Re: collage film history

From: Myron Ort (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jun 29 2009 - 13:04:24 PDT

> "the moving image equivalent "

I am not sure about this. Leger, for example, was not particularly a
collage artist like say Kurt Schwitters. He made "cubist" paintings
and often favored industrial and mechanical subject matter. Simply
aiming one's camera at similar subject matter, like set-up rotating
mechanical devices, does not make the structure or essence of the
film the equivalent to either "Cubism" or "Collage" in my estimation,
although his film "Ballet Mécanique" was, arguably used to define a
"genre" : "Cubist Cinema" by Lawder.

The "subject matter" of a film does not, in my opinion, make the film
equivalent to the process that produced that subject matter. That is
why I dug up the Brakhage example where he actually used collage
method to construct film imagery. To make a truly Cubist cinema one
would have to understand how and what makes a painting "Cubist",
things like multiple simultaneous vantage points defying older
notions of perspective and compositional organization (roots in
Cezanne's discoveries). Likewise with how a collage works
structurally (eg. the connection of Schwitters to Cubism).

My whole argument here has to do with why, for example, "Anticipation
Of The Night" was such a breakthrough in terms of how a film is
conceived at its most elemental level, and is related, in my
thinking, to revelations that Rembrandt had while observing light
moving over objects inside a windmill as the story goes, thus
informing his own breakthroughs at visual organization beyond simple
earlier perspective systems. To me, Stan's point, articulated in his
writings at the time, had to do with cinema catching up with 500
years of development in painting which had already gone way beyond
"renaissance perspective".

Myron Ort

On Jun 29, 2009, at 12:25 PM, Gene Youngblood wrote:

> Ballet Mechanique, Emak Bakia and Le Retour a la Raison would be
> among the earliest collage films, if the term is understood as the
> moving image equivalent of work in other media by Picabia, Picasso,
> Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann and Kurt Schwitters.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Myron Ort" <email suppressed>
> To: <email suppressed>
> Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 12:06 PM
> Subject: Re: collage film history
>> montage, collage, .... this gets confusing.
>> putting movie shots together, whatever the source (found footage,
>> stock footage, newly shot footage, or otherwise), is generally
>> called montage or "editing", is it not?
>> "Collage Animation" to me suggests art collage inspired films
>> like those of Joseph Cornell, Harry Smith, Robert Breer, Larry
>> Jordan, and perhaps other even earlier examples.
>> "Collage" in film would be to me something like the circular
>> punched out baby image fastened into a circular hole on another
>> image exampled in Brakhage's "Dog Star Man", or for that matter
>> the work done to make his "Mothlight" and "Garden of Earthly
>> Delights".
>> To me the term "collage film form" might be problematic.
>> Myron Ort
>> On Jun 29, 2009, at 5:51 AM, William Kaizen wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> Can anybody point me to any good academic references or other solid
>>> references on the history of collage film? I am especially
>>> interested
>>> in when, historically, the term collage first became associated with
>>> cinema rather than works on paper or canvas, and in the
>>> differentiation historically between cinematic montage and the
>>> use of
>>> cinematic collage, including the appropriation of found footage. Was
>>> the term in use in the late 1950s and early 1960s when filmmakers
>>> like
>>> Robert Breer and others began experimenting with the collage film
>>> form, or was it applied by later artists and/or scholars?
>>> Thanks for any thoughts or ideas!
>>> --- Bill
>>> __________________________________________________________________
>>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.