Rhythmus 21 (1923) - News Poster

(1923)

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3D in the 21st Century. Baby, I'm Your Firework

  • MUBI
As an educator, I’m constantly cycling through the history of animation on a zoetrope hamster wheel, noting how each technical development re-investigates the same fundamental principles set forth by painting, literature, theatre, photography, or any method of communication and presentation. The constantly evolving modes of production in cinema foreshadowed our economy of planned obsolescence via a quest for re-perfection. As revealed by animation historians like Donald Crafton and Maureen Furniss, principles of Taylorism—standardized animation production methods spawning uniform products—governed industry practices. This model re-packages pre-existing modes/products with advances in technology. In this case: 3D is sound; 3D is color; 3D is analog/Sd/HD/2K/4K/6K/Xk video; 3D is IMAX; 3D is new media. I ask my students: have you ever noticed that life is actually in 3D? For me, an obscure and underground experimental animator, cinema is about learning or remembering how to see,
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1946 Art In Cinema: Official Lineup

In the fall of 1946, Frank Stauffacher mounted a major, and very influential, retrospective of avant-garde film in the U.S. at the San Francisco Museum of Art. The series was called “Art in Cinema” and it featured ten different programs from filmmakers in the U.S., France, Germany and Canada.

By the mid-’40s, the avant-garde hadn’t taken a strong hold in the U.S. yet, so the majority of the films screened came from Europe, or by Europeans who relocated to the U.S. However, by that time also, the European avant-garde had pretty much completely petered out. Still, Stauffacher wanted to show that there was a continuity to avant-garde film history that, up until that point, had yet to be fully considered.

In conjunction with the series, the San Francisco Museum of Art published a catalog, pretty much like one would find with any major art exhibit.
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Underground Film Chain Gang: From Altamont Now To Hans Richter

Underground film history is a living, breathing creature. That’s why I keep hard pimping my Underground Film Timeline project. While the actual Timeline right now is a somewhat dry recitation of facts and film titles, if one delves into the history deeper, it’s really clear to see how the medium has evolved from the 1920s to the 2010s.

Actually, to give an example of what I mean, I’m going to show a reverse chain of inspirations from a modern day film all the way back to the ’20s.

The modern film I picked is one I write about all the time and recently came out on DVD: Joshua von Brown’s Altamont Now, a raucous film about a pseudo-punk rock star with delusions of grandeur who threatens to start a nuclear Rockalypse. The film was a huge hit on the ’09 festival circuit and was just released by Factory 25. (Rent or Buy.
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Anthology Film Archives’ Essential Cinema Repertory Collection

First the history, then the list:

In 1969, Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas decided to open the world’s first museum devoted to film. Of course, a typical museum hangs its collections of artwork on the wall for visitors to walk up to and study. However, a film museum needs special considerations on how — and what, of course — to present its collection to the public.

Thus, for this film museum, first a film selection committee was formed that included James Broughton, Ken Kelman, Peter Kubelka, Jonas Mekas and P. Adams Sitney, plus, for a time, Stan Brakhage. This committee met over the course of several months to decide exactly what films would be collected and how they would be shown. The final selection of films would come to be called the The Essential Cinema Repertory.

The Essential Cinema Collection that the committee came up with consisted of about 330 films.
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