DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect

DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect

by R. Bruce Elder


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DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect by R. Bruce Elder

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771121996
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2015
Series: Film and Media Studies Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 776
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

R. Bruce Elder is an award-winning filmmaker and teaches media at Ryerson University. His book Harmony & Dissent (WLU Press, 2008) received the prestigious Robert Motherwell Book Prize and was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. Rudolf Kuenzli described DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect (WLU Press, 2013) as 'that rare book that casts the early twentieth-century avant-garde in a very new light.'

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

Notes 19

1 The Fate of Reason in Modernity 21

The Modern Paradigm: Privileging Reason 23

Geometry and Geometries 27

Foundationalism Collapses 30

Logic and Paradox 33

Continuity and the Foundations of Physics 42

Cantor and the Strangeness of Infinity 48

Formalist Mathematics and the Limits of Reason 49

Consequences of Reason's Retreat 51

"Primitivism" as a Response to the Collapse of Reason 52

Notes 63

2 Dadaism and the Disasters of War 69

The Zürich Coterie and Their Antics 71

The Dada Conspirators: Tristan Tzara 73

The Dada Conspirators: Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings 74

The Dada Conspirators: Francis Picabia 75

The Künstlerkneipe Cabaret Voltaire and the Galerie Dada 76

DADA: War and Politics 83

DADA against the Burgeoning of Nationalism: What DADA Might Have Prevented 86

A Precursor of DADA: The Comic Grotesque 97

The Diffusion of DADA 100

The Conditions That Produced the State of Mind Known as DADA 103

Elementalism's Menacing Lure 105

DADA: Art and Anti-Art 110

DADA and the Life-Principle 114

Constructive DADA 116

Hans Richter on the Six Forms of Use in Returning Art to Its Elementary Condition 139

Dada Forms: Collage 145

Further on Collage's New Notion of Form 149

DADA and Language 157

Parallels with the Russian Transrationalists and Andrei Bely 159

Zaum and the Higher Consciousness of Trans-Sense 166

Picabia, Man Ray, and the Dadaist Art of the Machine 174

Duchamp and DADA's Art of the Machine 177

Entr'acte: Commentary 185

Man Ray's Dada Cinema 202

Emak Bakia: Introduction 205

Emak Bakia: Commentary 212

DADA: In Conclusion 221

Notes 225

3 Surrealism and the Cinema 259

Beginnings 262

Psychoanalysis and the Occult: The Intrusion of Alien Forms into Consciousness and the Poetics of the Surrealist Literary Image 270

DADA and Surrealism 288

Hippolyte Taine, Hasard Objectif, the Poetic Image, and the Cinema 295

The Cinema, Photography, and "the Marvellous" 312

Photography, the Surrealist Object, and the Unheimlich 322

Ernst's Frottage as a Handmade Trace and Automatist Form 325

Surrealism, Apollinaire, and Reconciliation 328

Surrealism and the Hegelian Dialectic 332

Surrealism and the Freudian Dialectic 340

Dalí, the Double Image, and Paranoiac-Critical Methods 348

Dalí against Idealism 356

Dalí, Paranoia, and Lacan: A New Phase of Surrealism Begins 359

Lacan's Theories and Surrealists' Conception of the Poetic Image 365

Un chien andalou: Commentary 381

An Anti-Art Film 384

The Verbal Image 390

Surrealism's Fissures and Luis Buñuel's Las Hurdes: Tierra sin pan 403

Las Hurdes and the Documentary 405

Dialectical Structure in Las Hurdes 408

Las Hurdes and Bataille's Heterology 413

Las Hurdes and the Sacred 417

Las Hurdes as an Ethnographic Film 424

The Hurdanos in History 427

How Surrealism Has Been Passed Down into the Twenty-First Century: The Marvellous Correspondence between Max Ernst's Collage Novels and Lawrence Jordan's Films 433

Collage as a Pneumatic Device: Through Ernst to Jordan 439

The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté-"Dimanche" (Calcination) 467

The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté-"Lundi" (Dissolution) 473

The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté-"Mardi" (Separation) 476

The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté-"Mercredi" (Conjunction) 479

The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté-"Jeudi" (Putrefaction/Fermentation) 481

The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté-"Vendredi" (Distillation) 484

The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté-"Samedi" (Coagulation) 487

Lawrence Jordan: Surrealism and Alchemy 488

Lawrence Jordan's Duo Concertantes: Commentary 494

Part 1 The Centennial Exposition 494

Part 2 Patricia Gives Birth to a Dream by the Doorway 503

Notes 506

In Lieu of a Conclusion 567

Appendix 1 How Reason Lost Its Purchase on Reality 571

Notes 575

Appendix 2 Infinity Confounds Reason 577

Notes 582

Appendix 3 An Account of Gödel's Proof for Poets, Painters, and Art Historians 583

Notes 590

Appendix 4 Emak Bakia: A Shot Analysis and Commentary 591

Notes 609

Appendix 5 Un chien andalou: A Shot Analysis and Commentary 611

Notes 664

Appendix 6 Land without Bread: A Shot Analysis and Commentary 667

Notes 702

Appendix 7 Analysis of Lawrence Jordan's Duo Concertantes 703

Part 1 The Centennial Exposition 703

Part 2 Patricia Gives Birth to a Dream by the Doorway 716

Duo Concertantes Musical Form: Tables 722

Duo Concertantes Part 1: The Centennial Exposition 723

Duo Concertantes Part 2: Patricia Gives Birth to a Dream by the Doorway 726

Index 727

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