A History of Swedish Experimental Film Culture: From Early Animation to Video Art

A History of Swedish Experimental Film Culture: From Early Animation to Video Art


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This first-ever study of Swedish experimental film represents the results of a Swedish Research Council initiative in 2006–2008. The essays address the institutions, filmmakers, and films important to the history of experimental film in Sweden, and place this history in larger artistic and socio-cultural contexts. The authors look at the work of the Independent Film Group, regional Fluxus groups, E.A.T., and figures such as Viking Eggeling, Rune Hagberg, Pontus Hultén, Öyvind Fahlström, Leo Reis, Bo Jonsson, and Åke Karlung.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780861966998
Publisher: John Libbey Publishing
Publication date: 10/20/2010
Series: Mediehistoriskt Arki Series
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Lars Gustaf Andersson is Associate Professor in Film Studies at Lund University.

John Sundholm is Associate Professor in Film Studies at Karlstad University.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding is Professor of Cinema Studies at Stockholm University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 8

The Writing of a History of Swedish Experimental Film 10

Minor Histories of Minor Cinemas 11

Minor Cinemas and Experimental Film 11

Discourse Analysis and Historiography 13

New Film History and Emergent Film Histories 14

Practices of Closure: Culture and Memory 16

Experimental Film and Intermediality 19

National or International Cinema? 23

Swedish Experimental Film until the 1950s: The Pre-History from Cartoon to Feature Film 28

Film Culture and Experimental Cinema 29

The European Context and the Swedish Condition 30

Animation Culture: Victor Bergdahl and Early Animation 31

Reluctant Modernism: The Swedish Artists and the European Modernist Movement 34

Viking Eggeling and the Quest for Universal Language 36

The Lost Arabesques of Reinhold Holtermann 41

Early Film Criticism and Theory 43

Young Writers, Early Cinephilia and the Cinema 45

The Film Society Movement and the Film Journals 51

"Experimental Film is Dead, Long Live Experimental Film!" 55

Gerd Osten: Interlude with Dance 57

Gosta Werner: Cinephilia and the Art of the Craft 59

Arne Sucksdorff: Documentarist in a Poetic Mode 61

Rune Hagberg: Film Noir and Post-War Angst 63

The Aporias of Early Experimental Film Culture in Sweden 66

The Emergence of Experimental Film 68

Arbetsgruppen för film/The Independent Film Group 69

Eivor Burbeck and Råland Häggbom: Early Film Production at The Independent Film Group 73

The Discourse on Amateur and Experimental Film 75

Peter Weiss: Resistance and Underground 79

Kinetic Art and Moderna Museet 87

Pontus Hultén and his Companions: Chance and Play 91

A New Venue for Film: The Opening of Moderna Museet 98

The Art Movements of the 1960s: Film and the Art Scene 100

Billy Klüver and the New Art of the 1960s 101

Venues of the Avant-garde: Fylkingen, Pistolteatern and Marionetteatern 102

Regional Avant-garde and Beyond 104

Carl Slättne and the Poetry of Politics and Place 106

Music and Film Jan W. Morthenson Ralph Lundsten 108

The Creative Producer and his Director Lennart Ehrenborg Eric M. Nilsson 113

The Expanded Field of Experimental Film 115

Jan Håfström and Claes Söderquist: Matter and Memory 117

The Extension of Independent Film Production 122

A New Form of Support: State Funding and the Swedish Film Institute 123

Leo Reis and Optical Architecture 124

Bo Jonsson and His Contemporaries at the Film School 125

Multimedia and Performance Art: Åke Karlung, Öyvind Fahlström 129

Pre- and post-1968: Peter Kylberg and the Making of Experimental Features 137

The Swedish Reception of New American Cinema 142

The Changing Landscape of Independent Film Production 145

FilmCentrum/Film Centre: A Political Avant-garde 146

The (Re)Turn to Documentary 153

Filmverkstan/The Film Workshop: Film as Public Sphere 154

Films and Filmmakers at the Film Workshop 158

The Rise of Animation 160

Experimental Animation and the Aesthetics of Immersion: Olle Hedman 162

Gunvor Nelson and the Unboundedness of the Moving Image 167

The Expanded Field of the Experimental Moving Image 178

The Emergence of Video Art 179

Institutional Frames for a New Art Form 182

From Documenting Technique to Art Form 187

Ann-Sofi Sidén: Explorations into the History of Mentality 190

Returns and Openings 194

Bibliography 198

Endnotes 212

Name Index 236

Film Index 244

What People are Saying About This

University of Southern California, Los Angeles - David E. James

A publication of A History of Swedish Experimental Film: From Early Animation to Video Art opens a new realm of cinema to the rest of the world. Its generous and catholic history of the various kinds of non-industrial cinemas in Sweden - of the films, filmmakers and the cultures they sustained - is informed by scholarship in several languages and buoyed by profound insight, but also by grace and enthusiasm. A brilliant contribution to the decentering of accounts of the avant-garde, it is sure to provide a generative model for parallel historiographical undertakings in other places.

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