Month of 121 Shorts: Avant-Garde 1

Zweigroschenzauber (1929, Hans Richter)
The intertitle says “Twopence Magic: a commercian in picture rhymes.” Movie shows us a thing, then crossfades to a similar-looking thing. Much better than I’ve made it sound.

Dada (1936, Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth)
Shapes in motion, quick.

Synchromy No. 4: Escape (1938, Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth)
A Bach music video, with black bars perversely imprisoning the viewer away from the orange and blue color geometric spectacle beyond.

War, etc. (1983, Leo Schatzl)
Crude drawings of planes, horizontal scratches give the appearance of speed, sound fx from old arcade games. Mix it up with some TV interference. Part of an installation which surely annoyed many (unless the sound was turned down).

OXO Wonder Vision (1996, Leo Schatzl)
Looks/sounds like the window of a plane flying through a cloud. Then the plane slowly sinks into a giant coffee pot. It must be endless fun to be an avant-garde video installation artist.

The Endless Sandwich (1969, Peter Weibel)
Pretty much this shot, a guy watching a guy watching a guy, until the TVs start staticking from the inside out, until our own TV statics, closing with a quote by the filmmaker.

Imaginare Wasserplastik (1971, Peter Weibel)
Meta-video-art using “television as a time-space switch,” only a minute long. Not great, but so far I like this guy better than Leo Schatzl.

Fluxfilm 1 (1964, Nam June Paik)
“pranksters”, “playful artists”, “ephemeral humor”: the Fluxus movement sounds like fun. But then the first film I watch is a pure white screen and silent soundtrack. What’s worse, someone has punk’d my DVD player so the clock is moving at half-speed.

Fluxfilm 2 (1966, Dick Higgins)
Still silent, closeup of a man’s mouth chewing. Okay, I’m done for now.

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