Ute Holl: Cinema, Trance and Cybernetics (2002/2017)

25 July 2017, dusan

“Ute Holl explores cinema as a cultural technique of trance, unconsciously transforming everyday spatio-temporal perception. The archaeology of experimental and anthropological cinema leads into psycho-physiological laboratories of the 19th century. Through personal and systematic catenations, avant-garde filmmaking is closely linked to the emerging aesthetics of feedback in cybernetic models of the mind developed at the same time. Holl analyses three major fields of experimental and anthropological filmmaking: the Soviet avant-garde with Dziga Vertov and his background in Russian psycho-reflexology and theory of trance; Jean Rouch and his theory of cine-trance and the feed-back; and the New American Cinema with Maya Deren and Gregory Bateson conceptualising the organisation of time, space, movement and feedback trance in anthropological filmmaking.”

First published as Kino, Trance und Kybernetik, Brinkmann & Bose, Berlin, 2002.

Translated by Daniel Hendrickson
Publisher Amsterdam University Press
Recursions series
Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 License
ISBN 9789089646682, 908964668X
326 pages

Publisher
OAPEN
WorldCat

PDF, PDF

Chris Marker: Silent Movie (1995)

17 March 2017, dusan

In Silent Movie, “Marker employs five-channels of video, each a thematic exploration of early cinema. Film images disclosing ‘The Journey,’ ‘The Face,’ ‘The Gesture,’ and ‘The Waltz’ occupy four of the monitors while on the fifth (and middle) monitor is a collection of ninety-four silent-era intertitles, ‘telling short, mysterious pieces of unknown stories.’ These moving images travel through a computer interface that assembles an ever-changing array of sequences. At any given moment, each passage is in unique juxtaposition with the other images passing across the surrounding monitors. Coloration, tone, and association are governed by chance contiguities; even the intertitles narrate across a field of fluid relationships.” (Source)

Silent Movie. To give an installation the name of something that never existed is probably less innocent than the average cat may infer. There was never anything like silent cinema, except at the very beginning, or in film libraries, or when the pianist had caught a bad flu. There was at least a pianist, and soon an orchestra, next the Wurlitzer, and what contraptions did they use, in the day of my childhood, to play regularly the same tunes to accompany the same film? I’m probably one of the last earthlings–the ‘last,’ says the cat–to remember what themes came with what films: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ on Wings (the dogfights), Liszt’s ‘The Preludes’ on Ben Hur. A touch of humour noir here, to think that the saga of the young hebrew prince was adorned by Hitler’s favorite music, which in turn explains why you hear it more often than Wagner on the German war newsreels–but I get carried away. …”–Chris Marker (book page 15)

Edited by Ann Bremner
Publisher Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus/OH, 1995
ISBN 1881390101
40 pages
via MoMA

WorldCat

PDF
Video excerpt (8 min)

Lotte H. Eisner: Fritz Lang (1976)

27 February 2017, dusan

“Fritz Lang, almost alone among his fellow continental refugees, was able to make outstanding films in both his native Germany and his adopted Hollywood. The director of Metropolis and M and Dr. Mabuse came to America in 1934 and began a long and distinguished career that included such films as You Only Live Once, The Woman in the Window, Scarlet Street, Ministry of Fear, Rancho Notorious, and The Big Heat. He is a key figure in the history of film noir, bringing to the screen a fatalist’s vision of a menacing world of criminals, misfits, and helpless victims, and providing a distinctive visual look to every film he directed. This film-by-film study of Lang’s oeuvre by one of the great film historians combines personal insight—Eisner and Lang had a long standing friendship—with deep historical understanding of Lang’s roots in German culture and cinema. Both true modernists, Eisner and Lang are perfectly matched, as this book clearly demonstrates.” (back cover)

Publisher Secker and Warburg, London, 1976
Reprint, Da Capo Press, New York, 1986
ISBN 0306802716
416 pages
via dreyer

WorldCat

PDF (158 MB)

Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000 (2010)

4 February 2017, dusan

“This kaleidoscopic collection of essays, interviews, photographs, and artist-designed pages chronicles the vibrant and influential history of experimental cinema in the San Francisco Bay Area. Encompassing historical, cultural, and aesthetic realms, Radical Light features critical analyses of films and videos, reminiscences from artists, and interviews with pioneering filmmakers, curators, and archivists. It explores artistic movements, film and video exhibition and distribution, artists’ groups, and Bay Area film schools. Special sections of ephemera—posters, correspondence, photographs, newsletters, program notes, and more—punctuate the pages of Radical Light, giving a first-hand visual sense of the period. This groundbreaking, hybrid assemblage reveals a complex picture of how and why the San Francisco Bay Region, a laboratory for artistic and technical innovation for more than half a century, has become a global center of vanguard film, video, and new media.

Among the contributors are Rebecca Solnit and Ernie Gehr on Bay Area cinema’s roots in the work of Eadweard Muybridge and others; Scott MacDonald on Art in Cinema; P. Adams Sitney on films by James Broughton and Sidney Peterson; Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, Lawrence Jordan, and Yvonne Rainer on the Bay Area film scene in the 1950s; J. Hobeman on films by Christopher Maclaine, Bruce Conner, and Robert Nelson; Craig Baldwin on found footage film; George Kuchar on student-produced melodramas; Michael Wallin on queer film in the 1970s; V. Vale on punk cinema; Dale Hoyt and Cecilia Dougherty on video in the 1980s and 1990s; and Maggie Morse on new media as sculpture.”

Edited by Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid
Publisher University of California Press, and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, 2010
ISBN 9780520249103, 0520249100
352 pages

Reviews: Molly H.Cox (Other Cinema, 2011), Lucy Raven (BOMB, 2011), Federico Windhausen (Moving Image, 2012), Mike Leggett (Leonardo, 2012).

Exhibition
Publisher (BAMPFA)
Publisher (UC Press)
WorldCat

multiple formats (on Internet Archive)
PDF (35 MB)

R. Bruce Elder: Dada, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect (2013)

15 October 2016, dusan

“This book deals with the early intellectual reception of the cinema and the manner in which art theorists, philosophers, cultural theorists, and especially artists of the first decades of the twentieth century responded to its advent. While the idea persists that early writers on film were troubled by the cinema’s lowly form, this work proposes that there was another, largely unrecognized, strain in the reception of it. Far from anxious about film’s provenance in popular entertainment, some writers and artists proclaimed that the cinema was the most important art for the moderns, as it exemplified the vibrancy of contemporary life.

This view of the cinema was especially common among those whose commitments were to advanced artistic practices. Their notions about how to recast the art media (or the forms forged from those media’s materials) and the urgency of doing so formed the principal part of the conceptual core of the artistic programs advanced by the vanguard art movements of the first half of the twentieth century. This book, a companion to the author’s previous, Harmony & Dissent, examines the Dada and Surrealist movements as responses to the advent of the cinema.”

Publisher Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, 2013
Film and Media Studies series
ISBN 9781554586257, 1554586259
x+765 pages

Reviews: John W. Locke (Canadian J of Film Studies 2014), Robin Walz (Canadian J of History 2014), Bart Testa (U Toronto Quarterly 2015).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (8 MB)

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