Category Archives: Film
“A story about the battle between art and business, from a man torn between both worlds who lived to tell the tale.”
…i.e. the first cinematic portrait of Richard Wagner, and possibly the very first feature film.
Facteur Cheval, anatomical models, mutilated war veterans, Parisian street scenes, Musidora, a Lumière brother, the Paris Exposition of 1937…
Alexander Hammid’s film follows an unidentified man through Prague, although the camera is largely disengaged from the expected multitudes and monuments, instead following this enigmatic flaneur to the liminal spaces of the city.
Complaining about the lack of conventional narrative in Last Year at Marienbad is like standing in front of a Pollock and asking where the basket of fruit is.
It was a meeting with French Dadaist Philippe Soupault in Berlin’s Romanisches Café in the early 1920s which helped Walter Ruttmann synthesize art and music into cinema.
In Der Tod der Maria Malibran, opera is rendered as if in the fever dream of a dying diva or besotted fan thereof – fragments, poses, expressions, gestures, moments, tableaux.
If you’re quick (and rich, and ready to resettle) you can pick up one of the most illustrious settings in the history of experimental film, the location of Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid’s 1943 film Meshes of the Afternoon.
If you didn’t know the fairy tale king was a fairy you’d never know from this short outing (as it were).
It is difficult to imagine Alastair – the evanescent being who even in his heyday was little known to the public, who viewed the 1890s through the prism of the 1920s – even existing in the 1960s, let alone turning up on television.
The hand-held camera makes constant scything motions as if trying to slash through the pomposity, pausing every now and then to leer in contemptuous close-up, offering up some decorative detail for mockery.
Neither was an actor by either training or instinct, but this miniature is still a rare and wonderful thing with the gamey savour of lived reality.
French crime thriller Les Vampires appeared in 1915 and 1916, directed by Louis Feuillade and starring the cat-suited Musidora (born Jeanne Roques) as the anagrammatical Irma Vep.
Ludwig II is back on screen at the end of this year in a new German production, a hundred years since his first film appearance, more or less. Here are ten milestones of the Bavarian king’s cinematic century.
As part of its “Artists and Filmmakers” programme, documenta is showing the 1976 film Impressions de la Haute Mongolie, made by Salvador Dalí and José Montes-Baquer and partly inspired by Raymond Roussel.