Experiments in Technique and Form
The dynamic qualities of motion pictures
are explored by cameramen and filmmakers through novel experiments in
technique and form. Early cinematographers James White, "Billy"
Bitzer, and Frederick Armitage display experimental shooting styles that
wowed audiences. Other independent companies further image manipulation
through creative staging, editing, and printing, such as a stunning three-screen
film that predates Gance's Napoleon. Experiments by photographer
Walker Evans, painter Emlen Etting, musician Jerome Hill, and the film
collectives Nykino and Artkino record the world in a continual process
of flux. A most extreme approach is realized by Henwar Rodakiewicz with
Portrait of a Young Man (1925-31), a monumental study of natural
and abstract motions.
5 Paris Exposition
Films (1900)—James White
Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Palace
Palace of Electricity (1900)
Champs de Mars (1900)
Panorama of Eiffel Tower (1900)
Scene from Elevator Ascending Eiffel
Captain Nissen Going through Whirpool Rapids, Niagra Falls (1901)—creators
Down the Hudson (1903)—Frederick Armitage & A.E. Weed
The Ghost Train (1903)—creators unknown
Westinghouse Works, Panorama View Street Car Motor Room (1904)—G.W.
In Youth, Beside the Lonely Sea (c. 1924-25)—creators unknown
Melody on Parade (c. 1936)—creators unknown
La Cartomancienne (The Fortune Teller) (1932)—Jerome Hill
Pie in the Sky (1934-35)—Nykino: Elia Kazan, Ralph Steiner
& Irving Lerner
Travel Notes (1932)—Walker Evans
Oil: A Symphony in Motion (1930-33)—Artkino: M.G. MacPherson
& Jean Michelson
Poem 8 (1932-33)—Emlen Etting
Storm (1941-43)—Paul Burnford
Portrait of a Young Man (1925-31)—Henwar Rodakiewicz
Running time: 161 minutes
Contents: 18 Films
Format: B/W & Tinted;
Sound & Silent
Available as part of 7-disc box set
"An abundance of
early, rarely screened, completely restored experimental films…Rich
with inventive and curious experiments." —LA
UNSEEN CINEMA: THE MECHANIZED EYE is
one of a seven-DVD series exploring American avant-garde cinema from 1894-1941.
Presented by Anthology Film Archives in association with the British Film
Institute, Cineric, Film Preservation Associates, Deutsches Filmmuseum,
George Eastman House, The Library of Congress and The Museum of Modern
"There’s a certain American
impulse to be cherished here—irascible, restless, and vibrant. The
sense of possibility, of play, of discovering the possibilities of the
form, is palpable in Unseen Cinema."
—City Pages, St. Paul/Minneapolis
"One of the best examples of Unseen Cinema’s eloquence,
Poem 8, makes the case that cinema is part of the syntax of modernity."
Films preserved by
Anthology Film Archives
George Eastman House
The Library of Congress
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Turner Entertainment Company
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc
R. Bruce Elder
Robert A. Haller
Curated by Bruce Posner
Produced for DVD by David Shepard
Released by Image Entertainment
Sponsored by Anthology Film Archives, New York, and Deutsches Filmmuseum,
Frankfurt am Main.
Made possible in part by Cineric, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, and Film
Preservation Associates, Inc.
Storm ©1943 Loew’s, Inc.
Special Contents of this Edition © 2005 by Anthology Film Archives