Avant-garde film

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Under avant-garde film , and experimental film , refers to films that in their motives and in their production away from the conventions of the medium and the viewing habits of the audience on avant-garde explore ways new ways of expression.

The experiment , understood as an experiment with an open outcome, means in film (as in other arts) a departure from usual - here primarily commercial - expectations. This applies to content - such as in Surrealism  - and film technology with its possibilities, such as abstraction, through editing, camera movement, double exposure, etc. Even if the techniques of film are specific, experimental film developed in close relation to the visual arts mainly because it was the driving force behind artistic developments and, thanks to its market value, was more perceived than the experimental film, which always had to fight for a public. That only began to change in the 1990s, when film was generally seen late, but nonetheless as an artistic medium of equal value and found its way into museums and galleries through new technologies (video, DVD).

The position of the non-commercial allowed the experimental film not only to experiment with its cinematic possibilities - which also happened and was also mentioned in artistically demanding feature films and documentaries - but also to open up new areas of social perception as avant-garde or underground film led to numerous scandals by breaking taboos in the cinematic representation of sexuality and religion, for example in the case of Un chien andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí , Un chant d'amour by Jean Genet or in a number of works by New American Cinema and Austrian film 1960s. In 2013 the post-pornographic film experiment “ Häppchenweise ” was created as the debut of the director and art historian Maike Brochhaus.

The avant-garde claim did not rule out the desire to distribute the films - on the contrary: after the war it was served by the experimental film festival organized by the Belgian Cinematheque in Brussels and Knokke every four years and the film shows organized by the filmmakers in the 1960s Munich and Hamburg and, above all, their merger to form cooperatives modeled on the Americans in London, Vienna and Hamburg and finally the establishment of film distributors in Paris ( Light Cone ), Vienna ( Sixpackfilm ) and Osnabrück ( Cine Pro ), more or less based on the American one Model ( New York Film-makers' Cooperative , Canyon Cinema).

Films, documentaries


  • Birgit Hein : Film in the underground. From its beginnings to the independent cinema (= Ullstein. 2817). Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main et al. 1971, ISBN 3-548-02817-9 .
  • Birgit Hein, Wulf Herzogenrath (Hrsg.): Film als Film. 1910 until today. From the animation film of the twenties to the film environment of the seventies. Hatje, Stuttgart 1977, ISBN 3-7757-0125-7 .
  • Ingo Petzke (Hrsg.): The experimental film manual (= series of publications of the German film museum. ). German Film Museum, Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-88799-033-1 .
  • Jean Petrolle, Virginia Wright Wexman (Ed.): Women and Experimental Filmmaking. University of Illinois Press, Urbana IL et al. 2005, ISBN 0-252-03006-0 .
  • Lauren Rabinovitz: Points of Resistance. Women, power & politics in the New York avant-garde cinema, 1943–71. 2nd edition. University of Illinois Press, Urbana IL et al. 2003, ISBN 0-252-07124-7 .
  • Hans Scheugl , Ernst Schmidt: A sub-story of the film. Lexicon of avant-garde, experimental and underground films (= Edition Suhrkamp. Es. 471). 2 volumes. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1974, ISBN 3-518-00471-9 .
  • Hans Scheugl: Extended Cinema. The Viennese films of the 1960s. Triton-Verlag, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85486-110-9 .
  • P. Adams Sitney: Visionary Film. The American Avant-Garde 1943-1978. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 1979, ISBN 0-19-502486-9 .
  • Peter Weiss : Avantgarde Film (= Edition Suhrkamp. 1444 = NF Bd. 444). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-518-11444-1 .
  • Hans-Jürgen Tast: 25 years old. A quarter of a century in the media upheaval (= googly eyes. Visual communication. No. 39). Kulleraugen, Schellerten 2012, ISBN 978-3-88842-039-9 .