22 December – Filmliga: Structures

The Filmliga, founded in 1927, was among the first to suggest that film could also be an art form. They promoted film as an autonomous art form, one they called ‘absolute film’, where rhythm, editing, and composition were at the forefront. Live music by Oscar Jan Hoogland.

Overcoming natural obstacles is ingrained in everyday Dutch life. Dams, dikes and canals, man-made constructions stand symbiotic with nature. Iven’s steely romance De Brug, overlooking the Maas harbour of Rotterdam from a bridge, is a study in pure gazing and dynamic editing. In Hoogstraat, Andor van Barsy offers a vivid example of a City Symphony, with a Punch-and-Judy opening and observing the city dwelling buzz.

De Brug by Joris Ivens, 1928
Hoogstraat by Andor von Barsy, 1929

Fragment nul uur nul chimes with the tune of such a symphony, yet plays eclectically with form and image. A hidden gem, it was originally conceived as a backdrop to a theatre play and offering, if you will, a form of expanded theatre/cinema. The Filmliga protagonists‘ practice to cut up films as they seemed fit, or to show only fragments and loose ends to support their aesthetic preferences, is reflected here.

Fragment nul uur nul by Andor von Barsy, 1928

Closing out with a peep into a new generation of filmmakers, Frans Dupont’s absolute film Diepte, and finally Mol’s Kristallen in kleur take us into the territory of architectural abstraction: a call for that is yet to come.

Uit het rijk der kristallen by J.C. Mol, 1927

The films will be introduced by Marius Hrdy, former curator in residence of Eye. Live music by Oscar Jan Hoogland.


De brug (Joris Ivens, 1928, 16′)
Fragment nul uur nul (Andor von Barsy/Simon Koster/Otto van Neijenhoff 1928, 15′)
Hoogstraat (Andor von Barsy, 1929, 11′)
Doordeweekse dag (regisseur onbekend, 1932, 6′)
Diepte (Frans Dupont, 1933, 6′)
Kristallen in kleur (J.C. Mol, 1927, 9′)

Doordeweekse dag by director unknown, 1932
Diepte by Frans Dupont, 1933

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