whose NYC production facilities were placed at his disposal. Filmed, frame by frame, in a sequence of stills that varied…
Glens Falls Sequence
For this collection of very short animations, made over a nine-year period, Douglass Crockwell added or removed non-drying paint on glass frame by frame, squeezed paint between two sheets of…
“Simple Destiny Abstractions”
Douglass Crockwell, who earned his living as a noted realist illustrator, was a cinema abstractionist and inventor of animation processes. This footage, a number of silent fragments, includes unreleased experiments…
Abstract Movies
"The oddest . . . forms in nature may sometimes be the seed for abstract pictures. The markings may be made by a leak on the ceiling, a cloud, a…
Themis: Composition #1 and Contrathemis: Composition #2
Grant had been an abstract painter for five years before making any abstract films. Their titles, Themis, Contrathemis, and Three Themes in Variation, illuminate his theory that the thematic structure…
1941
Lee's emotionally powerful rendering of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 is presented as an abstract, animated action painting, its saturated color made possible through the…
Moods of the Sea
Slavko Vorkapich stubbornly advocated the potential of cinema as an independent art that could achieve the heights of visual poetry through its organization of light and motion, just as great…

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