Art Experimental: Ruttmann vs. Milant
September 9, 2007 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Ruttmann vs. Milant
Alexis Milant has composed scores for three experimental animations realised by Walter Ruttmann. The pleasure in watching and [listening to] this come from the reactivity in the same temporality between sound and picture.

Walter Ruttmann is perhaps best known for his silent documentary Berlin: Symphony of a Great City* (1927) and for his carefully orchestrated abstract animations. (Ubuweb has Opus I-4 in one.)

Alexis Milant has impressed us before with his excellent art is a game and game an art, aka awesum fingerboarding video! Turns out the impressive sound design of that video is his specialty.

Finally, here are some one-off videos of interest:
posted by carsonb (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Got some minor dyslexia going on in one of the link titles, oops! (Youbut!)
posted by carsonb at 10:16 AM on September 9, 2007

Thanks for the post, carsonb, I had not heard of Walter Ruttmann or Alexis Milant so this post was an education:

If Walter Ruttman had not been killed while making a newsreel on the frontlines of World War II, the history of film might have turned out differently. He made breathtakingly beautiful movies -- both animated and shot --that radically departed from the traditional narratives of contemporaries like Charlie Chaplin and Max Fleischer. Maybe you’ve seen "Berlin: Symphony of a Great City" (1927)? If not, think Godfrey Reggio's 1982 epic "Koyaanisqatsi," but made 60 years earlier.

Ruttman's roots lay in architecture and painting; the geometric animations of his very early filmmaking days have the collagist angularity of Constructivist posters. The short, “Lichtspiel Opus 1” (1921), was one of the first films to treat animation as high art. Ruttman might well be the grandfather of "Claymation."

As for Milant, there's a quirky character. His finger-boarding flick is so artfully done.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:16 PM on September 9, 2007

Thx carson. Nice companion piece to Liquid Liquid's "Cavern" (re:).
posted by progosk at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2007

Oh, and: more scores for Ruttman:
- Max Butting, original score (Opus I)
- John Zorn "Possession" (Opus II-IV)
- KIZ "Huhrensohn" (Opus I-IV) actually, this last one just sucks
posted by progosk at 3:35 PM on September 9, 2007

I was not familiar with him either--I never realized that the Toccata & Fugue animation in Fantasia is totally ripped off from his stuff...or was it a tribute? Anybody know?
posted by SixteenTons at 7:24 PM on September 9, 2007

There is always the critic.
posted by pointilist at 11:16 PM on September 9, 2007

madamjujujive: It's only too bad that there's not more (in English) about Ruttmann online. This is the part of the internet where I butt my head up against the wall and wish I could afford courses on film. Thanks for those paras, and the link.

progosk: So many things came together for me when I watched that Cavern link. Thank you. I was intrigued by the John Zorn mashup, too, though it felt lacking somehow.

SixteenTons: Which part of Fantasia again? I just watched a bit labeled with Toccata & Fugue, but it was set to the main theme from Lonesome Dove and I became rather distracted.

pointilist: I can't get your link to work.
posted by carsonb at 8:17 AM on September 10, 2007

The Toccata&Fugue segment in Fantasia was based on original designs by Oskar Fischinger, the Ruttman contemporary I mentioned upthread. He was unhappy with the end result, and went uncredited for his contribution.
posted by progosk at 2:24 PM on September 10, 2007

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