"The rhythm of a work is equal to the idea of the whole."
June 14, 2011 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Berlin, circa 1921: The painter Hans Richter turns his talents to film and produces one of the earliest abstract films, Rhythmus 21. Clocking in at just over three minutes, it's a significant departure from the newsreels, romances, cliff-hangers, and penny-dreadfuls that made up the bulk of film production in the early ’20s—the first decade in which the film industry began to play a major economic and cultural role around the world.

Richter continued to make experimental and increasingly politicized films in Germany through the Weimar period before fleeing the Nazis in 1933. He settled in the United States in the '40s and continued to make films, including Dreams that Money Can Buy and 8 x 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements in collaboration with such avant-garde luminaries as Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Cocteau, Paul Bowles, and others. [A little more Richter goodness, previously]
posted by scody (9 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
It's like no one ever saw Mel Brooks' "The Critic".
posted by Faze at 1:54 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Find his book Dada - Art and Anti-Art. Read it. It gave me a lifetime love and anti-love for Dada. It might or might not do the same thing for you.
posted by njohnson23 at 2:15 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

Great stuff! Thanks, scody!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:18 PM on June 14, 2011

njohnson: thanks for the note about Richter's book -- I forgot to mention it. It's great, indeed!
posted by scody at 2:21 PM on June 14, 2011

I've always loved "Ghosts before Breakfast" (the title and the film), but I never researched its maker. Thanks for the head-start.
posted by 2ghouls at 2:49 PM on June 14, 2011

I had seen this before, but it's been quite a while, and I enjoyed seeing it again. Hans Richter was just so damn cool.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:25 PM on June 14, 2011

Rhythmus 21: World's first screensaver?
posted by Hither at 6:23 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fantastic, thank you scody.
posted by jokeefe at 8:40 PM on June 14, 2011

1921?? Outrageously cool. Really interesting, scody.
posted by FeralHat at 1:17 AM on June 15, 2011

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