“Lichtspiel: Opus I” (Walter Ruttmann, 1921, Full Short Movie)

“Walter Ruttmann’s Lichtspiel Opus I premiered in Germany in 1921, the first abstract film to be publicly screened. In the film, Ruttmann mastered the technical means to realise his abstract imagery in film. He patented his particular technical methods in 1921. William Moritz provides an interesting description of his method: ‘[Ruttmann’s] first animations for Opus No. I were painted with oil on glass plates beneath an animation camera, shooting a frame after each brush stroke or each alteration because the wet paint could be wiped away or modified quite easily. He later combined this with geometric cut-outs on a separate layer of glass’.” (Jennifer Valcke, Static Films and Moving Pictures: Montage in Avant-Garde Photography and Film, p173)

From Avant Garde Cinema, on Vimeo.

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