The E*cinema academy screening of Tuesday the 17th of September will regard the first experimental film movement in the history of moving image. Such history still needs to be written and rewritten and, while many early films disappeared without leaving solid trace, nowadays together with many critics and academics, we can maintain that the Dadaists and Surrealists in the early 1920s were the first to artistically experiment with the medium of film.
The Dada movement was constituted by a bunch of artists based in Europe, often coming from other disciplines such as painting, sculpture, photography, writing or graphic design, and they were interested in the formal qualities of film and not in the mere depiction of objects and people through the celluloid. Such films were initially referred to as ‘absolute’ films, as they did not deal with the interpretation of a reality outside the film; they were nonfigurative, nonobjective and nonrepresentational art, and would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Thus a typical Dada film investigated different visual forms, inspired by the abstract painting of that time, in relation to music, movement and time, which are all characteristics of the new medium of film. Indeed through the movement of geometrical forms, many of these silent pieces tried to stimulate the spectators’ imagination and make them perceive musical feelings (visual music). It was a sort of synesthesia and a departure from reality to imagery thanks to art.
The visual works of German, Swedish, Swiss and French dadaists from the 1920s were composed on top of a musical theme, conceived as silent films or planned with live accompaniment. The most important ones will be presented in this program.
Inspired by Dadaism, during the same period and mainly in France, some avant-gardist were using live action recordings, which they assembled then according to the principles of collage and free associations. This practice,
called Surrealism, intended to resolve the contradictory conditions of dream and reality. Surrealist works featured the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur. We will also screen some of these absurd films on the 17th of September with live accompaniment by pianist Nora Mulder.
Please find here the hand out:
Hand Out Dada
by Anna Dabrowska (the producer)