Expressionism and Film

Expressionism and Film

Expressionism and Film

Expressionism and Film

Synopsis

Expressionism and Film, originally published in German in 1926, is not only a classic of film history, but also an important work from the early phase of modern media history. Written with analytical brilliance and historical vision by a well-known contemporary of the expressionist movement, it captures Expressionism at the time of its impending conclusion--as an intersection of world view, resoluteness of form, and medial transition. Though one of the most frequently-cited works of Weimar culture, Kurtz's groundbreaking work, which is on a par with Siegfried Kracauer's From Caligari to Hitler and Lotte Eisner's The Haunted Screen, has never been published in English. Its relevance and historical contexts are analyzed in a concise afterword by the Swiss scholars Christian Kiening and Ulrich Johannes Beil.

Excerpt

This small book makes a text accessible to the English speaking reader that is not only a classic of film history, but also an important work from the early phase of modern media history. Expressionismus und Film by Rudolf Kurtz, which appeared first in 1926 in the Verlag der Lichtbildbühne in Berlin (with 73 reproductions, 5 colour plates and a cover illustration by Paul Leni) is a book by a well-known contemporary of the expressionist movement. Written with analytical brilliance and historical vision, it captures Expressionism at the time of its impending conclusion – as an intersection of world view, resoluteness of form, and medial transition. Though there exist translations into French and Italian (without the original illustrations), a long-desired translation into English has not been previously undertaken. the editors are grateful to film expert Brenda Benthien who enthusiastically translated the 1926 original as well as the afterword to the German reprint (2007) which appears here in a revised, slightly shortened and actualized form. They would also like to thank the National Centre of Competence in Research Mediality – Historical Perspectives (Zurich) for its financial support, the publisher of the German reprint (Zurich: Chronos) for providing the reproductions of the plates of the 1926 original, and John Libbey, who made it possible to give this book a new home. We are convinced that it has not lost its relevance after ninety years.

Zurich, Summer 2015 Christian Kiening and Ulrich Johannes Beil . . .

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