Tracing the work of Luis Buñuel, Jacques Prévert, Nelly Kaplan, Walerian Borowcyzk, Jan vankmajer, Raul Ruiz and Alejandro Jodorowsky, this book charts the history of surrealist filmmaking in both Europe and Hollywood from the 1920s to the present day. At once a critical introduction and a provocative re-evaluation, Surrealism and Cinema is essential reading for anyone interested in surrealist ideas and art and the history of film.
Salvador Dali is one of the most widely recognised and most controversial artists of the twentieth century. He was also an avant-garde filmmaker -- collaborating with such giants as Luis Bunuel, Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock -- though the impetus and endurance of his fascination with film has rarely been given the attention it merits. King surveys the full range of Dali's eccentric activities with(in) the cinema. Influenced by the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton and Stanley Kubrick, Dali used the cinema to bring the 'dream subjects' of his paintings to life, providing the groundwork for revolutionary forays into television, video, photography and holography. Dali's writings continue to be relevant to discourses surrounding film and surrealism, and his embrace of academic technique partnered with contemporary technology and pop culture is a paradox still relevant today. From a movie-going experience that would incorporate all five senses to the tale of a woman's hapless love affair with a wheelbarrow, Dali's hallucinatory vision never fails to leave its indelible mark.
This book examines post-war surrealist cinema in relation to surrealism’s change in direction towards myth and magic following World War II. Intermedial and interdisciplinary, the book unites cinema studies with art history and the study of Western esotericism, closely engaging with a wide range of primary sources, including surrealist journals, art, exhibitions, and writings. Kristoffer Noheden looks to the Danish surrealist artist Wilhelm Freddie’s forays into the experimental short film, the French poet Benjamin Péret’s contribution to the documentary film L’Invention du monde, the Argentinean-born filmmaker Nelly Kaplan’s feature films, and the Czech animator Jan Svankmajer’s work in short and feature films. The book traces a continuous engagement with myth and magic throughout these films, uncovering a previously unknown strain of occult imagery in surrealist cinema. It broadens the scope of the study of not only surrealist cinema, but of surrealism across the art forms. Surrealism, Cinema, and the Search for a New Myth will appeal to film scholars, art historians, and those interested in the impact of occultism on modern culture, film, and the arts.
This issue of Yale French Studies on "Surrealism and Its Others"examines the works and theories of writers, artists, and thinkers who positioned themselves and their productions in dialogue with Breton's surrealism. Although surrealism always sought to distinguish itself from other movements and ideologies, its members often celebrated their commonality with many "others" outside of the official group with whom they shared their passions: Marxists, visual artists, filmmakers, psychiatrists, and ethnographers. Each of the writers, artists, and thinkers examined here were either temporarily associated with surrealism or were influenced by its collective and open spirit, even if in a primarily opposing or questioning role. In some cases, this outside perspective came from as close as Belgium and other European countries. In other cases, it came from farther away - from North Africa or North America - which reveals surrealism's engagement with non-European, formerly colonized cultures, reflects its staunchly anti-colonial stance, and confirms the movement as something more than an aesthetic phenomenon. Along with its aesthetic mission, surrealism was also, and perhaps more importantly, a powerful political and social reality. This issue examines works by artists, writers, and theorists who were all, in their own ways, located outside of yet close to surrealism and who provide us with a new perspective on this avant-garde and modernist movement. Martine Antle Surrealism and the Orient Adam Jolles The Tactile Turn: Envisioning a Post-Colonial Aesthetic in France Jonathan P. Eburne Automatism and Terror: Surrealism, Theory, and the Postwar Left Pierre Taminiaux Breton and Trotsky: The Revolutionary Memory of Surrealism Richard Stamelman Photography: The Marvelous Precipitate of Desire Robert Harvey Where's Duchamp?--Out Queering the Field Raphaelle Moine From Surrealist Cinema to Surrealism in the Cinema: Does a Surrealist Genre Exist in Film? Georgiana M. M. Colvile Between Surrealism and Magic Realism: The Early Feature Films of André Delvaux, 1926-2002--the Other Delvaux Katharine Conley Surrealism and Outsider Art: From the Automatic Message to André Breton's Collection
The arts were created from an appeal to freedom. There can be no general aesthetic that defines how that freedom must express itself. Movies offer a seductive example. Of all the major arts, cinema is the only one that was invented during the lifetime of some who are now living. From this perspective, Earle argues that filmmakers were far more inventive in their early days than now, when commercial film has settled into a realist routine with occasional and timid forays into the personal and imaginative.Earle suggests that unsympathetic readers should look again at the possible sources of film poetry, sources that have almost dried up in the flood of boredom experienced nightly in theaters throughout the world. Surrealism in Film is largely a manifesto against realism; it ends in a clash of sensibilities. The book encourages new exploration of absolute poetry.The intention of these essays is to destroy the absolute authority of the realist sensibility. Within that sensibility is everything thought necessary to "sense": narrative plot, recognizable and nameable passions, continuity and integration within the film, a gist or moral for the whole affair, social commentary, and psychoanalytic depth-meanings. Earle argues for a self-critique that should be performed if movies are not to remain encapsulated within its own delusions.
