Hans richter film essay

Materials for Elemental Form-Creation G: We choose materials with that in mind.

Hans richter film essay

His recent book, Saul Bass: But is it a genre?

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Straddling documentary and fiction, the subjectivity of the author and the objectivity of the filmed image, vacillating between image and sound, visuality and the word, essay films in many ways defy definition.

How can one even attempt to draw its floor plan, sketch its history and catalog the idiosyncratic products that appear in its inventory? Such semantic nebulousness already held true for the literary essay, as this anthology documents. Max Bense notes that essays always imply a level of experimentation, because they are exploring various forms of subjectivity.

Similarly, the essays in this volume experiment with possible definitions of film essays. Essays on the Essay Film is accordingly divided into four sections: Adorno and Aldous Huxley.


Pierrot le fou The editors make a wise decision to include writings on the literary essay, since many of its characteristics can be applied to essay films. Max Bense defines essays as a form of experimental writing that eschews absolute statements in the interest of exploring parameters and possibilities.

Theodor Adorno takes Bense a step further by connecting the essay to anti-Platonic values, such as the ephemeral, the transitory, and the fragmentary. The earliest theoretical statements about the essay film come from experimental filmmaker and artist Hans Richter, who in his tract, Struggle for the Film: Towards a Socially Responsible Cinema, foresees a new form of documentary that has the ability to visualize thought.

Alexander Astruc, an early member of the French New Wave, theorized the future of cinema in neither documentary nor fiction films, but rather in filmmakers who use the camera as a pen—le camera au stylo—for the expression of authorial subjectivity. Phillip Lopate, on the other hand, defines five characteristics for the essay film: It has to communicate through language, whether spoken or written.

It must be the work of a single author. It must set itself the task of solving a specific problem or problems. It must be a wholly personal point of view. It must be eloquent and interesting. Like Lopate, the late film critic and essayist Paul Arthur focuses on the film auteur, insisting that the essay film must give evidence a critical, self-reflexive author who is able to communicate through word and image.

They are consciously circling around an indefinable object.Richter’s essay “At 25 meters per second, it is no longer a matter of a pretty image!” begins the “Dimension” section of the issue. 23 The message here largely reiterates “Badly Trained Soul” in Richter’s insistence that the “kinetic form” of film can help to sharpen a not-yet refined “ability to think in optical series.” 24 Like its G 3 counterpart, .

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Hans richter film essay

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Hans richter film essay

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