Surrealism and Film after 1945 is the first collection devoted to the vibrant culture of transnational surrealist cinema since the Second World War. Eleven chapters by leading and emerging scholars of surrealism and film studies establish the parameters of this history and situate surrealism as a major force in postwar cinema.
This book deals with the early intellectual reception of the cinema and the manner in which art theorists, philosophers, cultural theorists, and especially artists of the first decades of the twentieth century responded to its advent. While the idea persists that early writers on film were troubled by the cinema’s lowly form, this work proposes that there was another, largely unrecognized, strain in the reception of it. Far from anxious about film’s provenance in popular entertainment, some writers and artists proclaimed that the cinema was the most important art for the moderns, as it exemplified the vibrancy of contemporary life. This view of the cinema was especially common among those whose commitments were to advanced artistic practices. Their notions about how to recast the art media (or the forms forged from those media’s materials) and the urgency of doing so formed the principal part of the conceptual core of the artistic programs advanced by the vanguard art movements of the first half of the twentieth century. This book, a companion to the author’s previous, Harmony & Dissent, examines the Dada and Surrealist movements as responses to the advent of the cinema.
The Shadow and Its Shadow is a classic collection of writings by the Surrealists on their mad love of moviegoing. The forty-odd theoretical, polemical, and poetical re-visions of the seventh art in this anthology document Surrealism's scandalous and nonreductive take on film. Writing between 1918 and 1977, the essayists include such names as André Breton, Louis Aragon, Robert Desnos, Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, and man Ray, as well as many of the less famous though equally fascinating figures of the movement. Paul Hammond's introduction limns the history of Surrealist cinemania, highlighting how these revolutionary poets, artists, and philosophers sifted the silt of commercial-often Hollywood-cinema for the odd fleck of gold, the windfall movie that, somehow slipping past the censor, questioned the dominant order. Such prospecting pivoted around the notion of lyrical behavior-as depicted on the screen and as lived in the movie house. The representation of such behavior led the Surrealists to valorize the manifest content of such denigrated genres as silent and sound comedy, romantic melodrama, film noir, horror movies. As to lived experience, moviegoing Surrealists looked to the spectacle's latent meaning, reading films as the unwitting providers of redemptive sequences that could be mentally clipped out of their narrative context and inserted into daily life-there, to provoke new adventures. Hammond's book is a reminder of the wealth and range of surrealist writings on the cinema. . . . [T]he work represented here is still challenging and genuinely eccentric, locating itself in an 'ethic' of love, reverie and revolt. --Sight & Sound Hammond, who is the author of the invaluable anthology The Shadow and its Shadow: Surrealist Writing on the Cinema (1978), writes about cinema independently of the changing academic and cultural fashions of film theory and abhors the dogmas of contemporary border-patrol thought. His magnetically appealing free-wheeling form of erudite film-critical writing is recognisable for its iconoclastic humour, non-authoritarian verve and playful witty discursivity. --John Conomos, Senses of Cinema Paul Hammond is a writer, editor, and translator living in Barcelona. He is the author of Constellations of Miró, Breton which was published by City Lights.